6 calming podcasts to listen to if you're feeling anxious right now
- The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which causes a disease known as Covid-19, is causing panic and anxiety worldwide.
- In an interview with Business Insider, licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula said that in addition to seeking professional help, listening to mental-health podcasts can be a great way to address stress over the pandemic.
- Here are six highly rated mental-health podcasts that address anxiety around the novel coronavirus, including "The Calmer You Podcast" and "Your Anxiety Toolkit."
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The novel coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll on pretty much everyone.
The number of Americans reporting they have depression and anxiety has jumped about 50% from before the pandemic's onset in March through June, according to data from weekly surveys of 500 people from Total Brain, a self-care platform.
The fear, grief, and worry can take a psychological toll, licensed clinical psychologist and author Ramani Durvasula told Business Insider.
"Uncertainty is very stressful and is a core element of anxiety," the psychologist said.
In addition to the uncertainty, there's also a sense of instability. Many people have given up their daily habits that ground them, like going to the gym, the hairdresser, a book club, their religious institution, she said.
"Then people have lost bigger stuff — graduations, weddings, family events, vacations — all of this makes it exhausting," she said. And that's not even including the people who have lost a loved one to the virus.
In addition to seeking professional help, listening to a mental health podcast can be a helpful way to start to ease some anxiety, the psychologist said.
Here are six mental health podcasts by psychologists or coaches with 5-star reviews on Apple Podcasts that are addressing coronavirus anxiety and stress.
Chloe Brotheridge, hypnotherapist and author of the books "The Anxiety Solution" and "Brave New Girl," tackles topics like how to reduce negative thinking, ways to heal trauma, and manage grief. A recent episode of this podcast specifically talks about how to be productive and manage stress while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. In one recent episode, she interviews Frankie Jackson-Spence, a medical doctor based in London.
"Be mindful of how much news you're consuming," Jackson-Spence said. "And stay socially connected with people, talk about how you're feeling."
Host Teresa McKee, who has a master's degree in leadership coaching psychology, shares ways to relax and be more mindful in her podcast, "A Mindful Moment." She has episodes that address the pandemic, how to transition to working from home, and the panic it causes.
"Panicking about it only increases the risk to ourselves and others," she said.
Gina Ryan, host of "The Anxiety Coaches Podcast," is an anxiety coach and nutritionist who struggled with general anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia for more than 20 years. Her podcast, which publishes twice a week, usually runs 20 minutes per episode and includes topics such as how to control the physical sides of anxiety, ways to be more grateful, and ways to cope with PTSD. She has a recent episode dealing with anxiety around the novel coronavirus, where she shares helpful self-care tips.
"Where we need to put our effort is in our thinking right now" she said.
Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, hosts a weekly inspiring podcast on all things mental health, made especially for black women. Her podcast episodes tackle topics including how to build confidence, prompts for mindfulness journaling, and how to deal with anxiety around the pandemic.
"Sunshine is good for us, so try to squeeze it in when you can," Bradford said.
In "Your Anxiety Toolkit," host Kimberley Quinlan, a licensed marriage and family therapist, shares how stress and anxiety affect your life, as well as ways to deal with it. Her podcasts range from 20 minutes to 50 minutes in duration, and sometimes feature guest speakers. She has multiple recent episodes that touch on anxiety around the pandemic.
"Support is really important at this time mainly because our anxiety in our body is going to be really triggered during this time, rightfully so," Quinlan said.
Ana Verzone, who holds a doctorate degree in nursing and is a certified coach, walks listeners through daily lessons around self-improvement and inner peace. Several of her podcast episodes are devoted to issues surrounding the pandemic as well as social unrest in the US. From conversations on making sense of death to self-reflections on allyship and how to be anti-racist, Verzone offers lots of helpful advice.
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