For World Mental Health Day 2022 we’re uplifting some of the great articles about mental health and podcasting that we’ve spoken to over the years. This guest blog from Rachael Wells celebrates the power of podcasting for mental wellness…
I’m Rachael and I’ve written about how podcasts help me with my mental health stuff. This is meant to be an introduction but two sentences looked a bit ropey so I’ve added this one. I’m a single mum, an artist and I’m autistic.
The reasons I love podcasts are multiple. They’ve carried me through night feeds and coursework, through long car journeys and housework. As soon as I wake up, I put on the newest episode of one of my favourites or I carry on a binge from my latest discovery. I often replay episodes if sleep eludes me, they’re comforting and familiar.
Listening to podcasts has had a massive benefit on my mental health. Social anxiety disorder is something I have suffered from since I was 10 years old. The severity of it has fluctuated over the years and at its most severe I avoided leaving the house; because the thought of people seeing me was too much to cope with. When I listen to a podcast it helps interrupt the anxiety cycle. My focus isn’t solely on the people around me, the anxiety symptoms, trying to predict my next encounter with someone or rehearse the potential small talk I might need. I get absorbed in the topic and conversation and I stop overthinking the situation. I used to listen to music but I found that increased my heart rate which would amplify other physical symptoms. I found in shops that pausing a podcast or taking out headphones gives me some thinking time.
It’s an accessible way to make connections with people, most podcasts have online communities so finding like-minded people, legends (All Killa No Filla) or other dangerous loners (Hardcore Listing) is too easy. And many have live events where it’s really normal to go by yourself and you already have something in common with everyone else in the room. I often struggle to make a conversation because small talk is hideous but podcasts have given me a secret arsenal of topics to drop into all kinds of discussions. There are podcasts for every mood, for me they have given an easy way to consume knowledge, which in turn makes the world feel so much bigger but also helps me connect with others, helping with isolation and loneliness.
Dane Baptiste Questions Everything
Insane In The Men Brain
Stuff You Missed In History Class
Stuff You Should Know