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  • Emily Cooper

My Favorite Mental Health Related Podcasts

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

Hi! This post has been a long time coming, so thank you for being patient. Below I've compiled my favorite podcasts, why I like them, and some of my favorite quotes. I will be constantly updating this list as I find new episodes or series that I like, so make sure to check back! 


And as always, if you have any recommendations or comments, I'd love to hear them! 

Oh, and also as always, everything I post here is for educational purposes and should not replace mental health or medical treatment. If you are in need of a therapist, check out my "find a therapist" tab at the top of this page for tips on finding a therapist. And make sure to check out the "available therapists" tab for a list of therapist with openings right now! 

Oh, and one last thing: There are going to be good and bad in everything, and these podcasts are no exception. I urge you to practice fighting against that black and white thinking. Take what's helpful and leave the rest! 


Without further ado... my favorite podcasts!


Body Image/Food Relationship Podcasts:



Food Psych with Christy Harrison


Christy Harrison is a dietitian and her podcast is about " helping you make peace with food and break free from diet culture". This is another podcast I listen to religiously and learn so much! She also has different guests on her podcast AND she talks about cool research and links to it in her show notes. 


Here's a few of my favorite things she's said: 


"When people are deprived of food overall, they gravitate toward carbs/sweets because these are the quickest sources of energy for the body. They break down the quickest in the body to give us what we need in order to not starve, to get things done, to have energy. Which is really important in a famine, which is what diets are." 

- Christy Harrison


"What space would you have in your mind without dieting sucking up all your energy?" 

- Christy Harrison


"Reframe thinking so you're not thinking there is something wrong with you like diet culture wants you to believe. Reframe it to say that this is your body doing its job to keep you safe. It’s responding to diets the only way it knows how. Millennia ago we survived as a species in famine because of this." 

- Christy Harrison


"When you do find that place of equilibrium, you’re still going to eat some processed foods and sweets. Every day, probably. And that’s part of your body being in balance." 

- Christy Harrison


"Intuitive eating isn’t only eating unprocessed/whole/clean foods. That’s the myth that diet culture sells us. It’s just not true. We intuitive eaters have those foods in addition to the fun foods that diet culture demonizes." 

- Christy Harrison


"[Intuitive eating is] not the structured way I teach it people, even. I don’t have to be like, 'How hungry am I?' And even focusing on that too much can be a part of diet culture in a way. 'Am I hungry enough to deserve to eat?' That’s wrapped up in people trying to turn intuitive eating into a diet." 

– Christy Harrison


"Substitute work in one area with work from another. Eventually intuitive eating isn’t work anymore. But with dieting it’s always work." 

- Christy Harrison


“You can have thin privilege (move through world without having constant oppression because of the size of your body, buy clothes at main stream stores, fit into airplane seats) and you can hate your body while having that.”

– Christy Harrison


"Instead of thinking about it as a way to help people lose weight, think about it as 'how can we remove this injustice from society'."

- Christy Harrison




Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield


Rebecca is a dietitian and her podcast is about how "health is being kind to your body". In her podcast she talks with "people from all walks of life about their journey to a better wellbeing. From food to family to sex, you never know what will come up in an episode." I loveeee her episodes and once again, learn so much! Something unique about hers, is she is friends with a former Biggest Loser participant, Bernie Salazar. She checks in with him once a month (the Learn and Grow series) and they have some cool podcast episodes! They'll provide commentary on their earlier episodes and it's interesting to hear what they think about what they aired before. 


Here are some of my favorite things she's said:


On emotional eating, "We don’t feel in control. What we need to do is some sort of escape or avoidance. 'Let me not pay attention to this. Let me not feel. Let me not think.' That’s where we open up the cookies or get a cupcake on the way home, anything like that." 

– Rebecca Scritchfield


"To reframe stress: Pause. Think 'Where am I at right now and what’s happening?' Describe what’s going on. 'I just had the hammer laid down on me… he’s a jerk… I need ice cream'. Knowing what you’re thinking brings it to your awareness. You can’t begin to fix things that you’re not aware of.

– Rebecca Scritchfield


"It’s not the stress, it’s how you respond to stress." 

– Rebecca Scritchfield


"When stress is most likely to be harmful [is] when you isolate yourself. Every time you tell yourself 'this sucks and I can’t handle it', you’re making it true. I choose to focus on feeling enough."

– Rebecca Scritchfield


"People who are close to you want to be there for you, but they can’t without your permission." 

– Rebecca Scritchfield


"Once you know your triggers, then you can plan what you’re going to do the next time you’re triggered." 

– Rebecca Scritchfield




It's Not About The Food with Dr. Stefani Reinold


Stefani is a psychiatrist and her medical background is an interesting perspective to have in discussions of food relationships and body image. 


