Finding Balance: Navigating Mental Health in the Podcast Sphere

Mental Health Podcasts

Whether you need relaxation, a boost of confidence, or a good laugh, podcasts offer the audio nourishment your brain craves. These popular media formats address wellbeing (such as guided meditation, stress or relaxation, and psychoeducation), clinical and counseling psychology, and research and advocacy. Keep reading the article below to learn more about the different Mental Health Podcasts.Mental Health Podcasts

Through a co-design process, SANE worked closely with target audience members to guide this podcast’s focus, storyboards, and content principles.

Founder Joy Harden Bradford tackles mental health from a Black perspective in this podcast, with episodes covering everything from the importance of therapy to why racial bias is deeply rooted in psychological and psychiatric issues. The podcast is also designed to demystify the stigmas attached to psychiatry and counseling for people of color.

Helen Sneed and Valerie Milburn are two women who have both fought and overcome severe mental illnesses. They discuss coping skills, goal setting, relationships and mindfulness on their weekly podcast with the intention of helping others learn how to live well. They also share inspirational stories, and a segment called Pop Culture Diagnosis where they talk about how the depiction of characters on popular TV shows like Homeland are reflective of the realities of mental illness.

The hosts of this podcast aim to break down the stigma surrounding depression, anxiety and other common mental health struggles by talking about them openly with friends and family members who suffer from them. Every other week, they interview individuals who have experienced different conditions and share their experiences to help listeners better understand them and seek out treatment if needed.

Author-turned-podcaster Gretchen Rubin serves up tips on how to feel happier and establish healthier habits in this laid-back podcast. The show is aimed at all types of people, but may be more helpful for those who are struggling to feel good about themselves and their lives.

Closer to Fine features candid conversations about mental health between two best friends who have a lot in common. The girls cover topics most would be afraid to discuss at the dinner table with irreverent, loving humor and a deep understanding of their own struggles. Episodes include how to set boundaries, how church hurts and diet culture.

When it comes to mental health podcasts, the variety is staggering. It’s important to find one that resonates with your needs and lifestyle, whether you need a good laugh or a psychiatric resource for your community. You should also look for a podcast that is hosted by a licensed professional who uses evidence-based practices, says Kayleigh Parent, LCSW.


There are millions of podcasts on almost any topic you can think of—news, true crime, comedy. But there are also a growing number of podcasts focused on mental health, which offer a range of tones and formats, from intimate conversations to more scientific explorations of the brain. And while these podcasts should never replace a professional counselor, listening can help you feel understood and less alone in your struggles.

For instance, actor and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik’s podcast Closer to Fine features celebrity guests recounting their own mental health struggles with the same shot of self-deprecating humor that made their names as entertainers. Another highly rated pod is Psych Central’s The Unspoken, which offers an in-depth look at a variety of mental health issues including trauma, grief and addiction.

If you’re a business leader or HR professional, the aptly named Happy Employee Podcast can offer helpful tips for navigating common workplace conditions like stress and anxiety, with a specific focus on how to help employees cope. Similarly, The Melanated Social Work Podcast prioritizes the experiences of marginalized communities tackling topics like colorism and indigenous wellness.

Other popular pods address the complexities of mental illness, like the wildly successful Therapy for Black Girls, which has a large following among black women. The show’s hosts, comedians and therapists talk about their own struggles with depression as well as the ways in which race and gender affect one’s mental health and experience of the disorder.

The PTSD-focused Trauma Unpacked is another incredibly popular pod that brings together therapists and survivors of trauma to discuss the causes, symptoms and effects of various traumatic experiences. While many of the episodes discuss PTSD, this podcast also covers other types of trauma, including childhood abuse, military service and sexual assault.

Finally, the Happier podcast from Yale University’s Gretchen Rubin is a good place to hear concrete strategies for improving mood, from setting realistic goals and establishing positive habits to managing negative emotions like anger and sadness. But beware of fad diets and quick fixes—any podcast that promises a “cure” for depression or anxiety is probably snake oil, says Nicholette Leanza, LPCC-S, a licensed professional clinical counselor at LifeStance Health.

Laughing Through Depression

The podcast market for health-related content is booming—there were over 1.7 million total podcasts in 2021, and the selection of mental health shows is vast. While listening to a podcast isn’t a substitute for therapy or other medical care, it can help make a difficult topic more accessible.

With a focus on psychology and mental health, these podcasts cover everything from the latest neuroscience research to personal stories. Many podcasts are geared towards a specific audience or demographic, which can be helpful for people who want to connect with their peers or find a show that speaks to them in a meaningful way. Some of the best mental health podcasts are those that aim to reduce stigma and encourage people who may be struggling to seek treatment or support.

Some of the most popular mental health podcasts include 2 Dope Queens, which features high-energy comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams who turned their friendship into a successful comedy show about their own mental health struggles. This podcast tackles topics like complex trauma, codependency, and binge eating, with guests ranging from artists to doctors and even celebrities. The show also explores the importance of talking about mental illness openly and often.

Laughing Through Depression takes the old saying “laughter is the best medicine” to heart by featuring conversations between top comedians who struggle with depression. The show works to break down the stigma of this isolating disease and to show that it’s ok to joke about it, even in a serious way.

The Hilarious World of Depression is produced by Minnesota Public Radio and sponsored by HealthPartners as part of their “Make It OK” campaign, which encourages conversations about mental illness. It features interviews with comedians who have experienced clinical depression, including Dick Cavett and Maria Bamford.

The podcast may be titled “Hilarious” but the discussions on the show are not. The host, John Moe, is candid about the fact that mental illnesses are not a laughing matter, and his guests do not try to minimize the struggles of those who suffer from them. The conversations are meant to encourage those who may be struggling to reach out for help and to show that depression is not the only disorder affecting our society.

Dear Therapists

The therapists behind this podcast—authors, coaches and Ted Talk presenters—bring listeners into their sessions with real-life patients. They discuss everything from depression and addiction to relationship struggles, work troubles and navigating aging parents’ health issues. The goal of the show is to normalize these issues and to offer hope for people who are struggling with them. It’s not always easy to hear, but the host’s soothing voice and genuine, endearing tone make the conversations more manageable.

The host of this podcast, an author and a licensed therapist, brings her expertise to the topic of mental illness in a way that is relatable and uplifting. She interviews a wide variety of guests to help listeners find ways to cope and overcome their struggles, and she regularly checks in with her own patients to see how they’re doing months later. She’s also a master at helping listeners recognize and address their own biases and internalized oppression.

This weekly podcast from Psych Central is aimed at making psychology and psychiatry more accessible to the general public. Episodes range from short ten-minute Q & A episodes to long-form talks with celebrities and clinical psychologists. Listeners say they feel a sense of validation, encouragement and connection with this popular podcast.

While these podcasts can be helpful for anyone, they may be especially useful to marginalized populations, such as Black women. Many of the hosts and guests on these podcasts are members of various minority groups, and they bring their unique perspectives to sensitive topics like racism, sexism and other systemic inequalities that often intersect with mental health. In addition, some of these podcasts are hosted by high-profile celebrities, and that extra boost of esteem can make them more relatable and empowering for listeners.