This post won’t be funny or entertaining but it’s honest and sometimes that’s all I have. I’ve been in a depression for bit. I thought I was sick and maybe I am and it caused the depression or maybe I was depressed enough that it looked like illness, and the terrible thing about depression mixed with chronic illnesses is that it’s often really impossible to tell if you’re dying of some disease or if you want to die because of another. This is not a cry for help. I’m 100% safe, I promise. But I’m safe because I know my limitations and because I’m lucky enough to have support and resources so that as soon as I start to get really deep I can tell people and get help.
Yesterday I had a few flashes of dark thoughts and that’s when I knew I needed some help so I told Victor and I called to see if I could get in for a few weeks of ketamine treatments. They’ve helped me before but since it’s been 2 years since my last round of treatment it’s going to take three weeks before they can do an intake for me, which was upsetting yesterday but I’m feeling better today knowing that I’ve taken the right steps to get there eventually. There’s a relief in knowing there may be relief in the future, and somehow just knowing that has helped.
Here’s the weird thing that’s going to sound awful. A big reason why I think I felt so desperate is because in a week Victor has to go to Hawaii for a meeting and Hailey and I were going to come along for a few days and instead of feeling incredibly grateful and lucky I felt horribly guilty and panicked about the fact that I know I may not be able to appreciate how lucky I am. Does that make sense? Somehow, living with depression when people can’t really see you unshowered, or unable to focus more than an hour or two a day, or in bed while the world goes on without you can seem like you’re living with the pause button on…but physically seeing how much of the world should bring you joy when you feel exhausted and numb can be like seeing yourself in the mirror after a long illness…seeing just how bad you’ve let things get when even the greatest things leave you feeling a bit hollow and broken.
I’m lucky that I have the kind of life where I even get to travel and that I have the kind of family who understands and who were okay with changing our agenda from a “LET’S DO ALL THE THINGS” to “Why don’t we just stay a few days instead of a week and just do one planned thing a day and then you can hide in the hotel or sit on the beach and rest the rest of the day?” without judgement. I’m lucky that I can even afford the treatment I’m getting because of course it isn’t covered by insurance because why would it be? I’m lucky that when I do speaking gigs they’re okay with me coming in the day before and hiding in my room because I don’t have the ability to travel and speak on the same day because I know my limits and they are embarrassingly small and I’m lucky to live in a world with people who understand because there are so many of us out there. (THANK YOU, IOWA. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.)
So I’ve followed the steps of my plan. I told my family that I’m struggling a little. I made a plan for treatment. I’ve set limits so that I can be my best self the few hours a day I have energy and I’m giving myself down-time as needed. I’m taking small walks and vitamins and medications. I told my family that I need a little help because when I get bad I sometimes get compulsive in my thoughts and my brain craves the darkness and that has meant a complete obsession with the Alex Murdaugh case (including 6 podcasts and the trial running live in the background for weeks) and yesterday I told them that I wasn’t going to listen anymore AND THEN OF COURSE IMMEDIATELY EVERYTHING HAPPENED and Hailey was on their phone and was like, “Don’t look it up but they found him guilty” and I high-fived them but fought off the impulse to immediately open up everything and refollow all of the podcasts to listen to all of them in succession and that’s a big deal.
So now I’m purposely trying to listen to funny, happy, or just slightly less death-focused podcasts and so I need your help because I am very good at finding all the dark and creepy ones I can usually listen to without repercussions but just to be safe I’m trying to bring more sunshine into my life…do you have any suggestions? A podcast that makes you happy? A comfort show to binge?
PS. I’m just about to publish this and then move on to the million other things I need to do but Hunter S. Thomcat just came and sat on my to-do list which was on top of another to-do list I wrote when I couldn’t find the first one which is next to a to-do journal that I bought because it looked more organized and I thought it would save me but strangely hasn’t at all because turns out “the wrong stationary” is not my problem, but it’s sort of nice that he’s perched on everything like a dragon guarding his hoard and I’m taking it as a sign that maybe I can go lay down for a little bit because you should never confront dragons if you can help it.
PPS. I know I’m not alone. In a way I wish I was because this sucks when you’re in it and I’m sorry anyone has to go through this. But it’s also comforting to know that it’s not just me and that I’ll get through this just like you will. Just keep breathing, friend. Beware of dragons. Fight for yourself. Ask for help. Know that you’ll be okay and that the lies depression tells are just that…lies.
I super love you.
615 thoughts on “Help.”
Read comments below or add one.
Sending love your way while I dodge my own dragons.
I only listen to horror podcasts and those probably aren’t the best plan right now, but I’m glad you’re getting on the treatment schedule and have all the furry hugs.
we love you in a way that doesn’t even make sense-does that help?
We super love you too, and Hunter S. Thomcat knows best so maybe the to do list will have to wait another day! All you can do is all you can do and the people who don’t understand are not your people XOXOXO
Jenny, it takes vast quantities of bravery to be so open with your struggles. I hope you know (and, one day, can take great pride in the fact) that just talking about it is going to help a lot of other people to recognize their own mental health struggles, and acknowledge that getting help only makes them more powerful, not weak.
I have been watching silly-but-charming Thai and Korean BL dramas a lot during the pandemic, as they are ridiculous but also wonderful at distracting me from *gestures around at everything going on* when it all seems too much. “KinnPorsche,” “My School President,” and “Semantic Error” have been fun recent ones.
Wait wait don’t tell me 25th anniversary podcast. I was laughing out lous – like i did for your books. https://www.npr.org/2023/02/22/1158897769/best-of-the-first-25-years
You are such a brave, beautiful, amazing human! I love and I appreciate you!
Watch Graham Norton show, clips, “Best Of’s” and you’ll be laughing so hard you’ll cry…but a happy cry. And thank you for this post. xo
Sending love your way, and hopes that you really enjoy your one activity a day in Hawaii, and letting you know the beach in Waikiki, is actually Australian, since they had to import the sand, being that Hawaii is volcanic and all that.
Sending strength. A friend just came to the realization that he’s now dealing with depression on top of his anxiety disorder, and I pointed him to your books because I have a feeling they will be able to help him.
The funniest podcast in the history of podcasts is “My Dad Wrote A Porno”. You’re welcome.
Ted Lasso. The show is very feel good. I am so glad you have a support system to help you. Keep on keeping on!
Sorry, can’t help with podcasts…. But thank you for sharing. It’s been dark in my head of late, or darker than usual… Your coping mechanisms look a bit like mine. I should rely on them more. Thank you for the reminder. You are a blessing, Jenny. You truly are.
Orange cats always know what you need.
I haven’t been reading your blog in ages. I don’t know why I clicked this time, but I did. We go through such similar shit: depression, chronic illness, and being creatives. It’ sucks. I just got over a 2 month virus and thought it was all psychosomatic and I was depressed the entire time. It was like a depression virus! Hang in there. No, you’re not alone. I also have a care plan so I don’t do something stupid. …oh, PS, you may remember me as Carol Es, but I changed it to Ayin for gender purposes.
Dude where’s my car is the best stupid movie ever. Makes me laugh every time
I love you Jenny. I’ve heard Beach Too Sandy Water Too Wet is a great funny podcast about one star travel reviews. My podcast choices are usually dark and scary but I’ve liked what I’ve heard from this one.
Hank and John Green also have a funny podcast.
Jenny, because I read your blogs, I was able to reach out (with the aid of my partner) and ask for help. I have just completed a 4-week, intensive outpatient program for my depression, had my meds tweaked, and been handed tools to help. I’m not recovered yet, but I’m seeing light again for the first time in a long while. Thank you. I love you, and I’m rooting for you!
