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The selection of health podcasts out there is huge. The number of total podcasts stands at over 2 million as of April 2021 — and it’s still growing.

The sheer variety alone can feel anxiety-inducing.

That’s why we’ve digested thousands of podcasts and found the best ones for a variety of different mental health needs, whether you want straight science, apt advice, or lots of laughs.

The Nod podcast logo

“The Nod” pitches itself as a podcast that shares the stories and experiences of African Americans that “don’t get told anywhere else.”

Topics range from lighthearted histories of hip-hop trends to the emotional impact of famous writers like Toni Morrison on generations of young Black writers and professionals.

Hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings regularly have emotional, vulnerable conversations to show that it’s OK to struggle with the conflicts of being who you want to be versus who society expects you to be.

Therapy for Black Girls podcast logo

Founded by clinical psychologist Joy Harden Bradford, “Therapy for Black Girls” offers mental health resources and advice for both personal and professional development for Black women and beyond.

Bradford also helps demystify therapy itself and the stigma surrounding it with her doctorate-level background in counseling psychology from the University of Georgia.

Bradford’s podcast is a great choice if you’re looking for advice or insight from a professional, or are fascinated by the science of the mind.

  • Apple Podcast rating: 4.8 stars (more than 5,000 ratings)
  • Also available on: Google Play (older episodes; video)
  • First aired: 2011
  • Still airing new episodes? Yes

This show tackles big political and cultural issues facing women and marginalized communities, including LGBT communities. Hosts Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi put these sometimes esoteric but crucial conversations firmly in the spotlight.

Their aim is to leave no doubts that these issues can affect you mentally, emotionally, and personally in toxic ways.

Erin and Bryan strike a delicate balance between the political and the personal by making it feel OK to think of yourself as part of a bigger movement while also affirming that your thoughts and feelings matter.

Oh yeah, and they’ll keep you laughing along the way.

  • Apple Podcast rating: 4.8 stars (more than 300 ratings)
  • Also available on: Stitcher
  • First aired: 2018
  • Still airing new episodes? Yes

Educating yourself about the Bible? Feeling obligated to be at church multiple times a week? Just trying to live a life based strongly in your values?

Observing a Christian lifestyle can be taxing on your mind and body.

Hosts Nora and Natalie started this podcast to let you know it’s OK to not be a “perfect” Christian and to talk openly about challenges in balancing what you need with what your Christian faith asks of you.

So many of us have dealt with mental and emotional trauma in our lives. Yet so few of us feel comfortable or even safe talking about it out loud.

Host Paul Gilmartin hopes to change this with his lauded podcast, “Mental Illness Happy Hour.” Gilmartin interviews a variety of noted figures and celebrities about their experiences with mental illness or trauma.

Gilmartin’s interviews run the gamut from tackling the link between sexual assault and PTSD with successful attorneys to uncovering how being raised by a parent with alcohol use disorder can affect you in many invisible ways.

  • Apple Podcast rating: 4.6 stars (more than 22,000 ratings)
  • Also available on: Google Play
  • First aired: 2015
  • Still airing new episodes? Yes

Comedian Marc Maron is well known for interviewing some of the world’s most famous people in his tiny garage near Los Angeles.

Doesn’t seem like a premise ripe for discussions about mental health. But Maron is surprisingly candid about the anxieties and traumas of his upbringing and the emotional turmoil that many of his noted guests have experienced.

These unexpected but refreshingly vulnerable discussions about mental health often pop up in memorable interviews with figures ranging from former U.S. President Barack Obama to actor Kristen Bell.

  • Apple Podcast rating: 4.6 stars (more than 12,000 ratings)
  • Also available on: Stitcher
  • First aired: 2016
  • Still airing new episodes? Yes

Talking about race, gender, ethnicity, identity, and many complex topics common in the 21st century can be exhausting and scary. It can be much harder if you don’t think you have any allies.

“Code Switch” from National Public Radio (NPR) wants to be an ally. This show covers topics from the legacy of lynchings of African Americans in modern American life to covert forms of anti-Semitism in popular culture.

It’s hosted by a slew of journalists from diverse backgrounds who know exactly what it’s like to need an ally.

This show can help you better understand how society itself can be your mental health’s worst enemy — and how that understanding can help you feel stronger in resisting it.

  • Apple Podcast rating: 4.8 stars (more than 11,000 ratings)
  • Also available on: Stitcher
  • First aired: 2019
  • Still airing new episodes? Yes

Happiness can seem unattainable sometimes. This is especially true when the things you work hard to earn don’t bring the happiness you expect.

That’s where Dr. Laurie Santos of Yale University thinks she can help.

Dr. Santos hopes to show you that your own happiness is in your control in even the smallest ways using findings from cutting-edge scientific research on the link between human behavior and emotions.

It’s no accident that Dr. Santos’ course “Psychology and the Good Life” is one of Yale’s most popular. Her main ambition is to help make you a little bit happier by teaching you to take ownership of how your mind works, and how your behavior can be your first line of defense against negativity.

“2 Dope Queens” consists of the high-energy comedy duo Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams. These two comedians turned their longtime friendship and famously witty banter into an insanely popular comedy show.

No topic is off-limits to them or their wide array of celebrity guests. Topics range from relationships and stereotypes with Michelle Obama to sexual health with stars from popular TV shows.

And it’s just funny. Sometimes, a good laugh is all you need to feel better.

  • Apple Podcast rating: 4.8 stars (more than 4,200 ratings)
  • Also available on: Stitcher
  • First aired: 2016
  • Still airing new episodes? Yes

Depression is one of the most common and yet most stigmatized mental health conditions. And not all forms of depression are created equal. Depression can take as many forms as there are people who have it.

That’s what host John Moe hopes you’ll take away from his numerous interviews with public figures like Darryl McDaniels from hip-hop group Run-DMC and Peter Sagal of the popular NPR show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”

This show is good if you’re managing your own symptoms or know someone with depression.

The enormous variety of real stories about the ups and downs of depression shows how the condition can look different for everyone, and also gives you some tips and tools to cope with all forms of depression.