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April 18, 2024

Top Mental Health Podcasts for Teens & Teachers (+ Why We Like Them!)

April is Mental Health Month!

There are many magnificent mental health podcasts from which to choose, so we took the guesswork out of finding podcasts that are worth your time and attention. To acknowledge the importance of both student and teacher mental wellness, we selected three we liked best for teens and four for teachers.

For each, we’ve included links to the Apple version of the podcast, but they are available on other podcast platforms, as well. We’ve included, “why we like it,” along with discussion prompts to use with students and colleagues as catalysts to get the podcast conversation started! 

Take a look, then listen to one, or more, and bookmark this blog or any of the podcasts for future reference.

Here’s to your mental health!

Podcasts for Student Mental Health

On Our Minds

Why We Like It

The mantra for this podcast is, “There’s a lot on our minds, and talking about it helps,” 

The clear, honest, conversations that happen between the teen hosts and guests make this podcast the real deal. 

You will learn what teens are struggling to manage and how talking about mental health makes a difference. 

Discussion Prompts

  • Bree and James advocate for talking about feelings and what is on our minds. In what ways has talking improved your mental health? 
  • Besides talking, what other strategies boost your mental health?

This Teenage Life

This episode includes an interview with stress management professor Jamie Valderrama who teaches the neurophysiology of stress and how to manage test anxiety and procrastination.

Why We Like It

“Being a part of this podcast has been transformative.”

Expect authentic, meaningful conversations about what matters to teens and why. Listen and learn as teens talk about their lives in a safe, inclusive, and supportive space.

Discussion Prompts

  • A comment about participating in this podcast is, “it has been transformative.” What in your life has felt “transformative,” how did you learn from the experience, and how did it impact you psychologically?
  • What makes you feel safe when talking about things that are scary or challenging?

She Persisted: Your Teen Mental Health Resource

Why We Like It

Sadie’s credentials include being a teen and former resident in McLean’s 14-week mental health treatment program. Whether or not she set out to destigmatize the need for mental health treatment, she succeeds through her warm and encouraging words. The podcast provides a literal look into what it’s like to manage depression and anxiety as a young woman, coupled with encouragement for seeking support.

The She Persisted site includes residential treatment resources, online therapy, and other curated content including blogs and books.

Discussion Prompts

  • There are many mental health resources teachers, counselors, and others provide. Share a resource that has been helpful for you, (Teachers: Consider a Padlet if students prefer anonymity).
  • This podcast addresses aspects of mental health that are specific to women. Discuss differences and similarities between the mental health challenges of women and men.

Podcasts for Teacher Mental Health

Teachers on Fire

Why We Like It

What’s not to like about a podcast that describes itself as, “warming your heart, sparking your thinking, and igniting your professional practice?”

This podcast offers a variety of topics like powerful quotes and essential truths from teachers, the “one thing” that will destroy your classroom management, and whether or not to use phones in the classroom. 

This podcast strives to ignite positive feelings about the life-changing impact of teachers’ work.

Discussion Prompts

  • There is a healthy variety of topics to discuss in this podcast, including mental health. How does what you learned impact your mental health?
  • One of the topics listed is, “10 Ways to Show Students You Care.” Whether you listened to that episode or not, how do you show your students you care?

The Cult of Pedagogy

Episode 224: Some Thoughts on Teachers Crying in the Classroom

Why We Like It

We know our mental health improves when we have smaller class sizes, support from administrators, and families who are engaged. 

Along with plenty of content about your pedagogy, this honest podcast delves into topics like crying in front of students. Bravo Ms. Gonzalez!

Discussion Prompts

  • If you are unfamiliar with The Cult of Pedagogy, today is your lucky day!
  • Focus on an episode specific to mental health, then talk about it with a colleague.

The 10 Minute Teacher Podcast with Cool Cat Teacher

Why We Like It

10-Minute Teacher podcaster, Top 40 EdTech Influencer and Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis, honors what the Science of Learning says about how our brains like to learn: in small chunks. With topics like: 

  • 8 Essential Ingredients to Engage Students in the AI Age 
  • 8 Awesome Ideas for Your Classroom in April 
  • How to Tell If Teaching is Still a Good Fit for You 

…if you can carve out 10-minutes (or 12-18 in most cases), you’ll be that much wiser!

Discussion Prompts

  • Short and to the point, The 10-Minute Teacher podcast is a quick lift of ideas that can recharge and refocus your day, week, or month! One perennial topic for many is if teaching is still a good fit for you. Listen to the episode, then ponder and discuss with a trusted colleague.
  • Talk about how you stay in-the-know about your, and your students’, mental health. Then tell your colleagues about your favorite educational or mental health podcasts or episodes.

Teaching Channel Talks

Why We Like It

Of course, we couldn’t make this list without including Teaching Channel Talks! Hosted by Dr. Wendy Amato, this podcast features 20-minute interviews with individuals making an impact in education.

While not every episode is focused on mental health, Teaching Channel Talks recently hosted Dr. Tish Jennings, an internationally recognized thought leader in social-emotional learning and mindfulness, and Dr. Patricia Wright, a positive psychology leader working to expand educator wellbeing.

Discussion Prompts

  • Listen to episode 86 with Dr. Tish Jennings, and consider her Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) program. Do you think a mindfulness-based professional development program would be helpful for you to improve SEL in the classroom? Why or why not?
  • Dr. Patricia Wright is interviewed in episode 78. Listen, then evaluate how you practice self-care. Do you agree with Dr. Wright’s perspective on “superficial” self-care recommendations? What is something from this episode you can integrate into your self-care routine?

About the Author

Susanne Leslie is a Professional Learning Specialist at Teaching Channel. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a Master’s in Education. As a parent educator, Susanne’s specialty is Culture and Early Childhood instruction. In her current role, she writes courses and content, focusing on our Hybrid Blended Learning courses

Fun Fact: Susanne has jumped out of two (perfectly good) airplanes!

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