I find one of my errors/issues is thinking folks in rad places are all appreciating the radness of the place (i.e. Hawaii) but there must be people in those places ‘faking it’ just like I am. If I meet someone like that then I will immediately feel a bit better which tells me it isn’t feel ungrateful that makes me feel shitty, its thinking I am the only person and thus something wrong with me that gets the shitstorm really going. Just one other person I connect with and suddenly… poof! the dark clouds get lifted a bit.
Long time reader, first time commenter.
Check out “Funny cause it’s true” with Elyse Myers.” She’s a brilliant, goofy, self aware storyteller who you can’t help but laugh with.
I’ll leave you with this— thanks for reaching out. For telling V&H (and all of us) you needed a little help.
You are worthy and that voice in your head is a lying whore.
Mobituaries with Mo Rocca. Fascinating deep dives into people and things which are no more (a recent one was about a particular strain of banana). Much more entertaining than I’m making it sound.
I needed this today, so thank you. I’m right there with you. I am currently rereading the 3 Pines books by Louise Penny because I want to live there, even if a lot of people seem to die in such a small town. There’s a TV version, but I haven’t seen it yet. I prefer books. Take care. 💕💕
Look up the new podcast Worlds Beyond Number.
Super love you too! It’s ok to feel this way. I’m glad you know the steps you need in Oder to kicks it’s ass!
I super love you too❤️❤️
I’m struggling myself right now, and I am having trouble deciding to fight it, or just lie down and give in for a bit, because it’s sooo tiring. I’m glad you have such wonderful support and a plan for when things are going not so well. Also, Hunter looks like he might be protecting you from over doing? Best wishes, Jenny. Thanks for sharing.
A few podcasts that I’ve been enjoying lately. “Stuff You Missed in History Class”, and “A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs”
I’m currently in a battle between depression and anxiety. It’s turned into a fight club and I just want to peal off my skin and escape. I hope things get better and Hunter is just saying he’s your #1 to do. I really hope things get better quickly for you. Sending hugs but not real ones because ewww touching
I have been binge-watching old episodes of the Carol Burnett show. She is so funny, and it’s good, clean humor. I find myself guffawing aloud while watching them on YouTube. I hope you would enjoy them, too, and take your mind off the darkness for a little while. I am so sad you are suffering right now, and I hope this phase passes soon, and when you can get in,I hope the ketamine helps. You are so awesome Jenny. I’ll be praying for you.❤️
Not to be contrary… Hunter looks more concerned for you than threatening. Maybe think of him protecting you from unrealizable expectations. Dump the shoulds, give Hunter a yummy treat and go hide in your blanket fort. You deserve it.
Ridiculous History is usually good for a laugh for me.
Sending love and hugs Jenny. When I’m in need of comfort I gravitate to my two favourite shows: Gilmore Girls and Charmed (original series). If you want something light, GG is perfect, at least in my opinion. Soothes my soul ❤️
If you like The Office, I recommend The Office Ladies podcast. It’s Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Each episode of the podcast is like a behind the scenes of the corresponding episode of the show from season one on. They’re delightful.
Appreciate your comment about how a physical illness might be masked depression. Explains where I’ve been the past three months. Thank you for the road map. I truly mean that.
My Lola seems to be quite taken with your Hunter S. Thomcat. No idea if she’s attracted or merely hungry. Love from the newly-designated Murdaugh state.
My shirt today says, “It’s Okay to not be Okay.” Much love and positive energy sent your way.
Love you too! I have been watching “What we do in the shadows” on hulu, its both dark and hilarious so you might like it
“Funny Cuz It’s True” podcast from Elyse Myers makes me happy. Her genuine, quirky outlook on life while struggling with mental illness is both relatable and reassuring. She is the cheese to my macaroni.
Story Club (from Giant Dwarf) is an Australian podcast of hilarious stories of people embarrassing themselves and other funny things. Being Australian, there are lots of funny ‘sentence enhancers’ in the language. Enjoy!!
Ted Lasso is the loveliest show and easily digestible in short episodes. Hugs to you
Sending huge hugs your way. I always find The Great British Baking Show kind of soothing. The food looks so delicious, the contestants are darling and for the most part the judges are quite positive, especially in the later seasons. But the best thing is that the winner gets a cake stand – no money, and they all care so much for each other.
Thanks for the cry. Sending hugs to all who need them.
Sending hugs and love – like you say, you’re doing all the right things, I really hope that they help you see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.xx
Go to YouTube and search “QI”, it’s a British panel show and is hilariously funny, with lots and lots of seasons. I love British humour, there’s “Would I Lie to You” as well. Hope it helps, love you ❤️
Ally McBeal streaming on Amazon Prime. Wonderful in so many ways.
David Tennant does a Podcast With is brilliant. He interviews awesome people and he’s just so…I don’t even know about it but I don’t usually do podcasts and this one makes me exceptionally happy.
Phil Rosenstein’s Naked Lunch podcast is fun and funny!
Just increased my antidepressants because winter is always hard. So glad you have support and I know it is always a less scary when you have a plan to make it better.
I recently discovered the hilariously goofy IG feed of an L.A. comedian named Drennon Davis (@drennondavis). He takes videos of his four cats (Newt, Frog, Toad, and Doug), and then does voiceovers of their meowing. “Cat Calling Feral Cheryl” slayed me. (“Cheryl – do you like spiders? I know a place.”) I keep watching it – and I keep giggling. That can only be a good thing!
I keep reminding myself and others that the most important war to win is the one within ourselves. This is going to sound crazy, but I figured out by turning on old pro-wrestling matches from Japan and having Youtube’s auto-translate try to keep up with English translation results in some of the funniest content ever. Japanese is such a beautiful language, and seeing YT not be able to keep up with it is hilarious.
Absolutely love the look on Hunter’s face – he’s concerned and telling you, “You don’t need to do the things. You need to do you.” You are fabulous, Jenny. Just love yourself like everyone else does and you would if you knew you the way we do. You really have a lot of your shit together, and that is worth celebrating, even if that shit is because life is falling apart. If you know what I mean.
Nateland podcast by comedian Nate Bargatze is the best, funniest, almost boring (but in the best way) podcast
Here is some lighthearted listening. This may be my most favorite This American Life ever, which is saying something because I’ve been listening to it for 25+ years since it was a radio show on NPR. I laughed so hard I almost peed, which was problematic as I was taking a walk at the time:
So many of us are glad you are hanging in there. Also, I’d like to borrow your cat. 😆
If you want stupid silly giggly three friends cracking each other up with no agenda, I cannot recommend Threedom enough. I binge.
When I need to feel good I watch “color blind glasses” videos on FB. Total happy emotion porn. Vicariously experiencing the overwhelming joy of others just feels good.
Hunter S. Thomcat has your back! And so do we. The to-do list can wait but your mental health is a priority. I’ve been trying to avoid dark criminal series too, and watching comfort TV like Friends, Life in Pieces, Cougartown. Sending you lots of hugs!!
If you’ll be on Oahu, there is a lovely Japanese meditation garden tucked back in a cemetary. You can ring a big ass bell, and chill with a giant Buddah guy, and then feed some pigeons. It’s so very peaceful
As a complete nerd, I follow the Critical Role Podcast. But if you want to not listen to the first campaign, they made it in cartoon form on Amazon Prime.
You sound far more together than I’ve ever been when I slip into a bad depression.
We super love you too! So glad you reached out for help. And grateful you have resources around you.
