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Listen to these podcasts when the outside world gets too loud

As recommended by those involved with the UK’s leading mental health charities

Listen to these podcasts when the outside world gets too loud
06 December 2018

The podcast medium is a grand one. They require less attention than books, they allow you to stretch your legs or cook a meal in the middle of them in a way that would be frowned upon at the cinema, and they stop you losing hours to listlessly scrolling through social media. Moreover, they provide private havens, audio blinkers to the rest of the world when living in it feels too loud.

But there’s a lot of them. How do you know which ones are actually going to be soothingly curative, before listening and realising it’s just four stressed voices shouting about The Brexit?

Simple: by asking the organisations championing mental health causes for their restorative recommendations.

The Elis James and John Robins On Radio X Podcast

As recommended by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK

Comedy double acts are a British institution, so it comes as no surprise that the Radio X podcast from stand-ups Elis James and John Robins has been a huge success. What’s less clear is how they get away with broadcasting such wildly niche in-jokes, shame-filled anecdotes and unbridled nostalgia on commercial digital indie radio. No matter, because it’s hard not to fall for this pair of Capable Broadcasters. Elis loves Welsh football, John loves drinking alone (ales strictly under 4%), and they both love The Past. The duo bring self-effacing humour to difficult topics like mental health, and remind listeners – many of whom become self-styled PCDs or ‘Podcast Devotees’ – that there’s nothing wrong with trying to life your best life. Of course, CALM couldn’t help but get on board when Elis and John decided to donate the profits from their limited-edition beer. Any excuse to Keep It Session (TM).

Dear Joan and Jericha, Astronomy Cast and In Our Time

As recommended by Ben Miller, legendary comedian and actor, and spokesperson on behalf of the Movember Foundation.

My go-to podcast du jour is Dear Joan and Jericha, by Vicki Pepperdine and Julia Davis. Whatever your problems, you can be very glad they’re not being dealt with by these two. The advice they share is nothing like a conventional agony aunt would give! I also find astronomy podcasts very therapeutic. Pamela Gay has a wonderful podside manner on Astronomy Cast, where she and Fraser Cain discuss all things cosmological in an approachable way. I find Melvin Bragg’s In Our Time podcast is also great for taking me out of myself, and an excellent opportunity to broaden my otherwise limited horizons.I wanted to get involved with Movember because though takes its cause very seriously it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s very different to other charities. Raising awareness for men’s mental health, prostate and testicular cancer by growing moustaches felt like using comedy for good and, being affected by those things, directly and indirectly, it felt very personal to me to be involved.

 (To find ways to support and donate to The Movember Foundation, visit

Totally Football Show - A Life Between The Sticks

As recommended by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

When it comes to football podcasts, few do it better than the Totally Football Show. For Mental Health Awareness Week earlier this year, CALM collaborated with TFS on a special episode in which two mates and ex-pro goalkeepers, David Preece and Tony Coton, got together to chat about the pressures and stresses of being a footballer. Expect anecdotes from two careers between the sticks, and of how Tony sought help after first his playing and then his coaching career was cut short. Insightful, interesting and essential listening for any football fans out there.

Positive Mental Attitude, Mentally Yours and Bryony Gordon’s Mad World

As recommended by Rethink Mental Illness, a charity which campaigns for policy change around mental illness, as well as providing services and support for those who find themselves afflicted

We’ve done social media posts asking our supporters about which podcasts they like and find helpful, and these are the recommendations that our followers seem to mention the most often. 

Mindset Matters Most

As recommended by Kem Cetinay, telly lothario, winner of 2017’s Love Island and spokesperson on behalf of The Movember Foundation.

I really enjoyed being a guest on Mindset Matters Most podcast and it’s become my go-to listen as I appreciate the positive message they are bringing to young people who might not believe in themselves. The chat is lead by two young guys Leon and Saad who interview a guest on each episode and they help the listener understand that your mindset is what sets you apart and you can turn obstacles into opportunities. Listening to the podcast is something that makes me feel energised and I think it will help a lot of other people too. It’s very important for me to support Movember because it’s for a great cause and if we can use what we do in any way to support and to do things like this then it all makes a massive difference for more people to notice.

The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Adam Buxton Podcast and Griefcast

As recommended by Owen Sharp, CEO of The Movember Foundation

I listen to loads of podcasts, I find them such a useful way to relax and I could not do all the travel that I do without them. I do not specifically listen to mental health-related podcasts but the ones I do listen to are certainly a big part of my mental wellbeing. For example, I am a huge US sports fan – especially NFL and listen to several podcasts a day – my go tos are ‘The Bill Simmons Podcast’, ‘The Bill Barnwell Show’ and ‘Around the NFL’. I never miss ‘The Adam Buxton Podcast’ – he always makes me laugh out loud. I still miss the ‘Adam and Joe’ – my all-time favourite podcast. I also listen every week to ‘Griefcast’ – it’s often really uplifting.

A Way From Home

As recommended by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

A Way From Home is a lovely pod from BBC 6Music presenter and friend of CALM, Jon Hillcock, in which he travels to meet fascinating people and chat about their favourite records. Expect top conversations with the likes of Pat Nevin, Tom Ravenscroft and Kojey Radical and, of course, expect to be introduced to some amazing new tunes. It’s relaxing, it’s funny and it’s produced in support of CALM. What’s not to like?!