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These Podcasts are (almost) as Good as Therapy

Should we be visiting our therapists regularly? Probably. Are we also really, really thankful for podcasts that educate and empower us, make us feel like we can grow too, and give us the virtual hugs we all need right now? Yes.

The following six podcasts cover mental health, regularly feature therapists (or just really smart, thoughtful, helpful people), or are just so stinkin’ mind-blowing I can’t help but include them in this roundup. Take a look, be inspired, and then share YOUR favorites in the comments!

Photo by Kara Trail

1. Unlocking Us by Brené Brown

I mean, it’s Brené, y'all. In case you haven't heard of her, Dr. Brown (that’s right, she’s a PhD and a LMSW) is one of the main reasons we’re even talking about vulnerability and authenticity today, and now she’s got a podcast that drops some serious educational gold into our ears every Wednesday.

Try: Brené’s work appeals to men and women, so this is the perfect podcast to share with your dad, your cousin, your aunt...anybody you’d love to have a great conversation with around mental health and personal growth!

Photo by Becca Matimba

2. The Going Scared Podcast by Jessica Honegger

Jessica Honegger is an ATX native and creator of the socially conscious brand Noonday Collection. Her podcast features fascinating guests who share vulnerably about growing wildly creative brands (in spite of--or because of?--mental illness), blooming later in life, and growing resilience in hard times.

Try: My personal favorite episode is the annual International Women’s Day panel conversation, featuring women from different countries who are literally changing the world.

Photo by J. Countess

3. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Teach me all the things, Oprah. The interview queen enlightens, moves us, and challenges us to keep growing in fascinating conversations with everyone from Alicia Keys to Dwayne Johnson.

Try: This intimate, heartfelt conversation between two lifelong best friends--and powerful women--Oprah and Gayle King.

4. Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam

Ready to dig deep into the science of your behavior, your mind, your choices, and your habits? You’re going to love NPR host Shankar Vedantam’s interviews with some very, very smart people.

Try: Ever wondered why you're a staunch rule-follower, but your best friend can’t stand them? This episode is a fascinating look at “loose” and “tight” ways of handling rules as an individual and as a nation.

Photo by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo

5. Call Your Girlfriend by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

Raise your hands if you’re missing your girlfriends these days (*raises all hands and feet*). Yeah, me too. Sometimes doing the work is a personal journey--but sometimes you need friends doing the work with you. Cue Call Your Girlfriend, the witty, hilarious, heartfelt weekly conversation between best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman.

Try: If ever there was a podcast to get your girlfriends to listen to with you, it’s this one! Podcast club on Zoom, anyone?

Photo by The AV Club

6. The Mental Illness Happy Hour by Paul Gilmarten

How many times have you heard “mental illness” and “happy” in the same sentence? Not often--unless you’re a regular listener of Paul Gilmarten’s awesome interviews with friends, doctors, and everyone in between. Together, they explore and normalize mental illness in a safe space, sending a right hook to the stigma around it.

Try: This episode with PTSD-researcher Dr. Shaili Jain.

Your turn! Which therapy-adjacent podcasts do you turn to for help + comfort?

Sarah Guerrero
Sarah Guerrero is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She has a degree in international business from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and writes about sustainable business practices and ethical living.

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