If you’re anything like me, the new year followed by the month of January becomes a time of reflection and goal setting. Of course, we always say that this will be the year that we’re going to lose the extra 10 pounds, get the additional hour of sleep each night, or strive to find a hobby that is meaningful somewhere in between our never-ending “to do” list. At the same time, ideas of new years resolutions have become associated with gyms that overcrowd solely in the month of January, and de-clutter projects in the home that quickly refill with knick-knacks and junk.
So how exactly do we stay on top of our health and wellness goals throughout the entire year? With the era of the podcast at its height, health and wellness support from the experts is quite literally at your fingertips with thousands of resources available for free to help with physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. As we prepare to wrap up January, here’s a list of 15 of our favorite health and wellness podcasts, apps, and audiobooks to keep your mind and body feeling well throughout the year.
With over 30 million users in 190 countries, Headspace is one of the world’s most popular apps for mindfulness and meditation. With guided meditation activities and advice, Headspace works to help users destress, find inner calm, and improve their overall quality of sleep each night. Free trials are available for users to sample headspace along with paid packages with various topics to target mindfulness in sport, commuting, and day-to-day living.
Founded in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe, Headspace’s creator boasts a background as a former Tibetan Buddhist monk, performer, and author from London. Users of Headspace have reported improved attention spans, alertness, and immediate relaxation.
Exhale is the first emotional wellness app designed specifically for and by black and indigenous women of color (BIPOC). Through BIWOC-curated content, such as meditations, coaching lectures, affirmations, guided visualizations, and breathwork, the app encourages self-care, mindfulness, and relaxation. Launched in 2020 by Katara McCarty, Exhale covers subject matter ranging from inner peace to handling of stress and systems of oppression that women of color still face around the world. McCarty is also the author of Pretty Girl: Teaching Girls What Pretty Really Is.
Branded as the “habit-forming to-do list”, Streaks is a simple, but effective way to stay on top of your goals for improved physical and mental well-being. Users can choose up to 6 tasks to complete each day, with reminders provided to stay on top of your goals. Some examples of tasks that users complete include running, flossing, eating a certain amount of vegetables, or limiting time watching television. Daily tasks sync to the iCloud and are highly customizable for each user.
Asics Runkeeper App
With the ASICS Runkeeper app, you can achieve your running goals with help mapping a course, selecting provided training plans, and earning badges for new milestones completed. ASICS Runkeeper tracks your activity, creates quantifiable objectives, and evaluates your progress along the way via distance, time, and pace check-ins.
Open Path Psychology Collective
One of the largest collective mental health resources on the web, Open Path Psychology Collective is available to those without health insurance, or to those with health insurance plans that do not provide coverage for mental health services. The site provides users the chance to find a therapist local to their area with a one-time fee of $59 to register. Users can access local mental health counselors for just $30-60 per session, depending on region and therapist of choice. This incredible resource helps patients gain access to licensed therapists while removing financial barriers.
The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100
By Dan Buettner (Hardcover)
Longevity expert Dan Buettner has compiled 100 dishes inspired by the Blue Zones, the world’s healthiest and happiest regions, based on decades of research. Each recipe, such as Sardinian Herbed Lentil Minestrone, Costa Rican Hearts of Palm Ceviche, Loma Linda, California Cornmeal Waffles, and Okinawan Sweet Potatoes, incorporates ingredients and cooking methods that have been shown to improve lifespan, wellbeing, and mental health. Featured in publications such as National Geographic, The Blue Zones Kitchen is a groundbreaking and delicious approach to regular nutrition from regions with the highest amounts of lifespans reaching (and even surpassing) the age of 100.
What Happened to You?
By Oprah Winfrey (Audible)
Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma specialist Dr. Bruce Perry present a pioneering change from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” with highly intimate talks. In her latest audiobook, Winfrey recounts personal anecdotes from her background, emphasizing the vulnerability that comes from being exposed to tragedy and suffering at an early age. Winfrey and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves throughout the duration of the book. Listeners will find 8 and a half hours of content and a free option for those who begin a 30-day trial.
How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self
By Dr. Nicole LePera (Hardvoer, NOOK)
Offering a holistic guide to self-healing and crafting a more authentic, genuine lifestyle, Dr. Nicole LePera helps us understand how childhood trauma and harmful events remain with us, resulting in whole-body dysfunction and detrimental stress. LePrera explores these emotional and physiological reactions that keep us bound in cycles of codependency, emotional immaturity, and trauma bonding. In How to Do the Work, readers will find support and resources to break free from self-destructive behaviors that impact their lives.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
By Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk (Hardcover, NOOK, Paperback, Audio CD)
In his latest self-care book, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk explores how trauma reshapes both the body and the brain, affecting patients’ capabilities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust, according to recent scientific advancements. This highly impactful work explains how both highly advanced treatments such as neurofeedback – to home remedies like yoga and meditation work together to help survivors of trauma and abuse.
TED Health, hosted by Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, covers anything from sensible daily practices to new medical advances. TED speakers address questions most listeners never pondered, and offer groundbreaking ideas unheard of elsewhere on living healthier lives.
NPR Life Kit: Health
With discussions centered around practical advice for living longer, healthier lives, NPR Life Kit has covered everything from regulating our moods to breaking away from diet culture, parenting, and health advice for COVID-19 safety.
Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta
In the latest season of Chasing Life, practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on how brain function impacts our physical wellbeing – along with tips for better sleep and longevity in life.
Avid horoscope followers will love Embodied Astrology, a production by Renee Sills. Renee publishes monthly podcasts on the new and full moons, as well as at the start of each zodiac season (generally around the 20th of the month).
Self Healers Soundboard
Building off ideas from her latest book, Dr. Nicole LePera and Cohost Jenna Weakland dive into methods of recognizing behavioral patterns, healing from the past, creating an authentic version of ourselves. For more by Dr. LePera, see above on her novel, How to Do the Work.
Fit, Healthy, and Happy
Hosted by Josh and Kyle from Colossus Fitness, this workout-focused podcast dissect and investigates important fitness subjects including weight loss, motivation, muscle gain, and the practices that contribute to long-term fitness success.
Alec Biron is a New Hampshire native and professional content writer with his M.A. in English and Creative Writing. Alec has a background in covering event pieces, travel and culture stories, and personal essays as a freelance writer.
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‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort