We each have our own different challenges to deal with, but if there's one thing we can all agree with, it's that there's never been a more urgent need for laughter, inspiration and escapism.
Luckily, we have podcasts to keep us informed — but not to an excessive degree — about the coronavirus pandemic, while also helping to pass the time and ease stress.
As a psychotherapist, lots of patients have been asking me for recommendations. So here are 10 great podcast we all need in our lives right now:
1. 'Unlocking Us'
I can't get enough of Brené Brown, so I was thrilled when the author and speaker announced her new podcast in March. (If you haven't seen her TEDx talk "The Power of Vulnerability," one of the most popular in TED history, I highly recommend watching.)
In "Unlocking Us," Brown interviews a mix of interesting individuals, from musician Alicia Keys to grief expert David Kessler. I love this podcast because it emphasizes topics I often discuss with my patients: Giving ourselves permission to fall apart, processing negative emotions, embracing vulnerability and finding meaning, especially during hard times.
2. 'Relationships Made Easy'
Abby Medcalf is an author and psychologist who has helped thousands of people create connection, happiness and fulfillment in their relationships — whether it's with a partner, family member, friend, co-worker or roommate.
If you're like me and quarantining with your spouse, you've likely experienced a handful of disagreements and frustrations. Medcalf offers simple yet effective tools to help you manage common relationship problems, such as dealing with people who get on your nerves or communicating with someone who refuses to listen.
3. 'Coronavirus Daily'
While it's important to stay informed, too much news can be more harmful than helpful. So if you're feeling overwhelmed — to the point where you're making decisions based on fear, and not facts — then it's time to cut back.
I've found "Coronavirus Daily" to be just the right amount. Each episode is approximately 10 minutes long. You'll stay up to date on what's happening through stories and interviews from NPR's reporting teams.
4. 'The Daily'
"The Daily" is another option for staying on top of pandemic-related news, although the episodes are a little longer (about 20 minutes).
I recommend listening to "24 Hours Inside a Brooklyn Hospital," in which a public health correspondent shadows a doctor at Brooklyn Hospital Center's intensive care unit for a day. Hearing the voices of medical workers, patients and their families really humanizes the experience of being on the frontlines of a pandemic.
5. 'Hidden Brain'
I've always been intrigued by how our brain works and what motivates our thoughts and actions.
Hosted by social science journalist Shankar Vedantam, "Hidden Brain" combines research and storytelling to explain the patterns that drive human behavior, influence our choices and shape our relationships. Each episode really helps you see things from different perspectives, which is essential to understanding the power of empathy.
6. 'Work Life With Adam Grant'
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and author of best-selling books, including "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World" and "Option B" (which he co-wrote with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg).
This podcast is basically a guide to making work less miserable. You'll learn how to embrace criticism and harness the power of frustration. Whether you're trying to adjust to working from home or struggling with the job of looking for a job, "Work Life" will give you a more confident and hopeful outlook on the future of your career.
If you're a music lover, "Dissect" is the perfect escape. This serialized music podcast examines a single album per season, one song per episode.
After listening to the episodes about Beyonce's "Lemonade" album (Season 6), I was hooked. Each "dissection" explores everything from the artist's background and career to the lyrics and production behind every song.
8. 'Juicy Scoop With Heather McDonald'
Let's be honest: It's nice to take a break from our own realities and dive into reality television. Comedian Heather (best-known as a writer and performer on "The Chelsea Handler Show") offers all things "juicy," from celebrity gossip to recaps of "Real Housewives" and "90 Day Fiance."
I'm not the only person who turns to "Juicy Scoop" for some laughter and entertainment. The show has over 9,000 five-star reviews on iTunes and is ranked in the top 10 comedy podcasts.
9. 'How I Built This With Guy Raz'
"How I Build This" is all about founders and CEOs who had a vision, and how they worked through the challenges of building it into a company.
I run my own practice, and this podcast has gotten me through some difficult chapters throughout my career. At such an unprecedented time for entrepreneurs, we really need inspirational stories about facing adversity and building resilience.
10. 'How's Work?'
Therapist and best-selling author Esther Perel's new podcast explores the "invisible forces" that shape our connections, conflicts and dynamics at work. Each episode is essentially a one-time therapy session with co-workers and co-founders.
I recommend listening to "Laid Off and Starting Over," which is about two people who were let go from their jobs and are now starting new company together. Perel helps them find ways to build over their past traumas so they can heal and begin a new, healthy chapter.
Tess Brigham is a San Francisco-based psychotherapist. She has more than 10 years of experience in the field and primarily works with millennials and millennial parents.
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