I’m on a major podcast kick lately. In the past few months, I’ve gotten annoyed with myself for how often I start a sentence with, “I was listening to this podcast the other day…” Podcasts are such an easy way to learn and expand your horizons. Whether you’re in the car, cleaning your kitchen, or getting ready in the morning, it’s so simple to turn on a podcast. It takes time that might otherwise be wasted and turns it into a time of delightful education or entertainment, particularly when listening to podcasts for your mental and emotional health. I’m not being dramatic when I say that podcasts have seriously improved my quality of life.
If you have no idea what a podcast is or how the heck to listen to one, here’s a simple link to get started. You don’t need to be a tech guru. It’s super simple. However, it can be a little overwhelming when you first venture into the land of podcasts, as there are so many options. So I’m helping you out and narrowing it down a bit, zeroing in on podcasts focused on growth and self-improvement. I’m also including a favorite episode or two from each podcast, as a suggested place to start.
Without further ado, here are my eight favorite podcasts for your mental and emotional health!
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations: Super Soul Conversations lets listeners in on fascinating and deep conversations between Oprah and some of the greatest thinkers, visionaries, and storytellers of our time. This podcast will make you think deep and feel big. My favorite episodes so far? Brene Brown Part 1: Daring Greatly and Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilience and Find Joy After Loss. I also love Glennon Doyle Melton’s episode: The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin: This is a popular podcast and for good reason. It’s created by one of the most popular happiness experts of today. Listen in as Gretchen Rubin and her sister discuss tips and tricks for living a happier life. So many of their tips are super simple yet really helpful. Not sure where to start? Try episode 124: Remember Love.
10% Happier: This podcast is heavily geared toward mindfulness and meditation. But don’t worry if you’re not a “serious” meditator. Led by Dan Harris, a self-proclaimed “fidgety skeptic” turned mega-meditator, this podcast features interviews with some of the biggest names in mindfulness. My two favorite episodes? Episode 98: Daniel Goleman and Dr. Richard Davidson, Altered Traits and Episode 31: Dr. Michael Gervais, Sports Psychologist.
Sounds Good with Brandon Harvey: Created as a way to combat the constant negativity that seems to lurk around every corner, Sounds Good features hopeful conversations with optimists and game changers who are trying to use their influence for good. I absolutely love the episode with Rick Hanson: The Neuroscience of Good and Bad News.
Optimal Daily Living: This is a recent discovery for me, and it’s a bit different than the other podcasts on this list. This podcast finds great blogs or articles on various personal development topics (i.e. productivity, minimalism, self-help, etc.) and narrates them. The host literally reads these posts aloud, typically in ten minutes or less. It’s like having an audiobook reader but for blogs and articles. The host’s voice isn’t overly expressive and can take some getting used to, but this podcast packs a punch. You’ll learn a lot in a short amount of time and gain super simple tips for real life. There are a ton of episodes to choose from, so I’d recommend starting with a title that catches your interest.
Sincerely X: From the creators of TED, this podcast takes stories that may be too painful, sensitive, or damaging to share publicly and keeps them anonymous. I am convinced that so much of the discord in the world could be addressed if humans were better at empathy. It’s so easy to look at someone and judge from the outside, not knowing their inner workings. Sincerely X creates a safe space for important yet vulnerable stories to be heard. One quick note, some of the topics on this podcast can be sensitive or triggering, so listen mindfully and change course if it’s not the best fit for you. Episode 2: Pepper Spray is a good one to start with.
TED Radio Hour: TED Radio Hour is a combination of classic TED talks, interviews, and storytelling, woven into an educational and attention-holding hour. This is a pretty popular podcast, so it’s near the bottom of the list, because I imagine so many people already know about this. Not every episode sparks my interest, and because this is a longer podcast, it’s worth reading the each title and description to see if you want to invest the time. A Better You is one of my favorite episodes.
Pod Save the People: This podcast focuses on activism, social justice, culture, and politics. It’s much different than the other podcasts on this list. I hear so many people wanting to have deep and meaningful conversations around issues facing our nation, but theses conversations can be difficult. People are afraid to say the wrong thing. They aren’t quite sure how to talk about oppression they may not have experienced. Pod Save the People gives you the opportunity to listen in on conversations with passionate and informed individuals, without the risk of “saying the wrong thing.” If you want to become more informed about issues of social justice and activism, Pod Save the People is an awesome place to start. New episodes are released each week, and given how quickly things change today, I’d recommend starting with the most current episode.
I wish I could reach through the computer screen and profess my podcast love to you in person. Having podcasts for your mental and emotional health available at your fingertips is a dream come true! Learning is a lifelong process, and it’s a vital part of growth and development. If you’re not a regular podcast user, I am begging you to give them a try. They’re too good to miss out on!
I’d love to hear whether or not you’re regular podcast listener. Are there any podcasts for your mental and emotional health that I missed? What podcasts do you love?
PS: Did you enjoy this post? Check out this one as well.