When my depression hits and I begin spiraling into the darkness, mini binges of Netflix’ Queer Eye brings me peace. I have also heard The Makanai is a lovely and joyful series – saving that for when I have no more Queer Eyes left to watch. Frankie and Grace also makes me smile.
Keep remembering that depression lies. Keep reaching out. And thank you for sharing the hard times with us. You are not alone. We are not alone.
Love you lots, Jenny!
Go to YouTube and search “QI”, it’s British panel show and it’s hilarious. Lots of seasons. Also “Would Lie To You”. I love British humour. Hope it helps, love you Jenny❤️.
I’m so glad you’re safe <3 Sawbones: a Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine, and The Adventure Zone are my go-to podcasts when I need a laugh! Especially the first TAZ arc, which is like the first 60 episodes and which just get funnier but also better and more heart-tugging as it goes on. And of course for shows to binge: The Good Place, Schitt’s Creek, Brooklyn 99, and good ol’ M*A*S*H.
My depression show is New Girl. I have watched it all the way through 11 times now. When I feel the darkness creeping in, this show always makes me laugh and it helps tremendously.
I highly recommend the podcasts I Said No Gifts with Bridger Winegar and Bananas with Kurt Braunoler and Scotty Landis. They both make me laugh all day.
Totally understand. I highly suggest watching otter cam videos on repeat for unbearable cuteness.
I recommend “Ologies with Alie Ward.” It’s a very enthusiastic and likable journalist who interviews scientists about their hyper-specialized and fascinating fields (using non-technical, accessible language). It’s frequently funny and occasionally inspiring, and it’s fantastic for bad brain days.
I think you should listen to Chris Hardwick’s “ID10T” podcast, specifically the Oct 2021 episode with Danny Elfman. Girl, they talk about their mutual love for Victorian taxidermy.
The Great British Baking Show is great to binge and I find it so soothing. Everyone has a lovely accent and the contestants are so kind to each other and the cast is diverse and it makes me think if the way the world should actually be.
I also recommend The House on the Cerulean Sea for similar reasons – gentle and sweet and fantastical.
We love you! Also, and I know this may be annoying, but i have to ask? Have you ever tried to use cannabis medically? I know you smoked out of a doll head years ago, but its possible it would be worth it for you to have another go. Sure, its not legal in Texas, but there are ways around that. It has been shown to help with a lot of things, including depression, anxiety, RA, and there are promising indications in the area of dementia. I know you’ve tried lots of stuff and I wouldn’t normally suggest it to someone I don’t know, but your books have helped me so much, and so has cannabis. It isn’t for everyone of course, and there’s a lot to learn to find the best stain and usage method, but it has been really effective for a lot of people who are resistant to other meds and treatments. I highly (pun intended) recommend the book “Smoke Signals” by Martin A. Lee, and if you are interested or have questions, please feel free to reach put to me. I have struggled with depression so much, and your books are one of my standby tools to pull me out. Thanks so much for that, and I hope you feel better.
It is a video podcast/vlog on youtube called ‘Emma’s Allotment Diaries’. She isn’t a professional garden, or have tons of experience, she started her allotment during lockdown, but she is 100% relatable because she is like the majority of us trying to garden. And I think that is what makes me happy about her blog. A new knitting related video podcast that makes me happy is MaressaMade. She also keeps it real and feels 100% relateable and makes me happy. Almost all of my purely audio based podcasts are history based, so not entirely happy or makes me happy emotionally. But might not be the same extent as true crime. RexFactor is probably the best for making me happy. Run by a couple of guys who like history, but aren’t professionals at it. You might enjoy Betwixt the Sheets for more empowering subjects.
I like the Revisionist History podcast because Malcolm Gladwell has a sexy voice, & is funny
Hi, I hear you. I am in a low spot now as well. Terrified and beginning therapy at 54(!!!!) for the complex PTSD, panic disorder and lol, surprise some depression thrown on top. I literally go from working, being present to almost comatose from physical and mental exhaustion in a heartbeat. I draw a little and then the sketch sits there for weeks gathering dust. I catch up the laundry and then it sits in a heap on the bedroom floor and my cat pees on it all… Like that. And I hear you about the guilt. It is just a lie, don’t listen. Also Lucifer on Netflix is my go to funny spot. That or endless cute baby animals on you tube… But Lucifer is fun.
This is NOT a new one and you’ve probably already listened, but, My Dad Wrote a Porno (podcast) made me laugh more than anything eh-ver.
Ted Lasso. Just nice sweet joy, touching but funny, really but nutty. An easy no hard thinking good tv show. I have also been watching the Apple TV movie Spirited on repeat. Literally play it for the music, etc , day after day.
The Great Pottery Throwdown always helps me. It is utterly comforting- sweet British people, loving each other, and making beautiful, astounding things. As for podcasts, Ridiculous Crime is good for involuntarily induced guffaw. Feel better in your own time, however you can. We are with you.
I don’t listen to a ton of podcasts, though I have a bunch queued up, and I definitely default to the darker side of things mostly. I can say that the Haunted Objects podcasts by Greg & Dana Newkirk is about weird stuff and I often laugh out loud at their stories and delivery.
Lindy West’s “Shit, Actually” in print or audio form is perfect for you right now! I also like Kathleen Madigan and Tom Papa’s standup specials.
If you like Kathleen, she also hosts Madigan’s Pubcast, which has about 126 episodes in the can — nothing too heavy, just chatting about stuff.
Dear dear Jenny whom I love and admire so much: First, thanks so very much for sharing. I’m sorry it’s so sucky right now. Please please please don’t feel guilty about not enjoying Hawaii to the max, or that you’re fortunate enough to afford treatment and have a supportive family. You deserve all that as a basic human right. You deserve every gosh-darn good thing and gosh-darn break from pressure because YOU make the world a better place, even when you’re in the dark and can’t find your to-do list. Here are some ideas for little pick-me-ups: podcast fave: We Can Do Hard Things (listen to the funnier ones, or the best one that has YOU on it, not the ones on gun violence or abortion), Depresh Mode (to feel in good company with all us fellow mental health sufferers). TV shows: Miss Scarlet and the Duke on PBS (light hearted period piece detective). Veronica Mars on Hulu (light hearted teen detective with Kirsten Bell). Movie SPY with Melissa McCarthy (funny!), Spy Who Dumped Me (with Kate McKinnon). SNL reruns. Lastly, I know you know so much about helping yourself through the shit-storms, but I made my own list too on MyHappierMind.com. So in case you wanna rifle through my 71 tips for better mental health, they’re there for you (and PS – you book is listed in the resources! because you rock. because you make life better for me and everyone i know!). Feel better Jenny – on your own terms and own time line. You’re important and wonderful just as you are. Love, Anh
OMG – I totally forgot Cunk on Earth – it is so ridiculous, that it is laugh out loud. How the star keeps a straight face is beyond me!!
The Thrilling Adventure Hour (specifically the “Beyond Belief” ones), Edith (a scripted comedy about Edith Wilson – it’s delightful), and the Amelia Project would be my pod cast recommendations. Hope you are feeling more light over darkness soon.
Is it like something in the air or what? Because the last few weeks have been wretched and I thought it was just me. So anyway, thanks for the reminder and also thanks to HST because his face always makes me smile.
I’m so sorry you’re struggling. I’ve been depressed for awhile now and then just the other day I remembered a set of DVDs that always cheer me up. From the 1990s, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry star in P.G. Wodehouse’s tv show, Jeeves & Wooster. I’ve been watching a few episodes every night and having a much needed laugh.
Take good care of yourself and never forget how much you are loved!
