Even crazier than normal.

I’ve been a bit off-center (more so than usual) for the past few days and I’m not sure if it’s because of the moon or the world or my brain chemicals but I do know that even people I know who don’t deal with mental illness are feeling weird right now and people I know with mental illness seem to be (like me) manic or depressed or filled with dread and anxiety and want to rip their skin off.

That is very depressing but it’s also comforting because seeing that so many of us are in this low place is a good reminder that the wave will rise again and we will rise with it.  It’s a reminder that not all of the emotions we may be feeling right now are real even if they feel real.  It’s a warning to those of us who may do stupid things when we feel desperate.  It’s a comfort to those who have to deal with us who can assure themselves that we’ll be back to normal soon and that they are saints for dealing with our crazy.  It’s a chance to practice ignoring the lies that your brain tells.

And it’s an opportunity to celebrate the lovely things that help you cope during times like these.  In the comments tell me the things that pull you out of the dark…whether they’re tools or quotes or books or routines.  Just share one.  And then find one in the comments and go do that thing.

Here’s my pulls-me-out-of-the-darkness thing for today:

Podcasts.

There are a million of them so you can find the ones that speak to you but personally I like the ones that tell me a story.  Especially if it’s a true story that takes me out of my head.  When my brain is so broken I can’t concentrate on even reading it’s like someone is reading to me.  And if I can do nothing else I can listen to one with Hailey or be distracted by it until I’m myself again.

Here’s a list of a few of my favorites:

Radiolab
Reply All
The Habitat
Unhappy Hour with Matt Bellassai
My Favorite Murder
Ear Hustle
Dear Hank and John
Every Little Thing
Family Ghosts
Haunted
Star Talk
Heaven’s Gate
Spooked
Criminal
Someone Knows Something
Finding Cleo
The Grift
The Hilarious World of Depression
This American Life
This is actually happening (This one is fascinating but I can’t listen to when I’m in a dark place, so trigger warning)
Done Disappeared (If you listen to true crime podcasts it’s fantastic)
Inside Psycho
Inside The Exorcist
Secrets (from Radiotopia)
Invisiblia
LORE
Love + Radio
Mission to Zyxx
Welcome to NightVale
My Dad Wrote a Porno

If my head was working properly I’d link to all of these but if you look them up you’ll find them.

Your turn.

PS. I don’t have a graphic for this so instead please accept this video of a bat that is SHOCKINGLY adorable.

367 thoughts on “Even crazier than normal.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. My favourite feel good podcast is called No Such Thing as a Fish
    It’s very good
    Your posts Jenny help me feel good too

  2. Korean dramas. Its a fun break from reality because I dont even speak korean. Plus korean dramas are for the most part predictable. Helps the anxiety.

  3. The Adventure Zone. It starts out as a ridiculous podcast where three brothers and their dad play Dungeons and Dragons and develops into an amazing story that hit me so hard in the feels that it still resonates months later. I’d spoil a lot of good plot if I tried to describe why it’s amazing but there’s one speech a character makes about the nature of joy that is just…spectacular. And that’s just one small part.

  4. I like Escape Pod, Podcastle, Futility Closet, 99% Invisible, The Memory Palace, The Allusionist, and Criminal.

  5. I sit outside in the evening and listen to the birds settling in for the night. It makes me feel part of a bigger whole.

  6. I love Sawbones and Still Buffering. Sawbones is a great medical history podcast hosted by a doctor and her husband; good balance of humor, education, and seriousness. Still Buffering is a podcast about three sisters, two of which are 16 years older than the younger. The three talk about the differences in teenage experience for the youngest now vs. the elders. It’s full of fun, the three sisters love each other and have a good time talking.

  7. Lists. When I’m well the lists can make me crazy but when I’m crazy the lists help me break shit down into manageable bites. I know, nothing everyone hasn’t heard before, but I’ll repeat them on paper, a spreadsheet, in apps… I focus only on the things I know I can deal with and anything that doesn’t go on a to-do list isn’t a real thing.

  8. My brain is also doing bad, off-kilter, unpredictable things lately. My solace is period pieces. The more outlandish, gorgeously costumed, ridiculous, and melodramatic, the better. I watched Padmaavat on Amazon Prime the other day, but that movie is absolutely not for everyone, and don’t do it if your suicidal feelings are particularly strong at that moment. However, the villain of the movie is a TREAT to watch as he gnaws on the scenery. No one has ever had a better time anywhere than him. He is living his best Bollywood life.

  9. I like to watch youtube videos of things like how old fashioned candy is made, colorful ink getting made, big domino rallies, people cutting soaps into little tiny cubes and sprinkling them on things, un-rusting and restoring old tools, and stuff like that. Totally gets me out of my head

  10. Reality competition shows. Especially The Great British Baking Challenge, RuPaul’s Drag Race, America’s Next Top Model or SyFy channel’s FaceOff. Basically people being anxious about a competition that has nothing much to do with me makes me forget my anxiety for a while.

  11. This week I started writing in my journal again. I am writing whatever comes to my mind or what is making me angry or sad at the moment. No structure no using complete sentences just write. I, like you Jenny, have been so down that I had to find something or I was going to lose it, and it has helped me.

  12. The second Equestria girls movie, Rainbow rocks. Never fails to make me feel at least a little better 🙂

  13. The Dollop – one comedian reads about a moment in history (or Uber in one particularly amazing and disturbing episode) to another comedian who knows next to nothing about it. It’s fantastic and hilarious.
    The Hamilcast – A woman who is obsessed with Hamilton interviews actors, Lin-Manuel, management, dressers, stagehands, musicians involved with the show. It’s a different person every week (although they sometimes last two episodes or more) and is pretty fascinating.
    Awards Chatter – I pick and choose episodes of this based on who is being interviewed. The Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) episode is particularly fantastic.

    One that I keep meaning to start is Slow Burn, which is put out by Slate and is a step by step look at The Watergate investigation.

  14. Oh and as for what I do? I read fanfiction. It’s comforting to revisit characters I know and love yet in a new situation.

  15. Researching genealogy … I feel like I’m time-traveling to some place besides where I am physically. Totally get lost in other worlds.

  16. Music… it takes me out of my head and into a world where everything is good and my inner demons quiet down for a while

  17. Big Brains (University of Chicago)–really smart people doing really cool things. And it won’t make you feel dumb.

  18. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one feeling off-kilter. My depression has been lying to me big time, and I’ve been feeling sad, frustrated, and angry for the past week or so. Sleep helps me when I’m in a really dark place, but I have to be careful not to sleep too much. Also, reading James Herriot’s books are great. They’re based on the author’s experiences of being a country vet in Yorkshire, England starting in the 1930s. It totally gets me out of my head.

  19. You should check out Strangerville podcast at itjustgetsstranger.com and I’m not just saying that because I’ve been a guest storyteller on there a couple times. I like Eli and Meg’s banter and I LOVE the true stories told by their guests. They are heading into their second year and have really improved the format.

  20. I only listen to a few podcasts, but The Hilarious World of Depression is one of them, and also The League of Awkward Unicorns. I love Alice and Deanna! And on road trips I listen to the WellRED podcast with Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan, and Corey Ryan Forrester (liberal rednecks).

    But when I’m really anxious or depressed I really need more visual distraction so I watch or read funny things. Lately Bill Hader is my favorite funny person – I can watch clips of him on SNL, shows, talk shows, movies, whatever for hours.

  21. Listen to music. I have an eclectic collection of songs and several playlists. On days like this, I listen to the one titled “War”, designed full of encouraging songs. My favorite has gotta be “Little Wonders” from the “Meet The Robinsons” soundtrack. It’s just so calming “…let it go, the hardest part is over…” Never fails to make me smile.

  22. Among others, I like Two Girls One Podcast (some episodes), Behind The Bastards, and Presidential.
    Hang in there. As you noted, this too shall pass (whether it’s good or bad.) Reminds me of one of my favorite bumper stickers – I Can’t Believe Everything I Think.

  23. I LOVED “Deadly Manners!” It’s a 10 part murder story (like Clue…) and it was so fun!

  24. John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, all music really. It’s my best friend since I don’t do people so well. It helps me connect.
    Jenny’s books
    NYC
    Netflix, right now I’m watching Bates Motel.
    Politics, it reminds me that there’s much worse people than me, especially nowadays.
    Walking

  25. I re-read books. I have certain books that are so removed from my life that I can open them up again and be transported to a world(s) that don’t deal with the junk this one does. I also already know what’s going to happen, so I can be comforted knowing that nothing unexpected or dark is going to happen. It’s also comforted to just stand in front of my bookcases and look at all the things I’ve read and enjoyed.

  26. I hear you. My anxiety is through the roof, not helped by the latest school shooting.

    Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast series are wonderful, and the third series has just been downloaded. Well worth a listen!

  27. My anxiety is out of control lately. I wake up with such a sense of dread and doom. Podcasts(true crime, knitting and books-eclectic right??) also are just about all I can manage lately. Just discovered “And That Is Why We Drink”- murder and the paranormal, it’s fabulous.

  28. The podcast Sleep With Me knocks me out when my chatter brain won’t let me sleep. It’s bedtime stories that go nowhere and lull you off to sleep (or keep you company when you can’t sleep.)

    Also, I find the Pandora station French Cafe to be incredibly soothing, perhaps because I only understand a few of the words.

  29. I run a book club and have 8 ladies over for conversation and wine. My amazing husband takes the children for the evening (including putting them in bed) while I visit with friends and have meaningful discussions. It makes me feel better each and every time we meet.

  30. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this today. It’s been years since depression tried to eat me alive, and it has come back during a very trying time in my life. And today was especially bad. It’s good to know that you have identified that there apparently is alien life out there that has turned up the depression waves they are sending towards earth. But in all seriousness, thank you for this. For me, I try to get out in nature, or to a beach, and immediately feel soothed if I can manage to actually get my body to that location. Reading also helps me. If I can just hide and focus on one thing at a time, reading, I might survive.

  31. Does anyone besides me lie for no good reason, just so people won’t think badly of me when I make a selfish or stupid decision? Does that make me a horrible person?

  32. I love to color and listen to music. It is soothing to fill in l the white spaces with color. I also love to meditate with insight timer app.

  33. For me the best medicine is almost always going outside.
    That is not always easy. would rather lie on the couch. don’t have energy to go out.
    So I make myself do it the very first thing in the morning, before coffee, even. Tell myself that the dogs MUST go out RIGHT NOW for a walk, first thing after I get out of bed. I find that even if it is a 10 minute walk going nowhere, it gets me moving enough that I usually don’t then spend the entire day on the couch with escape fiction.

    There are still a few days of escape fiction. but fewer, if I can get myself out the door. I gotta do it first thing when I get up or else I won’t get it done some days at all.

    The dogs are used to this now, and that helps a great deal, because when I get up they are all excited about the walk, and naturally I don’t want to disappoint them. Their faces so excited and then falling when they see I am not going out with them…..that is definitely to be avoided!

    Try it. If you don’t have a dog, think about getting one. Very good to have a dog.

  34. I’ve got nothing except affirmation that you aren’t alone. I’m jumping from my skin and the universe keeps handing me things to stress over. Good luck all.

  35. Thanks for affirming that I’m not the only one feeling off. I love being part of this community you’ve built. What helps me most is doing something physical outside, like going for a longish walk without the music or book I’m listening to. Hearing the birds, the dogs, and the kids playing in my neighborhood helps.

