4 Podcasts Our Therapists Love

Our world is awash with mental health advice. The way in which we’re breaking down stigmas and engaging as a culture with all manner of mental health information and education is a wonderful change from the legacy of shame and secrecy of just a few generations ago. But with this deluge of information coming at us from so many sources, it can feel quite daunting to find voices that you can trust. But don’t worry, we here at Lifeologie have got you covered! With all due respect to books and mindfulness, podcasts are one of the best ways to engage with psychological education while participating in otherwise mundane tasks such as driving or cleaning…am I seriously trying to sell you on the benefits of podcasts right now? You know them, you love them, so why not add some therapeutic literacy to your podcast rotation from some of the best in the business?

Without further ado, here are four podcasts that our licensed therapists love to listen to:

1. The Happiness Lab

Hosted by Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale University, "The Happiness Lab" takes a deep dive into the science of happiness. Dr. Santos explores the factors that influence our well-being and provides evidence-based strategies to help us be, well, happier. The podcast blends engaging storytelling, expert interviews, and examples pulled from Dr. Santos’ own life (and others’ lives) to make complex psychological concepts accessible to those of us without PhDs of our own. Whether it's dissecting the pursuit of success, the impact of money, or the benefits of gratitude, each episode offers practical takeaways to help listeners lead happier, more fulfilling lives. And with more than six seasons of episodes already, "The Happiness Lab" offers a deep and enlightening journey that challenges conventional wisdom about happiness and encourages us to rethink our approaches to life satisfaction.

*Bonus: Her Yale course, “The Science of Well-Being” is the most popular in Yale’s long history. It’s also available for free via Coursera. It’s definitely worth checking out!

2. Where Should We Begin

Renowned therapist and relationship expert Esther Perel (who also happens to be a polyglot, which I add here simply because it’s both an amazing attribute and a fantastic word), hosts "Where Should We Begin," a podcast that invites listeners into her therapy sessions with real couples. Each episode offers an intimate glimpse into the struggles, desires, and challenges that couples face in their relationships. 

Esther's unique approach to therapy helps couples navigate truly raw issues like infidelity, communication breakdowns, and intimacy concerns. The podcast allows us to literally eavesdrop on the transformational power of couple’s therapy, providing beautiful lessons on love, connection, and human vulnerability. So, whether you’re in a relationship (or just want to be), "Where Should We Begin" offers profound insights into how best to navigate the stormy seas of committed intimate relationships.

*Extra Bonus: Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity should be required reading for anyone in (or desiring of) a long-term relationship. It’s plain-spoken, accessible, and puts into words the unique challenges of maintaining long-term intimacy while remaining constantly hopeful towards the beautiful project of romantic partnership.

3. Dear Therapists

Hosted by renowned therapists and authors Lori Gottlieb and Guy Winch, "Dear Therapists" blends heartfelt storytelling and actionable therapeutic expertise. Like a therapeutic “Dear Abby,” the hosts respond to letters from listeners seeking advice on a wide range of personal and psychological issues and, with tremendous empathy and a great deal of humor, Lori and Guy offer practical and thoughtful guidance in a one-time therapy session with the letter writer. The podcast not only provides valuable insights into individual struggles, but also delves into broader themes of human connection, resilience, and personal growth. "Dear Therapists" is a favorite for its ability to simultaneously highlight the universal aspects of our human experience while still offering specific, tangible advice for navigating life's challenges. 

*Extra Bonus: Lori’s book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and Guy’s Emotional First Aid are two of my personal favorites. In addition, both have powerful TED Talks that are worth spending the requisite 20 minutes on.

4. Come As You Are

Hosted by Dr. Emily Nagoski, a renowned sex educator and researcher, "Come As You Are" is a podcast that explores the science of women's sexual well-being, but this fantastic podcast is definitely not just for women. Drawing on her expertise in sexual health, Dr. Nagoski breaks down complex topics related to desire, arousal, and intimacy with clarity and humor and an extraordinary openness that is a boon to anyone who is, or is interested in, engaging with the sexuality of those who identify as women. The podcast challenges societal misconceptions about women's sexuality and offers practical advice to help individuals and couples enhance their sexual satisfaction. Dr. Nagoski's approach is rooted in scientific research and promotes a sex-positive, inclusive, and body-affirming perspective on sexuality. "Come As You Are" is an informative and empowering podcast that sheds light on the intricacies of sexual pleasure and helps listeners embrace and celebrate their unique sexual journeys. Unfortunately, with only one season so far, this desire expert definitely leaves us wanting more (see what I did there…?).

*Extra Bonus: Dr. Nagoski’s book, the identically titled Come As You Are is my number one sexual education book for anyone with any interest and on any side of female sexuality. It’s easy to throw the word “transformational” around these days, but this book, filled with humor, compassion and, most of all, scientific backing, deserves all the accolades it received. 

5. ACT Like a Therapist & Daily ACTs

So, full disclosure, these two podcasts (and their host) have no right to even be in the same conversation as the ones above. But, since that host happens to be me (and I’m the one writing this blog), I would be remiss to not include a little self-promotion. Richard Aab (again, me) is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate here at Lifeologie Counseling and specialist in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. These two podcasts, scheduled to come out in the Fall of 2024, are medium (20-minute) and short (5-minute) dives, respectively, into how we can use the ACT concept of “psychological flexibility” to enhance the quality of our lives. With compassion (I believe), humility (this snippet notwithstanding), and self-referential humor (see previous parentheses), both ACT Like a Therapist and Daily ACTs strive to shed light on psychological concepts while providing tangible and action-oriented steps you can take to live the life of your dreams, whether you’re a therapist or not. Read more about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in this great blog from Dr. Liz Grady. 

*Extra Bonus: You can even work with this guy (provided you live in North Carolina). And, if not, he can personally connect you with any number of amazing colleagues at Lifeologie Counseling in seven different states (and counting!). There will also be a companion YouTube channel for those of you who appreciate a visual component with your podcast listening!

So, there you have it. Four (plus two) podcasts to help you increase your psychological literacy, connect with our universal human condition, and find tools to develop and strengthen your own inner therapist. And, if you think it’s time to engage with some therapy of your own, Lifeologie Counseling has got your back. Meet our many therapists and find out which therapist in our practice is right for you.

About Richard Aab

Richard Aab, LCMHCA, has a BFA in Theatre from NYU and received his Clinical Mental Health Counselor, M.Ed. (Master’s in Education) from North Carolina State University. He is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHC-A) and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Richard has a deep commitment to working with individuals overcoming developmental and childhood trauma, and he combines cutting-edge, neuroscientific research with traditional existential and behavioral therapeutic modalities. He is supervised by Elizabeth Grady, LCMHCS, and sees adult clients by telehealth.

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