Ten Psychology Podcasts You Should Not Miss
- The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman
- Baltimore-Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast with Laura Reagan, LCSW-C
- Shrink Rap Radio with David Van Nuys, Ph.D.
- Hidden Brain
- All In The Mind
- The Psych Files
- The Three Questions
- Happier with Gretchen Ruben
- Speaking of Psychology
- The Psychology of Attractiveness
Podcasts are an excellent way to get your psychology fix on-the-go. Now, more than ever, people of all ages are tuning in to understand human behavior, the emotions that fuel it, and the mental processes we all endure. Whether you are a cognitive psychology junkie or you have a newfound interest in the human mind, there are endless podcasts at your finger tips. There are podcasts centered around general mental health issues, human behavior theories, social behavior theories, mental disorders, mental illness, child psychology such as child development, and more. There are even podcasts on animal psychology and animal behavior!
We have gathered a list of ten great podcasts to tune into while hitting the gym, driving to work, riding the subway, cooking dinner, etc. Psychology podcasts make it easy to explore the human brain. Everything you have ever wanted to know about psychology, from why we lie to how we can beat procrastination, can be found in this list. Read on to find your next favorite podcast.
1. The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman
No list of the best podcasts about psychology would be complete without mentioning The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman. This is undoubtedly the most popular podcast focusing on psychology today and has hundreds of episodes to its name. Kaufman does his best to make sure that guests cover the gamut of psychology, including colleagues, researchers, experts, and scientists, all who have a vested interest in cognitive psychology and have studied psychological research in their profession.
Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D. has taught courses in several prestigious university psychology departments including Columbia University and NYU. His books, Transcend: The New Science of Actualization and Wired to Create helped put him on the map. In 2015, Business Insider named him one of the “50 Groundbreaking Scientists who are changing the way we see the world”.
Through his podcast Dr. Kaufman has brought his words to life through a series of interviews. Listeners can find any type of mental health inspired episode they need, from learning theory to how to spot a psychopath, and it can all be found in this weekly podcast.
2. Baltimore-Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast with Laura Reagan, LCSW-C
For people who are interested in a great podcast about psychology that doesn’t delve too deep into human’s own shortcomings, there’s the Baltimore-Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast. Hosted by Laura Reagan, LCSW-C, this is a podcast focused on using psychology and psychotherapy to bring happiness and positivity to every listener’s life. With thoughtful guests appearing each week, Reagan makes it a point to showcase psychology as a tool, not a diagnosis, for any concerns a person might have and makes it a point to end each episode with helpful tips a person can use in their day-to-day life for happiness and personal growth.
Laura Reagan is a licensed social worker who works with a small production company to produce her podcast. These episodes serve as a resource for people who want to understand and change their lives through their mental processes. Specializing in trauma, Laura Reagan has in-depth knowledge about mindfulness and how it correlates with family-of-origin issues. Episodes consist of interviews with all types of people in the field. Authors, other psychotherapists, and mindfulness experts are able to share their wisdom on varying internal mental processes and how to live a happy life amidst struggles and challenges.
3. Shrink Rap Radio with David Van Nuys, Ph.D.
With over 500 episodes for people to download and listen to, it’s hard to not count Shrink Rap Radio as one of the best podcasts in the psychology space. Dr. David Van Nuys has been hosting this podcast for nearly a decade, bringing to the forefront various issues and concerns within the psychology field. A must-listen podcast for any psychology student or professional, this is also a great podcast for people who have a casual interest in the subject. Van Nuys also goes into detail about psychology theory, talks about psychology’s great thinkers, and even touches on psychotherapy and the various types of psychology that exist. He’s even got a “Best Of” list for beginners to take a look through, allowing them to choose the topics that are the most interesting to them.
Since 2005, the show has reached a variety of listeners throughout the world. Dr. David Van Nuys believes that podcasts are one way to keep psychology education accessible for everyone. He has attracted several world-class guests throughout his podcasting career.. Some of these interviewees include Philip Zimbardo, Irvin Yalom, Stanley Krippner, and Michael Meade.