Here are a few of my favorite episodes she has done:


Eating disorders vs disordered eating


12 Diets of Christmas (This is a MUST listen! She talks about: yo-yo dieting, intermittent fasting, macro counting, food combining, Whole 30, Weight Watchers, keto, "healing" diets, sugar detoxes, veganism, juicing, and portion control. Just enter your email, create an account, and you'll be able to access them. And they are definitely worth the effort!)





Don't Salt My Game with Laura Thomas


Laura is a dietitian based in the UK. This is a newer find for me, so I don't have notes written down from the screenshots I've taken yet. (This is how I know where to go back and write down what they said haha. Very tedious but it has provided me with 24 note pages of GOLD from various podcasts/trainings.) 


That being said, I listened to these two episodes and they were both REALLY good. 



Cut Through Nutrition with Dr Joshua Wolrich and Alan Flanagan


This is another new find for me that I have been really enjoying! Joshua is a surgeon and Alan is getting his Ph.D. in nutrition. This is another one that I have many screenshots for that have not yet been translated into notes. 


Here are my thoughts on the first two episodes I have listened to:


"Food is Medicine"; benign statement or harmful rhetoric?: I thought there were some great points brought up in this episode! And I liked the dialogue between a nutrition and medical point of view. I think they mentioned this, but if not I'll mention it now: The phrase "food is medicine" can be helpful for eating disorder recovery, as you need to eat food in order to regain medical stability. In the podcast, they are more so talking about thinking food can cure certain ailments, etc. 


A beginner's guide to nutrition science: I thought this was so interesting! Alan talked about how to read nutrition journals and how here are so many limitations to nutritional research. He brought up a lot of great points that were news to me! 


Relationship Podcasts:




Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel


This podcast is so cool, because it is real life, one time therapy with real couples! So it's literally like you are listening in on relationship therapy. Esther Perel is amazing as well and has some great one liners that have really stuck with me! 


Here's a few:


“Our survival strategies are adaptations to a reality. It’s just that when we continue doing the same, twenty years later, when our reality has completely shifted, then our strategy is no longer adaptive.” 

– Esther Perel


“Incorporate in your story: pieces for which you have deep regret, pieces for which you apologize. Own your shit. Own the pieces for which you feel remorse, regret, shame. So you can turn the shame into responsibility and then free yourself.” 

– Esther Perel


“Your feeling bad isn’t going to make him happy. Your telling him how much you appreciate how much he has done over these decades, that may” 

– Esther Perel


“Say, 'By creating this silence, I have blocked so many avenues for connection, for conversation, for showing you the challenges of a woman being true to herself.'”

– Esther Perel


"When a person doesn’t feel worthy of love, they replace love with being needed. 'If I can’t be loved, I will be needed.'" 

– Esther Perel


"If you cooked something and he says, 'That’s very salty' and you say, 'I didn’t put much salt'. Who cares if you didn’t put much salt? If it’s salty to him, it’s salty to him. If he experiences what you say as hurtful, what you meant is irrelevant. You have to be able to say, 'I hurt you' without asking yourself, 'What does that mean about me? I’m not that kind of a person. I’m not a person who hurts. Since I don’t want to see myself as a person who hurts I can never say “I’m sorry that I hurt you”'."

- Esther Perel


"You can be right or married. You can be right, but you’ll be alone. It’s never difficult to be right and be alone."

- Esther Perel


"You don’t have to ask to help. When someone’s drunk, you don’t ask if they can drive. When she’s fluttered, don’t ask her to tell you what to do. At that moment, neutralize her. What helps the most? Calm, deliberate taking charge. You have to continue to do your bit, even if she doesn’t respond accordingly."

- Esther Perel


"Each responds on the basis of your assumptions, not on the basis of what’s actually happening."

- Esther Perel


"You change the other by changing yourself. Since you are the one who elicits that behavior in the other, if you don’t want that behavior, do something else. 'Why should I? Why is it always me?' Because you want it different. And that’s enough of a reason."

- Esther Perel


Anxiety/OCD Podcasts:



Your Anxiety Toolkit with Kimberley Quinlan


This is a great resource for anyone experiencing anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder. Kimberley has guests on each podcast to talk about different topics. I have learned so much from the podcast! And Kimberley's voice itself is very calming. I'd definitely add this one to the top of your list if you experience anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder.


Here are a few of my favorite things that have been said:


"If you spend too much time doing yang work [action] you’ll burn out. If you spend too much time doing the yin work [resting], you won’t move forward at a pace that will help you." 

– Kimberley Quinlan


“When someone says to me, ‘I don’t know how to be uncertain’. I will say, ‘You have tons of experience being uncertain. The difference is: I haven’t got a lot of experience with willingness to be uncertain'.”

– Kimberley Quinlan


“'Our suffering is caused by our attachment to the thing that we’re suffering with.' It got me to see that most of my suffering was coming from craving and grasping too hard on certain things. And having an aversion and avoiding other things. Those behaviors were what was causing so much of my discomfort and suffering in my life. Have I accepted that it’s normal to have discomfort? What am I clinging to?" 

