The 20 “Best” OCD Podcasts for 2022
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can touch every area of your life – i.e., romantic relationships, self-esteem and self-confidence, finances, job performance, friendships, sleep quality, family dynamics, emotions, behavior, etc.
Because OCD is widespread in a person’s life, audio recordings, like podcasts, can be an effective way to connect with others and hear about their OCD woes – i.e., signs and symptoms, experiences, coping mechanisms (how they deal with their OCD symptoms), etc. Podcasts, in particular, can be a great place to get practical advice from a trained and licensed OCD therapist or OCD specialist, who either has the condition or has real-life experiences connected to it.
Truth be told, over the last few years, podcasts have exploded in popularity. One of the best things about a podcast is its “accessibility” and “realness.” Another benefit? You can find podcasts on almost any topic, especially in the mental health arena, such as OCD.
OCD is commonly misunderstood, misdiagnosed, labeled or stereotyped, ignored, and dismissed, so podcasts can provide accurate information and a different “take” on the condition to OCD sufferers and their loved ones.
From my experience as both a licensed specialist in OCD treatment and a guest on mental health podcasts, I’ve compiled a list of podcasts that I would recommend to anyone who lives with OCD or related conditions, as well as to their family, friends, and loved ones who wish to learn more about the condition.
After scouring the internet for OCD podcasts, I have compiled a list of podcasts that OCD users and experts have deemed to be the “best” ones.
What is OCD?
OCD is a fairly common (1-2% of the general population) anxiety condition that involves unwanted, involuntary, repetitive intrusive thoughts, urges, negative emotions, mental images, doubts, or fears (obsessions), and/or rituals and routines (compulsions). Compulsions are designed to ease the pressure, stress, and anxiety attached to the obsession.
More specifically, the compulsions reduce the anxiety, stress, and emotional distress triggering the intrusive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors. OCD is not only a lonely condition (because OCD sufferers tend to hide the symptoms from other people), but it is also extremely powerful, leaving mass destruction in its wake. It normally presents between the ages of 19 and 25, however, it can arise before or after this time. Research also suggests that OCD may be slightly more common in females than males.
There are a variety of types associated with OCD, such as contamination OCD, harm OCD, relationship OCD, pedophilia OCD, perfectionism or “just right” OCD, checking OCD, symmetry OCD, existential OCD, sexual orientation OCD, reading OCD, pure-O OCD, etc. The most common “causes” of OCD are genetics and/or environmental or biological factors (i.e., a personal or family history of OCD or mental illness, trauma, childhood abuse, brain chemistry, function, structure irregularities, neurotransmitter imbalances, etc.).
OCD is normally treated with OCD therapies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and/or exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. Other therapies that are sometimes used in conjunction with the OCD therapies listed above are transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), hypnotherapy/hypnosis, couples counseling, family therapy, individual counseling, trauma counseling, grief therapy, group counseling, addictions counseling, etc.
When OCD therapies alone are ineffective (treatment-resistant OCD), medications, like antidepressants (SSRIs), may be prescribed in addition to the therapies. Common OCD medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), etc.
Most OCD medications are SSRIs, like Zoloft, Paxil, or Prozac. Alternative OCD treatments include acupuncture, natural remedies, like vitamins and minerals, herbs, like CBD and St. John’s Wort, and self-help tools, like Impulse Therapy, an online OCD treatment program, mindfulness meditation, OCD books and workbooks, OCD support groups, forums, and podcasts, journaling, spending quality time with friends and family, getting plenty of exercise and sleep, and/or developing healthy coping skills and mechanisms.
If left untreated, OCD can negatively affect almost all areas of your life.
What Are Podcasts & What Are They Used For?
At its essence, a podcast is a digital program designed to be streamed or downloaded over the internet. A podcast may consist of daily or weekly episodes, or it may consist of downloaded digital audio or video files that a person can access at any time. A podcast usually consists of one or more hosts, who are engaged in a passionate discussion about a particular genre or topic, such as OCD.
Sometimes, the discussion is spontaneous, while other times, it is “scripted.” Modern podcasts involve a carefully crafted backdrop, music, sponsors, and production. One of the benefits of podcasts is that you can download the digital program or app across various platforms – i.e., tablets, smartphones, Roku, MP3 players, computers, laptops, etc. You can also easily find podcasts simply by googling a topic. Podcast search engines allow you to easily find and share podcasts.
For developers, podcasts are not only effective, but also a simple and intimate way to discuss a topic, convey a message, and deliver the content of a specific topic. Podcasts are also a good way to establish oneself as an “authority” or “expert” in an area – i.e., OCD, and build a relationship with the audience. For users, podcasts are a good way to amass information in a non-threatening and sometimes, humorous or lighthearted way.
What are the Best Podcasts of 2022?