  36. Mmmmmm. Love this, the encouragement for trudging on, even though. And the list of tools to add to the toolbox is much appreciated. Two things that saved me during my lowest period were discovering minimalism (this helped me come straight at our sudden 60% loss of income instead of cowering in the corner from, I even found some joy in the midst of it; bye-bye things, hello freedom) and spending just even a handful of minutes a day being mindful and/or meditating. I also exhale and feel my shoulders drop when I step barefoot onto some grass or blast some crazy fun music I can get lost in movement to, like Daya, P!NK, or Bruno Mars.

  37. When Im feeling down and stressed, a return to nature does the trick. Healthiest thing I can do right now is to escape to my little ranch out in the Big Bend TX area. A week off grid out there recharges me every time. No phone, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury. (ha ha) Seriously. I need time to remove myself from everything. It’s heaven. After 2 days you forget the outside world exists. All I think about is the view, and whats for dinner. Brain Vacation.

  38. The bat covered it’s mouth when it yawned! How friggin cute is that. PS. Hope you feel better soon.

  39. I reread favorite books – because if I lose my place or can’t concentrate well it’s ok I know how it ends.

    Also I’m ridiculously fond of an older anime series called AKB0048 – it’s Japanese idol girls fighting for freedom in outer space by singing and dancing. The microphone-laser-swords and flying stage platforms that fold up into tiny space fighters in utter defiance of the laws of physics are adorable. Their fans sometimes join them in combat with combat glo-sticks or their own tiny fighters that have pictures of their favorite idols over them. But even more important than that is who will be chosen as the new Center Nova performer, after all the previous ones mysteriously disappeared while on stage! It’s terribly earnest in it’s utter batshit craziness.

  40. Putting this here instead of the ‘good books’ thread, I think you might like it: I just read ‘All the birds in the sky’ by Charlie Jane Anders and am looking forward to more by her.

  41. It’s comforting to know that it’s not just me… hugs to all of us who feel this shit and still get up and live…

  42. I try to write two or three things that I am thankful for in my journal every morning. It was embarrassingly awkward at first. Yeah, I knew that no one else would see, but I felt like a total fake. Especially when my head was in a bad place. Now that I am in the habit, I can’t do without it. Today? Clean sheets (did laundry yesterday), sunshine and hot coffee. The litttle things keep me sane.

  43. If you have physical pain and/or anxiety/depression, I recommend John Sarno’s books. ” Mindbody Prescription, and “Healing Back Pain”are two well known ones.
    Not light, airy, forget your troubles type thing I know. But helpful to push through times of physical pain nonetheless.

  44. I absolutely love Grace Helbig’s “Not Too Deep”. It’s a place for youtubers and internet celebrities to tell their funniest and most ridiculous stories and be interviewed with questions like “who would you throw cold spaghetti at?” Or “what would you do if you had hot dogs for knees?”. They also have a segment in this season called “we’re rooting for you” where they talk about all the people/things they’re rooting for this week. The recent episode with Mayim Bialik is a national treasure. (Also, you should go on this one cause you’d have so much fun.)

  45. The only thing recently that seems to make sense or make a dent in the miasma of my brain is watching the antics of my cats. I have a 17 month old female torbie and 2.5 month old male brown tabby. He is all legs and teeth and she is learning to be a mama cat. They somersault and chase, pin and chew, hide & seek and pounce. It’s 1000% adorable and pure and heartwarming and everything that is right in the world.

  46. I listen to podcasts:

    The Black Tapes
    Tanis
    Knock Once for Yes
    Spectral Asylum
    History Goes Bump
    A Scottish Podcast
    Bizarre States
    Lore
    Pleasing Terrors
    Unexplained
    Casefile
    Conspirators
    The Cryptid Factor
    Welcome to Night Vale
    We’re Alive

  47. When I jump the rails, which is mostly all the time these days, I retreat to the Novel in My Head, watch plastic surgery shows while I eat dinner, read erotic paranormal novels and be out in the natural world (you know, birds and trees, etc.), all of which are calming and diverting. I also do my creative stuff. And I can tell you that YOU JENNY have given me light many times when it got dark.

  48. We will rise. We did it before and we’ll do it again. It sucks, but it passes.

  49. I watch you tube clips of the Graham Norton British chat show. He lines up his guests on a couch and gets them drunk. He’s hilarious.

  50. I get the kids occupied with something and go outside, sit and watch the birds and other critters, and in between cars going past, just enjoy the sound of nature. Walk around to see what flowers are blooming in my gardens. Dig something- usually clearing out ditches or building rock walls/gardens. Anything that I can focus on something otger than what’s in my head.

  51. If you want to laugh yourself silly, watch MXC. Probably have to go to YouTube for it, but it’s a ridiculous Japanese game show that’s dubbed over with American voices and it’s so ridiculous, Hubby & I lose it, every time.

  52. I get the kids occupied with something and go outside, sit and watch the birds and other critters, and in between cars going past, just enjoy the sound of nature. Walk around to see what flowers are blooming in my gardens. Dig something- usually clearing out ditches or building rock walls/gardens. Anything that I can focus on something otger than what’s in my head.

  53. 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown is my favorite show to watch on YouTube. It takes a show or two to get into it, but the mix of funny and silly and game show just works for me.

    Love you, Jenny!

  54. Have you tried Alice isn’t dead? It’s by the night vale people. It’s dark but really good. Very poetic and gothic.

  55. The other day I came home after a terrible day teaching, after hearing about the school shooting, the school turned off the AC early (I’m in Florida), and I just put on my two piece and fell into the pool. Floating on my back with my ears under water to block out the world with the sun on my face and a Pandora station playing on my phone someplace nearby tends to help the depression quiet down a bit.

    So, water I guess? Being in water?

  56. I don’t think I’ve ever felt whole, if I did it was when I was age 4 or younger, so I don’t have anything to get back to. When I’m feeling really bleak I hide from everyone, especially myself. If I can make myself do it I whisper “this can’t last forever” over and over until I can ride out the wave. I can go to Twitter and #TheBloggessTribe will pull me through. Thank you for the podcast ideas, it might help me to have something to listen to. Audiobooks work when I can’t concentrate on reading, but sometimes I can’t conc long enough to listen to a book. A podcast might be better. Thank you for being you!

  57. I want to start a business for everyone who needs a little company in low stress situations and just read books to people over the internet. Video or not, just send me a copy and I’ll read to you. Inexpensive for those who are on tight budgets, but enough to help me through too (I used to podcast). Sometimes hearing your favorite book read is so comforting…

  58. Currently digging the Wine and Crime podcast, as well as And That’s Why We Drink (I recommend starting this one from the beginning, otherwise confusion about personal relationships will occur.)

  59. I like finding funny dog videos online, listening to what I call “happy music”, planning a trip to someplace I really really really want to go to, and of course coloring.

  60. Kelly 22 -there was also an old BBC TV series over here called ‘All creatures great and small’ based on the books and just wonderful if you can find it anywhere xx

  61. Knitting, knitting and more knitting while quietly mumbling “This too shall pass”.
    Lettie C.

  62. Kung Fu Panda movies.
    Coloring is good too.
    And cookies.
    Kung Fu Panda movie marathon while coloring and eating cookies is probably the best thing ever.

  63. I have totally been feeling the anxiety lately, even though I’m not subject to any “mental illness”. We went out of town to visit daughter & daughter’s husband over the weekend, and that helped – great distraction. Then when we got back I took a Xanax (I have a bottle that initially had 30 pills; after about 2 years, I still have 12 left; I don’t use often, but so useful when I do). All seems better for the moment. Hope it stays that way.

    Distractions are good!

  64. Walking – by myself
    Reading for just the fun of reading
    Podcasts
    SoMoney with Farnoosh Torabi
    Afford Anything with Paula Pant

  65. Delete This with Hank and Katherine Green is amazing. Katherine’s laugh and her version of Oops I did it again is sure to make you smile. They are such a lovely couple and the podcast is a welcome treat every week.

  66. I think it’s this time of year. A lot of my friends, even ones who love warm weather, get a little off around late spring. It has something to do with the moon’s proximity to us and pollen and new plants. I can’t explain it but it’s real. So at least it’s not just in our heads.
    And my favorite podcasts are “Small Town Murder” and “Crime in Sports” (you don’t have to know anything about sports to love it). Two comedians discuss crime with hilarious results, while never denigrating the victims or their loved ones. They might be the best researched podcasts out there!

  67. Immersing myself in nature (and in rain at the same time if I’m lucky) soothes me and saves me. I like to take photos through raindrops on car and home windows and through a clear plastic umbrella to share or keep for myself. Mother Nature is my saviour, my cure, and my drug.

  68. I paint and if painting is “too much” then I doodle, little random images, words, sometimes they evolve into a future painting. Music also can pull me out. I have a few playlists that I’ve compiled for times like this. Right now, a lot of P!nk’s music speaks to me, lights something in me, in the deep darkness.

  69. I have been feeling off too and don’t know why….and I can’t even watch a podcast cause my computer is acting up too…and we have 2 weeks of rain…ugh!

  70. I HAVE A PODCAST. It’s called The Bright Sessions and is amazing, it’s therapy for the strange and unusual.
    There’s also Potterless which is about a 26-year-old reading Harry Potter for the first time.
    And there’s And That’s Why we Drink, which is paranormal and crime.

  71. All of the books by SARK helped me through dark times when I was in my 20s and in college. I was broke, but I managed to buy all of then at the time. Succulent Wild Woman especially, plus Change Your Life Without Getting Out Of Bed.

  72. Oh, Jenny. Needed this. SO MUCH. Had to tell hubby to lock of Rx yesterday because of lying asshat brain.
    ❤️❤️

  73. I have to second 8 out of 10 cats does countdown, especially if you love words. Reread Agnes & the Hitman, watch Doctor Who. Knit something I don’t have to focus on. Binge watch clips of Whose Lines is it Anyway on YouTube ( favorites are newsflash and press conference)

    Podcasts: Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler – especially the Wil Wheaton on and the Jared Padalecki one, their self-inflicted wounds were hilarious. I almost collapsed at work in tears with Wil’s. Also, Hollywood Babylon and Jay & Silent Bob Get Old I’ve got a bit of a crush on Kevin Smith.

  74. I am so glad to know I’m not the only one feeling off. Like I get to have a talk with a boss, off.
    Usually I like to watch cat videos, but lately that hasn’t helped. Being outside, gardening, taking my dogs to the park, hiking, etc. But I still feel like running away, just not as bad.

  75. I garden. Even if I’m down enough or in enough pain that day that “garden” means “go outside and turn on the emergency backup sprinklers”. Just knowing the plants are there, seeing the green, helps. and on most days I can go poke them, and water them (thus being alone for a bit with the kids in the house and without the electric hum that itches me on sensitive days) and sometimes get a tomato or a strawberry or a pepper (those are all I grow, because they are all i like enough to work for them).
    Or i craft. badly. but I remind myself that badly is still better than ‘didn’t’ and try to believe it.
    Winters are the hardest times though. I haven’t found anything that helps in Winter.
    but Spring comes back, and all the plants that looked dead, or at least most of them, turn green again and there are butterflies and flowers and bees, and then it’s better for a while.
    (I’m manic and can’t figure out how to make this shorter. I’m sorry)

  76. When I’m having dark days, I find podcasts & reading helpful too. Also blasting things on very simple video games. Some fun podcasts that I haven’t seen listed already:

    Fat, French & Fabulous (Canadian, hilarious AND educational)
    Duggan Hill (episodic story, full season is up now)
    Rabbits (also episodic, by the same folks who made Black Tapes & Tanis, ideal if you liked Ready Player One)
    The Smartest Man in the World (Greg Proops rants, usually live onstage)

    Also, going to YouTube and listening to the live clips of David Sedaris reading his work can be nicely distracting.

