If you've got a hobby or interest, chances are, there's a podcast all about it. As of 2018, there are over 550,000 active shows. One topic that's increasingly popular is mental health - once a taboo, we're finally beginning to recognise just how important it is to talk about how we're feeling.
Podcasts provide a simple, accessible way to start learning about your own mental health, through insightful conversations between experts and practical tips on how to manage issues like anxiety and stress.
With one in six of us likely to experience mental health problems in the workplace, it's becoming clear that this is a major issue that needs addressing. Whether you listen on your way to work, during your lunch break or at home, podcasts can transform the way you think about mental health.
To help you get started, we've picked 13 of the best podcasts out there, from guided meditation and nutrition tips to advice forums and sleep aids.
1. Mentally Yours, Metro
UK-based newspaper Metro has created Mentally Yours - a weekly podcast from Yvette Caster and Ellen Scott - which discusses a range of topics that affect our mental health with a weekly special mystery guest. Though they don't shy away from hard-hitting subjects such as post-natal depression, grief and suicide, it's all about openly addressing the 'weird' thoughts we have in our minds and all things mental health. There's a subtle tone of irreverent humour and unflinching honesty that makes it a refreshing listen.
2. Happy Place, Fearne Cotton
Image source: Happy Place Podcast
Happy Place is a series by British radio and TV presenter Fearne Cotton, which she describes as her place to collect all the things that make her happy. Each episode features an insightful interview with experts and inspirational figures in the public eye, who discuss their own battles with mental health.
The likes of Dawn French, Stephen Fry and Gary Barlow talk about how they've sought inner happiness and overcome personal struggles by aspiring to change their outlook. This is a candid, heart-warming selection of stories about how to cope with life's more challenging moments.
3. The Struggle Bus, Katherine Heller & Sally Tamarkin
Image source: The Struggle Bus Podcast
BFFs and self-proclaimed non-professionals Katharine Heller and Sally Tamarkin run The Struggle Bus, a relatable advice show that answers listener-submitted questions about self-care, well-being and mental health in relation to pretty much every topic imaginable - nothing is off limits. Every episode invites you aboard to feel like you're part of a frank, genuine conversation with friends, acting as a helpful reminder that you're not alone in your struggles.
4. The Daily Boost, Scott Smith
Billed as one of the most popular daily motivation podcasts in history, with over 26 million downloads, The Daily Boost delivers a regular dose of motivation to help you 'clarify your purpose, eliminate confusion, create your plan - and become unstoppable!' Albeit a little polished, there's a reason it's so well-received. No instalment runs over ten minutes, quickly covering loads of topics like how to beat procrastination, how to take control of your life and how to define your goals.
5. Tiny Leaps, Big Changes, Gregg Clunis
Image source: Gregg Clunis
Sometimes, small changes can have a big impact. This podcast revolves around this core concept, providing listeners with 'tiny leaps' that you can make in your everyday life in order to see 'big changes.' Through simple personal development strategies and learning new habits, Gregg Clunis's mission is to help listeners get the most out of their lives. A good choice if you're feeling stuck in a rut or lacking in motivation.
6. Anxiety Slayer, Shann Vander Leek
Led by anxiety coaches Shann Vander Leek and Ananga Sivyer, this podcast aims to give you the tools you need to re-code your mind, deal with anxiety and help you relax. Using real examples, each episode gives insight into why we sometimes suffer from panic attacks, stress and anxiety, alongside helpful coping mechanisms such as breathing and meditation techniques.
7. Yogaland, Andrea Ferretti
Not sure if yoga is for you, or if it can really have an impact on your mental health? Listen in to Yogaland, a series of podcasts about yoga and wellness. Host Andrea Ferretti interviews yoga teachers, wellness experts and creative leaders to explore how yoga can lead you along a path of self-awareness and help you navigate through your emotions.
8. Meditation Minis, Chel Hamilton
Hypnotherapist Chel Hamilton leads the Meditation Minis podcast series, offering simple yet effective guided meditation sessions. Whether you're struggling to make a big decision or would like to learn how to better focus your mind, there's a specific episode to help. And each one lasts no longer than 10 to 15 minutes - perfect for a quick lunch break de-stress.
9. Food Psych, Christy Harrison
Image source: Christy Harrison
Food has a major connection to your mental wellbeing. The Food Psych podcast aims to inspire a better relationship with food and less of an obsession with fad diets. Body positivity and intuitive eating lead the conversation, with plenty of guests joining in, including psychology professionals, anti-diet activists and more.
10.Three-minute Mindfulness Breathing Space, Mental Health Foundation
Produced by Be Mindful, this is a guided three-minute mindfulness exercise narrated by Ed Halliwell, one of the world's leading mindfulness teachers. Studies have shown that practising mindfulness can give greater insight into emotions, boost attention and concentration and improve relationships. This quick step-by-step podcast is a great way to try it out! Plus, there are a whole host of other wellbeing podcasts available on the Mental Health Foundation.
11. Headspace Radio, Headspace
From the people behind mindfulness platform Headspace, Headspace Radio delivers a series of 'Packcasts' with guided meditations centred around a specific theme such as sleep, motivation or focus. Headspace employees trial techniques and report back on whether they were worthwhile - 'like a book club.' By bringing meditative practices into your everyday life, these tips and guides form a relatable and useful podcast that's well worth a listen.
12. Nutrition Matters, Paige Smathers
Host Paige Smathers brings her in-depth knowledge as a nutrition therapist to you direct via Nutrition Matters, aiming to teach us how to find positive solutions to our struggles with food or body image. From meal planning to mindful eating practices, the podcasts dissect how we eat in connection to our sense of well-being and self-worth.
13. Sleep With Me, Drew Ackerman
Image source: Sleep With Me Podcast
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle as it allows us to recover from both mental and physical exertion. As one in three of us suffer from poor sleep, Sleep With Me is a great selection of bedtime stories to help grown-ups fall asleep, by making them so boring you can't possibly stay awake. Definitely one to switch on if you can't stop thinking about that meeting or deadline, to make sure you get the rest you need.
The more we talk about and understand mental health, the less taboo the subject becomes. These podcasts provide a platform for meaningful conversation around mental health and are helping to break the stigma. While they're not intended to replace professional therapy, they can provide useful tips and strategies we can all use to manage and understand our own mental state of being.
What are your favourite wellbeing podcasts? Tweet us @OregaOffices.
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