This silly Korean cat asmr series always helps when I’m in a dark place. Side note: I came across a Korean movie the other day that had a similar plot! https://youtu.be/3nHn34oUqpc
I Said No Gifts! By Bridger Winegar is a goddamn delight.
Depression hit me out of the blue. I woke up one morning in 2001 not wanting to live; there was no longer any joy in life or any reason to go on. I just wanted to die. It seemed to take forever, but I finally got the right medication and the depression has not returned, at least not to that extent. You can add me to the list of people who deeply admire you. I don’t think I am strong enough to have lived your life. And you keep going on. You are an amazing woman. PLEASE keep it up. Gene.
I’m thirding TED LASSO!! I watched the entire first season in two evenings. Laughed the whole way through it. It’s fantastic!! Apple TV!
Right now I am binge watching— over and over from beginning to end, seasons 1-6— Mike and Molly. It’s hilarious and slutty and has lots of cursing. I still laugh out loud even after watching so may times. Hunter S might like it too. Give it a try. Thank you for your honesty and humor. ❤️
Podcasts that make me giggle and feel like I’m hanging out with friends: Fated Mates; Heaving Bosoms; Gender Forking; The PosCast (draft episodes); SSR; At Your Leisure; The Juice; Bonkers Romanxe; Groceries!; You are Good; This is Good For You; the late, great Thirst Aid Kit.
Do you like The Office? If so, you might enjoy The Office Ladies poscast, with Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey.
Can’t identify with the depression, but as an avid trial watcher (all kinds of trials) I get the obsession with trials. I have been moaning recently that no one around me shares my joy of trial watching. I have so many discussions in my head I’m starting to get a split personality. He’s totally guilty… but there’s no proof! But there is proof… It’s just not a lot. My internal debater is frustrated.
For shows I’d recommend
Derry Girls: a funny short run sitcom about four girls and one boy attending highschool in Derry, Ireland, during the IRA era. Funny and heartwarming!
What We Do In The Shadows: a mockumentary style comedy about three vampires rooming together in Rhode Island
New Girl – cmon, it’s freaking new girl! A single, quirky teacher moves in with three equally eccentric male roommates and shenanigans ensue.
Parks & Rec – on the off chance you *haven’t* seen it, it’s about a parks and recreation office in Illinois filled with quirky and hilarious coworkers that quickly become close and loving (in their own weird way) friends
For podcasts I’d recommend:
Ologies with Allie Ward – deep dives into different topics w/ professionals
99% Invisible with Roman Mars – cozy pod abt design in the modern world
Violating Community Guidelines with Brittany Broski and Sarah Schaur – two internet funny ladies talk about internet culture
The Dollop – two comedians talking about historical events and figures
How To Be A Girl – at times heartwarming and at others painfully insightful, an anonymous mother documents raising her trans daughter
I hope you enjoy any of these! I’m recently coming out of a long depressive episode myself, and as I leave these things behind (for now) to try and focus on getting going again, I hope they serve you and hold you as well as they did me (:
Our brains and chemistry are a mysterious muddle that are a constant juggling act for too many of us. You are an inspiration in sharing your thoughts and how you cope.
I super love you, too, and appreciate all of the times when you tell us all that it’s Friday and we need to step into your office and be cheered up. So now it’s my turn to ask you to step into my office and listen to my friends’ brand spankin’ new podcast which will definitely cheer you up if you have any interest in sewing/textiles/movies. There’s No Thread breaks it down with two sisters, one a professional seamstress/costumer and the other a playwright. So far they’ve done Baron Munchausen, Pretty in Pink, sound of Music, Carrie, and Three Amigos. I promise you will have fun and get pulled ever so slightly out of the hole. At least to an edge. It’s on Apple and Backtracks and probably others!
That cat definitely knows you need a break.
You are absolutely NOT ALONE! I have yet to tune in, but have heard wonderful things about the podcast that Jason BAteman does called “Smartless”. I hope you find your rest and that peace and a calm mind will visit you again soon. I say “visit” because I also know how those feelings aren’t permanent for folks like us.
I’m also struggling. I’m 3/4 the way through TMS and not seeing any improvement and starting to wonder what’s really wrong with me. It’s not sadnesses, it’s inertia. I don’t *want* to do anything, everything just seems like too much effort. I force myself to do what’s necessary, but it’s draining and I really just want to sleep.
These two make me smile though.
H So sorry you are feeling dark. Check out the Reluctant Traveler with Eugene Levy. He totally makes fun of his many anxieties with dry humor that cracks me up because I am afraid of most of the things that he is. Makes me feel better and maybe will you too! sending peace to your brain!
I live an hour from Walterboro, SC (where the Murdaugh trial was taking place) so to say I, too, am obsessed with all things Murdaugh is an understatement. (Plus it’s on our local news/in our local papers here, so you can’t avoid it even if you want to). To help balance that craziness (and also my functional depression) I love listening to the What’s up Weirdo? podcast, I watch a lot of Bob’s Burgers for laughs, and I find Antiques Roadshow very soothing when I can’t sleep. Sending love and hugs your way. (And thank you for being you and creating this community where we can be open about…everything. Looking forward to others suggestions of podcasts, shows, etc.)
Sending out lots of Love, Jenny. And gratitude for your sharing and encouragement. It helps.
Tell me more about Iowa, since that’s where I am! Where will you be?
I super love you too, and I’m so glad you’re safe and asked for help. I’m also glad you have a fuzzy orange dragon on your desk, and I believe that he chose that spot specifically so you’d go lie down and rest for a bit. Good dragon.
My podcast recs are all dark, like my brain, so don’t go there. But I’m watching Superstore right now (yes, I am always years late to everything and I am fine with that) and it makes me laugh stupid hard. Maybe it can do the same for you?
You’re not alone. Really struggling here too. Sending 💜
If you can find Staged with Michael Sheen and David Tennant – watch that one. So funny. Sending love.
There is a show on Peacock called Escape to the Chateau about two quirky british people who buy and renovate a chateau in France. It is like candy.
I know you were a guest on Dear Hank and John a couple years ago, but if you haven’t actually listened to all the episodes I highly recommend it.
When my depression was at its worst, I would see people on TV enjoying travel and would immediately think “I will never be the person who enjoys that”. Depression lies so, so much. Thinking of you and hoping you each the other side quickly
Also dealing with depression right now, so thanks for this message of support!
You should listen to Double Love, a podcast where two Irish women recap the Sweet Valley series, book by book. They are both hilarious, take down all the bullshit in those books, all with amazing accents!
I think you would like Hello from the Magic Tavern:) https://hellofromthemagictavern.com/
Really struggling with knowing and accepting my limits right now. Reading this was really helpful, so thank you and good job helping other people even when things are so hard for you. You rock!
Hey Jenny, I found Wednesday to be both a dark and heart warming in a way only the Adams Family could pull off. Bingeworthy!
Depression sucks so much. There are days when I don’t have the energy to try to analyze why I just pray for it to ease up. Know that all of us here get what you’re describing and are sending you lots of good vibes. We super love you, Jenny.
Joe Pera talks With You. 11 minute episodes, sadly only three seasons, find it on Amazon. The most gentle, wonderful TV show ever. It got so many people through difficult times in their lives, and will sooth your heart and mind ❤️
Sending love and positive vibes.
I am having a shit-tastic day and recommend binge-watching “Parks and Rec” or “New Girl”. Skip season 1 of “Parks and Rec”. No darkness, just silly people being Silly. I also really enjoy “Drunk History” – it’s funny AND educational!
Taskmaster (a hilarious UK show that has won many BAFTAS (think Emmy’s where celebrities are pitted against each other doing silly tasks).
