The conversation around mental health has increased significantly in the last few years. In the black community, however, the topic is highly stigmatized, even when we know that black Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems versus the general population. The stigma, cost, and other barriers to mental health services make it almost impossible for black folks to get the help that they need, even when they know they need it.
A few years ago, it would have seemed odd to suggest that things like podcasts and wellness apps could help people cope with mental health issues. And while there’s no replacement for professional help, these new technologies have shown us that there is conversation happening about these important issues in the black community. The popularity of such podcasts suggests that people are truly looking for this conversation, community, and support system. On a personal level, my friends and I talk about our favorite podcasts - The Friend Zone and SuperSoul Conversations - more than we talk about television shows. We find comfort, laughter, and healing through listening to our favorite podcasters share their experiences and life lessons about relationships, pop culture, and wellness. With regular therapy sessions out of price range, and friends and family busy living their lives, I’ve found that black mental health and wellness podcasts have helped me cope through some stressful times that I’ve faced throughout my 20s.