It wasn’t so many years ago now—maybe around 2016, when the information cycle first started to feel really, constantly cataclysmic—that “self-care” entered the particular zeitgeist. More than just an instinct to turn inward, self-care can be a necessary and oft-overlooked element of active participation in a scary world: You have to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others; burnout isn’t the road in order to creating positive change; avoiding compassion fatigue is the only way to stay useful. Sometimes that means doing something just for yourself, or taking some time away from social media, or picking up a new habit like meditation or even cooking or running. All good things!
But self-care’s fraternal twin, wellness , offers a more complicated method of coping. Whereas self-care is framed as a strategic retreat prior to returning to the hard work of world-saving, the pursuit of wellness rarely requires turning back outward at all. The distinction that’s emerged is that where self-care can be actively undertaken, achieving wellness may be the vague, ever-shifting goal post that offers no way associated with determining when it’s been accomplished. And because it’s so hard to pin down, wellbeing has created a brand new foothold for some pretty daring snake oil salesmen. Sometimes they might even try in order to literally sell you snake oil , but more often it’s an expensive rock to be inserted into a body cavity. ( Don’t do that , by the particular way. )
Fortunately, several smart plus hilarious minds are challenging this conception and adding science, inclusivity, and truly thoughtful analysis back into the conversation. The podcasters hosting the shows below honestly assess wellness fads, deep dive into accepted-as-true claims, and explore the particular kinds of meaningful self-care that will might actually make you feel better.
Ever wonder what a calorie is actually measuring? Or why protein became such a major part of American diets? Or the reason why some parts of the culture view being fat as the moral failing? Each episode of Maintenance Phase, hosted by Michael Hobbes plus Aubrey Gordon, deploys tons of research and clever storytelling techniques to answer these and other burning questions about health and fitness and diet culture. The particular hosts are charming, smart, and bring so much empathy and humanity to what can turn out to be some tough topics. Get ready to unlearn everything you thought you knew about the health “facts” you grew up hearing.
Registered dietitian Christy Harrison helps listeners make peace with food. She calls diet culture a “life thief” that leads in order to body phobia and disordered eating while pretending to be about health and wellness. Instead, Harrison talks to guests about how listeners may improve their relationships with food, body image, plus fat acceptance.
Poog (opens inside new tab)
Comedic besties and self-described “hags” Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak admit that they love well being culture, even while they also characterize it as scammy. Ostensibly a show regarding two hilarious people trying out the strangest wellness trends they can find (note that the podcast’s name will be just “Goop” backwards), Poog gets surprisingly deep whenever Berlant plus Novak discuss their insecurities, their wellness, and how they navigate being a person with feelings in an intense world. It’s like comedy and therapy in a single podcast.
When this podcast started in 2016, host Caroline Dooner mostly discussed the particular same subjects covered in her book The F*ck It Diet—namely, exchanging the body image issues and disordered eating that will diet tradition hath wrought for intuitive eating and radical self-acceptance. More recently, the podcasting has evolved to look at lots of issues that may seem couched in wellness, but that tend to cause misery. Dooner explores the myths associated with virginity, productivity culture, plus “healthy” dieting in the way that’s irreverent and relatable.
Less about debunking health claims and more about reframing self-care, Sarah Marshall (who also hosts the excellent You’re Wrong About (opens inside new tab) podcast, formerly co-hosted by Michael Hobbes of Servicing Phase—worlds collide! ) plus Alex Steed are just two friends who like movies and…can’t that be enough? Each episode of You Are Good takes a classic, feel-good movie (think 9 to 5 and Practical Magic) and uses this as a vehicle for talking about emotions, what it means to find comfort, and the hosts’ plus their guests’ own unique experiences of the world. The hosts are so kind and respectful to one another that this becomes a lesson in energetic listening plus offering emotional support, making You Are Good the podcast equivalent of a warm bath at the particular end associated with a long day.
You know that saying, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a sweet? ” Sounds Like a Cult hosts Amanda Montell plus Isabela Medina-Maté use this general duck framework in order to assess various trends to determine if they’re merely a healthy pastime or if they are, well, the cult. Past topics include SoulCycle, multi-level marketing, and sororities, as well as the hosts look for red flags like exorbitant upfront expenses, fans that become more like preachers for the cause, reviews about a fad’s “life-changing” properties, plus pyramid-shaped business plans. The particular show is usually well-researched, wonderfully produced, and a little dishy—like discussing trends with your own best friends over cocktails.
Television critic Willa Paskin wants to figure out exactly how strange cultural ephemera came to be, and of course that will means Decoder Ring veers into health and wellness territory. Paskin and the podcast’s producers do firsthand reporting and go deep on history, making each episode really feel like an important document that will explain in order to future generations (or maybe visiting aliens) why Jane Fonda’s workouts were such a big deal, when “hydration” grew to become a fixation, and how storytelling became a buyable product of its personal.
Bonnie Roney once had a fraught relationship along with food. As a young gymnast, she spent years on restrictive eating plans, often followed by secretly binge eating—which she thought was the lapse in her own “discipline” but which was actually the result of diet plan culture myths and an anxiety-inducing relationship she’d developed with meals. After becoming a registered dietitian and working on her very own feelings around eating, the girl now hosting companies a podcast that aims to untangle why so many people feel guilt around foods, and how to break free from harmful diet culture cycles.
Some wellness trends are silly but essentially harmless. Others, however, may send would-be devotees down a dangerous rabbit hole that leads to things like anti-vax sentiments, pyramid schemes, plus even extremist politics. It is a surprisingly well-trod path, and Conspirituality hosts Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, and Julian Walker want in order to understand simply how New Age pseudo-philosophy began to merge with far-right conspiracies—and how to help people who else have gotten sucked within. The hosts cover a new group or even individual capitalizing on people looking for betterment every episode, and even keep a running list on their own website of so-called “wellness influencers” which have publicly endorsed dangerous conspiracies.