Listed below is a handcrafted list of the “best” podcasts of 2022:
1. Purely OCD
“Purely OCD” was created by Lauren Rosen and Kelley Franke, licensed marriage and family therapists. This podcast holds offers a “unique” perspective on OCD, because both therapists struggle with OCD. “Purely OCD” topics include mindfulness meditation, OCD relapse prevention, OCD acceptance, and “exposures.” This podcast is both lively and professional and aims to inject a bit of lightness and humor into the “heavy” subject of OCD.
2. The OCD Stories
Hosted by Stuart Ralph, “The OCD Stories” is a top-rated podcast designed to bring awareness to OCD signs and symptoms, treatments, and resources. According to Ralph, it takes approximately 17 years for a person to be properly diagnosed with and treated for (after their first OCD symptoms). Between time, however, OCD symptoms often worsen, creating confusion and uncertainty, and making the person’s quality of life poor.
Add in OCD myths and misconceptions that paint an inaccurate perception of what OCD is and is not. Each “The OCD Stories” episode offers OCD sufferers and their friends and loved ones, along with the general public a real-life glimpse into life with OCD. It also offers expert advice, accurate information, resources, and personal narratives from people, who live with the condition day-in and day-out.
3. The Lovely Becoming
Unlike some other OCD podcasts, “The Lovely Becoming” podcast, developed by Mimi Cole, does not just involve OCD (the condition). Rather, it explores a variety of topics related to OCD that are important to people with OCD – i.e., relationships, self-esteem and self-confidence, eating disorders, insomnia, anxiety, depression, body image issues, religious doctrines, trauma/child abuse, etc.
But, although, this podcast addresses a broad range of topics, Cole remains committed to fostering an environment of self-compassion and “community” for every “truth seeker.” The goal of “The Lovely Becoming” podcast is to demonstrate how the same coping skills and mechanisms can be applied to body image, eating, self-care, healing, relationships, and even spirituality, regardless of the mental health conditions.
4. The FearCast
“The FearCast,” developed by Kevin Foss, marriage and family therapist, targets those fears that prevent you from seeking OCD help. It also targets the fear that your OCD symptoms will negatively impact your life, and that you will be unable to successfully move past your mental health issues. The goal of this podcast is to use a question/answer format to reduce some of those fears.
5. Your Anxiety Toolkit
Kimberley Quinlan’s “Your Anxiety Toolkit” podcast focuses on anxiety issues. It also provides listeners with the tools needed to cope with anxiety and any accompanying issues, like depression, PTSD, OCD, etc., in a healthy way. This podcast offers expert advice, interviews, resources, and support to OCD sufferers and their friends and loved ones.
6. Mentally Yours
The “Mentally Yours” podcast, developed by Ellen Scott and Yvette Caster, who are personally dealing with bipolar disorder, depression, and OCD, welcomes people from all walks of life, from factory workers to celebrities. The goal of the “Mentally Yours” podcast is to delve into isolation aspects of mental illness. This podcast was developed to provide people with mental health conditions, like OCD, with a place to share their “experiences” with them.
7. The OCD Whisperer
“What did you say?” “The OCD Whisperer,” was created by Kristina Orlova, a trained, licensed psychotherapist, who is also a fellow OCD sufferer. The goal of this podcast is to help others, globally, get the mental health tools and resources to effectively manage their OCD symptoms. “The OCD Whisperer” is available in all parts of the world, regardless of your rurality. It offers advice and guidance that can be easily applied to a person’s real-life situations.
8. OCD Recovery
“OCD Recovery” is another great podcast. Ali Greymond, the founder of the “OCD Recovery” podcast, offers daily OCD podcast episodes that feature valuable tips, tricks, and coping skills and mechanisms to help you live a happy and productive life – despite OCD.
Greymond tackles the dark issues surrounding OCD in an upbeat and engaging manner. According to listeners, she can remove the “scare factor” from OCD. The goal of this podcast is to provide you with some much-needed OCD support while you address your intrusive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors.
9. Being Well
The “Being Well” podcast, developed by Dr. Rick Hansen, explores all aspects of mental health, including OCD. This podcast is especially beneficial for people struggling with more than one mental health condition, such as OCD and substance abuse or OCD and depression.
Dr. Hansen’s goal is to provide information, advice, tools, and a platform for people struggling with all facets of their mental health, including OCD. This podcast helps you tap into your inner strengths, combat mental health challenges, and foster your health and well-being.
10. Sooo OCD Podcast
What is the “Sooo OCD Podcast?” Well, it is a reasonably new OCD podcast, created by Wendy Nunnery. During podcast episodes, Nunnery shares her personal journey with OCD. She also interviews experts, counselors, and others, who have struggled in some way with OCD. The goal of this podcast is to help OCD sufferers not only survive but also thrive.
11. Take Your Shoes Off
“Take Your Shoes Off” puts a funny take on having OCD. Developed by Rick Glassman, a comedian, and fellow OCD sufferer since childhood, “Take Your Shoes Off” delves into the need for a “world order” where everyone “keeps their shoes on.” In other words, this podcast encourages listeners to relax, put their feet up, and listen to expert advice and personal OCD stories from others – even when it is hard to do.
