90% of the US population confirmed that they are going through a mental health crisis.America is currently going through a mental health crisis. Wars, inflation, environmental disasters—you name it, the going has gotten tougher lately. In times like these, all your mind needs is a break from the news to quiet down and unwind.
Podcasting can be a pleasant getaway from stressful situations and the current state of the world. Listening to true crimes, guided meditations, or the voice of your favorite podcaster can transport you to your happy place. In fact, Americans like to channel this mindset: 164 million will be tuning in to their favorite podcasts by 2024.
Let’s explore three ways that listening to and watching podcasts—even starting your own—can improve your mental well-being.
Enhance Life Experiences and Positive Emotions
Podcast listeners are curious people—a study found that 74% are seeking to learn new things, gain a new perspective, and enrich their life experiences. Thanks to informative podcasts, they can feel refreshed and find a deeper understanding of daily situations.
In fact, listeners tend to be more open to life experiences and feel more socially engaged with hosts, perceiving them as friends. Moreover, the same study suggests that listeners experience less negative emotions, often associated with social media use. So, take a few moments to open your mind and listen to fun facts and your favorite hosts talking.
Some enlightening and entertaining podcasts include:
- Houston, We Have a Podcast: Directly from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, astronauts, scientists, and engineers convene weekly to talk about everything astronomy.
- Throughline: For history junkies, NPR has crafted a podcast revisiting often controversial or obscure historical events to give them a new meaning in light of today’s headlines.
- The Infinite Monkey Cage: This science podcast from the BBC combines a physicist and a comedian talking all about science with scientists and famous figures (like Sir Patrick Stewart!). Its witty tone, paired with informative topics, makes for an entertaining and eye-opening listen.
Relating to Others Through Lived Experience
A study involving medical students and senior physicians discovered that students felt validated upon hearing about the physicians’ accounts of lived experiences with mental health issues. This is because listening to testimonies and relating to them can help you recognize and address your own mental health struggles without stigmas.
Therefore, podcasts can be another way of feeling seen and understood by the lived experiences hosts and guests share. However, it’s important to remember that podcasts don’t replace therapy or psychiatric treatment. They’re more like listening to friends conveying their experiences to you and sometimes sharing advice, lessons, and insights into how our brains work.
There’s one for everybody, so let’s check out some top mental health podcasts to get you started:
- The Happiness Lab: This podcast dispels myths about attaining happiness and dealing with strong emotions, coming from the professor who teaches the most popular course at Yale University, Dr. Laurie Santos.
- Maintenance Phase: With new diet regimes gaining traction every other day, this podcast decodes the truth behind wellness trends, dieting fads, and the impact of nutrition on our mental health.
- The Hilarious World of Depression: Coping with depression doesn’t have to be gloomy. The host John Moe approaches his lived experience with depression as a standup comedy show and a therapy session simultaneously. This podcast ensures high relatability and valuable lessons.
- Soberful: This lighthearted podcast engages two hosts in long-term recoveries from alcoholism. They share the hardships of their own journeys and overcoming daily challenges.
Start Your Own Podcast for Self Expression
After listening to other podcasts, you might feel inspired to tell your own story—and research suggests that’s a great idea to improve your mental health. Creativity has been linked with positive emotions that boost our well-being.
Moreover, writing down your thoughts or saying them out loud can be an effective exercise in catharsis (getting rid of unhappy memories or strong emotions by expressing them in some way). Sharing your experience can also help you connect with others and aid people in making sense of their own emotions.
But how can you get started? It’s simpler than you think. With our Disctopia App, you can start recording and uploading your podcasts immediately. Our step-by-step summarizes the key components of your podcast and how to start your journey with us. You can also film it and upload a video version to engage those who prefer the viewing experience.
To start your journey as an independent podcaster, get to know the Disctopia platform here.