Podcasts are an excellent way to connect with others without stepping out of your own home. Just hearing the voice of someone talking can ease the loneliness that comes with social anxiety. But podcasts provide more than just a friendly voice: they also can help you work with, through and around your social anxiety symptoms. Here are some of the best podcasts dealing with social anxiety and other mental health topics.
The Confident Mind
The Confident Mind is produced by psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald — a name familiar to readers of the New Zealand Herald, where he writes a column on mental health and making good use of his more than 15 years of clinical experience as a registered psychotherapist.
With weekly installments covering such topics as how to become more confident in your own mind, dealing with depression, social phobias, the importance of self-care and how to gently (but effectively!) change your behaviors, the podcast is available through MacDonald’s website, overcomingsocialanxiety.com, as well as via iTunes.
Calm Living Blueprint
Calm Living Blueprint is a weekly podcast produced by Candace Esposito, a naturopath and mindfulness coach. Rather than focus on the clinical and scientific aspects of living with social anxiety, the podcast helps empower listeners to take control of their anxiety through mindfulness, introspection and self-reflection. A top-ranking anxiety podcast on iTunes, the Calm Living Blueprint approach to social anxiety is to accept yourself and your life as it is and work with it, instead of through it. The podcast is available on Esposito’s website, as well as iTunes and on Android via the Stitcher Radio app.
Anxious in Austin
If you’d like a conversational, yet medical, approach to anxiety, Anxious in Austin is the go-to podcast. Produced by Austin-based psychologists Dr. Marianne Stout and Dr. Thomas Smithyman, the sporadic podcast covers topics ranging from making choices about whether to medicate for your anxiety to dealing with comorbid conditions like OCD, insomnia and perfectionism. Drs. Stout and Smithyman lay out the facts in an accessible, approachable manner.
If you want to understand the human brain and how it works via a conversational, talk radio-style podcast, this is it. It’s available via download from the doctors’ practice website, the Anxiety Treatment Center of Austin, the iTunes store, as well as via third party websites Podbean and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Mental Illness Happy Hour
If you’d rather not spend your time on clinical, scientific or self-help podcasts but instead prefer a little humor and entertainment, Mental Illness Happy Hour is possibly the best podcast around. The weekly cast, produced by comedian Paul Gilmartin, explores depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma and other mental health topics. In the host’s own words, “It’s not a doctor’s office. Think of it more as a waiting room that doesn’t suck.”
While the humor can, at times, be somewhat perverse or off-color, it’s a no-holds barred mission to remind listeners that mental challenges are shared and nobody is alone. With high praise from big-name publications like the NY Times and Psychology Today, the podcast is available via web at mentalpod.com, as well as on the iTunes web store, via the Stitcher Radio app for Android and on third party site Soundcloud.
Podcasts for social anxiety can connect you to others, educate you and occasionally give you a laugh. When it’s tough to connect with others, listening to podcasts can help ease loneliness while giving you something to focus on outside of your own thoughts.