5 Black Run Mental Health & Wellness Podcasts To Listen To
Written by Tiffany Bullock
The conversation around mental health has increased significantly in the last few years. In the black community, however, the topic is highly stigmatized, even when we know that black Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems versus the general population. The stigma, cost, and other barriers to mental health services make it almost impossible for black folks to get the help that they need, even when they know they need it.
A few years ago, it would have seemed odd to suggest that things like podcasts and wellness apps could help people cope with mental health issues. And while there’s no replacement for professional help, these new technologies have shown us that there is conversation happening about these important issues in the black community. The popularity of such podcasts suggests that people are truly looking for this conversation, community, and support system. On a personal level, my friends and I talk about our favorite podcasts - The Friend Zone and SuperSoul Conversations - more than we talk about television shows. We find comfort, laughter, and healing through listening to our favorite podcasters share their experiences and life lessons about relationships, pop culture, and wellness. With regular therapy sessions out of price range, and friends and family busy living their lives, I’ve found that black mental health and wellness podcasts have helped me cope through some stressful times that I’ve faced throughout my 20s.
Here’s a a roundup of 5 favorite black mental health & wellness podcasts that we think everyone should listen to.
Each Wednesday, Dustin Ross, Francheska of Hey Fran Hey, and Assante get together to talk about mental health. Listening to their podcast feels like listening to your closest friends talk about relationships, physical health, pop culture, and how to get the most out of life. The conversations are presented in a way that are relatable, funny, and therapeutic. They share their advice around topics that may be hard to talk about with a friend.
My favorite episode, The Other Side of Therapy, addresses some uncomfortable therapy scenarios like bumping into your therapist in the club and therapy sessions gone wrong when therapy itself becomes triggering.
SuperSoul Conversations is a podcast by Oprah Winfrey where she brings on thought-leaders, mental health experts, and influencers on various topics who answer life’s toughest questions about finding purpose, getting through trauma, and connecting to the world around you. The people Oprah interviews bring a variety of perspectives on mental health and mental illness, which make it a podcast everyone can find a way to relate to. The conversations in each episode provide a sense of hope and enlightenment and help you better understand how to live your best life.
In my favorite episode, A New Earth: Breaking Free (Chapter 6), Oprah’s guest, author Eckhart Tolle, discusses how to contain negative thoughts and why embracing life’s difficult moments will help you not only manage stress but also live a fully present life.
Holistic Nutritionist and Creative Arts Therapy Candidate, Jennifer Sterling, delivers a self-help podcast that explore topics of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. She offers unique and natural solutions to help people heal, including dance, painting, and sleep. More than anything, she helps break down the stigma around mental-health issues in the black community and breaks the silence about the tough mental health issues black women face.
My favorite episode, Managing Anxiety With Art Therapy, talks about using art as a non-traditional therapy option to help deal with anxiety, cope with trauma, and build resilience.
T-Kea Blackman has had a difficult journey with mental health. She is a two-time suicide survivor who has decided to dedicate her life to provide inspiration and support to communities of color through sharing stories from her own mental health journey. In each episode, she encourages the black community to talk about mental health and seek assistance by telling their stories and creating space to foster healing and solace.
In my favorite episode, The Connection Between Mental Illness & Homelessness, Kea interviews Lauren Hope about how homelessness has significantly affected her mental health. It’s an insightful episode that addresses a situation that over 500,000 people in the nation are facing, according to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report.
Writer and Psychologist Dr. Amber Thornton believes that true mental wellness happens when it acknowledges and incorporates identity and culture. Her podcast aims at helping underrepresented communities cope with mental and social angst that comes with feeling unrepresented. Her podcast covers topics of social activism, mental health, womanism, black culture, and more.
My favorite episode, Black Mental Health, is part one of a three part series. It discusses how depression and anxiety look different in the black community. Thornton explains the difference in experiencing temporarily uncomfortable emotions versus clinical mental health disorders. This conversation is geared towards helping people identify the root of their emotions in order to be more aware of their mental state and move closer to mental wellness.