The Student’s top podcasts picks for mental health awareness week

It is 2018 and if you don’t have a NYT best-selling book or a Youtube channel, you’re hosting a podcast. Without the production costs, network dependency, and scripted nature of television or film, podcasts have emerged as an inexpensive and reliable platform to discuss both humorous anecdotes and important issues for a niche audience.

However, if you’re in the rare faction of unenlightened bumpkins without a go-to podcast, or if you’re just searching for a new listen, the following podcasts are full of moving and illuminating conversations that prove that mental health in modern society isn’t something to belittle, but something that needs a voice.

The Hilarious World of Depression makes the top of the list – although, frankly, it seems contradictory to everything this article promises. However, not only does it literally question its title at the beginning of every episode, asking each guest ‘Is depression funny?’, it also sheds light on how undiscriminating and ruthless this ‘incredibly common and isolating disease’ can be.

Host and humorist John Moe acknowledges that laughter isn’t always the best medicine, yet discusses how beneficial it has been with guests who have dealt with and overcome depression through comedy, from comedian Margaret Cho to best-selling author John Green. Although depression itself isn’t ‘hilarious’, The Hilarious World of Depression vows to help those caught in its vicious cycle stop being victims to its ‘solitude and stigma’ and fight back with insight, unity, and, yes, laughter.

For anyone dealing with the profound and often overwhelming experience of loss, Good Grief with Cheryl Jones, a live interview-based broadcast, can be an incredibly constructive, rewarding resource. From its first episode, in which she tells her own story of grief and transformation, Cheryl Jones has been completely candid with her audience. Now, in its fifth year of production, Jones is as ready as ever to help listeners understand the ‘transformations that can come from loss’. Loss and heartbreak inevitably lead to grief. Yet, Jones promises that engaging in rather than dismissing or denying our grief can actually be a tremendous benefit and can even ‘help us define our lives’.

Lastly, named after the fabled Cherokee parable describing the two starving wolves that inhabit every human, The One You Feed is a podcast focusing on open-minded discussion of depression, anxiety, psychology, philosophy, and motivation in contemporary society with experts in each field. Offering a more scientific and international view on mental illness, The One You Feed also discusses how mental illness is portrayed in larger institutions than just the individual. Eric Zimmer discusses everything from the rage of racism to how Buddhism intersects with psychotherapy. Overall, Zimmer aims to inspire his audience not just to listen and become aware, but to put those words into action and ‘feed their good wolf’.

Image Credit: Nicholas Solop via Flickr 

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