“Take Your Shoes Off” is a tongue-in-cheek, celebrity-studded podcast that is nothing like a “shrink’s couch,” but rather aims to inject some humor into your OCD issues. Glassman believes that sometimes all it takes to get someone back on the right path – is a little laughter.
12. AT Parenting Survival Podcast
Contrary to popular belief, children can also struggle with OCD. Unfortunately, parenting does not come with an instructional manual, so it can be hard to figure out what to do when your child appears to or has been diagnosed with OCD. This is where the “AT Parenting Survival Podcast” comes into play. Natasha Daniels, child therapist, and mother to 3 anxious children developed “AT Parenting Survival Podcast” to teach worried parents how to communicate and support their children with OCD.
Daniels is thoughtful, compassionate, and supportive. Her only goal is to help parents understand and care for their young OCD sufferers in the best possible way. Podcast episodes range from teaching parents how to help their children develop self-awareness, and self-compassion, to developing stress-free routines for their children with OCD during holidays and the summer.
13. The Invisible Wheelchair Podcast
Donald Grothoff, a family OCD coach, developed “The Invisible Wheelchair Podcast” after a teenage girl with OCD said to him, “I wish people could see my invisible wheelchair, maybe then they would understand what I am going through and stop giving me trouble.” This girl’s ponderings inspired him to create a podcast to help others in her predicament. The goal of this podcast is to encourage OCD sufferers and their friends and loved ones to share their experiences with the condition. It is also designed to offer advice and teach healthy coping skills to people with OCD and their friends and loved ones.
14. The Anxious Truth
Drew Linsalata, the founder of “The Anxious Truth” podcast, has struggled with agoraphobia, panic disorder, and OCD for decades. As such, he has published several books on these topics. Understand, however, that Linsalata is not an OCD therapist, rather, he is an OCD advocate. According to listeners, he has a way of empowering an OCD sufferer so he or she feels strong enough to gain control over their obsessions and/or compulsions, panic attacks, and anxiety issues.
Linsalata’s methods have proven to be highly effective and are backed by empirical evidence and personal experiences. The goal of this podcast is to teach OCD sufferers how to recover from anxiety conditions, like OCD. Linsalata is a “truthteller.” According to Linsalata, coping skills may not be enough to successfully combat stress, anxiety, and OCD symptoms – you have a choice to either engage in the compulsion or to fight against it. It is up to you. You are more in charge of your thoughts and behavior than you know.
15. Free Me From OCD
Another great OCD podcast is “Free Me From OCD.” The goal of this podcast is to help families, who have teenagers or college kids, grappling with OCD. Remember that OCD is systemic. In other words, it rarely functions in a bubble, no it affects the whole family. As such, it can hold a loved one hostage. OCD can feel like the “boss” of the family. The “Free Me From OCD” podcast provides OCD sufferers and their families with the tools they need to fight OCD together. This podcast also teaches OCD sufferers how to better manage their symptoms so they can live productive lives.
16. OCD Straight Talk
“OCD Straight Talk” provides anxiety and OCD treatment specialist episodes to help explain how OCD can affect a person’s life, health, well-being, self-esteem and self-confidence. Podcast episodes also explore how OCD and other anxiety conditions are treated, what they are and are not, and how some OCD sufferers are constantly triggering their symptoms (obsessions and/or compulsions). This podcast is designed to provide support, information, and resources to people suffering from an anxiety condition, such as OCD.
17. OCD Power Parenting
Are you the parent of a teenager or college kid, who is struggling with OCD? If so, the “OCD Power Parenting” podcast may be exactly what you have been looking for. This podcast will teach you how to “parent” your teen or college kid with OCD in a way that will be respected and appreciated. It will also provide you with the skills and tools you need to ensure that your child reaches his or her potential in life – free of OCD. The “OCD Power Parenting” podcast will also provide you, the parent, with some much-needed support, information, understanding, and acceptance.
18. The OCD Chronicles
What is the purpose of “The OCD Chronicles?” To educate. To support. To entertain OCD sufferers and their friends and loved ones. Created by James McMahon, a journalist, this podcast offers personal OCD narratives, including his own. In his podcast episodes, McMahon delves into what went wrong with his brain to cause OCD and his experiences with the condition. The podcast is hopeful and emotional, but most of all, this podcast is real.
19. Hope for Anxiety and OCD
The “Hope for Anxiety and OCD” is a safe haven for Christian OCD sufferers, who are dealing with their own set of OCD thoughts, urges, fears, doubts, images, emotions, and/or behaviors. The goal of this podcast is to eliminate the stigma typically associated with OCD and reduce feelings of shame and guilt linked to mental health conditions.
“Hope for Anxiety and OCD” aims to strengthen a religious OCD sufferer’s relationship with God and other holy entities. The objective of this podcast is to provide hope to Christians amid their journey towards sound mental health.
20. Life With An OCD(INOSAUR)
The “Life with an OCD (inosaur)” podcast is a funny take on OCD from people, who are trying to figure things out while living with the condition. This podcast is perfect for when you need an extra “pick me up” from a rough day.
National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd
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