5 Self Care Podcasts to Inspire Your Practice

As our lives become increasingly more chaotic with a steady diet of bad news, overwhelmingly divisive rhetoric, and a never ending stream of work emails pouring into our phones even after business hours, the need for self care has never been more important. I’m sure you’ve heard that the path to self care is paved with aromatherapy candles and soft bath towels. You’ve heard that all you need to do to travel that path is to unplug for a while and meditate. The fact of the matter is, it’s just as impossible to meditate while crammed on a Manhattan bound, rush hour 2 train as it is to get more than 10 minutes to yourself on a busy weeknight.

Self care is a little more complex than all that. That’s not to say that ritual baths and relaxation aren’t a necessary part of self care. Intention is key. It’s not about escaping, it’s about letting go of what is standing in the way of your overall well-being. Whether it’s anxiety and mental health, or lack of sleep and feeling overwhelmed, we all have challenges in our lives that can’t be ignored. So as part of my self care practice, I’ve been listening to some mind blowing podcasts. These self care podcasts offer honest conversations and real life strategies for improving overall wellness. Here are some of my favorites!

Sarah James, a lifestyle blogger and self-help aficionado, and her bestie Kristen Howerton, a writer and psychotherapist, tackle the tricky and often elusive aspects of caring for ourselves on the weekly podacst, Selfie. Their conversations explore questions like: Why don’t I eat the way I should? How do I get enough sleep? What aspects of my personality make self-care tricky? And what’s the best way to deal with pubic hair? From the silly to the serious, Kristen and Sarah are taking a vulnerable and often humorous look at body, mind and spirit . . . and maybe a touch of the random, all while looking at the distractions and defenses that keep us from caring for ourselves like we should.

Untangle is the meditation podcast produced by the Meditation Studio app. This podcast features interviews with experts who have devoted their lives to helping others through meditation.

In this podcast series, Fearne Cotton, author of the bestseller Happy: Finding Joy in Every Day and Letting Go of Perfect, interviews inspiring individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people every day to find a different way of looking at life.

On Make Light, bestselling author, speaker, and photographer Karen Walrond interviews light-seekers and light-makers from around the world, learning how they live with intention and a sense of adventure.

On the Mom Hour, Megan Francis and Sarah Powers, two moms with eight kids between them from preschool to teen, take on parenting topics and issues related to motherhood in a tone that is reassuring and real— with lots of room for laughter.

Natural Tonic for Improved Mental Health

This brain-boosting tonic with adaptogenic herbs will aid in improving your overall mental health by balancing your neurotransmitters to keep you happy, stress-free, focused, and energized.

Mental Health Natural Tonic Ingredient Breakdown

Lemon

Citrus fruits are high in vitamins, and a healthy dose of vitamin C can fight infection, reduce kidney stones, relieve indigestion, decrease headache pain, and help detoxify the body.

Cucumber

Cucumbers help maintain water balance in the body.

Fresh Turmeric Root

Turmeric is known to improve mood and feelings of depression.

Fresh Ginger Root

Ginger fights inflammation and is great for healing and protecting the gut.

Beets

Beets support heart health and liver function by helping our bodies maintain healthy blood sugar levels. While the antioxidant power of beets improves nerve function.

Pears

Pears are a low-sugar fruit. They are excellent for anxiety as they soothe the nervous system with vitamin C, which triggers the production of norepinephrine and serotonin, the happy neurotransmitters. They are also a great source of potassium, an essential electrolyte for the proper function of nerves, muscles, joints, and the heart.

Adaptogens

During cold and flu season, the addition of adaptogens like goldenseal and elderberry extract have both been shown to support a health immune system and are available as herbal tinctures (liqud form) that you can easily add to your tonic just before drinking it. To help alleviate stress, add ashwagandha and astralagus, which are both adaptogens known for their calming effects on our bodies.

Mental Health Natural Tonic

Ingredients

  • One whole lemon with peel cut off
  • One whole cucumber with peel
  • One 2-inch root of ginger (if you’re not a fan of ginger, cut this amount in half)
  • Two 3- to 4-inch roots of turmeric
  • One whole pear
  • One yellow or red beet

adaptogens such as

  • extract of ashwagandha
  • extract of astragalus
  • extract of goldenseal
  • extract of elderberry

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a juicer, and add extracts of ashwaghandha and astragalus (for further adaptogenic support) or goldenseal and elderberry during flu season.
  2. Serve immediately.

De-stress With These Mini Self Massage Techniques + A DIY Warming Massage Oil Recipe

Giving yourself a massage might seems as futile as trying to tickle yourself, but believe me when I say that not only is it possible, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll be surprised at how effective these techniques are in reducing stress and promoting your overall sense of wellness. Add the oil blend below and you’re well on your way to a happy ending… I couldn’t resist.

Self Massage Techniques

Neck/Shoulders

Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Slowly tuck your chin in toward your chest to stretch the back of your neck. Place your fingertips on the back of your neck where your shoulders meet your neck. Apply pressure and hold for a few breaths. Release. Roll your shoulders slowly in a circular motion. Repeat these steps as necessary.

