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- Best overall depression podcast: The SelfWork Podcast
- Best depression podcast for changing your mindset: On Purpose with Jay Shetty
- Best depression podcast for overcoming anxiety: Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast
- Best depression podcast for when you need a laugh: The Hilarious World of Depression
- Best depression podcast for building self-esteem: Feeling Good Podcast
- Best depression podcast for self-compassion: The Self Love Fix
- Best depression podcast for men: The Depression Files Podcast
- Best depression podcast for understanding how your brain works: The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast
- Best depression podcast for learning coping techniques: Tell Me What You’re Proud Of
- Best depression podcast for dealing with grief: Griefcast
Therapy, medication, and natural or alternative remedies like exercising, self-care, and vitamins are some of the most helpful ways to improve your depression symptoms. Listening to a self-help podcast is another great way to process feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety.
Adding one of these podcasts to your routine can have many benefits, including:
- providing you with additional support when you’re not at therapy
- helping you find creative solutions to deal with negative thoughts and emotions between sessions
- teaching you to better understand your depression and anxiety
Although self-help podcasts are not a substitute for professional help, they can be a very helpful tool to use alongside seeing someone regularly. If you think you might have depression, please make sure to consult a mental health professional.
Depression is a mood disorder that different people experience in different ways. Common emotions include sadness, hopelessness, irritability, and anger. Symptoms of depression include:
- loss of interest in favorite activities
- lack of sexual desire
- inability to concentrate
Depression may have several causes, ranging from family history and early childhood trauma to brain structure and medical conditions. Regardless of the roots of your depression, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you’re experiencing depression’s symptoms.
Many options are available to help treat depression. Some of the most effective forms of treatment are therapy and medication, but you can find support in your everyday routine, too.
We chose the best depression podcasts based on customer ratings. Many of the podcasts we included had ratings of at least 4.8 out of 5 stars.
When curating this list, we also considered podcast topics and their accessibility on a variety of platforms. We wanted this list to have a podcast for everyone, from those who are dealing with grief to those who are interested in learning more about the science behind their medical condition.
Best overall depression podcast
For some people, depression comes with feelings of loneliness. Thankfully, with “The SelfWork Podcast,” you don’t have to feel so alone.
The host, Margaret Robinson Rutherford, has been working as a psychologist for over 25 years. Through each 25-minute episode, she takes listeners on a journey of healing. Rutherford covers depression, anxiety, and personal struggles in a compassionate tone.
Every week, you’ll learn something new. Whether she’s teaching you how to forgive yourself or how to build empathy, Rutherford provides tools that can help you heal and move forward.
Reviewers say that, instead of asking, “How does that make you feel?” Rutherford takes a much more refreshing approach than traditional therapy. She focuses more on helping listeners identify their problems, and then provides solutions for dealing with them.
Best depression podcast for changing your mindset
Jay Shetty, a bestselling author and purpose coach, is the host of “On Purpose.” Before he was a podcaster, Shetty was a monk for 3 years, where he meditated for hours each day and served local communities.
Much of that time informed his passion for helping others become more mindful and overcome day-to-day hardships.
This self-help podcast releases new episodes every Monday and Friday. The length of each episode varies, ranging from 20 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes. You can expect episodes to cover topics like overcoming tough days and breaking negative thinking patterns.
The podcast has a 4.8-star rating out of 5 on Apple Podcasts and has helped over 15,000 listeners change their attitudes toward living. One reviewer says, “Jay is one of the easiest self-help gurus to listen to! His experience and wisdom always spark curiosity and motivation within me!”
Best depression podcast for overcoming anxiety
It’s not uncommon for those living with depression to also experience anxiety. Many of their symptoms overlap, while one may trigger the other. A
Caroline Foran is an author, motivational speaker, and freelance lifestyle journalist. She started “Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast” as a way to help others live a healthy life with anxiety.
When you press play, you can expect 40- to 50-minute episodes on ways to deal with your anxiety head-on. For example, a recent episode discussed methods for dealing with workplace anxiety and confronting a difficult boss.
“Such a lovely podcast! Really helps you understand anxiety and helps break the stigmas surrounding mental health,” one reviewer writes.
Best depression podcast for when you need a laugh
Hosted by public radio host John Moe, “The Hilarious World of Depression” brings on special guests who share their stories about dealing with depression and managing to laugh along the way.
The weekly episodes run from 40 to 50 minutes. In each episode, you’ll hear from comedians, actors, and public figures such as Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Jen Kirkman. They discuss how they’ve faced their darkest fears and put their mental health first.
The podcast is loved by over 4,000 listeners. One reviewer says that the show is a “refreshing look at depression that humanizes and normalizes the experience.”
Best depression podcast for building self-esteem
Dr. David Burns, the host of “Feeling Good Podcast,” received his medical degree from Stanford University and completed his psychiatry training at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine.
His medical background in psychiatry and neurology helps him discuss techniques to overcome depression and anxiety. He also uses his knowledge in behavioral science to guide listeners toward developing greater joy and self-esteem.
The 30- to 75-minute episodes are posted weekly. They discuss a wide range of topics, from building self-esteem to healing from a broken heart. Whatever the cause of your depression, Burns has you covered.
One reviewer loves the integration of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), saying, “It gives an incredible glimpse into the possibilities of a CBT informed approach.”
Whether you’re a therapist who uses CBT or someone living with depression, there’s an episode for you.
