15 Best Mental Health Podcasts to Help You Navigate Tough Times This Year

Nothing’s going to replace your therapist, but these podcasts offer education, inspiration, and healing advice.

asian woman sitting in green field with headphones and water bottle
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For me, talk therapy has been one of the greatest gifts healthcare has had to offer. When I sit across my from my therapist and spill my heart out about everything that’s going on in my life (the good, the bad, and the ugly), I feel seen, heard, and appreciated. And yet, sometimes this safe bubble feels a little too small—like I’m the only one experiencing what’s happening in my brain and my therapist is the only person who understands me.

Of course, this is far from true, especially in the midst of a life-altering pandemic. We are all going through our own mental health struggles, many of which may overlap with another’s experience of life. I’ve found solidarity, validation, and community in listening to other people’s stories, particularly on podcasts. The conversations are healing, but they have also helped to educate me on the nature of mental health and how we can create a better society to hold space for our psyches—to foster more compassion for the complexity of being human.

If you’re just starting to explore this genre or want to grow your list of go-to listens, exploring the thousands of podcasts out there can feel overwhelming. So, we did some digging in hopes of making your search just a little bit easier. Here, you’ll find the best mental health podcasts to help you navigate stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and more. Take a listen and you may discover that you’re not alone.

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1 Mental
mental the podcast to destigmatise mental health
Mental

If we can end the stigma that plagues discussions around mental health and replace it with honest and compassionate dialogue, we can find better ways to support ourselves and each other—and that’s what Mental aims to do. The U.K.-based, award-winning podcast is hosted by model and writer Bobby Temps (who “lives and thrives by managing his own mental health”), as well as Danielle Hogan, a personal coach and Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. Each week they interview special guests and share statistics on various aspects of mental health in order to help people better understand different conditions and triggering situations, such as isolation, trauma, burnout, and grief.

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2 Therapy for Black Girls
therapy for black girls podcast
Therapy for Black Girls

For some of us, it’s time to shed the “strong Black woman” persona and acknowledge that it’s okay to seek support. That can be tough, since affordable mental health resources that center the Black experience is still a developing movement. In that regard, clinical psychologist Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D., has created an amazing online space for BIPOC women to explore their mental health and personal development within an engaged community. On her podcast, she digs into various topics with other mental health experts, including meditation, affirmations, relationships, astrology, and even video games.

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3 TherapyLab
therapy lab podcast
Harley Therapy

As someone who has been in therapy since she was 17 and has studied psychology for years, Sheri Jacobson, Ph.D., is passionate about advocating for affordable and accessible mental health care and resources in the U.K. On her podcast, she has open and honest conversations with people from all walks of life who have overcome various obstacles through therapy, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and grief. Jacobson hopes that others will tune in, feel renewed hope, and maybe even find some inspiration.

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4 between sessions
between sessions podcast
between sessions

This show is hosted by the co-owners of Melanin and Mental Health, Eliza Boquin and Eboni Harris, both of whom are BIPOC therapists (Boquin, Afro-Latina and Harris, Black). On their podcast, they often talk with other professionals about how to break down barriers to treatment that affect many marginalized communities. You’ll also find episodes that discuss developing self-care practices in racial justice work, boundary setting, relationships, and even tips for therapists who are growing their own private practice.

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5 Living in This Queer Body
living in this queer body
Living in This Queer Body

Psychotherapist Asher Pandjiris’s show is a powerful resource for those in the LGBTQ+ community. As someone who identifies as non-binary, she’s privy to how the world demands queer bodies to express, act, think, and move in certain ways, and that this can have a detrimental effect on the community’s mental and physical health. Pandjiris interviews artists, healers, body workers, activists, and more to explore body image issues, dysphoria, racism, heterosexism, transphobia, and the traps within the wellness industry. Her vision is that sharing these stories and experiences will help to facilitate collective healing and find ways for us all to become more embodied.

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6 Other People’s Problems
other peoples problems
CBC Radio

On this show, Canadian host Hillary McBride, Ph.D., does actual therapy sessions with real people (not actors) on the mic. The point of Other People’s Problems is for listeners to sit in on what are usually private conversations in order to demystify mental health. As CBC Radio suggests, you’ll be able to hear what “people really sound like when they talk about traumatic births, turbulent divorces, eating disorders, and tough childhoods.”

