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Top five podcasts for boosting happiness

There are many podcasts that provide quick and accessible wellbeing advice, but it can be hard to know which to start with. Here are a few of the best

By Sophie Downes, First Year, English

The Croft Magazine // There are many podcasts that provide quick and accessible wellbeing advice, but it can be hard to know which to start with. Here are a few of the best.

In recent years, the number of podcasts has increased substantially. There is now a wide range available, meaning there is something for everyone. Arguably the increasing popularity of podcasts lies within the familiar and conversational nature of the medium, often making the listener feel like they are conversing with a friend rather than listening to a pre-recorded discussion.

Thus, with the current concerns over the misuse and disadvantages of technology, it’s useful to consider how we can use podcasts to promote personal wellbeing and happiness.

1) Fearne Cotton : Happy Place

‘Happy Place’ found immediate success when it was launched in 2018 by Fearne Cotton and it’s easy to see why. The weekly episodes - with different guests interviewed each time - explore a variety of issues surrounding happiness and wellbeing. The friendly, warm, down-to-earth episodes leave you with a renewed sense of calm and reason.

In particular, I would recommend Fearne’s interview with Russell Brand for a topical, and very honest, view of addiction and social media.

2) Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

In a similar style to ‘Happy Place’, Oprah’s SuperSoul conversations are great for generating a sense of the bigger picture. With famous figures such as Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama and Julia Roberts discussing issues such as vulnerability, relationships and healing, this podcast is exemplary for demonstrating that issues of wellbeing and happiness can affect everyone.

3) Mindful In Minutes

There are numerous studies to scientifically prove the benefits of meditation on mental health. Another great addition to our list is Mindful in Minutes. With different lengths of meditation ranging from five to 40 minutes, the episodes can be selected depending on convenience and suitability. Likewise, the variety of topics in each episode, including gratitude, stress relief and self-healing, all promote wellbeing and happiness with a simple reminder to stop for a second and breathe.

4) How to Fail with Elizabeth Day

Elizabeth Day’s podcast flips conventional social norms on the head with her podcast directed at the ambiguity of success and normality or potential benefits of failing. These refreshing episodes feature many guests interviewed about their failures, reminding the listener that in a world so fixated on success, we should remember to be kinder to ourselves and the ‘failures’ we perceive.

5) TED Talks Daily

On a very different note, and perhaps not an obvious wellbeing podcast, TED Talks is the final podcast on the list! Like the popular videos on YouTube, TED Talks raises a variety of intellectual issues on ‘every topic imaginable’.

I find TED Talks great for my own wellbeing because of the motivational and hugely inspirational figures who speak. As listeners, we are implored not only to engage with intellectual thinking and debate, but to further reflect on what we can learn about ourselves.

There are many more podcasts for mental health and wellbeing than just these five. Hopefully, however, these will provide a great starting point for considering how what we listen to can affect our mental health.

Happy listening!

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