Best depression podcast for self-compassion
Hosted by Beatrice Kamau, an inner child healing coach, “The Self Love Fix” takes listeners through a journey of personal development and self-love.
In each episode, which runs from 10 to 50 minutes, Kamau helps listeners deal with trauma experienced at a young age. She teaches them to cultivate self-love, compassion, and high self-esteem.
When you click play, you can expect topics like:
- choosing yourself first
- learning how to allow happiness into your life
- creating boundaries
- breaking down trauma
There’s no end to what you’ll learn next. And the best part? The episodes air weekly. Listeners find that Kamau’s approach is nonjudgmental, but still provides a little bit of tough love.
Best depression podcast for men
Hosted by Al Levin, an assistant principal at a public elementary school, “The Depression Files” interviews men who live with depression. Each episode aims to educate, support, and break down the stigma around men and mental health.
Typically, guest speakers are mental health experts. Some guests include Dr. Joyce Baptist, a professor at Kansas State University, and Victor Janzan, a mental illness activist.
Episodes vary in length but usually run on the longer end between 50 and 100 minutes. They drop once a month.
Best depression podcast for understanding how your brain works
Have you ever wanted to learn about the inner workings of your brain and the best practices for living with depression? Try listening to “The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast,” hosted by personal Brain Warrior Guides and New York Times bestselling authors Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen.
In each 10- to 15-minute episode, you’ll learn about how you can improve your brain health. The podcast explores many topics, from coping with stress during a pandemic to overcoming communication anxiety with a partner. It’s no wonder why the podcast has a 4.7-star rating out of 5.
For one reviewer, the podcast has been nothing less than transformational. They use the hosts’ teachings in everyday life. They said that the podcast helps them “to better understand [their] conditions and to look further at what’s really going on.”
Best depression podcast for learning coping techniques
Every week on “Tell Me What You’re Proud Of,” host Dr. Maggie Perry drops new episodes with coping techniques to help you deal with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and stress.
Each installment is a real recorded therapy session with anonymous patients. Perry walks listeners and clients through themes of wellness, getting distance from your thoughts, and more.
As a licensed psychologist with a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, Perry shares coping mechanisms through roughly 20-minute episodes. In Perry’s episodes, she discusses everything from insomnia to normalizing mental health struggles.
Her background in cognitive behavioral therapy provides listeners with science-based techniques to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
What makes “Tell Me What You’re Proud Of” a 5-star podcast is Perry’s informative and open approach. “Dr. Perry is a generous and intuitive therapist who treats her clients with passion and respect. Her suggestions are helpful and her style is open and thoughtful,” one reviewer says.
Best depression podcast for dealing with grief
Grief and death are not easy topics to talk about. But with host and comedian Cariad Lloyd, each episode of “Griefcast” marries comic relief with thoughtful and compassionate conversations about what it means to lose someone.
Each week, Lloyd invites funny guest speakers to chat over the hour about their experiences with grief and depression. Previous guests have included Adam Buxton, Robert Webb, and David Baddiel.
The podcast will give you a better understanding of the human experience, covering topics that include:
- spreading a loved one’s ashes
- navigating grief and pregnancy
- reimagining future plans
- losing a friend to a brain tumor
- losing parents to HIV
This podcast has received some notable awards, including a Podcast of the Year award in 2018 and Best Podcast ARIA in 2018.
What are self-help podcasts?
All of these self-help podcasts are audio series that you can listen to on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.
They’re usually hosted by one or two people who have experience or expertise in mental wellness and health topics. The hosts move the conversation along, set the tone, and pick the topics for each episode.
Topics might include depression management, personal development, and self-care.
Please remember that self-help podcasts do not replace professional help or medication. If you are experiencing a change in your mood or mental state, contact a licensed mental health professional.
How do I choose a self-help podcast?
Choosing the best self-help podcast depends on your needs and goals.
You can start by listening to a variety of podcasts. See if the topics covered in each episode resonate with and support you.
If you want to further narrow down your options, you look for a podcast that has:
- hosts you enjoy listening to
- good production
- episodes available on the platform of your choice
Are self-help podcasts free?
You can usually access self-help podcasts through audio and media streaming services, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Listening to the podcast episodes themselves is free, but these services may have subscription fees if you want to listen to unlimited content.
How often should I listen to self-help podcasts?
As often as you may need. While listening to self-help podcasts is not a substitute for seeing a therapist, it can be a good supplement between sessions.
Why should I listen to self-help podcasts?
Self-help podcasts are great resources that may help you learn about your mental health needs, explore coping techniques, and build a support system outside of therapy sessions.
Self-help podcasts are a great way to get in tune with how you’re feeling and learn new techniques to manage anxiety and depression.
You have a variety of depression podcasts to choose from, but ultimately, listen to the podcast that works best for your needs and goals. Also, don’t be afraid to try multiple podcasts until you find one that works best for you.
No podcast is meant to replace therapy or other medical attention. If you notice a change in your mental state, make sure to schedule an appointment with a licensed mental health professional.
Kayla Hui is a New York-based health and wellness writer with a master’s degree in public health. In 2020, she won the Pulitzer Center Fellowship to investigate the mental health of Chinese immigrant truck drivers in New York. Her health and wellness work can be read on the Pulitzer Center, Verywell Health, Well+Good, Healthline, Inverse, and more. Outside writing, Kayla enjoys baking, rock climbing, and buying plants she doesn’t need.