By discussing interesting subjects with an academic flare, the emphasis on education is not lost. Throughout the years, Dr. David Van Nuys has expanded on the style of recording. In addition to audio episodes, he now includes visual broadcasting as well.
4. Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain is a podcast brought to listeners by NPR and hosted by Shankar Vedantam. It focuses on the human mind and the role it plays in decision making, judgment, fear, and other factors that are mainstream in psychology at the moment. With a priority on the listener’s agency, Vedantam takes time each week to demonstrate how psychology has implanted biases in all of us and how we can combat that positively by using simple techniques and rituals to help keep us on the right track.
The term “hidden brain” was coined by Shankar Vedantam. The phrase describes the subconscious patterns we make throughout our life. This includes how we manipulate ourselves into taking mental shortcuts. This is especially noticeable in the social dynamics of personal relationships.
Shankar Vedantam was previously a reporter at The Washington Post and provides educational interviews that are easy to follow. Hidden Brain has been officially recognized with the Edward Murrow Award as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For those who can’t get enough of his podcast, he has also written, The Hidden Brain: How our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives.
5. All In The Mind
The Australian Broadcast Company is behind this brilliant podcast, hosted by Lynne Malcolm. It is a recurring series that focuses on human psychology and the brain. Every week, Malcolm brings forth a new issue, vetted by research and sourced so that listeners can do their own research. Topics range from social interactions to human’s collective obsessions, such as politics and conspiracy theories. The beauty of this podcast is that it’s topical, meaning that every week there is something new and interesting to learn about.
Lynne Malcolm is a graduate from the University of Sydney and has been producing radio programs for several years. The New York Radio Festivals International Awards recognized her talents in journalism. She has also won an achievement award from the The Mental Health Service media achievement awards.
6. The Psych Files
The Psych Files is hosted by Michael Britt, Ph.D. This podcast is one of the oldest psychology podcasts around, seeing as it started in 2007. Dr. Britt discusses human behavior and how it is shaped by society. Ethics, personal development, sexuality, and other motivators are considered throughout each episode.
This is one of the most popular psychology podcasts available in the Higher Education category in iTunes. Some of his videos discuss practical ways to understand complex concepts. One video describes how to memorize Piaget’s stages of cognitive development in a way that’s retainable and genuinely interesting.
The style of this podcast is upbeat and friendly. It shows listeners how certain psychological theories play out in real life. For students and life-long learners, this show will keep the mind engaged long after it is over.
7. The Three Questions
Andy Richter hosts this relatively new podcast about the motivation behind behavior. His three main questions revolve around where people come from, where are they going, and what has been learned. By answering these questions, the motivations and principles of character can be further developed.
In addition to his keen interest in psychology, Paul Andrew Richter is a writer, comedian and late-night talk show host. On The Three Questions, his guests have included Jane Lynch, Seth Green, and Jimmy Pardo. Each guest is asked the three questions so they may dissect the inner-workings of their brain.
Andy Richter is masterful at creating rich conversation. For an entertaining look at how people think, this is one of the most magnetic podcasts available.
8. Happier with Gretchin Rubin
As you may have guessed, this podcast focuses on positive energy and motivation. By helping people accomplish their goals, Gretchen Rubin has become one of the most talked-about hosts in the business.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin is co-hosted by Gretchen Rubin’s sister. Together their humor and insight has gained the show multiple awards. Happier with Gretchen Rubin was listed by iTunes as one of the Best Podcasts of 2015. It has also won a Webby Award for “best of the internet”.
Gretchen Rubin is a bestselling author and has written The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies. Although she is not a psychologist, she shares helpful strategies and tips with her much adored listener audience.
9. Speaking of Psychology
Speaking of Psychology is officially produced by the American Psychological Association. The podcast examines current psychological research as well as contemporary issues. Medical professionals are interviewed to help listeners resolve issues through cognitive thinking. The podcast has been known to address concrete questions.
The impact of emotional spending has been discussed as well as topics on social media. In one episode, a guest explores the bond between animals and people. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and alternative methods for coping are routinely dissected to help with more complex issues.