Lower Back

So this one requires a tennis ball. Yeah, I totally had to buy one too. I don’t know anyone who plays tennis and Serena wasn’t answering her phone so yeah. Anyway, place your brand new tennis ball on the floor, or in the space between your back and a wall. Move your body slowly so that the tennis ball massages any tension in your lower back. Avoid rolling the ball along your spine. in applying pressure, try to find a balance that’s right for you so that you don’t further aggravate soreness.

Lower Leg

Using the heels of your palm, knead along both sides of your calf in small circles. Work your way up your calf slowly from the ankle until you reach the knee, flexing and pointing your toes as you go. Again, starting at the ankle, drag the heels of your palms along either side of your calf until you reach the knee. Repeat these steps to alleviate lower leg pain caused by rocking high heels, or yesterday’s spin class.

Feet

You can stick to the tried and true tennis ball rolling treatment, or you can grab some oil and give yourself a proper foot rub. Sit with your ankle resting on the opposite knee. Grasp each toe, one at a time, and rotate them clockwise and counterclockwise, Bend each toe backward and forward, and finally give each toe a gentle pull. After giving each little piggy some attention, use both hands to firmly grasp your foot on either side.  Wiggle your foot back and forth with your hands paying attention to ball of your foot and your arch.

Warming Massage Oil

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops orange essential oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil

Directions

  • Add all ingredients into an amber glass bottle.
  • Give it a little shake to blend the oils.
  • To use, add a few drops to the palm of your hand before practicing any of the massage techniques above.

Gut Health Beyond Food—3 Organic and Ethically Sourced Online Stores

Fun fact for the kids: William the Conqueror died September 9, 1087. A few weeks earlier during the Battle of Mantes, William, quite possibly already suffering from an impacted colon, was hurled against the pommel of his saddle, badly rupturing his internal organs. His condition worsened and he died of infection. Attempts to stuff his severely bloated corpse into a stone sarcophagus proved a fool’s errand as his putrefied intestines exploded, releasing a vile smell that sent vomiting mourners rushing for an exit… So yes, kids, you are going to sit right there at that table until you finish your kale.

Kale is totally good for your gut, there’s no denying that. But eating nutrient dense foods is only part of the gut health equation. In order to fully benefit from our efforts toward healthy lifestyles, we have to make sure that our environment isn’t putting the gut barrier under undue stress. The gut barrier (made up of the intestinal wall and gut microbes) is your body’s natural defense against toxins. The idea is simple: strengthen your gut barrier and hopefully you won’t go out like William the Conqueror.

Problem is, so many everyday products can throw off the balance of microbes in our digestive system, compromising our nutrient absorption, our immune system, and our overall wellness. Some of the culprits may surprise you. Commonly used antibacterial household cleansers, personal hygiene products, pet supplies, and even birth control pills and antacids, impact our environment causing a depletion of the good bacteria in our guts necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. The good news is that you can protect yourself by swapping out everyday items with items from these gut-friendly, green living online stores.

The Ultimate Green Store

Natural, organic, recycled, eco-friendly goods- products that are made with your health and the health of our planet in mind. At the Ultimate Green Store you will find a wide range of high quality products in categories such as clothing, bedding, home goods, personal care, and even yoga mats.

Organic Surge

All those toxic ingredients in skin care products can punch you in the gut too. If you’ve already started your green skin care journey with all the DIY beauty recipes I share, you might want to add Organic Surge into the rotation. I’m really crushing on this line of skin care products I got as a gift. Truth: I’m using this more than any of my homemade products!

Our Green House

Let’s not forget how our fur babies for all their cuteness can introduce some yucky stuff into our lives. This store offers a curated collection of ethically sourced and natural products from fair trade artisans. You can find pet supplies, candles, and a pretty awesome line of household cleaning products.

My 6 Favorite Wellness YouTube Vloggers

Sometimes you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Sometimes you wake up totally unwilling to get out of bed. Sometimes you’re just not regular. Sometimes your appetite is out of whack. Sometimes you can’t concentrate. Sometimes you just need a little extra motivation. And sometimes you’re single on Valentine’s Day… again. Whatever the reason for your anxiety or stress, it’s real and it’s palpable. YouTube is such an amazing resource to help you get your groove back. Here are six of my all time favorite wellness vloggers on YouTube! Check them out and don’t forget to hit subscribe!

Sweet Potato Soul

Totally informative videos give you insight into what actually makes up a healthy vegan diet. We’re talking real food here, not mock meat and vegan Pringles (yeah. those exist).

Adriene Mishler

Adriene brings us fun yoga routines that focus more on self awareness and intention than contortion. Beginners will really appreciate her style of instruction.

Mama Tanya’s Kitchen

I absolutely love Mama Tanya! Her cooking show is hilarious and super fun. She’s sooooo New York and her recipes are healthy and nutritious. Just keep in mind that she’s not strictly vegetarian.

Madeleine Shaw

This channel has everything! Meditation, yoga, meal planning, beauty DIYs, plus her accent is super cute.

Holistic Habits

Sarah might seem a little out there, but her positive energy is so infectious you’ll just love her.

Naptural85

This is THE channel to subscribe to for homemade hair products. Step by step tutorials that will have your hair shiny and healthy without all of the harsh chemicals.