  77. Yep. Something is off. I have been anxious into the wee hours of the morning for the past few days. What’s getting me out of my head:

    Audiobooks.
    My big, white fuzzy sweater that I call “The Yeti” (it’s more fuzzy than you’re imagining), and wear more as a thundershirt than to stay warm.
    P90X Stretch
    Cooking Shows

  78. I look into the eyes of one of my dogs when we are snuggled up on my bed. They never let me down. And if they can love me, I can love me

  79. Synchronicity. Last week my therapist suggested podcasts as a way to keep my brain occupied while I tried to attack the chaos of my apartment. I started to make a list and was quickly overwhelmed with the choices. Funny or not, True or not, Educational or not, Celebrity or not. I don’t have any to add but I’ll thankfully use all suggestions here.

  80. I put my earbuds in, turn on some 80s music, and dance and sing in front of my cats Paul Rudd style as they look at me like they know this is their mother and it’s what I do, but are completely embarrassed at the same time. The look on their faces make me laugh and live them more and just bring me right up out if the clouds, even briefly.

  81. I like Oh No Ross and Carrie’s product testing podcasts. They’re pretty funny. I also like Dead Pilot’s Society.

  82. Sometimes coloring helps, but sometimes it gives me more anxiety because I want to make the color scheme look good, so that’s out a lot. But I find solace in the word search and word fill-in puzzle books. I put reruns of Psych, Chuck, The Golden Girls, or MAS*H on in the background.

  83. I play games on my iPad. Literally all day concentrating on silly games. Helps me.

  84. Spreadsheets, two in particular. 1: my 18 month rolling persona budget spreadsheet. 2. my book spreadsheet, which is divided into books I’m waiting to receive, books I’ve received but haven’t started yet, books I’ve started, and books I’ve finished. (that spreadsheet is going on 13 years old now). Spreadsheets make me feel better if I’m feeling not good emotionally.

  85. Watching Star Trek- the next generation. Particularly the episode “measure of a man” – part of it is that my dad loves Star Trek, and I started to love it too- part of it is just how good it is. It’s definitely one of my top three episodes.

  86. Podcast “Ask a Mortician.” she is hilarious, sweet & relatable. Kind of like you Jenny, if you were a mortician.

  87. TV is one of my biggest coping mechanisms. When I’m at my lowest, I watch with her Castle or Psych. I’ve seen each a million times and in addition to always making me giggle, even when I don’t want to, the predictability is comforting. Plus, to really keep my brain occupied I need to play games (sudoku, solitaire, anything repetitive and easy) or knit something stupidly simple.

  88. I make notes in my phone, and so far the reasons to live outweigh the reasons to not.

    Reasons to Live

    My kids
    My husband
    My future grandkids
    My dogs
    My sister needs me

    Reasons to commit suicide:

    To make my tormentors feel guilty.
    To end the emotional pain.

  89. MORTIFIED! People reading from their childhood journals and diaries. It’s hilarious and nostalgic and embarrassing and endearing.

  90. Glad to hear it’s not just me having bad brain lately. I second The Adventure Zone podcast. It starts out as just a bunch of goofs and turns into a story that has depth and heart.

  91. I love Hannahlyze this with Hannah Hart and Hannah Gelb. I love how hilarious yet vulnerable they’re willing to be.

  92. I am currently living in LA for three months a Scholarship opportunity. This is NOT home. I can’t believe I agreed to do this. But I did in a fit a positivity brought on by my bipolar. It is a great opportunity, and I will feel like a failure if I quit. But I want to quit. I cry a lot every day when I can find a place to hide. I am getting stuff done in spurts. I have been following you and your community for a long time and I relish the new posts and comments. Your self-care mechanisms are stellar. Thank you so much for existing,

  93. We’re Alive podcast. The Message. The Black Tapes. Sayer though that one can get really strange. S Town, amazing. The Walk. Pod Save America, because it’s so fun to hear smart people I agree with.

  94. Procrastinating has helped me lately. Not always an option for everyone, I know, but if the alternative involves me being a danger to myself, then it’s the least harmful option. Awhile ago I figured out that I couldn’t always make things better, given that my stuff is largely triggered by the environment I live in. If I can’t actually make things better, I can simply try to maintain where I am and make sure I don’t get worse. Holding your ground without expectation of gaining any can take the pressure off while other things around you evolve. Hopefully some of this made sense…

  95. Skin to skin contact with someone I love. Whether it’s putting my cheek against my toddler’s cheek, leaning against my boyfriend’s arm/shoulder – something about feeling warm skin against mine and breathing in the scent of someone I love helps calm me down. I figure, it works for babies so why not anxiety-ridden adult me??

    If I don’t have a loved one around, I like to watch something mindlessly funny like South Park or Family Guy or The Simpsons or Seinfeld or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

  96. It’s pollen. This time of year, pollen makes everyone crazy, sad, depressed, and/or all of the above. It’s not just about sneezing and itchy eyes. When will the doctors and scientists wake up and understand (and study) this phenomenon!

  97. Now that I’ve finished screaming at the bat – because I had one in my house a year ago – I have to admit I’ve never listened to podcasts. But now I’m interested. Instead, when I’m on the verge of days in bed because of my depression, I’ll either listen to old recordings of Dr. Demento or The Shadow Knows. Sometimes I’ll binge on episodes of ‘Hilarious House of Frightenstein’. The latter was a funny Saturday morning children’s show from the early 70’s, broadcast in Hamilton, Ontario. It was wacky, but great! Vincent Price was in every episode. He was the master of creep back in the day.

  98. I throw on Netflix, preferably The Office.
    Try to surround myself with laughter.

    My anxiety has been killing me for a week+ and my best friend has abandoned me out of anger because my anxiety caused me to cancel the trip down to see her that I am still sure I couldn’t make.. so that’s making it a bit harder.

  99. Spanish soap operas. I happen to speak Spanish and can understand them, but my husband doesn’t and he still enjoys them. They’re so ridiculously over the top with drama that you can’t help but keep watching. My husband likes to make up his own dialogue. This is a good distraction!

  100. I listen to many of the same as you. Also Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Interesting guests.

  101. Oh my gosh, this is perfect timing – I’m right there with you, sister. My main trick is to get out in nature. Assuming I can make myself leave my house, I sit in the middle of as many trees as I can find and pretend that I can FEEL them all. Also – cute animals, of course. OR…stupid and funny shit, like Monty Python (“Always Look On the Bright Side of Life”, from Life of Brian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJUhlRoBL8M

  102. I just purchased a gift for my 1-year-old cousin & it’s a V-Tech Learn & Dance Interactive Zoo. I nearly wore out the batteries while playing with it when I got home! I may have to hide one in the closet, for myself, so that I can turn to it in times of darkness. It certainly lifted my spirits today.

  103. I re-read my favorite books because they’re like old friends and security blankets mixed up into one thing.

    Or I watch things that make me laugh. Like Bob’s Burgers.

  104. I like to listen to videos/podcasts from Critical Role. They are “a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors playing Dungeons and Dragons.” They have started their second campaign this year and have someone doing Recaps so you can get caught up quickly and go back later if you want. These guys are very imaginative and FUNNY! They are on the Geek and Sundry website.

  105. Sitting outside in a comfy chair listening to nature. Sunshine especially after a dreary winter, springtime.

  106. Foreign dramas have saved my life more than once. When I feel like I’m coming out of my skin, focusing on a romantic/comedic drama where I have to read the subtitles keeps me distracted enough to get through the worst bits. If I’m so far gone, I can’t read well anymore, I will sing songs I don’t have to think about over and over, like twinkle twinkle little star, Mary had a little lamb, just something that doesn’t take actual thought power but the repetition of singing it keeps me from focusing on anything dangerous.

  107. I’ve been listening to Prince again. He brought me to a better place when he was alive, but I had to give him up after his death. On the anniversary of his death this year I watched and cried through one of his concert dvds. I can now listen to his music again, it doesn’t always take me to a better place but it also doesn’t take me to a bad place anymore.

  108. …. and here i was thinking it was just me. My sweet husband took me to the grocery store at 9pm last night to get a jug of wine cause I just couldn’t drive myself and I dearly wanted a glass (going upstairs and putting on real pants and shoes felt overwhelming). I started quietly weeping while we were down the booze aisle and I got embarrassed, so told him, it’s just emotional and that there is no associated thought to the tears. He said “I know” and we hugged. THAT THE BEAUTY OF 5 YEARS TOGETHER! He knows how to react to my chemical imbalance and doesn’t blink a eye when i need a midnight booze attack.

  109. When I’m out of my head and can muster the strength to get out of bed I go to the CrossFit box and punish myself with a WOD that usually leaves me throwing up and wobbly on my feet. It helps me forget for an hour or so.

  110. I cant do podcasts but I read anything and everything, & if I’m too distracted to read I walk/run, organize my things, bake, take pictures of flowers, watch birds, or play puzzle games. Music helps sometimes, too. Something with which I can sing along, if nobody is around to judge or mock me.

  111. That bat is just the cutest thing.

    Harry Potter. If I can’t cope with where I am, I can always go to Hogwarts. I have a couple of the audiobooks on my phone, so I know I can always turn one on and have Stephen Fry read to me. It’s very comforting. Or I watch/listen to my favourite shows on Netflix. If I’m struggling on my way to work, and concentrating on an audiobook is too much, I put on Friends or Gilmore Girls on Netflix on my phone and just listen, because I’ve seen it a million times so I don’t need to watch to enjoy it. (Because only listening, I can walk at the same time, or if on the bus, play games on my phone, because who has the ability to just do one thing at a time these days?)

  112. I unload the dishwasher. Something about putting things in the correct place makes me feel satisfied enough to keep going.
    Avoid the news.

  113. And That’s why We Drink — it’s a great podcast I enjoy listening to lately. The gals are relatable and tales of paranormal & true crime always distract me.

  114. You would love the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me. Three smart and funny brothers from West Virginia.

  115. BBC history documentaries, or how-to videos on YouTube of pretty/interesting crafts. For hours. Hopefully with a cat on my lap. And, if I can manage the brain, knitting or crocheting, or other handwork. I find it reassuring to create something, even just a little bit.

  116. I ride it out. I rant. I sleep. Whatever I need to do to get from one moment to the next

  117. Wow – it is comforting to know there are others experiencing this difficult time. I really did think it was me alone. Thank you Jenny and tribe of Jenny. I will keep aware that tomorrow is another day and I don’t need to make any decisions today.

  118. Write cards to people in your life. Tell them why they are important to you and why you are thankful for them. Mail the cards. It will improve your mood and make someone else’s day.

  119. I aggressively sing while driving in my car on the way to work. My go to songs for building myself back to normal are That’s Life by Frank Sinatra and Hang On by Pink Martini. I also cry while doing this so sometimes I feel like it’s not the safest release. But, I gotta do what I gotta do.

  120. I write down five things I’m grateful for (most days, actually) and move on with life. I find reviewing what I’m grateful for (even if they sound like stupid everyday things) in my head when I get a bit panicked about finances helps, too.

  121. I try to find things that make me have faith in humanity. Today’s find was crossing guards. I thought about all the work that goes into being a crossing guard, in the snow, and rain, and heat, and cold, and every single damn school day no matter what those (volunteers mostly – or at least paid only a token) people show up and help our kids cross the street to school safely. So my little piece of light today is crossing guards.

  122. I’ve also been having a tough time these past few weeks. Aside from that, my boyfriend broke up with me because he can’t cope with my depression any longer. Until now I’m blaming myself because of this. I know… I know.. depression isn’t my fault.. but even so it makes me feel guilty for some reason. Okay.. my coping is watching TV shows. Right now, I’ve been watching and enjoying Grace and Frankie on Netflix. It somehow gives me hope.. I don’t know why but it takes me out of my bad place.

  123. Ghost in the Burbs, Generation Why, In Sight, and Let’s Not Meet. The middle two are true crime, and the last one is maybe not a great one depending on how dark of a place you’re in, but definitely save it for later!

  124. Bats are glorious.
    I listen to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy audiobooks when I need help. I already had the kindle version of each, so adding the audio to both was not prohibitive, and I ask Alexa to read and she remembers where I left off. Right now, turkeys. Jenkins is an asshole.

  125. I plant. Currently it’s succulents. I feel better if I am helping something else thrive

  126. I love the bat and boy, oh boy, does this blog post ring true… I absolutely LOVE podcasts (mainly true crime ones, like True Crime Garage and In the Dark) and I’m super stoked that Matt Bellassai has one too. He cracks me up.

    For me it’s also podcasts, but a close second would have to be gardening. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy it.

  127. I too feel the darkness trying to swallow me whole this week. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly is causing this depressive episode. What helps me is embroidery, quilting, exercise, and watching fail videos on YouTube. I love to use all the thread and floss colors in embroidery and quilting, and then I cocoon myself in my finished quilt. Fail videos help my body and mind remember how to laugh, and that EVERYONE fails no matter who you are. I need that reminder.

  128. My favorite podcasts are Phil and Lisa Ruin the Movies, You Made It Weird, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

  129. I play The Sims. My husband introduced me to the stupid game, and it helps me cope. I like being able to create people and play god when I can’t control anything else. I also watch sitcom reruns of shows I have already seen so many times I have them memorized. I am currently watching The Office for the millionth time. I also cuddle cats. I cuddle cats a lot.

  130. Jasper is our 90 pound, 8 month old, Landseer Newfoundland/Standard Poodle Giant Puppy. He’s a pretty cool fellow, who loves us even if we don’t feel particularly lovable.

  131. It’s weird but she says in the videos I’m not the only one, Dr Pimple Popper. I only like the blackheads but it is cleansing to me. Meh what ya gonna do with a weird brain.

  132. I build stuff. Ken and I are currently constructing a small greenhouse out of old windows and salvaged things. I talk to my dog. I write funny things (at least I try). I’ve never listened to a podcast but so many of these sound great. This too shall pass.

  133. I watch Bob’s Burgers. Sometimes I want to wear Louise’s hat and be fearless like her.

  134. I play your book on CD all the time, because sometimes I am just too tired to read. It helps me more than you can imagine. I guess it sounds like I am sucking up, but I don’t have time for that. Podcasts are a great help and my blog to get it out of my brain.

  135. I have been coloring although it makes me feel like I’m resorting back to childhood. It really helps my brain to stop and seeing all the bright colors seems to help. Hope every one starts feeling better!

  136. So…This just made my day, week, month, everything. I have been horribly depressed and all around anxiety ridden. Knowing that others are going through the same thing right now makes me feel less of a mess. Thank you.

  137. podcasts are amazing! Some others to add to your list are:
    alice isn’t dead
    the orbiting human circus of the air
    levar burton reads
    snap judgement

  138. My photos on my iPhone. Whenever I need it I look at the photos of all the people, places, things and quotes I love. It’s basically my private vault of all things that make smile. Currently I seem to have a theme of sunrises and different beach locations from around the world.

    Another thing that picks me up and very usually gives me the confidence boost I need to get through another day is listening to one of my all time favorite musicians, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. He’s so incredibly multi- talented, socially minded and straightforward and he gives me the impression in his music as in his life, that he’ll be damned if anyone will stop him from accomplishing his goals and who doesn’t want that confidence?

  139. Hot cups of tea. Creamy and sweet. Marvel movies especially X-Men. A shower with invigorating soap or oil. Hugs from my kids. Cuddles from my cats and dog.

  140. Wow. This is amazing. I have been struggling this past two weeks, months, years, whatever. Mad men- yesss! The office- true! I binge watched American Pickers yesterday when I faked sick to stay at home and hide in my bed. I feel a little better knowing that I am not crazy.

  141. When I’m in a dark place I read your books, Jenny. I have read them and re-read them several times over the past few years and it always helps me.

  142. When I feel the downward spiral beginning, I put in my earbuds. I usually listen to music or books, but have worn them without anything playing. It’s easier for me to be around other people and still feel safe.
    Much love to you all. This, too, shall pass.

  143. Afraid I don’t even know what a podcast is….this is the first blog I’ve followed. So that wouldn’t be a Help for me…This week I can’t seem to sleep thru the night, even though I’m exhausyed, but at the same time I have all this useless energy. I’ve been getting a hellova lot done at work, but can’t relax at night. What seems to help is reading from a good short story anthology, since I don’t have the attention span of a monkey on speed. T Kingfisher’s Jackalope Wives is wonder-full and lyrical, never fails to catch me and calm me, as will anything by Charles de Lint. Oh, and like mentioned already, sharing quality time with my dog. He is truthful, honest and totally there for me. Plus being a rescue who had to have a leg amputated because he was so abused and yet be so sweet, happy and trusting, at least with us, looking in his big eyes you can’t help but feel the love.

  144. I’m usually pretty level but last night I was having Some Feelings… I had Half an hour to kill while my son was at basketball practice, so I rolled down the windows of my car and took a drive in the country with The music on loud. I sang along. I inhaled the smell of fresh mowed grass. It made me feel better.

  145. Also it is so good to read these and know I’m not alone. Thank you all for sharing your selves. And thank you especially Jenny. I read your second book first and am waiting for your first to get here in the mail so I can read it second. Waiting is hard but reading is my main comfort.

  146. I listen to music. Really loud if necessary. Happy positive music. In the car. And we make the car dance so that all four kids are swaying in their seats. Like this song today:
    https://youtu.be/BFkTu8Y1KLs
    Jason Mraz – Have It All

  147. Yes, yes, yes!!! I needed some new ones! S-Town and Serial are really good too!!!

  148. Watching recipe videos, Tasty and other popular ones on FB. Strangely satisfying and sometimes I find a good one to save then actually make! They make a great distraction anytime. Going outside and taking a walk with the little dog works too!

  149. I watch foreign films with subtitles, documentaries on outlandish subjects, and shop for maxi dresses in the clearance sections of stores I can’t normally afford 😉

  150. Playing with my dog makes me happy when my brain is gray. She LOVES playing in the yard with me and seeing her joy can melt away a ton of the bad brain talk. And of course I always hear you in my head saying “Depression lies!” Does having you in my head make me sound crazy? Well, I’m crazy then! Hugs to you always.

  151. Midsomer Murders (show on Netflix)
    Go outside and get some damn sun, every day. I never want to do it but I always feel better afterwards
    Comedy specials on Netflix (just watched Ali Wong today and cracked up)
    Big Dreams Small Spaces – or any other gardening show, preferably hosted by someone with a British accent. This one is on Netflix

  152. I watch happy tv shows like 7th Heaven and Girl Meets World. There’s a nice moral and everyone is happy by the end of the episode. Also playing music helps, especially the drums. When I’m anxious, I can play the drums louder than my head. I find the rhythms calming (my neighbors probably hate it). When it’s too late to play the drums, I’ll play keyboard or the ukulele. Having to concentrate on what I’m playing really helps to get me out of my own head.

  153. Thank You so much, Jenny. Since I found your books and the website, yours is ALWAYS the first thing that I open when the computer gets turned on. I couldn’t count all of the smiles that you have given me. The lists come in so handy. Please keep up the great work. Much love to you.

  154. Thank you so much, Jenny. I am in the same place, and I only have reading and music to help me, oh! And animals!! I’ve never listened to a podcast. I know, I’m a 51 yr. old idiot. I love crime/mystery/thrillers! I’m going to listen to your recommended podcasts now. Wouldn’t that little bat be an amazing hugger?!! I love you, Jenny! 😘😍♥️

  155. Technically YouTube videos but I listen to them like podcasts: Critical Role and Dice, Camera, Action. It doesn’t matter if you’re not into Dungeons and Dragons. Both have nuanced characters and fun stories.

  156. I’ve been feeling a bit off kilter this week too. Things that help me: podcasts (The Guilty Feminist, Made of Human, Agitpod, All Killa No Filla); books (any book really but at the moment I’m getting into Maureen Murdock’s “The Heroine’s Journey,” James Baldwin, and Caitlin Doughty); music (David Bowie, Camp Cope); and TV shows (Dr Who, Grand Designs, comedy, costume dramas). Cat time with my cat Penny is an absolute necessity (but I guess that goes without saying :-)!) Reading other people’s suggestions about the cool stuff they love is the best.

  157. I listen to the Half Hour Happy Hour. It’s a little longer than a half hour but there is drinking involved.

  158. I have been feeling so off kilter lately, having my anxiety spike through out the day, leaving me feeling sort of disconnected. I thought it was just work stuff, and maybe the unreasonably hot and or muggy weather we’ve been having here in Portland (hot and sticky weather makes me does a number on my moods). I’m happy that it’s not just me becase it makes me feel less alone, but sad because other people are feeling off too and that sucks!
    Watching stand up comedy helps me a lot. It helps even more if I’ve already seen it, as it still makes me feel better and it is also comforting.
    I know taste in stand ups can be a bit of a divider because someone one person just loves will be hated by another, but a few of my go-tos are:
    Mike Birbiglia
    Eddie Izzard
    Russell Howard
    Kathleen Madigan
    Patton Oswald
    Hope everyone feels better soon, we made it through today and that is amazing!

  159. Going for a walk with my husband. Tonight I was too low even for that, but he dragged my clothes back onto me (I was already in bed) put socks and shoes on to my feet and yanked me out the door. I feel like that little bit of exercise was productive, and the care of someone who loves me and won’t let me drown is invaluable.

  160. I listen to many of the same podcasts that you do but My Favorite Murder is my favorite. Even when I have a to of new podcasts to listen to I listen to old episodes of MFM. Karen and Georgia comfort me. But the thing I have found helps keep my head above water the best is making Artist Trading Cards. When everything feels impossible, setting my focus on a 2.5’’ X 3.5” piece of art is doable and lets me escape and in the end i have something I love. I trade my ATC’s with people all over the world and it helps me feel connected to the world when it feels impossible to physically step into it and see people face to face.

