This article has been updated.
After an unexpected hospital stay for high blood pressure in 2017, I discovered I suffer from chronic anxiety. I had been experiencing anxiety for years, but didn’t realize it until symptoms manifested physically in such an extreme way.
That same year, I wrote a piece tied to this experience, sharing 10 podcast recommendations that helped me navigate my mental health journey. It feels strange to look back and read it now.
“I’ve tried it all: stress management classes, getting more sleep, trying not to be as stressed, meditation, weekly therapy sessions, acupuncture — you name it. It’s a process, and I’m just at the beginning. My latest step is starting an anti-anxiety medication.”
I’ve learned to manage it and like to say that I’ve made friends with my anxiety. I don’t expect to ever “get rid” of it: I work in a high-stress industry and am still grappling with my parents’ divorce years later. Plus, in America, we are just beginning to emerge from the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean I can’t figure out the best way to manage it. Right now, this looks like moving my body every day (through walks and YouTube dance workouts), taking baths and recording voice notes on my phone as a way to release my worries and feelings.
“Feeling Asian” is co-hosted by comedians Brian Park and Youngmi Mayer, who talk about their individual experiences with being Asian American.
Before Lestraundra “Les” Alfred started “Balanced Black Girl” in 2018, she had a career as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. Today, she introduces Black women to Black women experts in health and wellness.
In “Terrible, Thanks for Asking,” host Nora McInerny has honest and vulnerable conversations with guests on how they are really doing.
Courtney Brame started “Something Positive for Positive People” after being diagnosed with herpes simplex virus 2 in 2012 and discovering how many suffered from suicidal ideation after their diagnosis. When he began the podcast, he interviewed people about their experiences with sexually transmitted infections. It has since turned into an organization that provides healing resources and support.
Bonus: Check out my piece on dating during the pandemic, comparing the difficult conversations around herpes disclosure to conversations about the coronavirus.