Produced by Linh Trinh
MA Marketing Communications
What are the simple things you can do to make your everyday life a little better? How to deal with negative emotions while being alone? What can we do to find peace in mind? If you are also looking for answers to these questions, follow me to discover the three podcasts that help nurture my mental health and mindfulness while studying in the UK.
1. The Happiness Lab
I started listening to ‘The Happiness Lab’ podcast when I first arrived in the UK last April. The reason was simply that I didn’t want to feel lonely while having breakfast. Little did I know that this podcast has profoundly changed my perspectives on happiness.
‘The Happiness Lab podcast’ is hosted by Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos. She takes the listeners through the latest scientific research and shares lots of inspiring and surprising stories on how to feel a bit better every day. I was surprised that following the practical advice on this podcast has helped me deal with negative emotions and change my old habits to have a happier life. By listening to the sharing of Laurie and other guest speakers, I feel so related and be heard. Especially when I was going through tough times at the beginning of my journey to the UK, this podcast has become a good friend of mine to reflect on my feelings and emotions while broadening my perspectives on kindness, happiness and mindfulness. You can find more information on this podcast at https://www.happinesslab.fm/
2. How To Be A Better Human
More than an average self-improvement podcast, How To Be A Better Human has offered me different ways to enrich my everyday life. The podcast is inspired by the series of the same name on TED’s Ideas blog and hosted by Chris Duffy – a comedian and a friendly podcast host. With the participation of guest speakers sharing stories about their own stories and findings, I have discovered many new approaches to communicate better, find gratitude every day, or handle the ups and downs of social media. Especially during an uncertain time, I struggle to talk about my future and my feelings because everything is still overwhelming, and I am unsure how the future will lead me. However, this insightful podcast is like a first aid kit, offering many tools to help me tackle different issues that I am facing or might face in the future. If you are looking for some clear takeaway on how YOU can be a better human from your head to your heart, from your home to your community, you can listen to this podcast on Apple Podcast or Spotify. I hope you will like it.
3. Plum Village
In my previous blog, I wrote about the importance of mental well-being for international students. Nurturing and taking care of my mental health has become my priorities while away from home. After experiencing some downtime or emotional periods, I have realised the importance of listening to your mind and body. Last summer, when I was travelling, my friend introduced me to the Plum Village podcast. Since then, it has been my company through many emotional journeys.
Originally, Plum Village was the first monastic community founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) to create a healthy, nourishing environment where people can learn the art of living in harmony with one another with the Earth. The Plum Village podcast is part of the meditation application, which you can download to your phone and experience a lot of other guidance to mindfulness and calmness.
I am an overthinker and sometimes worry about many things, whether from the past or the future. By listening to Plum Village and practising meditation, I have slowly connected with my mind and become more mindful of the present.
On Thursday 3rd of March, we will celebrate University Mental Health Day. I want to take this special occasion to share my view about student mental health and what I have done to deal with negative emotions and be more mindful of the present. No student should feel alone with their mental health. I hope that my podcast recommendation will help you somehow find ways to nurture your happiness wherever you stay and whatever you do. If you listen to these podcasts, let me know your thoughts and experience in the comment session! Take care! #UniMentalHealthDay