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7 Not Another Anxiety Show
not another anxiety show podcast with kelli walker
Kelli Walker

Kelli Walker, R.N., M.S.N., is a nurse and certified health and wellness coach who suffered from panic attacks, anxiety, and agoraphobia (an anxiety disorder that makes people fearful of particular places and situations). Things didn’t start changing for her until she hit rock bottom and decided to find what could “cure” her. She found that there isn’t one cure-all supplement, method, or trick that would solve her problems. Instead, she discovered that “moving through anxiety is an inside out transformation” and that it’s not necessarily about “doing the ‘right’ thing.” On her podcast, she talks with other experts about the complexities of anxiety and how to slip out of its grip.

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8 The Melanated Social Work Podcast
melanated social work podcast
Melanated Social Work Podcast

Josh McNeil, Marvin Toliver, Michael Grinnell, and Jesse Wiltey are four men of color who are social workers. Together, they are a fantastic team shedding light on their profession and personal experiences. On the podcast, you’ll hear them speaking about mental health, politics, music, liberation, and other topics. They have also invited renowned guests, such as public academic and activist Rachel Cargle and actor Xavi de Guzman.

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9 The Hilarious World of Depression
the hilarious world of depression
The Hilarious World of Depression

Of course, there’s nothing funny about depression. The title of the show is on some level ironic, because, yes, you will find some funny conversations in these episodes. But this podcast is really about having intimate conversations with comedians about how they’ve dealt with depression and other mental health conditions. Humorist and public radio host John Moe interviews guests such as Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Jen Kirkman to find out how they’ve managed to find laughter amidst the darkness.

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10 The Happiness Lab
the happiness lab podcast
The Happiness Lab

Many of us are chasing all the wrong things in the pursuit of happiness: money, more likes on Instagram, fancier cars, designer clothes. And who can blame us? Advertisements keep telling us that these things will bring us joy and make our problems disappear. Cognitive scientist, Laurie Santos, Ph.D., says all that is “dead wrong.” On her show, she shares the latest scientific research and inspiring stories that will have you think differently about “happiness,” what it means, and what we’re really looking for in life.

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11 The Homecoming Podcast
the homecoming podcast with dr thema
Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis

When psychology meets spirituality, art, and culture, this podcast is the enlightening result. It’s hosted by Thema Bryant-Davis, a licensed psychologist and ordained minister, who shares faith-based coping skills to handle the challenges of everyday life—particularly the challenges faced by BIPOC. You’ll find episodes where she speaks on the nature of trauma, shame, grief, rejection, and toxic workplaces. There’s much wisdom behind her words.

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12 The OCD Stories
the ocd stories podcast
The OCD Stories

On this show, host Stewart Ralph delves into the science by speaking with various experts who treat people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). You’ll also hear people share their personal experiences with the condition, from managing it to recovering from it. Tune in to educate yourself on OCD, hear professional advice from pros, and hear heartfelt stories.

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13 Recovery Unscripted
recovery unscripted podcast
Recovery Unscripted

Powered by the Foundation Recovery network, Recovery Unscripted features in-depth discussions on various aspects of addiction treatment, mental health, and the opioid crisis. The hosts of this show have spoken with clinicians, writers, politicians, and other knowledgable figures, such as the Obama administration’s director of drug control policy, Michael Botticelli, renowned author Glennon Doyle, and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker.

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14 Thoughty Auti
thoughty auti podcast
Thoughty Auti

Thomas Henley is a young content creator living with autism who is seeking to demolish the stigma and misunderstandings people have about those who are on the spectrum. He dives in deep with his guests about mental health, bullying, sexuality, creativity, and challenging stereotypes. Henley’s goal is “to learn, understand, and to bring people together and talk about everything from controversial topics to inspiring stories, and even engage ourselves in a dash of intellectual debate.”

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15 Grief Cast
grief cast podcast
Cariad Llyod

We’ve all lost a lot in 2020: people dear to us, jobs, plans, weddings, friendships, and our sense of security. Grief is something everyone can relate to now more than ever, and we all need support moving through it. That’s where Grief Cast comes in, a show that examines the universal emotion of deep sorrow. But there is levity here. Host Cariad Lloyd invites comedians to talk about their experiences in dealing with pain and loss in their lives. You’ll find connection, solace, and a maybe even a few laughs.

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