20 mental health books and podcasts you need in your life right now
As we work to make sense of a difficult world, here are some resources to help us remain grounded.
Editor’s Note: The following article discusses mental health and suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741. Both are free, confidential, and available 24/7.
Too many of us are not doing okay. The recent deaths of Regina King’s son Ian Alexander, Jr., Hyattsville, Md. Mayor Kevin Ward, and former Miss USA and Extra correspondent Cheslie Kryst have understandably left many stunned. Additionally, at the time of publication, bomb threats have been called into several HBCUs across the country. The weight of these collective pains, Black life in America and an ongoing pandemic require not only extreme sensitivity, but further consideration of the unseen ways we are responding to the times.
Mental health isn’t always easy to maintain, but we don’t have to do so alone or unsupported. Though not exhaustive, here is a list of books and podcasts to offer hope and healing as we continue to navigate this moment.
Psychotherapist and psychiatric social worker Adeeyo offers activities and strategies that enable Black women to prioritize health and joy in a world full of macro and micro-aggressions.
We Will Not Cancel Us and Other Dreams of Transformative Justice by adrienne maree brown
In a beautiful reflection, brown offers thoughts on the impact of accountability without grace—and pushes us to see the boundless possibilities in our humanity.
Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith by Monica A. Coleman
Coleman, an ordained AME minister and initiate in traditional Yoruba religion, chronicles her journey navigating grief, loss, mental health and faith. Coleman also has a 40-day devotional, Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression.
Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks On Me by Charlamagne Tha God
Dispelling the myth that Black men don’t go to therapy, the show host and cultural commentator provides an intimate look into his mental health journey and offers readers helpful approaches for survival and thriving.
Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability edited by Stephanie Y. Evans, Kanika Bell and Nsenga K. Burton
Resting at the intersection of research and personal narrative with notes of pop culture, this text is essential for those interested in properly understanding and caring for the emotional needs of Black women.
After the Rain: Gentle Reminders for Healing, Courage, and Self-Love by Alexandra Elle
A constant joy to our social media timelines, Elle offers 15 lessons for those looking to see beyond current difficulty and obstacles for lasting hope and inspiration.
Self-Care for Grief: 100 Practices for Healing During Times of Loss by Nneka M. Okona
While pain and loss are inevitable, Okona aids us with exercises to guide us through grief in ways that open us up to more healing and life.
Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength by Chanequa Walker-Barnes
In this classic text, this preacher, psychologist and professor unpacks the theological and cultural implications of “The Strong Black Woman” narrative and calls for those who love Black women to abandon it.
Checking In: How Getting Real About Depression Saved My Life—and Can Save Yours Too by Michelle Williams
Williams’ transparency about her mental health at the height of her career proves that no one is immune to struggle—but that wholeness is possible when we admit we need and ask for help. Williams also recently published The Daily Check-In: A 60-Day Journey to Finding Your Strength, Faith and Wholeness and is the host of the Checking in with Michelle Williams podcast.
Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting by Terrie M. Williams
In this seminal work and important conversation starter, Williams lays bare what it’s like to be Black in America and the impact it all has on our ability to be our best selves.
The Mental Health Mixtape for Black Men: Holistic Workbook and Journal with Activities to Improve Wellness and Alleviate Depression and Anxiety for Black Men Who Want to do the Work by Stressless Press
This workbook aids Black men in prioritizing their mental health and wellness through activities and prompts that center self-care and emotional vulnerability.
Hosted by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Therapy for Black Girls remains one of the most relevant and accessible mental health conversations for Black women.
Licensed therapist Shena Tubbs assists Black women in pushing beyond trauma and fear to enter more holistic and free versions of themselves and their future.
Through words of affirmation and guided meditations, this podcast helps Black women focus on the present and honor whatever they need in the moment to be whole and thrive.
Wellness educator and Chief Impact Officer at Chopra Global, Brown offers tools and strategies that invite us to move away from harmful energies to nourish our highest good.
President-Elect of the American Psychological Association and author of the forthcoming Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole, Authentic Self, Dr. Thema Bryant’s podcast calls us home to ourselves in every way through weekly inspiration and health tips.
Situated at the intersection of faith and clinical practice, Moses speaks with various clinicians, practitioners and faith leaders for much-needed discussions that are often taboo in traditional church spaces.
With transparency about his own mental health journey, Howard talks with Black therapists, counselors, medical professionals and those willing to share their own stories in hopes of shedding light and fostering hope.
As a clinical psychologist and motherhood wellness consultant, Thornton’s podcast aids working parents and caregivers with strategies to maintain optimal mental health as they seek work-life balance.
Through friendship and humor, Fran, Dustin and Assante curate conversations aimed at exploring “mental health, mental wealth and mental hygiene”, offering a much needed weekly lift.
Candice Marie Benbow is theGrio’s daily lifestyle, education and health writer. She’s also the author of Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @candicebenbow.
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