Every day, ARD produces hours of podcasts, radio plays and documentaries. Making a selection in the ARD audio library is not that easy. That’s why we present special highlights for streaming every two weeks. This time, our tips are all about mental health: May brings everything new with philosophical thoughts, tips, the invitation to try something new or to openly name mental needs in a podcast about pop and psychology.

by Jasmin Galonski, MDR KULTUR

With just one click you can access the best podcasts, documentaries and radio plays in the audio library – you can also receive our tips regularly in your inbox: Login here and receive this article free of charge as a newsletter.

Small and big questions: “Tea with Why”

When things are tumbling around in my head and everything feels a bit too big, I often find it helpful to make a cup of tea. The smell alone calms me down, watching the warm steam mix with sunlight, and of course drinking it: sip by sip. Big questions are easier to answer with tea. That is also the motto of the philosophy podcast “Tea with Why”: What gives us meaning? Why are we so exhausted? Why do we need identity? Why are we ashamed?

Actress Denise M’Baye and journalist Sebastian Friedrich look into the history of philosophy and meet contemporary philosophers for tea. The discussion focuses on both everyday life and the really big things. Sip by sip, new connections emerge and we regain an eye for the bigger picture.

Tea with Why – Philosophy and Us”
Production: NDR Culture

Fertilizer for body and mind: “My Challenge”

Our everyday lives often follow well-trodden paths and we rarely leave our comfort zone. The MDR knowledge podcast “My Challenge” shows us how exciting and rewarding it can be to face new challenges and overcome your own fears. Reporter Daniela Schmidt and her colleagues undertake a new self-experiment every two weeks: for example, running a half marathon, fasting or walking barefoot. Even particularly intimate topics become a challenge here: for example, finding a healthy way to deal with anger, overcoming depression or learning to say “no”.

Always accompanied by a microphone, the journalists take us on their journey of experience, while scientific experts from the fields of psychology, health or sport classify what they have experienced. An approachable podcast that turns science into an adventure and gives a good dose of courage to try something new yourself.

My Challenge”
Production: MDR Wissen

Flourishing and flow when doing puzzles: “Mindful”

I used to think that puzzles were the most boring hobby you could have as an adult. But then I heard an episode of the DLF Nova “Achtsam” podcast that radically changed my mind. It deals with the question of what we humans need to really flourish and feel more satisfied with life. This concept is called “flourishing” and comes from positive psychology.

An important component of this blossoming are therefore flow experiences – moments that neither over- nor under-challenge us and in which we are completely absorbed. So I gave the 1,000-piece puzzle a chance and was surprised at how much relaxation and joy it brought me to put together a beautiful floral pattern with my own hands. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a puzzle – painting, crafting, reading or breakfast with friends can also lead to a flow experience.

Journalist Diane Hielscher and psychologist Main Huong Nguyen are very enthusiastic about the topic and give practical tips on how mindfulness can enrich our lives. They also show that psychology can be so much more than just dealing with the dark side of being human: it is about how happiness, optimism, security and trust can be actively strengthened. As a small service bonus, each episode has a small meditation exercise at the end.

Production: Deutschlandfunk Nova

Podcast about pop and psyche: “Thank you, good.”

Nationwide, more than one in four adults meet the criteria for a mental illness over the course of a year. Five million people in Germany alone suffer from depression. Despite this, the most common answer to the question of how one is doing is: “Thanks, fine.” Because people don’t like to talk about mental health.

Journalist Miriam Davoudvandi wants to change that. In “Thank you, good – the podcast about pop and psychology” she meets public figures to look behind the facade of the dazzling headlines. People like Sido, Bill Kaulitz and Sahra Wagenknecht reveal their very personal stories, talk about their childhood, diagnoses and hospital stays. It really gets to the heart of the matter: addiction, self-harming behavior, panic attacks and psychosis.

This podcast shines above all because of its host, Miriam Davoudvandi, who has a big heart for pop culture and at the same time uses a lot of sensitivity in her interviews to bring to light topics that would otherwise have remained hidden. She sets a good example by always bringing in herself and her own experience with depression, thus showing that it is possible to destigmatize mental illness.

“Thank you, good. – The podcast about pop and psyche”
Production: WDR Cosmo

Guide through the jungle of therapies: “Therapyland”

When the biographical backpack has become too heavy to carry and feelings of being overwhelmed and hopeless are so overwhelming that we can no longer cope with our everyday lives, then it is time to get help. But how do you find a suitable therapist? Which form of therapy is right for my needs? What can I expect from this therapy?

The “Therapieland” podcast is a low-threshold guide through the therapy jungle and provides answers to all of these questions. In six episodes, journalist Pia Rauschenberger and psychotherapist Thorsten Padberg let us look behind the otherwise closed doors of psychotherapy, giving us a lot of orientation and thus reducing any possible fears about the topic.

Production: Deutschlandfunk Kultur
6 episodes

About meI’m Jasmin Galonski, I live in Halle and I love well-told stories. For me as an audiophile, the sound design always has to be right. In the ARD audio library and media library, I take in everything that shines with good storytelling, has to do with feminism and motherhood, identity politics, pop culture, mental health and delicious food.

If you are not feeling well, you should confide in your relatives and your family doctor.

Do you have depressive thoughts? You can get help around the clock from the telephone counseling service: On the hotline: 0800-111 0 111 or 0800-111 0 222 You will receive help from professional advisors. Anonymously and free of charge.

Editorial editing: Katrin Schlenstedt

This topic in the program:MDR+ | My Challenge | May 3, 2024 | 12:00 p.m.