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15 Best Mental Health Podcasts of 2022

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best mental health podcasts  podcasts for anxiety, depression and finding happiness

Design: Danielle Carson | Courtesy Apple Podcasts

Podcasts are an easy, approachable way to immerse yourself into issues that you may have little to no familiarity with, but wish to educate yourself on. The same is true for podcasts that cover the vast list of topics beneath the umbrella of mental health and its related self-help topics. Podcasting is more popular than ever, as there are well over 2 million podcasts currently in production worldwide, per industry stats — and as stress caused by the global pandemic and social unrest impacts us all, more programmers and hosts than ever are contemplating emotional wellness while sharing resources for listeners to improve their mental health in 2022.

Not everyone’s mental health issues are the same, so seeking the best help for yourself or for a loved one in terms of a supporting podcast often requires you to pinpoint a specific issue. It’s why we’ve included a handful of targeted programming in our selection of the best mental health podcasts of 2022, which pair well with other self-help resources. Topics like clinical anxiety and depression are well-represented in our top picks, with hosts delving into rewarding tips and tricks for holistic condition management with the help of licensed healthcare providers. We’ve also selected audio offerings for LGBTQ+ individuals, anyone confronting diet culture or recovering from adjacent eating disorders and those working to move past substance abuse issues, among other wellness offerings.

This list isn’t exhaustive as to all mental health issues, but we know it’ll provide a safe, comforting and wholesome place to start for most. We’re constantly updating our podcast guides with new recommendations as they arise, and we encourage you to jump into the best mental health podcasts now.

The best mental health podcasts of 2022:

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    Having previously earned Good Housekeeping‘s recognition for its app-based meditation services, Dan Harris’ flagship franchise has morphed into a podcast that is a great place for emotional wellness newcomers (read: skeptics!) to start their journey. While meditation and self-reflection is a cornerstone of Harris’ philosophy (which you can read more about in his book), the podcast delves into a lot of the reasons why people turn to meditation and other wellness self-help tactics in the first place; social anxiety, relationships and depression as well as achieving happiness are all topics of discussion. We particularly appreciate that Harris incorporates plenty of credentialed researchers in multiple fields for a more holistic approach to discussing evidence in terms of doing a better job regulating one’s emotions.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.6 Stars (8.5K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Paid Subscription

    Top Review: “I’ve listened for a couple months and I’m not even attempting a seated meditation practice, but this podcast alone is making me more mindful. It is convincing me of the need for that awareness, helping me notice moments where I’m naturally present and supporting me in nudging myself to increase that presence just a bit.”

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    No guide to the best podcasts regarding mental health is complete without mention of Therapy for Black Girls, and for good reason — host Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D., has earned a glowing reputation for her ability to connect with women of color on a suite of crucial relevant issues, no doubt based on her training as a licensed psychotherapist. An approachable program that anyone can easily jump into (there are nearly 300 episodes, but all are invited to jump in where it makes sense!), Bradford is the master of crafting compassionate, actionable takeaways for her listeners. Stigmas of many different natures — from being a sole WOC in the workplace to addressing microaggressions from well-wishing friends — are often tabled and discussed in-depth in inspiring ways.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (4.7K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “LOVE this podcast. As a Black woman, I feel that there is no one that can relate to us more than one another. I’m always learning something new and discovering more about myself through these episodes!”

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    If you’ve ever wanted to be a fly on the wall when therapy actually takes place, here’s your chance — host, author and psychotherapist Esther Perel counsel real couples as they discuss their personal issues on Where Should We Begin?. There is more than five seasons’ worth of trauma and conflict explored with Perel’s gentle approach, and listeners are bound to identify with the issues being presented, which include a committed couple overcoming infidelity that led to happier lifestyles, as well as a pair of best pals determining whether they should end their friendship. Senior Health Editor Kaitlyn Pirie has found the real-world application of couples therapy to be inspiring and says the approach keeps her coming back for more.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (12K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “I’ve learned so much about how to look inward, and how to apply these conversations to my own dynamics and relationships! The honesty and vulnerability reached in these episodes is breathtaking.”

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    If you’ve recently realized that your emotions are signaling a more serious depression, you’ll likely have a lot of misconceptions coming at you about how you should begin to seek help. This is where Yale University’s Laurie Santos, Ph.D., and her Happiness Lab program comes in; with upwards of 100 episodes available, Santos walks listeners through the latest research on how behavior and emotions are interlinked. Santos’ directives on managing negativity in your life that contribute to depression (or anxiety or even grief!) are the main draw of this uber-popular podcast.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (12.7K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Paid Subscription

    Top Review: “This podcast has been the first source that has completely changed my relationship with my feelings, and given me tools to improve my mental wellness going forward. The Information is presented via fascinating stories, personal accounts, and professional studies.”

