Health

17 Podcasts That Are Refreshingly Honest About Anxiety & Depression

These shows may help you get through lockdown 3 & beyond.

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Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to look after our mental health. Whatever that means for you, be it talking, walking, therapy or various other coping mechanisms, the pandemic has highlighted that mental health is a priority right now. And as we enter the UK's national lockdown 3.0, we'll need all the mental health tools at our disposal. Mental health charity Mind reports that 60% of adults and over two thirds of young people have said their mental health been negatively impacted by the previous lockdowns. We complied mental health resources for the second lockdown, which are a good place to start. And here, for some lighter relief, we have put together a list of podcasts to help with anxiety and depression.

At the end of 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged that social distancing restrictions and lockdowns put in place as a result of COVID-19 have a "big impact" on mental health, per the Mirror. Speaking at a Downing Street press conference in November, Johnson said: “It’s the loneliness, I think. The sense of not being able to see other people that’s been caused by some of the lockdown measures, alas, all sorts of anxieties that people are prone to and have been prone to.”

Feeling that you're part of a conversation is something that podcasts are really good for. Whether you're out for a walk alone, or in the house solo, listening to familiar voices talk about interesting topics, or sometimes just their day to day, makes for comforting company. The podcasts that specifically focus on mental health go one step further, providing real help, empathy and connection when you might need it most.

The uncertainty of what we're facing in 2021 can fuel feelings of anxiety and depression, and make you feel stuck in so many ways. Listening to people share stories about their own experiences with mental health, and how they got unstuck, is not only eye opening but vital. Here's our list of the podcasts that might help.

1
Mental: The Podcast To Destigmatise Mental Health
Mental: The Podcast To Destigmatise Mental Health

Hosts Bobby Temps, Danielle Hogan, and Annie Harris are aiming to destigmatise mental health with this podcast series. The trio are always accompanied by a special guest, and together they dive into a different aspect of mental health every Thursday to discover its origins, and how to better manage it.

Download it here.

2
Griefcast
Griefcast

Humans have a tendency to avoid talking about death and grief at all costs, but this podcast does exactly that, and so much more. Winner of three Gold prizes at the British Podcast Awards, host Cariad Lloyd speaks to comedians and celebrities about their experiences with grief, which often results in surprisingly cheerful conversations that will leave you feeling more positive that you might expect.

Download it here.

3
Grounded With Louis Theroux
Grounded With Louis Theroux, BBC

If there’s one motto that you should stick to throughout the third lockdown, it’s that you’ve gotta get Theroux this. With that firmly in mind, what better accompaniment than the reassuring sound of Louis Theroux’s voice as he spends his lockdown speaking to celebs in his Grounded podcast series for the BBC.

16 episodes in, the documentarian has spoken with the likes of Sia, Michaela Coel, Rose McGowan, and Helena Bonham Carter about how they’re holding up and what's helping them to get through the pandemic.

Download it here.

4
Braincare
Braincare

A series dedicated to helping you understand the body’s most important organ, Braincare sees host Dan Murray-Serter sit down with experts and celebrities to discuss how to optimise your mental health. From tips on overcoming anxiety, and understanding grief, to how certain diets can change and improve your mental makeup.

Download it here.

5
Made Of Human
Made Of Human

Comedian Sofie Hagen chats with a whole host of notable figures about how to navigate life, especially during these tumultuous times of lockdowns and social injustice.

Recent guests include actor Daphne Maxwell Reid, aka Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who speaks to Hagen about racism and life lessons; and model Rain Dove, who discusses visibility and accountability in the industry and wider world.

Download it here.

6
Mental Illness Happy Hour
Mental Illness Happy Hour

Hosted by Paul Gilmartin, this is a funny and honest collection of conversations about the ups and downs of mental health.

Comedians and mental health professionals both feature, and the blurb states that "Paul’s hope is that the show and this website will give people a place to connect, smile and feel the return of hope. The biggest myth about mental illness is that you are alone and there is no help".

Download it here

7
The Struggle Bus
The Struggle Bus

The Struggle Bus is a weekly advice podcast that is hosted by two BFFs who describe their credentials as having "lots of feelings and opinions." OK so basically like your BFFs.