Diary of a CEO – British also He does these amazing in-depth interviews with people (he’s had Gabor Mate, spice girls, a broad variety of people who have all had tough times in their lives but have made it through. It makes you realize people are just people.
A few of the people he has had on have talked about gut health and depression (need to have the right type of bacteria in your gut – kombucha, yogurt, etc).
There was an experiment where they put a depressed mouses poo in a non- depressed mouse and caused the second mouse to experience depression.
Acapulco on Apple TV
My comfort podcast is the Joe Marler Show. Basically, it’s a British guy (with an awesome/addictive laugh) who interviews people about their jobs. My fav episodes are the penetration tester and sex worker.
Sorry I can’t help with great podcast suggestions. I saw a clip on IG about a Golden Retriever who slipped the phone from his sleeping owner’s hand, pulled the blanket over the owner and shut off the lights. It warmed my heart and made me think your Hunter S. Thomcat sat on your to-do list as an act of love.
You’re doing all the right things to care for yourself. Thank you for keeping us in the loop as you wait for this cloud to pass. Lots of strength and love to you.
“This Might Get Weird” podcast has 2 of the funniest women, EVER.
I am sending you an internet stranger hug & the hope for better times!
I don’t do podcasts, but I myself think The Big Bang Theory is incredibly funny.
Also …. I don’t know if its available for viewing anywhere, but Scavenger Hunt (1979) is one of the most hilarious movies EVER
Judge John Hodgman! Cannot recommend highly enough. I’ve been a listener for at least a dozen years.
Out here rooting for you with everything I’ve got. Also, if it helps at all, a number of insurers cover Spravato, the FDA-approved ketamine nasal spray. The manufacturer of Spravato also provides heavy discounts. There are relatively few doctors certified to offer Spravato but it can be a huge savings over using non-FDA versions of the drug.
I don’t have a good recommendation, but I want you to know that I hear you, and I see you. (Not literally. That would be creepy.) You’re doing really great in the midst of a shit time. Thank you for being honest about that, and thank you for taking care of you.
Listen to Garfunkel and Oates 🤗
Hunter is wise and telling you to go lay down and be at peace with yourself. I love to binge watch old episodes of I Love Lucy or Frasier. When I was pregnant I was late into the pregnancy and watching Frasier and it was the episode with the fencing instructor and Niles thinks Maris is cheating on him. I laughed so hard I thought I broke my water. It wasn’t my water.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. And I’ve often felt like they should have come up with a blood test ages ago for the presence and depth of depression cause all the “what is going on–is it–isn’t it–is it better” thinking you have to do is lame. One podcast I love is Maintenance Phase–it’s two people talking about various diet and health and wellness stuff and debunking it. The only thing that might be a drawback is sometimes talking about fatphobic doctors and stuff like that is a little meh, but if that isn’t a trigger, they are SO DAMN FUNNY and their chemistry is awesome. Another one that I haven’t listened to tons but seems like it would be fun is if you ever watched the show Scrubs, the two main characters (J.D. and Turk to be specific) have a podcast where they go through the shows and talk.
I hope you’re doing better very soon.
IOWA?!? Why can’t I find the info about this visit!?! Please, anyone, direct me to the info!
As for a distraction, I just watched “The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy” on Apple TV+. Apologies if you do not have Apple TV+ and I’m that privileged asshole. But it was really good and feels like something you would enjoy. <3
PS – I MUST REITERATE MY NEED TO FIND THE DEETS ON THE IOWA VISIT!!
Go you for being able to recognize your depression and take steps to take care of yourself! That’s really huge.
For feel-good shows, have you seen Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix? Phil Rosenthal, a lovely goofy golden retriever of a man, travels around the world and makes friends with strangers and eats amazing food. It is gentle and loving and kind and surprisingly entertaining.
Thank you for sharing. Relationships with depression are like any other. Give and take. Unfortunately. Sending slow release happiness with fast acting joy.
I did not understand the fascination with true crime until I went through an incredibly stressful part of my life which took me so far into anxiety that I practically changed my name to “ack!” and then I couldn’t stop watching these deep dives into the scariest part of people’s psyches, and now that I’m past that I’ve had to unsubscribe from a bunch of truly disturbing media feeds (my normal depression is more ostrich-like and my media of choice tends to be cozy or educational).
The podcasts “Conan O’brien Needs a Friend” and “Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone” make me laugh and forget my misery. Also, several comics tell hysterically funny personal stories (which may or may not be true) on “Would i Lie to You”, found on Youtube.
I know I’m a random stranger, so it probably doesn’t help, but I’m proud of you. You followed everything you should do in this type of situation AND you are making yourself not do the thing that you really want to do because you know it will make things worse…and that is EXCESSIVELY HARD to do. ::Hugs:: Have you tried the “Can I Pet Your Dog?” podcast? It’s basically all about dogs. And dogs are always a good thing.
Here in Australia I listen to Chat 10 Looks 3. Two prominent female journalists who are good friends and just hang out talking about what they’ve read/ watched/ baked. Gentle, funny, no compulsion to listen to the next episode to find out what happened next.
Sending so much love and gentleness your way.
And my go to podcast when I feel like this (and often even when I’m not) is Judge John Hodgman.
My other favorite is Thrilling Adventure Hour. The catalog is on Patreon now, but worth it IMHO. It’s clever and silly and I had to stop listening when I was grocery shopping because I kept bursting out laughing and drawing weird looks.
Jenny, thank you so much for being open about your experiences. I’m so glad you have Victor and Hailey in your life. A previous commenter mentioned the British TV quiz show QI. If that fits your taste, look for the podcast No Such Thing as a Fish; it’s done by some of the behind the scenes people for QI. During the pandemic, when I lost interest in listening to more serious podcasts, No Such Thing became a lifeline for me. I still listen to episodes as I fall asleep at night. Good luck in Hawaii – I hope you find enjoyment there.
Comfort show to binge: “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” on Netflix. It’s about a young attorney with autism, and she’s quirky and challenging and brilliant and completely wonderful.
The Debaters and Laugh Out Loud are my go-to podcasts for funny as well as Because, News. All from CBC radio.
Normal Gossip and Pen Pals with Rory Scovell and Daniel Van Kirk are fun, easy podcasts!
I’ve been on the struggle bus since January but the days are getting lighter and so is my depression. I hope you get everything you need to get back to a good place ❤️
Elyse Meyers has a great Podcast, as does Randy Rainbow.
I’m glad you’re taking the self care steps necessary – never feel bad or guilty about that!
(also absurdly addicted to the Murdaugh trial – have been listening to a podcast for over a year on him)
Samurai Cat. Not a podcast, but available online. Complete silliness. No dark rabbit holes.
Thank you for your honesty. You don’t have to be funny… just be you. Hoping you find a way out of the darkness soon. I’d try to help you, but I suck at directions & I am hopelessly lost there myself, so all I can do is wish you luck & love.
Podcast that had me laugh-crying: This Sounds Serious
I know I could say things will get better and you’re not alone (which is all true), but I also know that when things are dark the voices in your head will just say that’s a lie.
So instead I just want to send my support, see if I can share some of my strength across the airwaves with you, and hope you feel it. I just wanted to give you a big virtual hug *hugs* and tell you that I love you.
And if anyone else is feeling dark the same message is for you too, big BIG hugs and this internet stranger loves you.
