‘The Internet’ with all its applications seems to be our favorite means of entertainment these days (who hasn’t arrived at the Netflix bingewatch station?). More than ever before it is being criticized for its occupying character, leaving users ‘always on’ with depleted minds as a consequence. To me, for podcasts it’s a different story. Other than the fact that podcasts in general don’t require much of your energy – you can after all just sit back and relax without actually facing the screen – there are also tons of podcasts that are specifically devoted to supporting your mental health. While listening to any podcast might already offer you the relaxation you need, these are my top-5 for nurturing your mind (or to shut it down for a little while) – tried and tested:
The Ground Up Show. Together with a guest, host Matt d’Avella discusses varied themes that help you take small steps in living your busy life more consciously and meaningfully by making the right choices. Think about episodes on: Productivity, The Pressure to Keep Up, Quitting Social Media, and – personal favorite – The Business of Coffee.
Sleep with me. This podcast might help you to get to the best part of relaxation: a good night of sleep. Having problems with catching your sleep after an ordinary but busy work- or school day, or because of an exciting or stressful life event? Sleep with me offers grown-ups all kinds of ‘bed time stories’, from old books to novellas. Sounds a bit childish to you? Give it a try! And if you don’t like the first episode, there’s tons of others, which you might also just enjoy if you don’t have problems falling asleep.
2B. Sleep meditation podcast. Belonging to the same category as #2, this podcast is kind of a simplified version of sleep with me, that is completely dedicated to what the producers call ‘sleepy sounds’. Which sound will get you to sleep? Relaxing wind, Campfire, or Rain on tent?
Meditation minis. The idea of this podcast is simple and straightforward: each episode offers you about 10 minutes of guided meditation, supported by the calming voice of Chel Hamilton. Sounds short, but once the first 30 seconds have lapsed, I’m sure you’ll want to finish the rest of the episode as it eases your mind instantly.
Hidden brain. Journalist, writer and science correspondent Shankar Vedantam tells you stories about the science behind the brain: how does our brain actually work during the day? In the last episode (‘Deep Work 2.0’) for example, Shankar explain how comes that, when we get a notification on our phone, we stop working to look and respond, while we actually feel we should be less distracted by technology. This might be your podcast if you’re the down-to-earth listener who is interested in the unconscious patterns of our behavior.
Yoga girl. Other than the name suggests, this is not another meditation or yoga-class podcast. In this podcast Rachel Brathen discusses all kinds of subjects related to mental health in an accessible way, ranging from finding balance and improving your body image, to self reflection, spirituality and improving your overall well-being.
All of these podcasts can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or iTunes. Hope you enjoy!