Every week, listeners climb aboard the struggle bus as the hosts Katharine Heller and Sally Tamarkin discuss problems and questions that have been submitted by their dedicated listeners. They do their best to suggest answers, and give advice that could be applicable to all of us. This one is ideal for those who are missing regular chats with pals during lockdown.

Download it here

8
Happy Place
Happy Place

Fearne Cotton's podcast considers what makes people happy, speaks to people who have overcome mental health struggles, unveils food to feed the soul, and much much more.

With previous guests including Davina McCall, Stephen Fry, and Lena Headey, it is a lovely, light, happy podcast that will bring a little sparkle and lots of perspective into your life, even through lockdown.

Download it here

9
Happier
Happier Podcast

This podcast is co-hosted by Gretchen Rubin, who is a successful writer on the topic of happiness, and her sister Elizabeth Craft, who is a bit of a skeptic, but willing to try out the various ways to feel happier suggested by Rubin. The combination of a happiness expert, and a not-so-into-it type is perfect. The reluctant Craft reminds us that while we might not feel like it, it could be worth switching things up to improve our mood.

Download it here

10
Bryony Gordon's Mad World
Bryony Gordon's Mad World

Bryony Gordon made this podcast with The Telegraph, and it is an excellent exploration of all things mental health.

Each week, Gordon talks with a different guest about how their mental health has been affected by their life experiences. It really helps to show that feeling weird is the most normal thing in the world.

Download it here

11
Mentally Yours
Mentally Yours

This podcast by Yvette Caster and Ellen Scott, in collaboration with Metro, sees them chat to a different guest each week about all the tricky, weird and wonderful stuff going on inside our brains.

It's a great example of the shift towards people taking their mental health more seriously.

Download it here

12
The Hilarious World Of Depression
The Hilarious World Of Depression

This podcast is a chance to take a step back from feelings of depression, if and when you're able, to look at what's going on with a light-hearted sense of perspective.

Actors and comedians who are struggling with depression, or have done in the past, come on to talk about their battles, while finding humour and a few laughs along the way.

Download it here

13
Therapy For Black Girls
Therapy For Black Girls

Therapy For Black Girls is a weekly podcast from the mind of psychologist Dr Joy Harden Bradford. It's an important addition to the mental health podcast genre, which looks at the unique mental health experience of Black people, who tend to be less well represented in this arena.

Atlanta-based Bradford talks about all things mental health, positive personal development, and the decisions that you can make to move forward.

Download it here

14
Oprah's Super Soul Conversations
Oprah's Super Soul Conversations

Oprah Winfrey. I mean her name alone boosts your mental health. Or should I say "Mentaaaaaaaaaal Heeeeaaaaaaalth!"

This is Winfrey's personal selection of her favourite interviews with authors, spiritual experts, thought-leaders, and health and wellness experts.

The idea of this podcast is to light you up, get you feeling positive, and help you become your very best self.

Download it here

15
Anxiety Slayer
Anxiety Slayer

This podcast is for anyone with PTSD, panic attacks, stress, and anxiety – which might be quite a few of us given the impact of the pandemic, and its related lockdowns on our collective mental health.

It is a really beautiful mix of supportive chats, meditations, breathing methods and techniques, designed to help you feel calm and centred during more difficult moments.

Download it here

16
Not Another Anxiety Show
Not Another Anxiety Show

Health and wellness coach, registered nurse, and former agoraphobe Kelli Walker is here to help all ends of the anxiety spectrum. From those who occasionally feel a little overwhelmed, to those who feel on the brink of a panic attack on a regular basis.

Walker speaks to different experts, discussing methods that have been proven to help with anxiety, for useful ways to navigate through life when it throws up all the feels.

Download it here

17
Terrible, Thanks For Asking
Terrible, Thanks For Asking

Nora McInerny really zones in on the fact that when people ask how you are, you almost always say fine. Even if you feel completely awful.

This show is funny/sad/happy/real/uncomfortable, and an honest look at mental health struggles in all their forms. One for those who are ready to throw their hands up to not feeling ok.

Download it here

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