Please go to the Facebook and look up Temperamental Chucklefuck and Friends and LOVE IT. This is the page of the somewhat-famous, always entertaining Vitamix cats and their servants, MAL1 and MAL2. You and Hailey will both enjoy it thoroughly. You might want to scroll back a bit to get the full story if you’ve not heard about this before. And their George looks much like your Thomcat. I’m depressed too. These women and their kitkats always help.
I’m so sorry you’re having a rough time. Smartless and Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend are two great, light podcasts. As a side effect of medication, I had light-sensitive migraines for two months straight and spent most of my time in a dark room listening to comfort shows. They are:
-Parks and Recreation
-The Good Place
I hope that helps!
Armchair Expert! With Dax Shepard (from Idiocracy and is also Kristen Bell’s husband) and Monica Padman. There are a lot of days that it’s the only thing that can help me feel even a little bit sane and calm or happy.
If you like plants (and I don’t mean just gardening), check out Plantrama.com
Extra Hot Great for fun pop culture tv discussion
Listen to Sassy (rereading old Sassy mag, AMAZING)
Behind the Bastards, similar to The Dollop
Conan O’Brien needs a friend
Don’t Ask Tig
Love you friendo!
I really like https://maximumfun.org/podcasts/wonderful/ – it’s about 30 minutes and the couple talks about things that make them happy.
Sorry you’re going through a bad period. It’s good to see you have a plan though and that you’re following it. And in a wider sense – I like seeing how someone uses their care plan.
Toni and Ryan podcast.
It’s 2 Aussies who are VERY Aussie and there are days where I listen and laugh out loud multiple times, even after listening more than once.
If nothing else, you might learn new Aussie language.
But there is cursing, but also duh, cos Aussie.
Jenny. You and I know there are no words, so I just want you to know that I love you. A podcast that always makes me smile is;
grownups Read things They Wrote as Kids
I absolutely get it and I’m really sorry you do.
My podcast choices might not be very helpful. I like humerous try crime and ghosts. Drunk women solving crime. My favourite murder. And that’s why we drink.
Ooo also ‘ no such thing as a fish’ though. Made by qi elves!! That’s very funny.
And radio 4 comedy like im sorry I haven’t a clue, and just a minute.
I’m so glad you have support.
I get the guilt. I also just finished a round of Ketamine last month, thanks to you talking about it. My escape podcast is Rob Lowe’s Literally.
I didn’t have time to read all the comments, so hope you’re not getting a billion suggestions for this one. I love This is Love Podcast, a spin-off of This American Life, narrated by Phoebe Judge. It’s about all kinds of love. Start from the beginning. The second episode is the best, Something Large and Wild. Peace!
‘This Might Get Weird’ by Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart always gives me a good chuckle: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/this-might-get-weird/id1438878323
Good self care deserves applause! I’ve been laughing to Midnight Burger. It has its dark and deep moments, but plenty of funny and other F words.
The best of both worlds, podcasts about TV shows! I like “I Am All In” about The Gilmore Girls. It’s fun listening to Scott Patterson, who was one of the stars, watch episodes for the first time and dissect them.
Sending healing vibes your way.
Frog of the Week- it is a delight and you learn something
Authors & Dragons- fantasty authors playing Dungeons & Dragons, absolutly not safe for work, gets real gross sometimes but never fails to make me laugh
Atlas Obscura- weird and wonderous things around the world, wholesome AF
Away She Goes- women talking about travel
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend- Conan talking to people, always funny
David Tennant Does a Podcast With- David Tennant talking to people, delightful
Dear Hank & John- Hank and John Green give dubious advice and be brothers
Hello from the Magic Tavern- think improv meets D&D meets podcasting, ridiculous but hilarious
My Dad Wrote a Porno- British man and his two friends read and discuss the horrendious porno books his dad wrote
Overdue- two friends read and talk about books they were “supposed” to read but never did
PS I Hate This Movie- comedian couple watch terrible movies and talk about them
Sidedoor- Put out by the Smithsonian, short episodes that talk about cool, historical/scientific stuff
The Dollop- comedians talk about wierd shit in history
Toni & Ryan- Australian friends just talking, gets ridiulous, crazy, always hilarious
I’ve got a ton more but most are dark history, dark lore, or true crime. I hope this helps!
I keep running into articles and shows on Shrooms – ok, actually I keep looking them up. But they are doing AMAZING things with psychedelics right now – like 1 time sessions that are truly helping people. Especially for PTSD and depression. I think you should check into it my dear!
Thank you for making me smile so many times in my life since my sister introduced your books and blog to me! Sending love and good vibes to you!
Girl, I get it, I’m glad you’re getting help. I sometimes get in a funk and when people ask whether I’ve had suicidal thoughts I always think no, I don’t want to die. I just don’t want to live this way, with all the pain and heartache. But that’s one requirement- we have to live life on life’s terms. Heartaches, darkness, pain, sickness and all. That doesn’t mean we absorb all of that. We have to find a way to live in spite of it.
I get you about having this beautiful opportunity for travel and not feeling like you can do it and then feeling guilty. Allow yourself to go there as you are – depressed or not. And if you can’t? You are also privileged to be able to skip this one and go another time when the TMS or fungi or ketamine have had time to work. You are under no obligation to pretend that depression can’t follow you because you’re going somewhere with flowers and waterfalls. Take care of yourself. We love you!
I like to listen to Smartless when I need something light, or Conan O’Brien needs a friend. They are both easy and friendly. Hawaii understands too. You owe nothing to Hawaii. Do what you can and you are amazing ♥️
I just discovered My Unsung Hero—short (4-5 minute) accounts by people who had someone unexpectedly help them often in a life changing way. It is inspiring and heartwarming (and that’s coming from a true crime junkie).
I am not a huge podcast listener but there is one I enjoy – Betwixt The Sheets, the history of sex, scandal, & society. It is Kate Lister of the Whores of Yore twitter account and it has a bit of everything. I think you would enjoy it!
I am glad you have a plan and support and may your depression lift soon!
Hugs!!! You are definitely not alone 😔
Funniest podcast ever: “My mum has seen a movie”, Rob and his hilariously feisty sweary British mum review current movies
I am enjoying the BBC History Podcast, “You’re Dead to Me”. It’s funny and you get to learn things about history. Win win!
I love Ologies with Alie Ward. I always learn things and Alie has really funny asides.
Sending lots of love your way, Jenny.❤
My depression is telling me that my contribution here isn’t important but I will see that as a lie and post anyway.
The Podcast MAINTENANCE PHASE is interesting and funny, you can tell the hosts are good friends, and they are honest, real, and relatable. Even when they’re talking about serious and maddening stuff (diet culture and all that), it’s entertaining.
I’m also a long-time Gilmore Girls fan and have been rewatching the first few seasons…although it can make me feel worse because why don’t I get to live in a place like Stars Hollow?
And you can’t go wrong with the British Pride & Prejudice 1995 Miniseries. Or listening to Jennifer Ehle read P&P on YouTube.
I have RA, PSA, FIBROMYALGIA, depression and others.
Thank you for sharing when you are in the dark. We/I, are here to hold the light for you when needed. Hoping you see it. 💖🕯
I often turn to your audio books to be cheered up (I once laughed so hard and loud on an airplane whilst listening to “Fearlessly Happy” that I was told to shush.) Try the Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda podcast. In each episode he has a guest and together they do a deep dive into a science topic. I’m no science nerd, and it’s always fascinating. Plus, you get to listen to Alan Alda and who doesn’t like that?!
We super love you back. And that was a long post for a person not feeling very functional-y.
Try listening to the Ologies podcast with Ally Ward. She is enthusiastic and positive and gives me hope for the next generation in the world. I especially like the moss episode and the neuroscientists in an airport episode, but just about any one will do.
