Distracting from anxiety with noise

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“In an episode of a podcast I listen to…” is a pretty common way for me to start a sentence.

I get lost in my head. A lot. I’ll start off thinking about something nice that has happened or could happen, and then be thinking about all the bad things that could come of it. I’ll replay fights I’ve had or could have, always following the worst case scenario paths until I’m feeling all the horrible emotions so strongly, it’s as if these things were actually happening.15722572132_c875823cc0_o

Singing used to be the only thing to get me out of these loops, but listening to podcasts has been added to the list. It’s one of the most effective ways of pulling me out of my anxiety.

While a lot of people make fun of me for how often I tell them about something I heard in an episode of a podcast, I also get asked a lot for a list of what I listen to. So, here it is!

All We Cannot Say: I’m actually writing for the website version of this podcast soon. Camilla Ruth hosts the show. She chats with folks about love, sex and relationships. I always learn a lot from both her and her guests. And it’s recorded with a really conversational tone, which is rad.

Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People: Host and comedian Chris lets someone call him each week and then he chats with them about whatever they want to talk about for one hour, no more. The stories they tell are hilarious and heartwarming. So hard to focus on anxiety during this show.

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Budgets and Cents: As a freelancer, my number one source of anxiety is worrying about money. The gals who host this podcast about money are also freelancers, so I get some helpful tips from them.

Call Your Girlfriend: Funny story. During an interview for a podcast, one of the only two feminists I look up to whose name I could remember was Aminatou Sow. She’s one of the hosts of this show!

Criminal: Each episode covers a short crime story. Often, they’re both hilarious and educational.

Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids: The hosts travel across Canada to host events where adults get on stage and read out stories, poems, lyrics, journal entries, letters and more that they wrote as children. Hilarious.

Guys We Fucked: This podcast has legit changed my life. The hosts are two hilarious comedians who also happen to be women and feminists. They give advice, discuss tough topics and bring on hilarious guests. They talk candidly about their kinks, sexual misadventures and gross bodily functions, making me feel more comfortable with myself.

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HerMoney with Jean Chatzky: Though focused on Americans, Jean gives readers tons of tips that can translate to folks in other countries, and of other genders. It really lights a fire under my butt to focus more on my financial situation.

Love + Radio: This one’s episodes are kind of hit and miss for me, but some are super rad.

Modern Love: Each episode, someone famous writes an essay written about love. At the end, the writer comes back to reflect on their story. I’ve learned so much about relationships from this podcast.

Real Crime Profiles: Three professionals take a look at high profile murder cases, focusing on the victims who lost their lives. A friend of mine shared an article with me about why people with anxiety enjoy horror stories. Listening to this works the same sort of way for me.

Sunday Dispatches: Quick weekly tips about freelancing from a super rad feminist vegan. Love Paul Garvis.

This American Life: Most weeks, there’s a topic and then a few stories on the issue. Each episode is rather different, so I recommend just checking out a couple that focus on something you’re interested in.

Although the list of episodes I have yet to listen to is getting out of hand (70+, guess what I’m doing on my drive to Calgary from Montana today?), I’m open to adding a couple newbies to the list. Comment below or tweet me your favs.

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