  161. I’ve also been hit by the great disturbance in the Force. My depression and anxiety are absolutely corrosive. I’ve been reeling for a while now, and keep trying new strategies for restoring some balance to my life. I’ve only recently discovered Jenny’s books and this blog/community, and they’ve made me laugh in a way I haven’t in weeks. I’ve tried most of the amelioratives that others have mentioned; sometimes some of them help.

     But mostly I write: journals, letters, a therapy log. And I like to stand outside at night and watch the stars and meteor showers and think how marvelous it is that we are no longer afraid of eclipses and other celestial events. I find hope in that.
    
  162. Me too. Oh crap, me too.
    I too listen to Radiolab and This American Life. Or I listen to audiobooks. Ironically, I just finished Furiously Happy for the second time last night. Started another book called Station Eleven that I am loving. If even this doesn’t work I watch stand up (I’ve just watched like nine comedy specials in a row) on Netflix or the New Girl (can’t go wrong with Winston.)

  163. There has many nights where I’ve listened to you. I’ve listened to your audiobooks, and while my brain is in a tailspin of doom, it recognises that “this is funny damn it!”. In the end my brain is either too tired and let’s me fall asleep, or at least I’m an part time insomniac with a better headspace. So I want to thank you, and plug your book for you.

  164. Omg, this is one of my favorite posts that you have had. I too have serious anxiety and depression, and feel that I live off of Zoloft lol. I haven’t been feeling well lately either, and your post combined with the absolutely adorable video of the bat made me feel amazing. People like us should watch at least one cute animal video daily lol. Welcome to Nightvale is such a good podcast by the way.

  165. Oh goodness, is it sad to say that I’m glad other people are going through the same thing right now?! Thought I was losing my ever lovin’ mind. I’ve been in a horrible funk and couldn’t figure out why my meds quit working. Prayer and hanging with my gal pals usually helps, if even a little.

  166. Bats are actually totally adorable, especially baby bats, they really aren’t the scary evil things many people see them as. I’ve been sick (physically) the past few days, getting worse every day, so while I’m not dealing with the depression right now I’m still feeling very… Fragile, I guess? The thing that helps me the most is listening to Furiously Happy (why is your voice so soothing?). Other then that… I keep a copy of a specific poem in my purse (and another in my desk at work) for when I feel an anxiety attack coming on, reading the poem out loud helps keep me grounded. It only works with this one specific poem though. I’ll link it here, but warning, it’s really rather fucked up: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45283/dolores-notre-dame-des-sept-douleurs

  167. Snap Judgement has some first-rate storytelling, but my favorite podcast is political. It’s by a liberal couple in a cornfield in Illinois, and it’s called “The Professional Left”.

  168. Coloring books. Requires just enough concentration to put my depression into screensaver mode, but not so much that I can’t handle it. Coloring while listening to music is a great combination.

  169. If you live Radiolab, you will also love invisibilia. If you like science and a good laugh, you’ll like The Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox and Robin Ince. If you want to laugh at the news, you should try the BBC’s The News Quiz, or BBC Scotland’s Breaking the News. X

  170. I write (way too) long replies to your post. Rewrite. Rethink. Delete. SMH… still, I feel better.

  171. Yoga, either alone at home or a yoga class. Helps me get out of my head and endorphins make me happier.

  172. I have been struggling with depression since my son committed suicide the day before his 25th birthday July 23rd, 2017. To help on the really low days, coloring, reading romantic novels, binge watching Supernatural and Highlander, quilting and reading going for walks and connecting to other survivors of suicide loss on the community forum at Alliance of Hope website. My daughter gave me one of your books for Mother’s Day, that is how I found your blog. So now another tool.

  173. Astronomy. Just looking up. Even in the city only being able to see a few of the brightest stars and planets. Every time I go outside I always look up first, it’s instinctive. If I break out the telescope, I can just find different targets and spend hours by myself staring at a little speck in the eyepiece knowing that it’s a whole separate system of worlds that may have beings staring right back up at us.

  174. I listen to eighties music and cross stitch or paint by numbers. I’m coming back here to try some of these podcasts.

    Glad to know it’s not just me. I have to drive on the interstate today to see my psychiatrist and I’m dreading it. I’m going to ask if I can start going every three months because going every month is overwhelming. And the meds I’m on make me wake up hating being awake and still alive. But they let me sleep, so they are worth the bad waking up.

    It’s been pretty bad lately. Hubby works from home. A lot of days I just want no one else in the house so I don’t have to pretend to be functional.

  175. Tales from the Pit by Small Beans. It’s a relatively new podcast that helps to normalize depression. It was helpful for me because they’re saying the same things that are in my head.

  176. I tap into my creative side and craft…. I started painting rocks – it didn’t take much and the rocks were in my yard. I enjoyed it so much that a church group that I am a part of made it an official group with a Facebook page (@MCC ROCKS).

  177. Any drama on the BBC radio 4 podcast, ‘from our own correspondent’, really shows how shitty/wonderful life can be in other parts of the world. Star talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and finally, when I’m really situated and need to be soothed, The shipping forecast on BBC radio 4. I understand precisely 0 of it, but it’s wonderfully calming.

  178. Two things really help me: getting out in my garden and digging around in the dirt. For whatever reason my mind just blanks out and I think of nothing. Whatever is causing anxiety is just repelled by dirt, apparently. The other thing is going for a bike ride in the park. If I can get out on my bike in our local park, again, my mind just calms. There is a river and it runs through a forest (the park is really big) and I can get out there and see very few people and just enjoy the scenery. Of course they have cougar sightings so there’s the element of holy crap is a big ol’ cat gonna get me, but I figure the odds are with me that I’ll be fine. So far, so good.

    Also, I love Rich Roll’s podcast. He broadcasts on you tube too, so you can watch while you listen!

  179. Well the only podcast I will listen to is Jim Harold’s Campfire : True Ghost Stories. Love it.

    But the most thing that will help me in a funk, which I currently am in one, is my dog, Boots. Also reading to distract the brain weasels. If those don’t help, my last resort is sleep.

  180. TV that will keep me distracted from the anxiety and make me laugh. Like Schitt’s Creek.

    As for podcasts, I know you like the real-life stories but I’m a big fan of two fiction podcasts: Sandra (with Alia Shawkat and Kristen Wiig) and Deadly Manners (with Kristen Bell and RuPaul among soooo many others). The former feels like a crossover between the movie Her and an episode of Black Mirror and the latter is an excellent nod to those dark mystery radio shows of yore.

  181. I bake. The act of measuring ingredients and putting them all together clears my mind. And the people I love get the end result.

  182. When I’m feeling blue I only listen to funny things on the radio (Serius XM comedy channels are great), and only watch comedies on tv/internet (AFV is mindless funny), only read funny things (if I can concentrate on reading) and only talk to positive/happy people. And, if anyone says anything negative, I kick them. Makes me happy.

  183. Nothing is working this time, and I’m not so sure my brain is actually lying anymore. Maybe it’s been telling me the truth the whole time. I just read every comment here, did some, felt too small to try others. I’ve never been this far over-capacity for so long before.

    It used to work to do something with tiny details. Cross stitch or build or sew or make tiny things.

  184. Some of my favorites:

    Dear Sugars
    The Mental Illness Happy Hour
    Everything Happens
    Kind World
    Other People’s Problems
    Where Should We Begin?
    The Moth
    Strangers

  185. Heard about ‘No Such Thing As A Fish’ from one of the ‘My Dad Wrote a P0rno’ eps, it’s by the researchers of QI and packed full of hilarious facts. Also, over 200 eps so hours of listening!

  186. watching Bob Ross Painting – it’s like watching an antidepressant
    and Moving Art on Netflix

  187. I watch the youtube videos of the Mom So Hard ladies. They can make me laugh through anything….. Specifically the Spanx one, the medicine cabinet one, the one about facial/body hair, the one about one of them pooping their pants…… There are a couple emotional ones, but those are very rare. There is one where one of them is being hard on herself and the other gives her this amazing pep talk that everyone needs sometimes……. They are so worth watching… and rewatching.

  188. First, so sorry you are feeling like this. I have been there in those dark places and I hope you find your light soon hugs

    As for me, when I can’t go sit on my back deck and listen to the birds and the world around me, I listen to books on Audible. I know many people don’t like Audible since it can get expensive, but I love it because I have my favorite saved on there (like Harry Potter and Stephen King) so I can either listen to an old familiar voice and zone out or immerse myself in a new story to quiet my brain for a while. Works wonders when my thoughts attack me at work sitting in my cubicle or in the car commuting among the crazies. Anyways, that is how I cope 🙂

    P.S. I love Podcasts too! Lore was my fav for a while.

  189. I like the stories on The Moth radio hour, and have also listened to Serial, but I’m not sure I like S-town. Amicus is about the Supreme Court, so not for everyone. I also like Sawbones. Revisionist History by Malcom Gladwell is very interesting and he has a great voice.
    I’ve noticed that my son, who has depression, has had trouble getting out of bed this week, so I’m glad to know it’s a world-wide phenomenon. Love to you!

  190. When I feel stressed or anxious, I re-read a Jane Austen novel. The one I choose varies, but they always give me comfort and her humor and peaceful settings calm and soothe me every time.

  191. I love the Can I Pet Your Dog podcast for a quick half-hour boost when I’m really not feeling live.The hosts are so funny and enthusiastic and hyper that I can’t not smile when I listen. Plus, you know, dogs. Also, Jodan, Jesse, GO! is a great podcast for when I want easy, puerile laughs (which, let’s face it, are the best kind). They make me feel like I’m sitting in a room with some of my nerdy friends and that’s usually an excellent distraction for me.

    Meditation also really helps me, when I can be arsed to do it. I use the Headspace app and even the little 3-minute emergency guided meditation recordings can often give me enough space to break out of whatever spiral I’m in. It’s a very simple, no-woo, non-judgey program that lets you start as slowly as you like. Highly recommended.

  192. Thank you! I feel better just knowing this drop off the edge is apparently wide spread. I’m trying journaling and reading my favorite old Dean Koontz books. And apparently starting 15 different podcasts!

  193. Here’s my list:
    Music:
    I have two playlists, one that’s “Peppy positive” with upbeat songs, and “SLAY” for when I’m laying, immobile on the couch… I’ll include the playlists below, but do yourself and put on “Bloodbath” by Bob the Drag Queen and see if you can’t get moving.
    SLAY: https://open.spotify.com/user/124002927/playlist/5IzFgxI6vuzUB2KepbR8cR?si=Y_6gEzfrT4W8PgX9vjJD5g

    Peppy Positive: https://open.spotify.com/user/124002927/playlist/18X1pTSewAnq68SHVt1Sl7?si=NdUE1k-lQu2coI5t2pTdog

    Video:
    Netflix – I love to watch comedies (Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, The Office, Parks and Rec– I’m currently going through an breakup and New Girl has been my lifeline)
    Stand up comedy specials – (on Netflix) Neil Brennan, 3 Mics is art. It’ll make you feel less alone. Others I love are Ali Wong, Iliza Schlesinger, Kathleen Madigan, Ryan Hamilton, TIG NOTARO, and Jen Kirkman. <3
    Movies – My Cousin Vinny, The Birdcage, Moonstruck…

    Best of luck to you all! It has been a few, super wonky weeks.