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    If you aren’t affected by a clinical mental health condition but wish to improve your emotional wellness and troubleshoot damaging habits, Dr. Brooke’s weekly share of naturopathic approaches can help you get started. Having edged a spot in our guide to the best motivational podcasts, Senior Editor Lizz Schumer shared with readers that the Hangry author’s library of 100+ episodes touches upon any “personal albatross” you may be trying to conquer now — everything from a recurrent sleep hygiene issue or trying to conquer that uphill battle of intuitive eating.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (200 Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “[Dr. Brooke] makes holistic health understandable and attainable. The topics she covers are always helpful and she explains things in a way that makes it easy to apply to myself.”

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    Happier With Gretchen Rubin

    Listeners can jump into author-turned-host Gretchen Rubin’s laidback family-style podcast with ease, which focuses on finding a few quick ways of increasing your holistic happiness each and every episode. If you’re finding yourself coming to terms with troublesome habits you’d like to break, but don’t know where to start, Rubin has created a cheatsheet to her best episodes to get started. Topics include overcoming loneliness all on your own, facing climate anxiety and working on better boundaries with your tech, among many others.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.7 Stars (11.5K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “I’ve found that this podcast is just so light yet engaging, pleasant and productive. I always leave with something practical that I’m excited to try. I like their guest interviews and their fun and interesting recurring weekly topics”

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    Stephanie Dolgoff, deputy director of the Lifestyle Group’s Health Newsroom, helped launch Good Housekeeping‘s exploration into diet culture starting in 2020 and points to Maintenance Phase as a worthy resource for anyone wishing to find wholesome nutritional direction in their life. The program, which is relatively young at just 40 episodes as of April 2022, works to debunk questionable science and marketing claims behind today’s propelled health fads, which also include wellness-related activities that branch into mental health. Topics explored in this timely series include self-worth as it relates to food, the dangerous effect of the BMI on women’s health and a deep dive into the complicated world of treating eating disorders.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (8.1K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “It’s one of the only podcasts that I’ve found that really makes me feel so much better to be living in a larger body. A couple weeks ago I had a bad experience at the doctors and came home crying — I put on one of these episodes and ate my lunch and it made me feel so much better.”

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    The Hilarious World of Depression

    It’s not often that people can laugh at depression, but public radio host John Moe captured Dolgoff’s attention for highlighting the plight of coping with clinical depression and its stigma in a highly relatable approach. Even those who do not currently seek treatment for depression would find value in each episode, as the series is made up of hilarious, raw conversations between comedians and other guests who have experienced depression firsthand. While the show’s 97 episodes have been lauded by fans across the internet, The Hilarious World of Depression has been officially canceled at this point — diehard fans have migrated over to Moe’s newest show, Depresh Mode, which includes more discussion on topics outside of depression.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (4.2K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “I searched for a podcast on depression when my husband hit a scary low in depression. Not only do I feel more optimistic about my spouse and marriage, but I am a better partner as I have learned endless understanding and compassion for people with depression.”

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    One of Good Housekeeping‘s best overall podcasts this year, Feel Better, Live More is a podcast iteration of BBC Host and best-selling author Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s quest to answer the most pressing health and wellness dilemmas of modern times. Schumer notes that the general practitioner pulls in specialized experts leading their fields to simply the most complicated subjects (from stress management to body language) in each episode. There are almost 260 episodes, with multiple new releases weekly, dedicated to debunking health myths so you can improve your nutrition holistically, improve sleep hygiene, and practice targeted relaxation.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (1.4K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Paid Subscription

    Top Review: “This podcast is one I regularly share with family and friends, as well as make time for during cooking, driving, and walking. As someone who works in U.S. healthcare, I’ve enjoyed the fresh perspectives on all aspects of health and have even gone to read some of the books from special guests.”

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    Addiction requires multiple facets of treatment over the course of a lifetime, as most would share in their own recovery journeys. But sharing and dissecting obstacles to recovery is a tentpole of many addiction treatments, and serves as the basis of this program that’s spun off from a related online service. Veronica Valli and Chip Somers serve as co-hosts but often relate their podcast programming back to their own recovery journeys and frame their advice for others through their own personal storytelling, which avid fans always point to as very helpful. While most of the podcast’s 185 episodes center on alcohol addiction, many of ‘Soberful”s circulating themes and discussions can apply to other forms of recovery as well — and fans have access to other Soberful platforms, like its intimate Facebook group.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (145 Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free (Some community features require a subscription)

    Top Review: “Veronica and Chip give me hope that I can achieve ’emotional sobriety’ and knowing that they are both qualified therapists and people with long term sobriety, is immensely inspiring and reassuring.”