Go to Hawaii and just enjoy how good it smells! Like, as soon as you get off the plane the plumeria and friends welcome your nose, even before the sun hits your skin. Mmm… smell that beauty!
It’s really hard, isn’t it? If you’re looking for happy, the podcast Dear Hank and John is mostly delightful nonsense, but also sibling banter, science stuff, light philosophy, news from English football & Mars. Occasional serious turn, but usually nothing too heavy. Also, when I was having a hard year once, I listened to the episode of Armchair Expert where Dax Shepard interviews his mother and she talks about her struggles with depression. It helped. Also. You did specify you were looking for less death, however. Pushing Daisies is wonderful and always makes me happy. I’m not sure where it might be available for streaming now, it was originally on ABC I think. But if you can find it, it’s lovely. New Girl and is one of my comfort shows, everyone is weird and a little messed up and there’s always complicated shenanigans going on, but the friendships are strong. And Parks and Rec, which also fits that description and is one of the best things to watch if you’re trying to avoid your own thoughts. Hoping your brain is a little kinder to you, soon.
Adding my fallback comfort show, Schitt’s Creek, and not just because I live 15 minutes from where it was filmed. Catherine O’Hara is one of our GD national treasures and I think the perfect ridiculousness of her character would serve this purpose well.
Tig and Cheryl: True Story
Don’t Ask Tig
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
Pants with Kate and Leisha
Life is short with Justin long
Fly on the wall with Dana Carvey and David Spade
(I like comedians 🤷🏻♀️)
I love this post. I still struggle about asking for help (why can’t I just figure this out?) And I love your idea of having a plan in place you can turn to. I need to develop this. As for funny, I second Graham Norton. On the classic funny side, you might watch ‘A Night at the Opera’ with the Marx Brothers. Also, some other old movies that are super funny: ‘Midnight’ with Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert; also ‘It Happened One Night’ with Colbert and Clark Gable. If you can handle the cynicism, ‘His Girl Friday’ is nonstop and brilliant. If you’re just listening, I love the BBC Charles Paris series; a hilarious mystery series with a full cast, starring Bill Nighy. There are a bunch of them on Audible. I hope this helps…
Funny Cuz It’s True by Elyse Myers is the only podcast I’ve been able to get myself to listen to consistently. She’s a delight.
What I love about you is how open you are about your struggles AND how you advocate for yourself when you’re struggling. It feels like living on a roller coaster that we’re not in control of. Sometimes things are great and sometimes they’re awful. For what it’s worth, I’ve often found that a change of scenery can kick me out of the depths of a depression but I know not everyone is like that. As for TV shows, I hope you’ve watched Ted Lasso and The Good Place. Both of those are good for our hearts. The new show we’re loving at my house is Shrinking on Apple TV, and I can’t recommend it enough! Much love…
Can I Pet Your Dog? (ended a year ago, but large back catalog)
Jordan, Jesse, Go! (very vulgar but good-hearted; enormous back catalog)
Stop Podcasting Yourself (essentially Canadian JJGo; slightly less vulgar, with an enormous back catalog)
The Empty Bowl (a meditative podcast about cereal)
Hi Jenny, thank you for sharing this – I’m sure you and a lot of your readers know how hard it is to admit when you’re struggling, and it really is the first step in getting help.
On the podcast side, as a confirmed nerd I really like The Space Above Us. It’s a simple premise – he’s going through the history of American manned spaceflight, one mission per episode. The presenter has a dry, gently humourous delivery that’s perfect for what could be a pretty boring subject at times.
Dimension 20 Escape from the Bloodkeep
Though the title doesn’t sound like it, it is really funny.
I am loving the podcase Vibe Check right now. It is three friends just chatting about live and giving recommendations to keep you having a good vibe.
I like the Bewildered podcast. Martha Beck is silly and insightful, and listening to her and Rowan Mangan giggle while talking about how to get back to our true nature is delightful. Sending love to you, Jenny, and to anyone else out there struggling. I had a black hole of a day myself yesterday. I’m proud of you for following your plan to get to the light again. You deserve the light.
The Countryside Hour is a podcast of a lovely British chap talking about the natural world on his farm. I find it happy and soothing.
“Sasquatch Chronicles” and “The Paranormal Podcast” (Jim Harold is the host of the PP) are like yarn balls for the kittens in my brain. Your brain might like to play with them too, while it’s tired but also won’t shut up and let you rest.
Sending hugs and magical dragon slaying dust. Are you coming to Iowa? I live here…
I super-love you, too. I was introduced to you about 7 years ago and you saved my life. I suffer from chronic major depression and anxiety disorder. In March of 2016 one of my dearest friends (from like, 4th grade) died suddenly. The next day I was diagnosed with repetitive stress injuries in my neck, shoulders and back because my employer wouldn’t provide me with an ergonomically correct work station. I filed a workers comp claim two days later. Two days after that my employer “laid me off” but no one else in our location. On that same day, my husband walked out on me after 15 years together. But being connected to you and reading your books and your blog have helped me tremendously.
I don’t know if you’ve seen it but “America’s Sweethearts” – John Cusack, Catherine Zeta Jones, Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Seth Green – is a fun movie. There is a lot of jokes about mental illness, but none that are offensive. Anyway, thanks for being here for us.
-Mystery Show is not new, but it is excellent, including mystery without much darkness.
-Pop-culturey stuff, if you’re interested: 1980s Now, Back Issue, Basic
-Don’t Ask Tig (advice from Tog Notaro and a guest celebrity)
-You’re Wrong About but be selective in which ones you choose (they’re all good, just some are darker than others)
-Ologies (Learning new stuff from assorted experts!)
My story/experience isn’t just like yours, but today’s post still resonates with this years. I’m putting in my journal because it speaks to my heart.
I’m terrible with podcasts, but I listen to Two Girls One Ghost. It can get dark, with back-stories, but I like the hosts, and ghost stories.
I was listening to something like, “If I go missing, the witches did it.” I’m halfway through, but my own depression has been strong, and I’m dealing with a very sick cat (it’s always something, but he’s my biggest focus right now). I’m looking for cozier things myself.
Not sure if you’re into history, but an enjoyable, funny podcast about amazing women in history is The Queens Podcast. Just two regular people discussing the women who helped shape the world. It’s full of profanity and lots of laughs.
I totally understand the chronic autoimmune disorders and illness and disability combined with chronic fatigue and anxiety and depression makes you have to pace yourself and know your limits. I wish my family was as supportive and understanding as yours, mine likes to push me to suit their needs, and even after 25+ years they still don’t really get it, even though they suffer from depression and anxiety themselves.
I’m not a podcast person, but I love tv shows, Carol Burnett, Ted Lasso, Sex and the City, Friends, Seinfeld, Schitts Creek, there are so many fun, silly, and requiring very little thought shows that help. But books are the best, the James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small series, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and her other children’s books, A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. I like to dive into books that were written for children prior to the 1980’s when they started to dumb things down for children. I like sweet stories written about people who rescued animals and adopted them like Rascal by Sterling North. I loved the James Clavell’s book Shogun because it took me to another world. Anything that takes me and my thoughts into an alternate world helps.
Sometimes a movie does the trick, like Tootsie, which had me laughing so hard I fell out of my seat, or Terry Gilliam’s movies Brazil or Jabberwocky which are funny and strange and unique.
I hope you know how much your books and blog and posts help us all, and how you make us feel seen and heard and understood. Your journey in life is a struggle that you have turned into a blessing by sharing and being honest and giving us all a place to be our beautifully broken selves. I hope you hold onto our collective caring for you as you seek treatment and as you face your monster down while traveling.