– Kimberley Quinlan


" [On judgment:] Do we need to give it a good or a bad? Could it be that breakfast is just breakfast and move on?" 

– Kimberley Quinlan


"Running away from fear teaches you: 1. You can’t handle it. 2. Fear wins always. 3. The thing you’re running away from must be dangerous." 

– Kimberley Quinlan


"If you’re not applying the tools you’re reading about, the reading doesn’t help. How do you ride a bike? I can explain it to you. You will say, “how?” So, yes it is important to get the details, but until you actually sit on the bike, you won’t know how to ride a bike. You can learn about it, but until you actually practice it [you won't know how]." 

– Kimberley Quinlan


"We go to other people to make our anxiety go away. This gets tough/too much for our loved ones, then they react in an irritable way. It’s not their fault, it’s not your fault, it’s just that everyone’s tired. Work at not displacing anxiety onto other people or things. Give your partner a code word for “you’re verbally vomiting anxiety all over me" 

– Kimberley Quinlan


"The learning happens through the mistakes." 

– Kimberley Quinlan


"There is the fear of the thing, but also the fear of how you’ll cope." 

– Kimberley Quinlan


Misc. Episodes I Loved:



Attachment Theory with Evoke Therapy Programs


This is just an episode, but I loved it and thought it needed to be included on this list! It talks about attachment theory and how it comes into parenting.


Here are a few of my favorite lines:


"What was automatic and unconscious, is now noticed and discussed." 

– Jamie Gill 


"Replace anxiety with curiosity. Replace sadness with interest, understanding, and empathy." 

– Dr. Reedy, Evoke Therapy 


[When your parents let you down] "[Think] 'Oh, so that’s not bad. That’s not about me. I bumped up against my parent’s limitations right there'." 

– Dr. Reedy, Evoke Therapy


“Your child’s symptoms don’t frighten me as much as they frighten you. Not because I’m on a different level. It’s just a different role.” 

– Dr. Reedy, Evoke Therapy


"A part of what therapy is is to provide a different experience." 

– Dr. Reedy, Evoke Therapy


"Do your own work, not your child’s work." 

– Jessica Benjamin


"If we look at our children as 'They're sick and need to be fixed', we can’t really see them. If we shift and say, 'I think they’re struggling and there’s a wound there, they need healing;.”

– Dr. Reedy, Evoke Therapy


"When parents understand they can let their children have and express their desires without having to fulfill them, it frees the parent to make a connection to the child’s experience without having to deny their feelings." 

– Alice Miller


"Parents that 'get it' are the ones who have the ego strength to say, 'I have work to do. And I’m not so threatened by that idea that I need to defend against it, that I equate that kind of thinking with blame, that I have to push it out of me onto the child and discuss and focus on the child’s problemness. There is some stuff going on with them, but I can focus wholeheartedly on my part of the dance without falling to pieces and throwing up defenses'." 

– Dr. Reedy Evoke Therapy


"A really great parent doesn’t say they are a great parent. It’s the ones who say, 'I did the best I could and I screwed up a lot of times.' They can talk about their humanness without shame, fear, or dread themselves." 

– Dr. Reedy Evoke Therapy



NPR's Invisibilia


This podcast has some interesting episodes! It's more science/education/thought provoking based, rather than self-help stuff you'd want to implement. I've liked The Fifth Vital Sign, The Remote Control Brain, A Very Offensive Rom-Com, The End of Empathy and The Callout. I will provide a trigger warning for pretty much all of the episodes, but especially for The Fifth Vital Sign. It's about chronic pain and the criticisms about it have been addressed here. If you experience chronic pain I would warn against listening to it, since the ideas presented in it can be invalidating and unhelpful. It is interesting applied to other negative thought processes and that's more so what I was thinking as I was listening to it. 


Anyway, here are some parts I thought were interesting:


“When you’re unable to name and think about your emotions and don’t have the tools to diffuse them. Whatever stress you experience, is directed at, and absorbed by the body.” 

– Invisibilia, The Fifth Vital Sign


"There are problems associated with the intense attention to pain." 

– Invisibilia, The Fifth Vital Sign


"Retraining the brain: You quit walking because of the pain. Your nerves just heard from you, “Walking is dangerous” because you stopped. Next time you start walking, they’ll remember that. They’ll send that pain signal even strong and louder than they did before. You actually just empowered them to send more pain signals. Alternative, if you start walking and it hurts a lot [you say] 'This is my amplified pain, I know what this is, I know I need to keep walking, it’s not dangerous, but it does hurt'. If you keep walking, your nerves are essentially getting the message of: 'Well she’s still walking, this must not be dangerous, why are we firing.' They’ll get bored and give up." 

– Invisibilia, The Fifth Vital Sign


"[Helicopter parenting] makes the kids less resilient, because they have less experience navigating complex emotional situations." 

– Invisibilia, The Fifth Vital Sign


And... that's all! I hope you found this post helpful! If you're in Seattle and looking for a therapist and would like to schedule an appointment with me, click here for more information.

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