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    It’s clear that hosts Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi are hilariously engaging for all audiences based on its accolades since launching in 2011. But Attitudes! caters to women and marginalized communities in the U.S., including those identifying as LGBTQIA+, by examining social issues and politics through a related critical lens. If you’re looking to explore timely gender issues with clear-headed levity and consideration, particularly through expert commentary, this program has you covered — all while weaving in comedy to make ‘Attitudes!’ feel as welcoming and approachable as it is.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.8 Stars (5.9K Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “On top of getting underreported news with humor, compassion, fierceness and camaraderie, I just appreciate Bryan and Erin so much as people. I still think about the moving speech Bryan shared about his divorce a couple years ago and Erin’s recent gorgeous share about her father’s passing (major inspo for when my time comes).”

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    There are thousands of new podcasts dedicated to mental health and wellness being developed now, but many listeners are still searching for themselves in their programming. Gail Saltz, M.D., psychoanalyst, author and professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell School of Medicine — frequently sought out by health editors at Good Housekeeping — launched this podcast at the height of the pandemic to directly connect with listeners on their most pressing questions. You’ll have a chance to write to Dr. Saltz and directly ask her about issues on your mind, all of which could end up being the focus of her weekly program. But the self-help advice highlighted in the series’ 60+ episodes feels entirely comprehensive so far; you’ll find deep dives into everything from social anxiety to nail-biting, body image issues to dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Saltz keeps every single episode to 15 minutes or less, making her program approachable for all.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.5 Stars (45 Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “Dr. Saltz’s advice is easy to understand and she shares concrete actions that I can take in my own life – I’ll be listening weekly!”

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    Even if you’re not already a fan of Grammy-award-winning country superstar LeAnn Rimes, many easily find themselves identifying with Rimes’ recent program dedicated to helping bolster emotional wellness throughout the pandemic. Don’t be blinded by the hosts’ star power; there is plenty of holistic clinical expertise featured in Wholly Human, which incorporates credentialed experts driving conversations on embracing self-love, dealing with anxiety, moving past trauma, quitting ruminating and self-sabotage, and much more. Rimes is a compassionate host that draws all in, given her range in navigating these issues, as she’s recently opened up about her own mental health journey over the course of her career.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.0 Stars (428 Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “I love the openness and vulnerability in the discussion… I love the exploration of topics that are often pushed aside. Far more substance and soul is this podcast than most of what’s out there, and what we find on social media.”

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    If you’ve been pushing your way through a painful, life-altering loss, the best self-help advice comes from comedian Cariad Lloyd, who brings much-needed light to overcoming death. The weekly podcast interviews media personalities about loved ones they’ve lost, including some names you may recognize (the podcast is based in Britain). Over eight seasons and many awards later, the programs’ most recent episodes directly address loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which many listeners can’t seem to find elsewhere just yet.

    Apple Podcast Score: 4.5 Stars (308 Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

    Top Review: “I lost both my grandmother and my mom in 2021 within six months (almost to the day) of each other. I stumbled upon this podcast while looking for something else and I’m glad I did… It’s a real help trying to wade through the emotional ups and downs.”

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    If you’re looking for help on issues relating to growing up (for you or a loved one!) and social pressures nearly every teen faces, MentalMusic is a program that’s entirely made for and by teenagers. Senior Parenting & Relationships Editor Marisa LaScala previously named the show within her guide to the best podcasts for teens based on the program’s seamless ability to interweave self-help advice for relevant issues like social media effects on mental health and wellness-adjacent topics like insomnia. While the podcasting crew behind this program is seemingly on a break, you’ll find that there is a catalog of 50 well-produced episodes to work through — enough to get any teen started.

    Apple Podcast Score: 3.5 Stars (20 Ratings)

    Paid or Free: Free

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    How to choose the best mental health podcast for you:

    A podcast can be an enjoyable way to reflect on emotional issues that may be bothering you, but it’s not always meant to substitute formal treatment with a clinical health provider. “People who may be dealing with feelings of anxiety and depression but are still able to function in daily roles — at work or in their family — may find the advice on podcasts very useful without further help,” says Nick Allen, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, professor at the University of Oregon and co-founder of digital mental health company Ksana Health.

    “However, if the emotional difficulties are severe enough that you can’t go to work or get through the day as you usually would, then it’s probably a good idea to seek the help of a mental health professional as well,” he adds, citing suicidal thoughts, as well as a history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, as indicators that a podcast alone isn’t sufficient.

    There are hundreds of podcasts that touch mental health topics frequently, but you are best off subscribing to those programs that interweave commentary and expertise from qualified caregivers, Allen stresses — psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers included. “It’s not that mental health professionals are the only people with good advice on emotional wellness, but I would be concerned about podcasts that don’t draw on their expertise at all,” he adds.

    Lastly, listen for a podcast that is clear on its methods for arriving at its tips and self-help advice for subscribers; it’s a good sign to hear more about strategies and research methods used in production. “Research is the best way to understand whether an approach will actually enrich your mental health, or if it is snake oil,” Allen says.

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