  194. I recommend the most recent Dave Chapelle special (currently on Netflix) Comedians are our court jesters and often the only ones telling the truth. In case it’s not global-paraphrases ahead.
    At the end of the special he describes a horrific crime committed on an innocent child because of his ethnic markers [BTW can we STOP saying “race” we are all Homo Sapiens FFS and that’s just a propaganda wall built to manipulate us.]
    Dave could have raged at the injustice but instead he turned around to face it and said that good had come out of it. Then he said that things are broken right now, but that so many people are working to make us better than before. Dave is referring to the good people’s work when he says he’s never been prouder to be an American. And I think he’s right.
    What we’re seeing on a global scale has existed for many for a long, long time. Mr. Rogers has said in times of trouble, look for the helpers. It’s hard to top the legacy of that peacemaker and teacher, but I’ll go him one better and quote Edward James Olmos’ telling the stunned citizens of newly post-riot Los Angeles “Pick up a broom.”
    First-world government has been something left to elected officials, who are only stewards. Here in America we’ve been masturbated by consumerism. Running a country is primarily the job of its people.
    _
    Podcasts:
    *This recent Lifehacker interview with the author of “The Five-Second Rule” is a standout https://lifehacker.com/how-to-kick-ass-with-mel-robbins-1826014298

    *If the world is telling you you’re unemployable because you accidentally aged, Smart Passive Income savant Pat Flynn’s interview with Roberto Blake will deposit you into a new land called Fuck Yeah I Can! https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/podcasts/make-money-with-your-skills/

    *And if you miss Sam Kinison and Hunter S. Thompson, comedian Bill Burr’s twice-weekly podcast will give you blatant NSFW joy: https://allthingscomedy.com/podcast/monday-morning-podcast or at billburr.com

    *Lastly, I admire Andy Stanley’s work in his “Your Move” podcasts. Their video versions are also on his website. He works to use lessons from history to address today’s problems. He’s a Christian who’s clearly got quite a scholarly reach, but he has an everyday, inclusive approach that is a genuine invite to all listeners. http://yourmove.is

    All these are also available through iTunes, in the US anyway.
    Be well. That alone is a powerful weapon.

  195. My favorite podcast right now is “My Dad Wrote a Porno”. I enjoyed “Sh*t Town” also.

  196. Watching Doctor Who (classic and new) or even clips of my favorite Doctor Who scenes helps. Watching Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine helps. Rereading my favorite books and comics helps. Cuddling with my cat helps. And talking with my best friends helps. There’s always at least one of us who is up when the rest of us are down. We all help each other row because we can’t row alone.

  197. I’m not one for podcasts, but when I’m out of sorts I always enjoy going out to a board game cafe or playing a tabletop RPG with friends.

  198. Canadianity – a podcast about all things True North Strong and Freezing. Great to learn about Canada and all the bahds that live here.

  199. I belong to a life-mentoring group of people trying to get the How to Human playbook after a collective false start. Yesterday, I spoke and told fifty people that even though I’ve figured out a way out of my dilemma that will allow me to thrive, not just survive as I’ve been doing- lately, I’ve obsessed with the idea of suicide and that my mother suicided decades ago. I am now far older than she was when she died, so I don’t even have her failed Post-Its to measure myself by.
    A lot of people came up to me after the meeting, some with phone numbers, others with a hug. I was shocked when one man said I’d made him cry. I wish I could remember what all of them said besides Let us love you until you learn to love yourself.
    —One man’s was a standout. He said, “Notice how those thoughts are asking you to do something? It’s because they’re powerless by themselves.”

    People telling me to “take a deep breath” could send me into a rage at what I thought was condescension. Turns out this is better than drugs for lowering the heart-threatening, stress-created chemical, Cortisol. Never go off prescription meds without a doctor’s approval, but taking three deep breaths every hour will make you feel better and have pill-free, medical results.

    If you’re feeling unstable, consider refraining from self-medicating with any substance that is a central nervous system depressant, as your defenses are down and it could be fatal. Three of my relatives crawled into a bottle of alcohol and died there.

  200. The Internet can be a huge help. Right now I am sitting in a Starbucks so I can use the Google wifi (no drink, though.)

    My computer stopped working over a week ago, though I am still trying to fix it. I don’t have Internet currently (couldn’t pay) but I miss the books, music, a dvd player on it. Being cut off and isolated is a killer.

    I know part of my current depressive episode is due to medication. I have a superb one, but it’s newer, not generic, and I can’t afford the copay ($6!) unless I want to do without gas in my car. It’s a hell of a way to discover that it really is effective. 🙁

    I could almost wish I wasn’t too stubborn to quit.

  201. The Internet can be a huge help. Right now I am sitting in a Starbucks so I can use the Google wifi (no drink, though.)

    My computer stopped working over a week ago, though I am still trying to fix it. I don’t have Internet currently (couldn’t pay) but I miss the books, music, a dvd player on it. Being cut off and isolated is a killer.

    I know part of my current depressive episode is due to medication. I have a superb one, but it’s newer, not generic, and I can’t afford the copay ($6!) unless I want to do without gas in my car. It’s a hell of a way to discover that it really is effective. 🙁

    I could almost wish I wasn’t too stubborn to quit.

  202. I’ve also been in a funk and often turn to podcasts. A Very Fateful Murder is like Done Disappeared (it’s by the Onion), and it’s hilarious. Heavyweight is funny, but also makes you cringe/want to call up that one friend in high school to find out why they suddenly hated you. Mystery Show (by gimlet) is adorable and funny. The Dollop has comedians talking about obscure American history. Strangers has some excellent episodes. I love 90% of the ones you have listed, and am now subscribed to the 10% I’d never heard of. Thanks!

  203. My puppy, Ella. She’s a total handful (she’s only 9mths so she’s still a baby) but I love her to pieces. When I need to just sit, she lets me hold her and pet her. When I need to get out of my head, she’s ready to play or go for a walk. Plus it’s really hard to focus on the bad in the world when you’re chasing a poodle around the family room trying to get whatever it is she’s chewing on out of her mouth. 😉 Good thing she’s cute AF and makes me laugh.

  204. Maybe I don’t get through it. Depression lies to millions of people, tells them what they’re not, but when people tell me I’m not smart enough and not good enough that’s not depression talking. That’s people who know me. Maybe I’m depressed because they’re right and I deserve to feel this way.

  205. Maybe I don’t get through it. Depression lies to millions of people, tells them what they’re not, but when people tell me I’m not smart enough and not good enough that’s not depression talking. That’s people who know me. Maybe I’m depressed because they’re right and I deserve to feel this way.

  206. Podcasts: Fresh Air with the always amazing Terry Gross, Allusionist with the hilariously dry Helen Zaltzman, 99% Invisible with Roman Mars (his voice is like caramel.)

    One observation is that the current administration is purposely fomenting chaos and discord in our fair land. So 16 months in, of course we all feel uncertain. The news is appalling and scary all the frickin’ time. I now only read news feeds from abroad (UK, Canada).

    I also am reclaiming my sanity by having stayed off social media for 4 months so far. It has helped immensely getting off that hamster wheel. No self recrimination, judgments, comparisons, outrage, jealousy, forced empathy, extreme empathy, or weaponized niceness.

    And manual labor around the house with near daily trips to the hardware store – refinishing the kitchen floor, painting rooms, replacing door hardware, regrading the garden. Keeps me out of my head and you get to see actual progress. Find whatever it is that keeps you on an even keel.

  207. There are a few things that help me: Great movies, engrossing video games, engrossing books, pyrography, spending time with my family and writing. Actually, researching what I will write is nice too.

  208. Thanks for posting this. My recovery (being back at part time work after several years of being too ill) has felt harder than usual these past weeks, and I’ve been wrecking my brain for reasons, wondering if I needed to change something and so on. But maybe it’s just a bio rhythm thing or similar that I just need to ride out. I can do that!

    As for what I do, it’s anything that takes me out of my head and into the lives of fictional people. Tv shows, books, fan fiction and, not least, audio books. It really is lovely havin people, often very talented people with great voices, read to me.
    My latest craze is the Peter Grant Series by Ben Aaronovitch (https://www.goodreads.com/series/51937-peter-grant) read by the very talented Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. It’s about a London copper, who investigates supernatural crimes, and also has a LOT of humour. And laughter IS excellent medicine – though not the best, that’s my actual anti-depressives.

  209. My favorite cheer-me-up reads are my volumes of Castle Waiting comics (feminist fairy tale twists with lots of humor and happy endings) and the Hark! A vagrant! collections (zany, snarky spoofs on history, literature, and pop culture). My favorite podcast right now is Singing Bones, in which Australian Claire Testoni analyzes various fairy tales as they changed form over the centuries. Some of them are kinda dark, but always fascinating.

  210. Before i was dumped by text message yesterday morning by an asshole,I would talk to him. His mental issues are worse than mine! II watch a movie or since right now I can’t concentrate on anything ( good to know its not just me!) I put music on just to block out the silence which is deafening.I also watch ( sorry some will think it’s gross but it helps me ALOT!) I watch Dr Pimple popper on YouTube

  211. I have been feeling overwhelmed and sad lately, too. Things that have helped: reading John O’Donohue (To Bless this Space and Beauty are favorites). He shares bite sized pieces of hope and loveliness. And I take the elevator rather than the stairs–it literally requires nothing of me to get where I’m going and I appreciate the assist. I send funny group chats with silly thoughts and GIFs, treat myself to lavender iced lattes, and sit on my screened porch and watch hummin birds and lightnin bugs. When I feel up for it, I do one tiny little thing that feels like it’s moving me in a positive direction and congratulate myself on the accomplishment. And I cry when I need to. Sending you, Jenny, and all on this list, hope for a brighter day for yourselves, our country and this beautiful world we live in.

  212. I have two big ones. One is to walk around in a park or natural space (for me it’s often 2 hours) until I feel at least mellowed, if not ok.

    The other one is to do some kind of artwork. At the moment it’s beadwork, but anything that’s fairly repetitive so it doesn’t take too much brain power works (knitting, needlepoint, sewing, origami, etc). The process is soothing to me, both for using just the right amount of brain power and for the tactile aspect. It also helps because when I’m finished I can tell myself “I made this. This is something beautiful that could not and would not exist were it not for me. I can accomplish at least this”

  213. I have found How did this get made, a wonderful podcast about horribly made movies. I listen in the car as that is the worst time for me and my brain.

  214. Luckily I read this post this morning, instead of pretending to have flu and hiding in bed. I decided I could medicate with podcasts and get on with stuff. Thank you Jenny and please take great care, you are much needed.

  215. The Great British Baking Show!! No matter what that show always makes me feel happy.

  216. This Is Love is by Phoebe Judge of Criminal and Episode 2 is beyond amazing.

  217. I’m seconding the anon who mentioned How Did This Get Made. Three comedians and guests watch terrible movies and talk about them. They episodes never get old, I’ve listened to each one many times. It’s about the only thing that can get me to laugh some days.

  218. I make art, scrapbook, cross stitch, pop up cards, paintball solicitors who come up my walk.
    I also go volunteer, it gets me out, helps me feel worth something, gives me perspective. Usually Ronald McDonald House or HAAM, tomorrow is the Austin Food Bank.
    Puzzles, either set up a table in the living room and do a tangible one or do them on my phone with an app.
    Cardio Cinema at the golds gym, a movie and a treadmill can solve a lot more than you might think.