The range of information on psychology is expansive. Speaking of Psychology has many episodes to choose from depending on what you’re interested in learning. Both medical professionals and everyday listeners can enjoy this podcast.
10. The Psychology of Attractiveness
Hosted by Robert P. Burriss, Ph.D., this monthly podcast covers both relationships and sexuality. The science of attraction remains slightly different for everyone, but patterns are common. Dr. Burriss discusses pheromones, cosmetic surgery, and internet dating. In addition to anecdotal tidbits, academic articles are also included.
Rob Burriss is an evolutionary psychologist affiliated with the Psychology Department at Basel University. In addition to his podcast, Dr. Burriss also blogs about new psychology research. Subjects include narcissism, decoding language, and how menstrual cycles impact a woman’s attraction.
The Psychology of Attractiveness is an intriguing podcast that looks at how psychology impacts our choices. Episodes are beneficial regardless of the gender and sex of the listener.
The Difference Between Self Help and Psychology Podcasts
The self-help genre is a part of psychology. Many people automatically associate the term “self help” with bookstores or mental health pamphlets. Depending on the reason you’re interested in psychology, self-help may be the right topic for your next podcast.
Psychology podcasts can encompass a wide variety of topics. Certain psychology podcasts dissect the motivations behind serial killers and specific mental disorders while others are more interested in relationships or past trauma. Some podcasts are focused on clinical psychology and do not cover basic human psychological traits that a self-help podcast may be better at covering. Self-help podcasts largely focus on mental health such as goal-setting and issues surrounding motivation.
By using self-help psychologically podcasts, listeners can gain a sense of purpose or newfound energy. We have all struggled with mental health problems and podcasts can help us understand that we are not flawed because of it. Depending on the host, some may be more helpful than others. Individuals who are seeking to change behavior often benefit from this type of podcast.
Motivational podcasts that are designed to support listeners through addiction and recovery are often invaluable. Because a podcast can be privately listened to almost anywhere, listeners can find support instantly.
Recovery Elevator is one popular United States-based podcast that focuses on recovery from alcoholism. Hosted by Odette Cresslerr and started by Paul Churchill, the Recovery Elevator podcast is not affiliated with any organization such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART recovery. Each episode is an interview conducted with one person’s journey through recovery.
Quit Smoking With Me: A 30-Day Interactive Podcast is another show that deals primarily with addiction. This podcast allows listeners to feel connected to others who are going through the same emotions surrounding nicotine. It helps listeners prepare mentally and physically for an individualized quit date.
NPR’s Life Kit podcast provides essential advice on everyday mental health issues. One episode titled, How to Stop Being Late, delves into the psyche to explore the root of the cause. Reframing how an individual thinks is ultimately at the crux of psychology.
Motivational podcasts that are designed to inspire listeners on a personal level can be used for career purposes, relationships, addiction recovery, and many other goals. Self-help is just one subcategory of psychology to explore.
Are psychology podcasts hosted by psychologists?
They can be, but not always. Some podcasts will be hosted by doctors while others may have written books on the subject. A psychology podcast can technically be recorded by anyone regardless of scientific study and research.
What Are Psychology Podcasts Used For?
They can be used for entertainment, educational purposes, and self-help. Depending on the listener, psychology podcasts can be used for just about anything.
Are Psychology Podcasts “Self Help”?
The self-help genre usually falls into the broader category of psychology. Psychology, however, can be used for criminology podcasts, educational purposes, entertainment, and self-help.
Where can I find these podcasts?
Podcasts can be listened to on different apps depending on the specific show. Many podcasts can be downloaded as well as streamed online.
Why Psychology Podcasts Are Important
Psychology podcasts can be used for multiple reasons. By exploring the ways in which we think, we are able to trace certain behavioral patterns. These patterns can dictate our entire life if we’re not aware of them.
Psychology is an ever-changing field; every year brings about new discoveries and advancements on how humans operate. Now that you’ve listened to these ten great podcasts about psychology, it’s time to do some digging and find more to build up your knowledge in this field.