4 Best Approach of Podcasts for Every Mental Health Growth

There were in excess of 1.7 million total podcasts at the start of 2021, a number that continues to grow. And the selection and range of health podcasts out there are huge.

Scan the 225 most popular mental health podcasts on iTunes and you’ll find shows covering autism, grief, narcissism, complex trauma, co-dependency, and binge eating.

Podcasts are an excellent way to learn more about mental health issues and common interventions, as many discuss self-care and provide practical strategies for taking care of your well-being. Listeners can also learn from renowned psychologists, authors, and lecturers. It is important to note, however, that a podcast should never take the place of therapy.

We discover solidarity in telling our stories. These podcasts offer listeners a safe space to learn about anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. They also deconstruct stereotypes and stigmas, gifting listeners practical tips for finding balance and healing.

Podcasts have the niche ability to be both entertaining and informative. Everywhere you look there’s a viral new podcast hit about a true crime story or comedy icon. That’s the beauty of podcasts—whatever you’re interested in, there’s sure to be a series you can subscribe to. With the hustle and bustle becoming more prevalent and work-life balance becoming more unbalanced, podcasts are now the easiest and most affordable way of digest some of the best media around.

Podcasts are a long-format audio—and sometimes video—format of delivering nuanced discussion and conversion on single or multiple topics. They operate on a subscription model, meaning new episodes will be downloaded automatically when available. The list below, while not comprehensive, highlights some of our very favorite mental health podcasts. Some shows are laugh-out-loud funny, others will make you cry, and one is even in Spanish. Listen, subscribe, and share. And add your favorite mental health podcasts in the comments below—we’re always eager for new recommendations!

  1. The Positive Psychology Podcasts

Why We Chose It: The Positive Psychology podcast covers all sorts of topics such as passion, mindfulness, and strengths with a focus on positive psychology so you can cherry-pick the strategies that work best for you, regardless of what you are going through.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • A variety of topics are covered
  • Many episodes
  • 4 stars out of 5 on the Apple app store

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

  • Backbone is positive psychology which may not suit all listeners
  • Older episodes do not feature guests

Host Kristen Truempy is a seasoned podcaster with a Master’s degree in applied positive psychology, a branch of psychology that focuses on helping people become happier without dwelling on negative aspects of their lives. Episodes range in length from 30 to 60 minutes and they often include a special guest speaker. This podcast is widely available on the Apple App Store, Spotify, ACast, Google, and many other platforms and covers a wide range of topics: narcissism, sex, humility, self-love, and more. It’s been around since 2014, so there are many episodes to dig into.

  1. The Anxiety Podcasts

Why We Chose It: The Anxiety Podcast is hosted by someone who understands anxiety on a personal level. This podcast’s mission is to overcome anxiety and reduce stress.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Solely focused on overcoming anxiety
  • Over 400 episodes

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

  • The host is not a licensed mental health provider
  • Most episodes are about Tim’s personal experiences or answering listener questions

Host Tim JP Collins suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, changed his life in order to recover, and now supports others in doing the same. This unique show isn’t just about coping; it’s about moving past anxiety and fear to live the life for which listeners were destined. Tim combines interviews and listener questions in his episodes in the hopes that listeners will relate.

This podcast has over 200 reviews on Apple podcast and 4.7 stars out of 5. Episodes range in length from 10–30 minutes and the topics covered vary. Examples of some topics include meditation, forming habits, practicing gratitude, and putting yourself first. Listeners can tune into the podcast on the podcast’s website, Apple, Android, and Youtube.

  1. The Trauma Therapist Podcast

Why We Chose It: The Trauma Therapist Podcast is the best mental health podcast for trauma because of the wide variety of mental health experts who specialize in trauma that appear on this show.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Specifically focused on trauma
  • Hosted by a mental health professional
  • Guests are leading experts in the field

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

  • A newsletter for trauma therapists costs roughly $20 per month

This podcast has been putting out potent episodes about trauma and mental health since 2014. It has 4.5 stars on Apple Podcast and over 300 ratings. Each episode is roughly 30 minutes long. Hosted by Guy Macpherson, Ph.D., most episodes focus on a dynamic and powerful conversation between Guy and an expert in the field of psychology and trauma. Guests range from renowned doctor Gabor Mate to well-known author and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb. Over 500 episodes span the depths of trauma, which can be accessed across podcast platforms like iTunes and Spotify.

  1. Tara Brach

Why We Chose It: Who better to speak about complex mental health subjects than Tara Brach, a renowned psychologist with a PhD. in clinical psychology and a meditation teacher deeply rooted in Buddhism. It is Tara’s expansive knowledge and gentle tone that makes this our top pick for complex topics.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Live, recorded lectures and meditations by Tara herself
  • Episodes are varied offering both meditation and lectures
  • Hosted by a mental health professional

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

  • Episodes do not directly address mental health issues/disorders
  • Lectures can be long, over 60 minutes

Tara Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. Tara’s podcast receives over 3 million downloads each month.

Her themes reveal the possibility of emotional healing and spiritual awakening through mindful, loving awareness as well as the alleviation of suffering in the larger world by practicing compassion in action.

Podcast episodes vary from shorter meditations to longer lectures. Many different topics cover mental health covered but the overarching theme is the value of mindfulness meditation and self-compassion in relieving emotional suffering, serving spiritual awakening, and bringing healing to our world.

Mental health podcasts differ by focus, topics covered, and type of host. Non-clinicians host some podcasts, while mental health practitioners host others. Our top pick for the best mental health podcast is Positive Psychology Podcast for its accessibility across many different platforms, length of episodes that range from 30 to 60 minutes, and the inclusion of guests.

It’s important to note, however, that podcasts are not a form of medical treatment and should not be seen as a substitute for therapy or medication. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, a consult with a mental health provider is recommended.

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