  219. My daughter has discovered doing henna on herself helps distract her from self-harming. I am struggling with depression after 7 months of chemo for NHL. I am so weak and feel so useless. Also trying to wean myself off sleep meds chemo required. So barely any sleep for the past two nights.
    I re-read old favourites…JD Robb and Nora Roberts in particular. Chemo-brain ensures I have limited attention and retention, so old favourites hit the spot!
    Re-watching Friends on Netflix too….

  220. When everything sucks, I force myself to go get one the elliptical for 10 minutes. I hate it, but keep telling myself I was unhappy on my couch too. If I can possibly motivate after I’m there I’ll push it to 12 minutes. When I get off I both feel a sense of accomplishment and usually a strong physical lessening of anxiety. I’ll feel a more natural sense of tired rather than a bad brain chemical funk. It clears stuff out like nothing else.

  221. Greater Boston! It’s surreal and funny and amazing. (Full disclosure: I contributed maybe 1.5 minutes of voice “acting” to it.)

  222. Hi Jenny, I get on the treadmill because if I don’t I will drive myself crazy. OR when my cat Charlie “Bruiser” O’Houlihan senses that something is off with me, he will “cat punch” me (when a cat runs after you and tries to tackle your ankles with his paws) in a playful manner to get me to chase him, because I actually think he’s a dog in a cat suit. I chase him and he chases me and then we get tired and sit on the couch and watch NCIS together. So I suppose my cat makes me feel better when I feel off my center so to speak.

  223. Jenny you HAVE to listen to Thrilling Adventure Hour and Beyond Belief too! FANTASTIC podcasts chock a block full of celebs.

    I’m obsessed with movies using the RiffTrax app. You haven’t lived until you’ve binged all 5 Twilights or the LOTR trilogy with these guys. Or catch one of their full movies on Amazon Prime or PlutoTV for free (Pluto TV have MST3k and Rifftrax channels! Plus Cat Videos!) .

    I also love to binge novels that have like 6 or more in a series already. Vampire Academy/Blood Lines, Dark Hunters, Born Of series, Fever series, Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Charley Davidson books are awesome, Harry Potter, etc.

    I also make a point of going to museums when they have a good exhibit. In my area (LA), we have a free museum day on the 1st of each month. I’ve seen King Tut, Cleopatra, Pompeii, Huntington Gardens and Library, FIDM’s costume exhibits, The Vatican exhibit, Reagan’s library, the Explorer shuttle, Titanic, etc.

    Also, catch Galavant on Netflix. Only 18 22-min episode so you can totally binge in a day. You’ll laugh your fool head off.

  224. I like to look at funny/cute animal videos online because they make me smile and appreciate the beauty of the animals. I also like to sit in nature and just be quiet and appreciate all of nature’s beauty.

  225. I teach music, so it always cheers me to listen to From the Top, a classical music program that gives kids a chance to perform on the professional stage. It’s always charming and heartwarming to hear the kids tell their musical life stories. The host of the program is a classical pianist and his obvious delight in sharing the stage with the kids is wonderful, a reminder there are good people doing good things for each other in this crazy world.

  226. I love podcasts.
    Kind World (always makes me cry)
    By the Book (two hilarious women live by a self help book for two weeks. Shenanigans ensue)
    The History of England (always cheers me up, full of British quips. If you want to pay, and I do, subscribe to his History of Scotland…very much worth the money, plus you get shedcasts as extras)
    Queens of England podcast was great. I highly recommend it.
    Anxiety Coaches Podcast soothes me.
    Invisibilia
    Lexicon Valley makes me laugh and features clips of songs from musicals and mentions of peach jello!
    Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me
    Live from the Poundstone Institute
    Unknown History with Giles Milton. Giles is off writing a book, so they got this guy who wrote a book about Dodge City to come and talk about Bat Masterson and the Earps. Fascinating and fun!
    Medieval Death Trip and Medieval History for Fun and Profit.
    Revisionist History… Malcolm Gladwell does some heavy stuff, so skip that and listen to the episode where he lightens it up with episodes about why McDonalds french fries are horrible.
    I love advice columns, so I like Dear Prudence and Ask A Manager podcasts. Dear Sugars is pretty good too.
    Currently watching two nests of Little Owls (Athene notura) at work. They’re my spirit animal. Clumsy, half blind, awkward.

  227. I buy things for random people. Often, it’s to do with something I run across as I’m scrolling though the twattersphere and such. One time I purchased tickets to a show I wanted to see but it was only playing in a town that was inconveniently Not Mine; DM’d the person who posted the link and they held a quick contest to give away the tickets. Another time I sent an older neighbor a megaphone so she could more effectively yell at her neighbors who often play their music too loud. That last one was helpful and EXTREMELY amusing.

  228. I usually listen to Quirks and Qwarks or Spark from CBC Radio for science and tech news and stories, but I just binge-listened to season 1 of TANIS, a mystery investigation that involves something awful in the woods, conspiracy theories, secret societies, evil corporations, Charlie Manson, L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley and the O.T.O. And so much more. Very well written and produced, and there’s four seasons of it.

  229. OMG, I was just saying to my friend today that I was in such a state that it felt like my skin was crawling. So glad to know that I am NOT alone. This post is EXACTLY what I needed tonight Jenny. Thank you ❤️

  230. Two of your podcasts are also my faves: “Finding Cleo” and “Someone Knows Something”. Both are excellent at taking you into other peoples’ lives and circumstances. Excellent therapy for an anxious mind. They really put things into perspective. I go to sleep plugged into audio books. They help to stop the chatter in my brain. Anything will do, but a narrator who drones is best.

  231. Podcasts are the only thing getting me through right now. I’m into history. I’ve become hooked on History 101. It’s one guy, sitting down with a friend, for an hour, discussing something in history. I just finished listening to the Gunpowder Plot one. I’m also loving The British History Podcast. He’s on something like episode 295 and hasn’t even gotten out of the Anglo-Saxon period. It’s fantastic.

  232. Hi Jenny ! You are so right …. I have been “off” all week too …. and your words said exactly what I needed to hear. It’s so comforting to know someone else truly understands and “gets it”.
    So , Music is my salvation…. it has always helped get me through the darkness. Strangely , hits from the 70’s is my go to !
    I’m going to give the podcasts a try. Thanks for the tip !

  233. You help me. You have no idea how much. Even my facial tic was acting up today, and now I don’t feel so lost. Thank you.

  234. I was feeling lost in my own head today so I went to the backyard with my dog found a nice sunny spot and played fetch and sun bathed with him for a while. It was simple but he LOVES playing with his ball outside so seeing him having a blast made me happy, plus added bonus of some vitamin D from the sun. Then I went inside and baked a large amount of chocolate chip cookies.

  235. I go through photos or videos of my baby grandson or Skype with my daughter and grandson. If I can’t function at all I watch old reruns of Star trek, Doctor Who or old time game shows like Family Feud or Hollywood Squares while putting together super easy puzzles (meaning big pieces!). I do this in my comfy PJs with my Yorkie on my lap while eating dark chocolate and almonds (cuz gotta have a little protein for sustenance).

  236. I’ve also been listening to an mp3 of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. Makes me laugh and if I feel like rewinding because I miss something I can, or not.

  237. Mow the lawn, do yard worth that makes me sweat. And I use hearing protectors that plug into my phone so I can jam to some up beat music. Between the exercise, fresh air, and sense of accomplishment, my anxiety calms. Added bonuses include a good looking yard, better physical health, and falling asleep easily (if you work hard enough).

  238. Here’s what got me through this evening–my 13yo who has been DEALING LIKE A TOTAL HERO WITH SOME SERIOUS SHIT just came downstairs right as I was about to go to bed and needed to do some last minute homework. So I just hung out and did dishes and cleaned the kitchen for, like, an hour while they worked on it. Total silence, total normalcy, I totally know everything else is still there, but still. Jeebus, that was good.

  239. I enjoy Puddles Pity Party (marvelously sad clown with the golden voice) music videos, especially his first American Idol audition.
    Jordan Peterson is good, too, in the correct context. This is harder to determine, so a giant risk!
    I read Furiously Happy, and I enjoyed it greatly. (I also like the companion book, although I haven’t finished it. Art takes so much longer to process, if it’s very rich.)
    Cheers!

  240. Music has always been my go to for when I’m depressed, anxious or just out of sorts! It’s like a medicine cabinet for druggies, except for its music: I have uppers(upbeat music), downers(slower soft rock music and Frank Sinatra type of music) & I even have ecstasy(that music that puts me “in the mood” 😉 😉

  241. I have an old postcard in my desk that my aunt gave me years ago. It has a picture of Charlie Brown and Snoopy sitting on a dock looking out over a lake, and the caption says “My whole life can be summed up in this sentence: It did not go as planned, and that’s okay.” It’s a mantra that I repeat over and over when my anxiety threatens to take over. It reminds me that I don’t have control over every aspect of my life, but that the goal should be to enjoy the journey. Usually the best parts of a story are the twists you weren’t expecting; the same is true of life.

  242. I love this excerpt from Desiderata:

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

  243. I watch America’s Funniest Videos.
    It used to be my “guilty pleasure, survival is mandatory but getting out of bed is optional ” go too. Until I told my Doctor and he said “ABSOLUTELY”.
    People of Walmart is always a never fail, if I am feeling really really bad about myself…”Bless their stupid stupid hearts”.
    I know that is tacky but this is survival people, no judging.

  244. MBMBaM, Saw Bones, The Adventure Zone. Really anything with one or more of the McElroy brothers involved.

  245. Oh my god I’m so glad it’s not just me @.@

    Lately my pick-me-up has been watching Eurovision videos (past and present). I dare you to watch Netta’s “Toy” video and not be at least energized.

  246. I like to sing. I just recently figured out that it helps. My friend told me to just belt it out, and not care how it sounds. It works a lot of the time.

  247. OMG..I LOVE MY Favorite Murder and My Dad Wrote a Porno! Those were my first two Podcasts, ever. I am new to the Podcast world and those two are addicting!

  248. I’ve read that there’s an emotional current, like air currents, that affects us regionally and globally. Which is why people all seem to be “down” at the same time. It’s not just the moon, but that’s definitely an influencing factor. However, there are a million things we are subjected to that we don’t even realize – magnetic fields, radio waves, the wobble of the earth (yes, it wobbles – the north and south poles wander all over the place), etc.

    Mostly, when I get like this, I just do my best to be by myself – go for walks, read, write, whatever lets me be in my head without taking it out on someone else. Sometimes I sit in my car in the garage and sing at the top of my lungs (not with the car running – that would be crazy). So apparently a lot of us sing! Cool to know.

    I can’t focus enough to watch videos – I lose interest after a few seconds. A podcast would be forced agony. I need to occupy my mind more than a video can provide. I can’t even listen to guided meditation recordings – I want to scream at them to shut up. But that’s me. Whatever works, right?

  249. I think you’d love ‘The Moth Radio Hour.’ Stories. They are wonderful, heartbreaking stories.

    But the thing I do when I’m desperate is to go looking for a miracle. Sometimes it’s finding spirals in nature. Did you know that the number of spirals in a sunflower or a pine cone can be predicted to certain numbers in the Fibonacci sequence? Sometimes I find miracles in a tiny garden of fungi on a fence post. It may be too dry in Texas for you to find one of those. And sometimes it’s just that there’s a matching sock in the dryer when I haven’t done laundry in way too long.

