How Podcasts Helped Me Battle Depression
It might sound weird, but when you're battling depression and some serious chronic illness symptoms, you need to get resourceful with ways to feel good. One of the biggest changes I've made this year and potentially the change that has made the biggest impact (yes, really), has been listening to podcasts.
I first got into podcasts in 2015, when I discovered the brilliant Radio Headspace, which I'll talk about later on. I was unable to take in much information last year as a result of depression and so couldn't get to grips with most other podcasts I checked out. I think on reflection, I was listening to the wrong types - they were overwhelming and heavy. Now I've found a range of favourites that cover some of the most interesting, useful and important topics to me: health and wellbeing, feminism, creativity, business and inspiration. These podcasts are the things that get me through the week, they cheer me up and motivate me - I end up pausing them to go away and Google something new I've learnt, I'm constantly bowled over by their awesome guests and their stories and I'm left buzzing with new ideas and fresh hope. When I'm feeling down, defeated or just uninspired, I tune in and they sort me out. There's something about podcasts having the same effect on you as having a really good conversation with a friend - they're intimate and honest and most often positive.
So I thought I'd give you guys a low down on my current favs. They probably come as no surprise as I'm pretty sure a few of these are making their way around best podcast lists all over the net, but hey, if they're good, they're good.
My literal saving grace. I have a hell of a lot to thank Headspace for. The Headspace App opened up the world of mindfulness to me, in a way that no other app, teacher or books has been able to and Radio Headspace has quite simply brought me joy and enlightenment. Sadly, Headspace Radio is on a break and there's no date confirmed as to when it'll be back, however, every episode is still available to download and I recommend listening to aaaall of them. Host Georgie Okell discovers how the mind works and just what the mind is capable of with the help of in-house experts, guests and friends, teaching us ways to live a healthier and happier life. Headspace was a way for me to connect with what really matters in life, without meaning to sound pretentious, it was grounding - it brought me back down to earth when my mind was caught up in every worry society could throw at me. And it always, always left me happy.
Check out: #43 Ruby Wax & Paul Gilmartin: Talking about talking about it
Listen with Forage Botanicals
I 'met' Natasha Richardson on Instagram and fell in love with her Instagram feed, website and podcast. Natasha is a herbalist, specialising in women's health (bingo). Each podcast is focused on a different plant, their health benefits and how to use them. I am super interested in how medicinal plants can support women with endometriosis, not just with pelvic pain and heavy periods, but with symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, allergies and anxiety - but as a newbie to the area, it's great to be able to have guidance. Natahsa and her guests are knowledgeable and really interesting to listen to, what's amazing is that they focus so much on one plant in each episode, that you feel you have a good understanding of them once you've listened. It's a really enjoyable way to learn how support yourself further with nature.
Check out: E13 Yarrow with Katie Bishop
The Uterus and The Duderus
How can I do a feature on podcasts and not feature these guys? The Uterus and The Duderus is hosted by Paige of Insta account Paigenoir_endonoir and her friend Nik. What's so refreshing about this podcast is the mix of a male and female host, discussing a very female subject (though a problem that we all need to address globally) and the humour and positivity they approach the subject with. Paige is great at discussing endometriosis in a frank and honest way and isn't shy to admit if she's currently going through a hard time, but still somehow adds lightness and fun to it. Nik asks the questions that friends and family's of sufferers want to ask, but are perhaps uncomfortable asking, and together, they basically laugh their way through what can be a pretty sucky subject. It's a really good way to feel like you can relate to someone, have a bit of an internal endo moan but not be left in a pit of despair by the end of it.
Check out: Ep.10 - Migraine Brain Fog