Podcasts have recently seen explosive growth, and many music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have jumped on the podcast trend. Spotify offers thousands of different podcasts on almost any topic imaginable! While some are great to listen to just for fun, others can provide emotional and informational advice to regular life challenges. To help you sift through Spotify’s plethora of options, here are the three podcasts that I use to help manage my anxiety and build confidence to step into the badass version of myself I really am.
Photo from iTunes
This fun, feminine podcast led by Kara Loewentheil is designed to help women reduce their anxiety, improve their confidence and step into the life they want to live. While it’s targeted at female lawyers, the advice given is great for women in any industry. This podcast ranges from 15–30 minutes, and the hosts aren’t afraid to delve into some heavy topics like substance abuse, perfectionism and imposter syndrome. Here are some recommended episodes:
Perfectionism: Loewentheil tackles the all-too-common issue many women face: the need to be perfect all the time. She explains how perfectionism takes over every aspect of one’s life, and how society imposes this constant need for self-improvement, especially when it comes to the relationship with one’s body. The episode ends with strategies on how to overcome negative self-talk, and how to begin accepting imperfection as perfection.
Love Yo’ Self: When it comes to turning negative self-talk into positive self-regard, Loewentheil has it covered! The “Love Yo’ Self” episode actually helps listeners identify whether they have a negative self-talk mindset and shows how anxiety induced thoughts and behaviours stem from that negative self-talk. At the end of the episode, she gives listeners a fun yet challenging exercise on how they can improve their own self-regard and make steps towards a healthier psyche.
Chill Pill: How To Immediately Relieve Anxiety: In this episode, listeners learn how to immediately calm down when anxiety attacks. Loewentheil takes listeners through an exercise in identifying anxiety and describing to themselves how it feels to distract your brain and ease anxious feelings.
Photo from Spotify
Meditation Minis, led by Chel Hamilton, provides listeners with short, guided meditations (usually less than 15 minutes). Hamilton covers an array of topics, from calming racing minds to increasing happiness. Each episode gives users a tool, such as a breathing exercise or mantra, that they can continue to use after the podcast is over. Here are some recommended episodes:
Overcoming Test Anxiety: Hamilton designed this episode upon listener request to help overcome some of the crippling effects of test anxiety upon listener request (how awesome is it when podcasters take audience requests?!). She takes listeners through an imaginary exam situation where you can practice relaxing and remaining calm before facing the real exam. She gives users some deep breathing exercises to practice both before and during your exam to help keep you calm and focused.
Expectations and Loneliness: This episode focuses on feelings of loneliness around holidays, but it can be applied to college life as well. We can build up such high expectations on what the student experience is supposed to look like. When those impossible standards aren’t met, we can start to feel like we are failing and all alone in the world. Hamilton explores how to let go of those thoughts and provides listeners with a simple breathing exercise that can be done anytime they notice triggering thoughts.
Meditation for Sleep: Chattering Mind: In this episode, Hamilton tackles those racing thoughts that can prevent us from falling asleep using a simple mental exercise. This exercise gets listeners to ‘pick’ thoughts out of their heads and leave them on their bedside table for the morning. This exercise is surprisingly soothing and can be applied to any time in your life where you want more peace and clarity in your mind.
Photo from Motivation to Move
The Daily Boost is an uplifting, motivational podcast written by Scott Smith. Smith’s goal was to help listeners build “unstoppable confidence” to help them gain success in their everyday life. Paired with encouraging music and quotes like, “Today is the best day to start living your life,” you’ll feel like you can take on the world after finishing an episode. Some recommended episodes:
Breaking Bad Habits: Smith delves into continuous self-growth and how being aware of your personal development can drive you to take “baby steps” towards a better future. He explains how breaking bad habits isn’t about stopping the habit altogether, but choosing a better habit with which to replace it. Next time you notice an anxiety-inducing habit, put on this podcast and get the motivation and skills you need to turn it into something that adds more positivity into your life instead.
Seizing The Moment Of Change: In this episode, listeners will learn how to change seemingly negative life-changing moments into positive opportunities for personal growth. Scott explains how, in one of the saddest moments in his life, he stepped into his dream self using the freedom the event granted him. Listeners can use this to apply to their own life traumas by seizing the white rope of opportunity to pull them out of the otherwise black pit.
How To Be Nicer To Yourself: In this episode of the Daily Boost, Scott gives listeners “homework” to give a realistic look at their own life, create a vision of the life they want, and work on creating steps to reach that vision. He touches on triggers that cause negative self-talk, how to notice negative thoughts, and how to replace them with ones that fit with your envisioned life. When anxious feelings start, listeners can use these tools to replace their anxious thoughts with more positive thoughts full of self-love.
Now that you’re equipped with some of Spotify’s finest podcasts, you can start tackling your anxiety and step into the person you really are. From meditation to motivation, the tools you need to start living your best life are right at your ears.
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