8 Educational Podcasts to Learn About Mental Health and Psychology
Podcasts are great for true crime, comedy, news, and a host of other topics. They’re also a great way to learn about mental health. Because today’s most popular mental health podcasts are delivered by scientists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and other experts (and sometimes comedians), these podcasts can play the role of educator and, in some cases, even therapist.
The great news is that podcasts are generally free, meaning they’re far cheaper than going to school or paying a therapist to learn about your mental health—no student loan or co-pay is required! Just don’t go diagnosing yourself with every disorder you hear about. Otherwise, you might actually need to start paying for therapy.
Hosted by Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor in the department of neurobiology, psychiatry, and behavioral sciences at Stanford School of Medicine, the Huberman Lab podcast is frequently ranked in the Top 15 globally and sometimes tops the list in the categories of science, education, and health and fitness.
Dr. Huberman is often joined by experts in fields such as leadership, psychology, and biology to explore the inner workings of the human mind and body. Topics include healing from grief, how to improve your memory, and using psychedelic medicine. It’s like a science or psychology class but more entertaining and less boring. It’s worth a listen to get a better understanding of how your mind works.
Esther Perel is a couple’s therapist whose book, Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, thrust her into the spotlight in 2016. Her depth of knowledge on the topics that arise in relationships is truly remarkable, as is her ability to diagnose and provide solutions to problems couples are having.
Listening to the Esther Perel podcast is like being in a relationship therapist’s office, but instead of sitting in a stuffy room revealing your issues, you get to eavesdrop (such a guilty pleasure!) on the sessions of other people. During each episode, Perel helps couples navigate the tricky waters of love, sex, and commitment. Check it out if you’re wondering if what happened to you as a kid is messing with your romantic life (hint: it probably is).
Unlike other podcasts that focus on positivity, the Hidden Brain podcast by NPR explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior. Listening to the podcast will have you contemplating the fundamental issues that shape our ever-evolving society.
Each episode is like a journey into the unknown, where host Shankar Vedantam takes listeners on a journey to discover the hidden forces that influence everything from decision-making to relationships. If you’re interested in learning about the hidden biases and influences that shape your everyday thinking and mental health, you’ll want to give this one a try. On the other hand, you can always use these tips to discover new podcasts on your own.
Sam Harris is a philosopher, neuroscientist, meditation teacher, and podcast host. Harris is also a best-selling author and has written several books on topics such as atheism, philosophy, and the nature of consciousness.
On the Making Sense podcast, Harris discusses topics—often with other experts—related to consciousness, morality, the human condition, as well as breaking news from a perspective only Sam can provide. Each episode can feel like a crash course in existentialism and the meaning of life, without the added college debt. This change of perspective can help you understand different aspects of your mental health in relation to the world around you.
The Mental Illness Happy Hour is hosted by comedian Paul Gilmartin and features interviews with guests including artists, friends, as well as the occasional medical professional. The podcast acts like an open mic, where the host and his guests share their personal stories of living with mental disorders.
The Mental Illness Happy Hour aims to destigmatize mental illness and create a space where listeners can feel less alone and more understood. While listening to people talk about their struggles with depression and anxiety might not sound like a party, Gilmartin does an excellent job of creating a virtual support group that is educational and entertaining, all without name tags and a circle of folding chairs.
The Choiceology podcast is a podcast produced by Charles Schwab and explores the psychological, behavioral, and economic factors that influence the choices we make and how to use this understanding to make better decisions.
The host, Katy Milkman, uses research and real-life examples to explain how people can be influenced by biases, emotions, and other factors. It’s a show that provides insights and strategies on how to avoid common mistakes and make better choices in various aspects of life, from personal finance to health and career.
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All in the Mind is a podcast produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and delves into the latest research and thinking about the brain and mind. The show is hosted by Sana Qadar, and each episode features a mix of interviews with experts in the field of psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and related disciplines.
The podcast covers a wide range of topics, such as mental health, neuroscience, addiction, and emotional well-being. It aims to explore cutting-edge research and ideas and provide listeners with a deeper understanding of the complexities of the human mind. It’s a show that explores the science behind the mind and behavior in an engaging and accessible way.
With host Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, the Psychology Podcast explores the science of the mind and behavior from, you guessed it, a psychological perspective. Each episode features interviews with experts in the field of psychology, neuroscience, and related disciplines. Topics include how to be a good parent, how to live an awesome life, and how to find deep purpose in the second half of life.
The podcast takes a scientific approach to understanding the human experience and provides insights on how to improve mental well-being and performance. It’s a great resource for students, professionals, and anyone who is interested in psychology and wants to gain a deeper understanding of their own noodles.
Learning About Your Mental Health with These Podcasts
Overall, listening to podcasts about mental health can be a valuable tool for personal growth, learning, and self-improvement. With the help of virtual experts and the ability to eavesdrop on conversations between some of the world’s cleverest people at your convenience, you can become more aware, compassionate, and understanding of yourself and others.