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Living with mental hardships is never easy. Neither is talking about it. But listening to conversations about mental health, especially when those conversations involve people you relate to or admire, can serve as a reminder that people living with mental health issues are not alone and should seek help whenever possible.
So to celebrate Bell Let’s Talk Day, we put together a list of podcasts that examine mental health in an informative, interesting, and entertaining way. Whether you’re looking for a serious, thought-provoking discussion, want a lighthearted take on a seemingly humourless subject, struggle with mental issues yourself or know someone who does, there’s something in this list for you.
Launched in March 2016, The Hardcore Self Help Podcast is hosted by psychologist slash author slash podcaster Dr. Robert Duff. Every week, Duff uses his academic expertise to answer listener questions and shed light on a variety of mental helath-related topics: from talking to therapists and living with bipolar disorder to dealing with panic attacks and taking medication.
Our Favourite Episode: How to Get the Most Out of Therapy
Joel Kutz is the affable, patient, disembodied friend you didn’t know you needed. On The Dark Place, Kutz invites guests to talk about their experiences with mental issues, giving listeners ideas as to what they can do to improve their own mental health. And Kutz’s viewers often actually become guests—The Dark Place is unconventional in that Kutz encourages listeners to recommend themselves or people they know for the podcast. So if you feel so inclined, visit the Dark Place website and share your story with Kutz via email or via the website’s “Tell Your Story” page.
Our Favourite Episode: Laura Thompson
If you didn’t think laughing while listening to a podcast about mental health issues was possible, The Hilarious World of Depression is proof of the contrary. Every week, long-time radio host John Moe interviews an actor, comic, writer, or generally funny person about living with mental issue. Though the podcast is still fairly new (it launched in December 2016, making it just over a year old), Moe has already interviewed a variety of high-profile guests including Aimee Mann, John Green, and Margaret Cho. And on weeks when he doesn’t book a guest, Moe releases “mini-episodes” that centre on topics like favourite coping songs.
Our Favourite Episode: Rachel Bloom Finds Her Voice, Then Uses It To Sing About Stealing Pets and Moving to West Covina, California
As its name suggests, the ADHD reWired Podcast focuses on providing guidance and advice to those living with ADHD. But the show, hosted by social worker and therapist Eric Tiver, will likely also interest those who want to learn more about mental health in general. Every Tuesday, Tiver speaks to an interesting, successful professional about how living with ADHD has impacted his or her life. Tiver also hosts bi-weekly online Q&A sessions for those who want to talk to him or ask questions directly.
Our Favourite Episode: She Wasn’t Always This Focused with Rosa Swann
Health and wellness coach Kelli Walker (and her frequent co-host, Erica Leathem) host Not Another Anxiety Show, an appropriately laidback, calming podcast about all things anxiety-inducing. After listening to judgment-free episodes like “Our Most Embarrassing Anxiety Moments” and “The Benefit of Doubt,” you might find yourself wanting Kelli and Erica to become your unofficial mentors and new best friends. And as much as we love two hour plus podcast episodes, Not Another Anxiety Show keeps it refreshingly brief with instalments that usually clock in at around half an hour.
Our Favourite Episode: Where Did Your Beliefs About Anxiety Come From?
Host Paul Gilmartin describes The Mental Illness Happy Hour as “a waiting room that doesn’t suck,” and we’ve got to admit that he’s pretty spot-on. Each Friday, Gilmartin—who was diagnosed with depression himself—talks to a guest about his or her experience with mental health issues. From creative professionals like Maria Bamford to licensed therapists like Kimberley Quinlan, Gilmartin encourages each and every one of his guests to talk about mental health freely and without judgment, to remind listeners that living with mental illness and being happy are not mutually exclusive.
Our Favourite Episode: Mara Wilson
Don’t forget to show your support by participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day. Bell Let’s Talk Day is an annual initiative to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Take part in Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 31 by sending a text message, making a mobile or long distance call using Bell Media products, tweeting with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, using the Facebook Bell Let’s Talk frame, and using the Snapchat Bell Let’s Talk geofilter. Each time you do this, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives.