best podcasts for personal growth/ recovery from depression
November 20, 2013 4:47 PM   Subscribe

I will be doing quite a bit of driving. I would like to listen to smart, interesting, thoughtful people talk about depression, Buddhism, neuroscience, anxiety, brain science, being better humans, rocket surgery, and other stuff, including humor of the not-mean category.

Links to downloadables a help, as Internet access will be limited while driving. Podcasts, rss feeds, .mp3s that you have found, stuff that's free or quite affordable. Not averse to news, philosophy, stuff I should have learned before I got this old, etc. Thanks.
posted by theora55 to Human Relations (23 answers total) 144 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Krista Tippett's On Being fits the bill for a few of those categories.
posted by jquinby at 4:50 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've been extremely happy with the TED Radio Hour - it's an NPR podcast of TED talks and covers different topics with great excerpts from TED talks.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 4:52 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Moth. To hear others telling their amazing stories is both cathartic and therapeutic.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:58 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Buddhist Geeks is a lot of what you ask for although I don't recall a specific podcast on depression.
posted by janey47 at 5:03 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: the host of the Mental Illness Happy Hour is a Buddhist and recovering alcoholic and professional comedian. I listened to it nonstop on a 12 hr road trip last summer. You will not be sorry.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:07 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: With the exception of Buddhism, Amy Alkon frequently has very interesting guests discussing brain science, etc. on her podcast.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:23 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I know your title says podcasts but have you considered -- almost any Bill Bryson book on audio? Like A Short History of Nearly Everything. Or if you are willing to risk running off the road due to uncontrollable laughter, David Sedaris reading any of this books.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me is also a great podcast of this ilk.
posted by bearwife at 5:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You might like Eric Maisel, who is in with the positive psychology movement. Bunch of podcasts here, all downloadable. But scroll down for #1 at the bottom (#18 deals with depression). My husband really likes his books and so do I, he deals with creativity and depression, etc.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Against the Stream is an excellent Buddhism podcast. It's not a podcast in the sense of "two people in a room having a conversation" but actual Dharma talks at a meditation center. Ignore the "Punk" aesthetic on the website - the content is very interesting, smart, and understandable. You can subscribe through iTunes.
posted by bleep at 5:59 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You want funny? Smart Enough to Know Better is a podcast of science, comedy, and ignorance. It's good fun ... and educational. This week I learned that all mammals take about 21 seconds to go pee.

Now. They are skeptics of the highest sort, and they are totally the types to make jokes at the expense of the personal-growth movement. Depending on where you're at in your recovery, I would say that this can be a good thing.
posted by kanewai at 6:06 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

WTF with Marc Maron frequently features interviews with comedians talking about their depression and anxiety. The podcast is not specifically focused on those issues, but they are a running theme.
posted by helloimjohnnycash at 6:09 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I can't vouch for them personally since I just ordered both of these just this afternoon but have you heard of Rick Hanson's books, Hardwiring Happiness or Buddha's Brain?

They're both available as audio books (maybe from your local library?) and there's apparently a Buddha's Brain iPhone app ($4.99) as well.

My therapist recommended them to me just this afternoon since I was talking to her about how my constant anxiety and hypervigilance about the state of the world is causing me serious depression -- and I don't seem to be able to stop thinking about it. I do have high hopes for the books, though, since she is super awesome and knows that I try to incorporate Buddhist teachings in my overall approach to life - as does she. So, YMMV but they may be worth checking out. Rick Hanson also has some interesting downloads on neuroplasticity (and other things) on his site.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 6:11 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: All In The Mind is a weekly radio show on brain stuff and nothing but brain stuff and the archive I linked goes back to 2002.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 6:12 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Pete Holmes' 'You Made It Weird' podcast focuses on themes like self-improvement, being, Eastern and Christian philosophy, and good-natured humor. Also nthing Gilmartin's MIHH, seems like that'd be right in yr wheelhouse. Maron's WTF, too.
posted by charlemangy at 6:14 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I can vouch for the Rick Hanson books personally. HE also has a lovely lovely weekly email called Just One Thing.
posted by janey47 at 6:36 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]
Interesting and eclectic.
posted by PickeringPete at 6:59 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For Buddhism, Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen podcast. Seems to be mostly talks that he's given, plus post-talk Q&A with the audience.

In a completely different vein, but still Buddhist, Open Air with Cheri Huber. This is a call-in show in which Cheri (or, if she's on retreat or traveling, one of the senior monks) speaks with callers about their practice and what they're seeing. I usually find that at least once per episode, somebody says something that goes so straight to the heart of something I'm dealing with, I have to hit pause and sit gazing out the window for a bit while I assimilate it.

And more generally, I really love 99% Invisible. It's one of those shows/podcasts/whatevers that can give you different ways of looking at the world around you.
posted by Lexica at 8:03 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Another vote for On Being. It's just right for what you're after.

I also recommend Studio 360, just in general, to hear from creative people and culture changers and generally help you get out of your own head. That's what I love it for.
posted by Miko at 8:54 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've listened to Tara Brach's podcasts and found them to be inspiring, funny and very helpful. She's also written several books on meditation and self-acceptance.
posted by wallawallasweet at 12:26 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This series of podcasts from Oxford is a really good listen, I found it really solid and helpful. Two scientists talking about their work in applying mindfulness techniques to the treatment of depression. They discuss how the technique is getting good results in clinical trials, and the one guy takes you through a couple of mindfulness exercises for when you're not actually driving
posted by runincircles at 12:28 AM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: To the Best of Our Knowledge has a number of episodes about philosophy, creativity, and suchthings. Totally midwestern-public-radio sensibility.

Professor Blastoff is pretty much the other end of the spectrum, tonally: it's hosted by three comedians who tend to be jokey (but not mean-jokey) and interrupt the guest experts with absurdity, but it can be really interesting sometimes. Tig Notaro famously went through a gauntlet of horrible life experiences last year and her dry-wit take on things is really fascinating.

I'd actually recommend against WTF, since--and this may just be me--Marc Maron seems determined to drag all of his guests down into his own pit of depression and self-loathing. Puts my teeth on edge.
posted by psoas at 8:40 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: in looking for audio by Robert Sapolsky, found this interesting site., and recognized that is a great resource, as well as iTunes U.
posted by theora55 at 10:57 AM on November 21, 2013

Seconding runincircles recommendation for the The New Psychology of Depression series. My therapist recommended them (and their book) and the lecture series is definitely worth listening to.
posted by quartzcity at 12:18 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older You give my website money, my website gives you...   |   Muppet Puppets in NYC Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.