If stand-up comedy is just philosophy with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure, then these humorous podcasts are a great way to look at mental health from a lighthearted perspective, without downplaying its seriousness.
There’s a lot of talk in the media about mental health and all this awareness can never be praised enough for how it helps people realize that they are not alone and for how encourages them to seek help. But, even though we’re no longer in the dark ages of mental health oppression and misdiagnosis, our civilized society still has a long way to go until mental health is normalized and talking about it doesn’t feel like touching on a taboo topic.
For people who suffer from mental health, sharing what they are going through can often feel uncomfortable. The barriers of formal conversation can be an impediment in sharing their story without feeling guilty of vulnerable, which is why these podcast hosts decided to follow a different approach.
Whether you’re struggling with mental health yourself, know someone who does, or you simply want to understand it from a candid and intimate perspective, we think you will love these podcasts
The Hilarious World of Depression
Hosted by the American Public Radio, The Hilarious World of Depression is hosted by John Moe and features comedians and celebrities who share their personal mental health struggles in a humorous note. The talks take place in a safe and candid environment and although you might think that joking about depression is superficial and disrespectful, this approach actually creates a sense of community, helps listeners feel less isolated and breaks the stigma surrounding mental health.
Mental Illness Happy Hour
What are the early signs of anxiety disorder? How does mental illness affect your job? What happens when addiction and mental health overlap? All of these are questions that you expect to be answered by mental health professionals in an academic, textbook-like way. Or not. At Mental Illness Happy Hour, comedian Paul Gilmartin welcomes artists, doctors, and fans and discusses serious topics like depression, anxiety, eating disorders or PTSD in a humorous and lighthearted way. Mental Illness Happy Hour has been on air for more than six years and now counts more than 400 episodes that are equally enlightening and funny.
The Dr. Drew Podcast
Most people know Dr. Drew Pinsky, board-certified internist and addiction medicine specialist is best known for his love and relationship advice on Loveline, but his recent podcasts are a source of inspiration and comfort for those who are struggling with addiction and mental health as well. In a relatable style that is reminiscent of Loveline, he takes calls from listeners, giving them advice on how to cope with depression, how to talk with their loved ones about mental health or how to overcome addiction:
“I’m not just trying to influence young people. I would like to influence all different age groups. Ultimately, particularly with young people, I’ve noticed that the most efficient way to affect their behavior is to give them a relatable source.”
The message behind Mentally Ch(ill) becomes even more relevant today, considering the sad story behind it: started in 2017 by two girls, the podcast took off quickly because of their friendly, humorous and approachable style, but Stevie Ryan, one of the hosts, took her life a few months after. The other host, Kristin Carney, kept the podcast alive in memory of her friend, talking themes such as PTSD after sexual assault, depression and weight gain, or dealing with suicide.
All of these lighthearted podcasts are an excellent way to spark conversation, educate and inspire. However, keep in mind that podcasts, or any other form of entertainment, are not effective replacements for professional treatment, and that you shouldn’t hesitate to seek therapy if mental health issues become crippling.
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