If life at home is feeling a bit too much, these inspiring (and often hilarious) podcasts about mental health might help
We're living in very strange times. People are being asked to avoid unnecessary social interaction, to self-isolate at home, and (where possible) to work from home.
Aside from the general worry that can come from a global health emergency, being isolated and cooped up at home can have serious impacts on our overall mental wellbeing.
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of five mental health podcasts (some from Ireland, others from abroad) to help us all get through it. The ones we've chosen are lighthearted in tone – designed to inspire and remind listeners they're not alone. That being said, if you feel particularly overwhelmed and would like to seek expert advice, weblinks and phone numbers are listed below.
Created by psychologist and neuroscientist Sabina Brennan (who also wrote the bestselling book 100 Days to a Younger Brain), Super Brain is a new podcast series about overcoming adversity. With many of us facing into adversity over the coming weeks, this series provides a much-needed dose of inspiration.
"On Mondays, I interview an inspiring guest about thriving and surviving in life," Sabina says, "and on Thursdays, I share tips on how to transform your everyday brain into a Super Brain with a 10-minute booster episode."
Super Brain, produced by Collaborative Studios, is available to listen to here.
Looking at Loneliness
This podcast on loneliness (and the importance of staying connected to others) is part of a bigger series by Mental Health Ireland.
In this episode, comedian Alison Spittle and CEO of Alone, Sean Moynihan, discuss the causes of loneliness and its impact on our mental health and wellbeing. The pair also talk to guests about how we can stay more connected in today’s world. Though originally shared in December 2019, this podcast is a worthwhile listen if you're facing two weeks of self-isolation.
Looking at Loneliness with Alison Spittle and Sean Moynihan is available to listen to here.
Fearne Cotton talks to incredible people about life, love, loss, and everything in-between as she reveals what happiness means to them. Some notable guests include Sarah Wilson, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Nadiya Hussain.
This thought-provoking series is full of humour and inspiration (which isn't just essential in these difficult times, but always).
Happy Place is available to listen to here.
The Hilarious World Of Depression
Sometimes, when you feel overwhelmed by everything that's happening around you, it can be comforting to know others have been through it too. In this popular comedy podcast series, host John Moe chats with guests about how they’ve dealt with depression and managed to laugh along the way.
"The Hilarious World of Depression is not a medical treatment and should not be seen as a substitute for therapy or medication," said the producers. "But it is a chance to gain some insight, have a few laughs, and realise that people with depression are not alone and that together, we can all feel a bit better."
Listen to The Hilarious World of Depression here.
Whether you're struggling to set boundaries or feeling swamped by fear, Calmer You (hosted by hypnotherapist Chloe Brotheridge), might help.
"Living with anxiety and low self-confidence is frustrating at best, at worst, a living nightmare," she says. "However, I'm here to let you know that change is possible. I've done it myself. That calm and self-assured person is inside you."
Expect practical tools, expert interviews, audio hugs, encouragement and a reminder that you are not alone.
Listen to Calmer You here.
Need to talk?
If you feel you need additional support to improve your mental health, the following services are available for people in Ireland:
– Samaritans, Ph: 116 123
– Aware, Ph: 1800 80 48 48
– BeLonGTo, Ph: 01 670 6223
– Alone, Ph: 0818 222 024
– Your local GP will also be able to help with any queries about mental health.
Feature photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Read more: Why did I delete social media over the weekend? Because of the Coronavirus
Read more: Dr Doireann O'Leary explains how to reduce Coronavirus anxiety
Read more: Beating COVID-19 blues: This clip of Italians singing will cheer you up