10 Mental Health Podcasts to Ease Your Mind
Whether you're trying to find a little more happiness in your life, or are dealing with depression or anxiety, these mental health podcasts are worth a listen.
The Best Mental Health Podcasts to Add to Your Playlist
Mental health podcasts are no replacement for professional help, but they’re an excellent source for information and reflection. These must-listen podcasts are a consoling reminder that we’re not alone in our struggles.
The Happiness Lab
Dr. Laurie Santos teaches a course at Yale University called “Psychology and the Good Life,” where she lectures on the science of happiness. Santos brings that material to a broader audience in her podcast The Happiness Lab, in which she invites mental health experts to discuss the science behind everyday emotions and apply the latest psychological research to daily life. You’ll find episodes on avoiding burnout, managing grief, limiting distraction and establishing rituals that produce long-term happiness.
Discover 40 secrets to a happier life.
The Hardcore Self Help Podcast
In the words of the host, psychologist Dr. Robert Duff, the Hardcore Self Help Podcast approaches mental health “without the psychobabble bulls**t.” While Duff’s bluntness may sound insensitive, the Hardcore Self Help Podcast is anything but. Over the course of 350 episodes (and counting), Duff answers listeners’ questions on such topics as marital trouble, addiction, suicide—all the while describing mental illness in destigmatizing language.
Overly self-critical? Here’s expert advice on how to quiet negative self-talk.
Therapy for Black Girls
In Therapy for Black Girls, psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford makes discussions of mental health relevant and accessible to Black women. Harden Bradford has weekly conversations with authors and experts on personal development in the context of race and gender, guiding listeners to overcome white supremacy, patriarchy and misogyny in order to foster positive relationships and create spaces for inclusive dialogue.
Check out more great podcasts for women.
CBC’s Inappropriate Questions approaches issues affecting mental health from a uniquely empathetic angle. For each episode, hosts Elena Hudgins Lyle and Harvinder Wadhwa explore how a certain question can inadvertently make the answerer uncomfortable. In one episode, MasterChef winner Christine Ha explains why it’s problematic to ask a blind person if they need help. Other instalments cover asking an Indigenous person about their ancestry, or asking someone if they’ve lost weight. In the end, Inappropriate Questions can give listeners personal insight into discrimination faced by others to hopefully make them more thoughtful communicators.
The Trauma Therapist
When it comes to discussions of mental health, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder are so omnipresent that some experts worry they are losing their meaning. That’s one reason why The Trauma Therapist podcast is so helpful. In each episode, psychologist Guy Macpherson interviews experts about their definition of trauma—and how they helped patients tackle those experiences. These have included a yoga teacher speaking about the anatomy of trauma, a therapist describing his use of psychedelics as a treatment and an EMT taking listeners through crisis intervention.
Find out how you might benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy.
Disability After Dark
In each episode of Disability After Dark, Canadian disability rights consulant Andrew Gurza has friendly, unguarded chats with people about what it’s really like to live with disabilities. Gurza and his guests discuss their struggles navigating a world lacking in accessibility, why that impacts their mental health and how they’ve come to find pride in their disability. When it comes to taboo subjects like sex and bathroom usage, Disability After Dark takes a lighthearted approach that is confidently unashamed.
Discover three habits of highly compassionate people.
Not Another Anxiety Show
Health and wellness coach Kelli Walker uses her podcast, Not Another Anxiety Show, to explain to listeners that, although it can be scary, anxiety is a normal part of the human experience. Walker and expert guests describe why anxiety occurs in our brains and bodies and how it usually manifests—including stress, intrusive thoughts and panic attacks. They then provide information about coping exercises, how to turn down anxiety with mindfulness practices—and why it’s possible to live a fulfilled life with anxiety.
Here’s what could happen if you start meditating every day.
Few mental health podcasts are as deep and piercing as Seen. Canadian hosts Nic Wayara, a Black queer woman, and Lala Matthen, a Brown queer woman, use Seen to broadcast their intimate mental health conversations. Close friends who hail from Vancouver, Wayara and Matthen are unafraid to share their most personal stories and vulnerabilities as they discuss success, love and their marginalized identities. But they look outward, too, speaking about the mental health impacts of white supremacy in the January 6th U.S. Capitol attack and Canada’s history of wrongs against Indigenous Peoples. Ultimately, Seen views mental health as not just about the self, but about connecting to and healing one’s broader community.
Here are more great Canadian podcasts worth adding to your playlist.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your mental health is engaging in an honest and funny conversation—something John Moe consistently delivers in his podcast Depresh Mode. Moe expands the scope of his previous podcast—The Hilarious World of Depression—to talk not only about depression but a myriad of mental health struggles with artists, entertainers and experts. Guests and topics include comedian Patton Oswalt on grief, musician John Darnielle on drug addiction and podcaster Sarah Marshall on her ADHD. Depresh Mode gives grounded understanding into how mental health informs the work and lives of these fascinating guests, but in a way that’s inspiring and relatable to us all.
Don’t miss these expert tips on how to help someone who’s suffering from depression.
Where Should We Begin
In Where Should We Begin, legendary psychotherapist and author Esther Perel takes listeners into her counseling sessions. The anonymous couples—who are troubled by differences in personality, sex drive, parenting approaches, work ethic and more—describe their insecurities and backgrounds while Perel shapes their confessions into an illuminating narrative with takeaways listeners can use in their own lives.
Overall, Perel’s calm and reasonable approach sets Where We Should Begin apart from the sensationalism often seen on cable TV relationship shows, creating a healthy space for reflecting on mental health in the realm of love and partnership.
After you’ve added these mental health podcasts to your playlist, check out 10 of Canada’s best true crime podcasts.