Podcasts and Books to Help De-Stress During the Holidays

During this holiday season you may find yourself overwhelmed, and that's okay. Most people are. Holidays and vacations are filled with joy and fun, but can also be filled with anxiety and sometimes depression. These feelings are nothing to be ashamed of; however, it is best to find ways to exercise self care. These feelings are clear indications that you need to make time for yourself and understand the feelings that you are experiencing. 


There are so many resources at our fingertips that can help us decompress, relax, and enjoy the season. We live in a technology era. Fortunately for us, there are podcasts from just about any expert you could possibly want to listen to. Today, let's look at a list of podcasts that are healthy resources for our mental fitness.




There are a lot of different aspects that we can dive into regarding mental health podcasts. But, here are a few that address the overall spectrum. There is something for everyone on these shows: 


If you are more into tips and tricks or learning how to manage and cope with stress and anxiety or other mental health issues, these podcasts could be right up your alley:


Therapists Lori Gottlieb, LMFT, and Guy Winch, Ph.D., form a unique team in this stellar therapy podcast. Each episode, Gottlieb and Dr. Winch guides a random person through a particular struggle or challenge. They provide probing, insightful and actionable advice on how to cope with & handle the challenge. They talk directly with the guest and then confer with each other behind the scenes. This enables them to dive deeper than they would in an average therapy session. To close the show, they are able to enlighten the audience (and the guest) with a more thorough, proactive way to address the situation.


Dr. Robert Duff, is a psychologist located in sunny Southern California. He created this podcast after becoming frustrated with the overwhelming spectrum of psychological issues. In an effort to put it all into simple and easy to understand language, he became a popular podcast content creator. The episodes address a variety of mental health questions from listeners as well as thought provoking interviews with mental health experts.


  • The Mental Illness Happy Hour

This podcast has more than 500 episodes! The Mental Illness Happy Hour provides weekly conversations & interviews. You can learn how comedians, artists, doctors and many others deal with everything involving mental illness, trauma, addiction, and so much more! You can listen to this via both Spotify and Apple Podcasts.


  • NPR has a playlist to destress for the holidays. It is highly recommended and worth the time to enjoy it. There is definitely something for everyone on the list.


Dr. Burns has years of expertise which he uses to approach common mental health topics in his podcast. Dr. Burns is a certified psychiatrist with an M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine. He is an author that has reached #1 of the most recommended self-help books on depression. He teaches his audience how to use powerful tools to effectively manage and possibly overcome depression and anxiety. 


Mental illness is a lot like a mess you constantly have to clean up. Dr. Caroline Leaf, cognitive neuroscience and author, has dedicated her podcasts to helping others clean it up. These podcasts are full of practical, real-world advice to help you control your emotional, physical, and mental health. 



Did you know that reading has been scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to calm and de-stress the brain? This is according to a study from the University of Sussex in 2009. Enjoying a book for even 6 minutes a day can reduce stress by up to 68%. So, in light of this scientific data, feel free to pick up a book and spend a little time, guilt free! Here are a few ideas that can help you explore the world of mental health:


  • Just Sit”, by Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz

Since we are on the topic of studies, did you know that studies also indicate meditation can help with a number of physical, mental and emotional issues?  It’s true, from calming anxiety to improving body image! That's the goal behind this self-help book by sisters-in-law Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz. This illustrated meditation guidebook will help you on your personal journey toward inner peace while blocking out external stressors.


Pransky is a popular yoga teacher. In her book, she shares her 10-step "Calm Body, Clear Mind, Open Heart" program to help her readers take the time to listen to their bodies and relax. 



There you have it! A collection of a few podcasts and books that will  guide you in your ongoing effort to de-stress. Life is a journey, if we listen to the needs of our mind & body and practice self care, it can be a much more enjoyable experience. The next time you need to decompress and relax, check out one of the aforementioned titles. 

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