    Don’t forget books. My favorite one right now is ‘The Songs of Trees’ by David George Haskell. It’s nonfiction, but there’s magic in the trees.

  250. Thank you for the podcast list! If you want another silly one my friend and I cohost one called Toronolulu. I hope you check it out 🙂

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  251. If I can get up the energy to brush my horse, that always makes me feel better. Knitting is a good distraction as well. Recently I started getting acupuncture for my depression. Trust me, I’m the last person would thought it would work, but I had nothing to lose and needles don’t bother me. It was like flicking a switch. I’m still dealing with feeling exhausted all of the time, but my head doesn’t have that dark cloud in it. Suspend disbelief and give it a try <3

  252. I’m late to the party. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling too. To know that someone I really admire is in the same place as I am…it really helps me feel less alone and crazy. I love computer games- anything with puzzle solving. Lately I’ve been playing the Rusty Lake/Cube Escape games which are delightfully weird. They are in the App Store. Really, they are just so totally weird and engaging. Try them out!

  253. I’m a huge fan of podcasts as escapism. A few to try: (1) Terrible, Thanks for Asking; (2) Rabbits; (3) Death, Sex & Money; and (4) Nancy.

  254. The Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard is also a great podcast and since we listen to several of the same ones, maybe you will enjoy it also 🙂

    Oddly enough, one thing that I think helped pull me out of post-partum depression was meal planning (and a lot of it was just hormones getting back on track, but that’s not always something we can choose). So stupid, but I was drowning, and thought “OK, this is ONE THING I can do, I can take control over.” And it was hard but it was something that took off more stress than it put on- it also helped my husband, always good when you can help more than one person at a time, which in turn made our communication and relationship better.

    Self-care doesn’t always have to be soothing or focused soley on ourselves…it’s anything that helps us. I bullet journal and someone in a FB group posted that she was going to start writing down paying bills, etc as self-care because she deserves to have lights and electricity and a car, etc. So even when she felt down about it, it was a reminder that she was doing something that benefited her greatly.
    Oddly enough, one thing that I think helped pull me out of post-partum depression was meal planning (and a lot of it was just hormones getting back on track, but that’s not always something we can choose). So stupid, but I was drowning, and thought “OK, this is ONE THING I can do, I can take control over.” And it was hard but it was something that took off more stress than it put on- it also helped my husband, always good when you can help more than one person at a time, which in turn made our communication and relationship better.

    Self-care doesn’t always have to be soothing or focused soley on ourselves…it’s anything that helps us. I bullet journal and someone in a FB group posted that she was going to start writing down paying bills, etc as self-care because she deserves to have lights and electricity and a car, etc. So even when she felt down about it, it was a reminder that she was doing something that benefited her greatly.

  255. “When despair grows inside me and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day blind stars waiting for their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.” – The Peace of the Wild Things by Wendell Berry

  256. Thanks for that list! Any way to list which ones are kid appropriate? I’m going on a road trip with my 12yo girl and 10yo boy this summer and wanted to get something where they would actually listen and I would appreciate.

  257. Acrylic pour painting! It is so fun and relaxing and makes me so happy, and you need zero artistic skills to make pretty pictures.

  258. Hello Jenny
    Boy, was that the perfect blogpost for me to read today. I forget it’s not just me. I also have mental illness /effed up brain chemicals / childhood trauma scars not healing. What I do when I get down — and what I did this evening – is get in action. About something. So I went running. I am no athlete. I run like a girl. In fact, I am a girl. But last weekend, I threw my hat over the wall and signed up for 2019 London Marathon even though I can barely run a mile.

    And now I am going to watch Friends. Season 3. I miss the whole Friends Fenonomenon whilst it was happening as I dismissed them as too pretty and that damn gorgeous apartment being too unrealistic. (New York? A diner chef and a waitress couldn’t pay that rent!) And I LOVE Chandler. I know I am a couple decades late in weighing in on this, but he’s my favorite, hands down. Love his goofy insecurity.

    In summary:
    a. get in action
    b. watch Friends

  259. Check out The Last Podcast on the Left! Oh, and Potterotica, because who doesn’t like Erotic Harry Potter fan fic! 😂

  260. The combination of really good incense (might I suggest triloka or auroshikka).
    Noise-canceling ear buds if you have them.
    Getting out in nature, even if only for 15 mins. Try the app,

    ALLTRAILS to motivate.

  261. Spirits! It’s the flagship podcast from Multitude. Every week, two twentysomething childhood friends from Long Island now living in New York (one straight, one queer) sit down together, drink, and talk about myths and legends. Sometimes the subject is a god or demon or spirit, once a month there’s a “send us YOUR local urban legends” episode. They do have a Patreon (patreon.com/spiritspodcast/) and when they hit their next membership goal, the hosts are going to fly to Akron, Ohio to eat at Spaghetti Warehouse (in-joke, going back to Ep. 54).

    Multitude also produces a D&D play-through cast called Join the Party; Potterless, in which a 25-year-old guy who has NEVER read ANY Harry Potter AT ALL reads the books, then sits down and discusses them with his Potterfan friends; and Waystation, a fancast discussing the Canadian TV series Lost Girl (available on Netflix) about a pansexual succubus running a detective agency in Toronto.

  262. I really needed to be with you wonderful, caring people today! Had a panic attack at Walgreen’s today and was shaking so badly the cashier had to swipe my card for me. Anxiety lies too! I binge watch Midsommer Murders and make lists to execute when my head clears.

  263. My favorite feel good is Corgi photos; Check out Corgiaddict.com (OCD – Obsessive Corgi Disorder)

  264. Mysteries Abound. Odd stories that are read directly off the internet by an Australian man with a calm, soothing voice.

  265. GASP You listen to Welcome to Night Vale?!! That’s so cool! You should listen to Wolf 359, That’s my favorite podcast.

  266. I love podcasts too! Faves are: Heaving Bosoms, Thirst Aid Kit, The Guilty Feminist, The Jackie and Laurie Show, The Smartest Man in the World and Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast. I’m also taking comfort in rereading Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, embroidering swears and browsing in bookshops. Glas to hear I’m not alone in struggling right now. Trying to ignore the lies my brain is telling me.

  267. Must be nice to have time in your day to listen to podcasts so often you have that many favorites. The bat is adorable and bats are cool. I wish I didn’t have to work 8-12 hours a day so I could listen to podcasts and do so many other things that would be way better than working all the time.

  268. Re-reading (or even better, re-listening to on Audible) my comfort books is one of the things that helps me most when I’m at ‘Just hang on’ level of my anxiety and depression. Sitting with my dog half on my lap while I watch tv that doesn’t matter if I remember the plot line or not helps a lot too.

  269. Small Town Dick, it’s big true crime in small cities. Hard to explain but fascinating AF.

  270. Towards the end of a horrendous 3 month depression about 30 years ago, I listened to (and later learned to sing) “Let the Altars Shine” by Meatloaf. I think it saved my life.

  271. My Brother, my Brother, and Me
    Hello from the Magic Tavern
    Story not Story
    Ridiculous History
    Stuff You Missed in History Class
    The Lost Cat Podcast
    Wynebago Warrior

  272. I love podcasts too! I walk to work, and it’s about an hour and fifteen minutes each way, and I listen to podcasts to pass the time. If you like true crime podcasts like Someone Knows Something, maybe give Thinking Sideways a try? I haven’t loved every episode (internet mysteries just don’t appeal to me), but a lot of it is very interesting and their theories are often pretty good.

    I’ve been listening to Welcome to Nightvale lately, too! I’m on episode…I believe it’s thirty-eight? The show is so quirky, which I appreciate. It’s the only fictional podcast I’ve found – most are just reporting.

  273. I binged Adventure Time during my worst bout of anxiety/depression that lasted about 6 months. I think because it’s so far removed from reality it helped me turn off my brain a bit. Also Doctor Who! I’ve recently gotten into podcasts, so I’m glad to see a long list of podcasts to try out!

  274. Thank you everyone for posting these. I will use this as a reference. I don’t cope as well as I should w/my depressiveness and social anxiety. One thing that really helps me especially w/my social anxiety is giving someone at each place I go to a genuine compliment. I like reminding others that they matter in the world. It makes my day more than it does theirs.

  275. I love podcasts, too, so I’m glad to see all the recommendations. They keep my mind occupied in a different way than books and movies do because I have to focus in order to absorb so it’s not as easy to let my mind wander into dangerous territory. Since several of my favorites are on your list, maybe they’ll fit right in with my current library of faves. 🙂 My favorites that aren’t on your list are The Big Loop and The Black Tapes (both fictional and produced/written by the same person–just stop after the second season of the Black Tapes because he botched the third/last season–although he’s been teasing a comeback on it so…), also Ologies (fun with science!), In the Dark (true crime), The Moth (live storytelling of people’s true stories about certain aspects of their lives), The Strange and Unusual Podcast (somewhat along the lines of Lore but hosted by a woman and not published as frequently/consistently)

  276. It’s over mostly but if you haven’t (and even if you have) I’d go find Thrilling Adventure Hour. it has some amazing folks from all the things you likely love already like The Big Sick, Nerdist, etc etc, Criminal Minds…and they’re doing silly stage plays in the style of old time radio. Sparks Nevada Marshal on Mars and Beyond Belief with Frank and Sadie Doyle are the mains and they’re amazing, but everything from this cast is good. Go find it and listen, or relisten. So worth it.

  277. My Brother, My Brother, and Me. It’s an advice podcast for the modern ages.

  278. Plane ticket Money is one of my favorite pod casts it is only 20 min or so and test economics stories we all should know in a funny way.

  279. You. You pull me out. This blog was the first time I felt like I’d found my tribe. That my imperfect brain was just really good at telling me lies.
    I’m in the darkness right now. It’s overwhelming and soul crushing but I know there is a small glimmer of light and I just need to walk, or crawl in the really bad moments towards it. Your stories make the darkness less alone and help brighten the light so I can find my way back.

  280. I don’t even know how I get to feeling better! Probably just remembering to read THIS and other blogs, frankly. 😀

  281. You have most of my favorites but do not miss out on:
    Dirty John (True Crime at its BEST)
    S* Town (like a novel but not fiction)
    Where Should We Begin (free therapy)
    More Perfect (who knew the Supreme Court was so interesting)
    Revisionist History (perspective shifts guaranteed)
    C

  282. What most recently pulled me out of a funk was receiving my new copy of Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore. Love him! I was looking at his picture on the jacket cover where he is posing with one of his squirrel people and I thought “That reminds me of one of Jenny Lawson’s dressed up taxidermy animals. These two would get along great!” and then I saw your interview with him in the back of the book and had to laugh because obviously you already know him! It made me smile and it made my day.

  283. My favorite Podcast is “The Way I Heard It” by Mike Rowe. Great, short biographies written as mysteries

  284. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (it is the best, most palatable way to get the weeks news)

  285. Tom & Lorenzo’s Pop Style Opinionfest
    Authors and bloggers Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez render judgment on all the latest goings-on in the worlds of celebrity, pop culture, television and fashion. Strap yourselves in for some hilarious opinionating on all the most pressing issues of our time, darlings.

  286. I make plans. Having something to look forward to keeps my mind from swirling in the now.

  287. I like to read about other people experiencing depression because it reminds me I’m not alone. Fiction or nnon-fiction, blogs or podcasts, even self help books. I like knowing someone can relate.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: