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5 Podcasts/Books to Improve Self-care, Wellness, and Mental Health

With the New Year upon us and our resolutions officially under way, we all could use an occasional helping hand to stay on track and take care of ourselves. Self-care is a critical for relieving stress and maintaining your physical and mental health. Self-care is not being selfish—it’s like putting on your airplane oxygen mask in an emergency so you can help others put on theirs. You need to be strong yourself so you can be strong for the other people in your life.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott

A great way to promote self-care is with a good book or podcast that reminds and encourages you to do just that, even when life gets busy!

These can be great tools to help you focus on your own needs through education, self-awareness, and mindfulness. Below are 5 podcasts and 5 books that you may want to check out if you’d like to make self-care, wellness, and robust mental health a priority this year and beyond.

5 Podcasts You Won’t Want to Miss

Live Awake

The Live Awake podcast helps bring you back to your grounded center through reflection and guided meditation. This podcast lends a new outlook to life’s sometimes-hard landscape. Perspective is everything, and by choosing to live awake to all that blooms in front of us we begin to live a more empowered life, where joy becomes our natural state of being rather than something we occasionally stumble upon.

The Hilarious World of Depression

A show about clinical depression…with laughs? Well, yes. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating disease experienced by millions, yet it’s often stigmatized by society. The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe.

Not Another Anxiety Show

A podcast for all: from the always anxious to the occasionally overwhelmed to the painfully panicked. Join your host Kelli Walker—registered nurse, certified health and wellness coach, and former agoraphobe—on an anxiety adventure. Learn what anxiety really is, why the best of us can get caught in its web, and how to move past its sticky grip.

Happy Place

Fearne Cotton talks to incredible people about life, love, loss, and everything in-between as she reveals what happiness means to them.


Gretchen Rubin is HAPPIER, and she wants you to be happier too. The #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast.

BONUS! Podcast recommendations from some of our own Lifestyle Health Coaches:

On Being

On Being takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers—some you know and others you’ll love to meet. Every Thursday a new episode is released with a new discovery about the immensity of our lives. Hosted by Krista Tippett.

Cellular Healing

Cellular Healing TV live weekly podcasts offer free nutrition, weight-loss, exercise, and wellness advice from Dr. Pompa and guests, including interviews with top health experts from around the world. Tune in to hear cutting-edge research and information on today’s hottest health issues. Dr. Pompa, a relentless self-experimenter, shares his best secrets and tools to improve your life by boosting your health.

 The Science of Happiness (The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley)

Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe. Hosted by award-winning professor Dacher Keltner. Co-produced by PRI and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

If podcasts aren’t your thing, here are some books that will keep you turning pages as you gather insights about practicing self-care and improving your mental health:

5 Books You Will Want to Add to Your Library

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

(Authors: Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams)

Two great spiritual masters (Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu) share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity. They share their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

(Author: Brené Brown)

As human beings, we have a fundamental need for connection, love, and belonging. Yet we fear rejection and fear that we’re not good enough. Trying to hide our vulnerabilities only creates a greater disconnect with our families, communities, and work. Based on 12 years of research, Dr. Brené Brown explains the concept of vulnerability and how embracing it can change how we live, love, lead, and interact with others, leading to wholehearted living and fulfilling connections.

Power Up Your Self-Talk: 6 Simple Habits to Stop Beating Yourself Up and Reclaim Your Life

(Author: Michal Stawicki)

What if shame, guilt, inadequacy, low self-esteem and painful memories of your past failures no longer plagued your mind? What if you could take full control of your life and achieve the goals and success you always yearned for with just a few easy habits? In Power Up Your Self-Talk he shares the simple techniques that helped him and his readers to overcome the sneaky (and often brutal) self-sabotage of the mind. Power up your self-talk, empower your life, and stop being your own worst enemy.

The Courage Habit: How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life

(Author: Kate Swoboda)

Courage isn’t who you are; it’s what you’re willing to practice. There’s a brain-based science to how we create the habits that either cause us to feel hesitant, stuck, or full of self-doubt–or that lead to our joy, happiness, and success. With The Courage Habit you’ll learn how to recognize your fear-based habits that were hiding in plain sight and create courageous habits that up your joy factor, bring greater connection, and empower you to be a force for good in the world.

Where Your Mind Goes, You Go: A Mental Journey Toward a Healthy Body and a Successful Life

(Author: Clark Bartram)

Clark guides you day by day—every step of the way—with humor and persistence. He draws from more than two decades of experience helping people reach their full potential in every aspect of their lives. If you want to fully experience what it’s like to be the best you possible and get the most out of life—then start on this fun and rewarding 30-day success program today.

BONUS! Here’s a book that is also an interactive journal to practice mindfulness and self-care:

Practice You: A Journal

(Author: Elena Brower)

It was difficult to narrow down a list of only five for each category, and I encourage you to explore the plethora of books and podcasts out there and find ones that resonate with YOU! One of our health coaches recommended exploring the New Harbinger Publications, which focus on a variety of mental health, spirituality, mindfulness, and wellness topics.

This year, if you plan to make a resolution, resolve to take better care of yourself!

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