We love you lots in a non-creepy way.
Someone already mentioned the podcast Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone and I have to whole heartedly put my vote in for it too. For various reasons, I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless and depressed, but her podcast literally has me laughing out loud. Give it a try. And feel better.
Watch Shitts Creek. Very funny and endearing.
Even if you never watched Dance moms, try listening to Back to the Barre. You will totally want to drink cocktails with Christi and Kelly, I promise.
I am on the bench, which means I have 3 weeks to find a new position in my company. I have been manic some days (because that job was awful) and depressed on other days (I prefer to have a job). I hate looking for a new job, and I’m considering retirement. I could work for four more years, or I could just give up on work. Feel however you need to feel. My mood swings wildly, and that’s ok. Sending love and hope for happier times ahead
Be well and stay well. Why are 90% of the comments from women? aren’t guys smart enough to know how cool you are??? Bobby
Love you Jen!
Good for you with the excellent self care. I love Tig Notaro, she has two podcasts-“True story” w/Cheryl Hines where they watch a podcast and then discuss it, but really just go off on hilarious tangents. It’s fun to hear their friendship take also has one called “don’t ask TIG” where she gives non-expert advice to both serious and humorous queries. “Everything is Alive” is a podcast where inanimate objects are interviewed, both poignant and funny at times. Hope this helps.
Have you ever watched It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? There’s yelling so some people can’t take it, but once I found out their goal was to be the antithesis of Friends… I understood and fell in love. Plus they set the bar for being a kind productive human super low, so by not being a generally horrible human you’re doing better than them! There’s 15 seasons, season 4 is the best. If nothing else, watch the kitten mittens commercial (season 5 episode 8 intro).
Good luck! Reaching out for help in and of itself is a lot. Be proud of getting that done!!
Ted Lasso. Best ever.
My comfort shows are the 90’s Charmed, Gilmore Girls, and SuperNatural. If you just want delightful bits of youtube content I suggest Royalty Soaps, Texas Beeworks, Donner Sewing Party or Right Choice Shearing. All skill based, upbeat, slightly nerdy content that will have you dreaming of making soap or raising bees, sewing steampunk cosplay or sheep shearing. I fall down such weird niche rabbit holes of the internet when I am trying to drown out the lies of depression and dissociating. Enjoy!
In the same boat. Sending all the strength and love I can. Hang in there, wonderful you.
Sweetpea by CJ Skuse is not a podcast but is is an audiobook. And the funniest, most relatable thing I’ve read except your books. My go to for when I’m avoiding everything and need to laugh.
The Cryptid factor with Rhys Darby (Murray from flight of the conchords). Really funny. Talk about wierd phenomena, like Bigfoot, ghosts, aliens, etc. But not too seriously. Can’t recommend highly enough.
NOT typical humor to most folks but we’ve been watching old “Almost Homemade with Sandra Lee” posts on youTube and it’s too funny. The food she concocts is bizarre and often truly dreadful and makes us laugh. Nowadays we often quote her, saying something has “Fuh-LAY-vor” and how “You get Alllllllllllllllllllllll…the credit.” Might help. Love you!
A few comfort podcasts:
Slightly Foxed (a podcast about books, from the brilliant folks that run Slightly Foxed – a magazine and a publisher that re-publishes out of print memoirs – such a warm hug)
Desert Island Discs (celebrities pick the records they would take to a desert island – it’s been running for 80+ years so plenty of back episodes!)
Off Menu (two comedians have guests on and make a dream dinner/restaurant)
Julie’s Library (Julie Andrews reads stories!!)
Slow Radio (from BBC Radio 3 – delightful slow stories/sounds)
Also, the Shipping Forecast (you can listen to it online – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qfvv) is my go-to for when I need a few minutes of calm.
It’s me again, because I don’t know how to edit my comment. I need to clarify – I am not reading the articles and watching the shows on Shrooms and psychedelics to make me laugh – I was simply stating that maybe the Shroom method could help you with the darkness – or at least make it a little more colorful? They are actually doing studies on this and finding amazing results. Also, maybe try a Reiki session!
Anyway, I am so appreciative of this post because I am ALWAYS trying to find something funny to listen to in order to mask my demons & sadness. I tend to listen to a LOT of Dateline Podcasts and I tell you what – It’s not healthy! I find myself watching for murder clues & evidence when I am out on walks on my lunch break and I end up veering of the paths and getting scratched up by twigs and my hair gets stuck on bush branches because I see a duffel bag in the weeds and wooded areas and what if there’s a gun in there or something and then…. and it goes on an on… and I look ridiculous!
Randy Rainbow podcast is fun and light and filled with Broadway goodness. Also, as comfort TV goes, I binged all four seasons of The Good Place while I was home sick not too long ago. Had only heard about it but hadn’t seen it. Worth it. Hugs Jenny. I am constantly inspired by you and your ability to work your program.
And now because of your post, I have a whole long list of funny podcasts and shows to make things better!
My sister and I love the following mood improvements strategies:
Watch old Ab Fab episodes and the movies. Recruit a family member to roleplay Patsy or Edina with you – we haven’t tried it but we assume doing it in costume would be even better.
So many great funny books – A Confederacy of Dunces, most anything by Carl Hiassen, the Stephanie Plum novels (we love Lula!), and yours!
Overly Sarcastic Podcast, Lesbians Who Write, Big Gay Fiction Podcast, 20 Minute Delay — my comfort podcasts
I’ve always loved the Hidden Brain as a palate cleanser. Interesting, based in research/science, Shankar’s voice is melodic and soothing, and there’s usually something uplifting at the end. My son and I share the mantra “keep going” when things get rough. Keep Going, Jenny. 💖
We super love you back, Jenny! So proud of you for asking for help and respecting your limits. I don’t listen to many podcasts but my siblings enjoy Not a Fish.
Bbc Radio 4. Evil Genius. Sweary, very funny and right up your alley.
Lore and cabinet of curiosity are pretty nifty and somewhat educational. Same host for both shows, digs and finds odd things that happened.
There’s a podcast I really enjoy called I Hate it But I Love It. They talk about movies and tv shows that they both love and hate. You can just scroll through what they’ve done shows on and pick something that you are familiar with, or simply listen to the latest episode. I wish you peace, and I hope the sun shines the most on days you need to see it.
My favorite podcast is “60 Songs that Explain the 90s”. If you listened to music in the 90s (or are interested about it), it is delightful and fun. I think it’s only on Spotify.
A podcast that puts an immediate smile on my face is Bridger Winegar’s “I Said No Gifts”
Positive topics, dry wit, Bridger is a delight!
Big Bang Theory and Everybody Loves Raymond are comfort food – I never saw them till they were in reruns and was surprised by how much I laughed. I also love MASH reruns. Sending you a big virtual hug. You have been such a comfort when I’ve been down.
Goodable. They only cover good news. There’s an app, Twitter, and I’m pretty sure they have some podcasts.
I will also join the chorus of recs for Ted Lasso.
We all super love you, Jenny.
Sending love and a recommendation for Abbott Elementary. ❤️
Your words are there for me when I need to laugh or to feel less alone in the darkness. Sending you a huge cosmic hug.
Oh, and Derry Girls made me laugh out loud last night. Hope you find something that does the trick for you.
I’m glad you’re here.
I’ve been re-listening to David Sedaris’ books. Carnival of Snackery got me through the last couple of rough days.
Sending comforting thoughts and hugs your way. You are loved by your fans out here in cyberspace and if we could physically be there with you we would. Meanwhile, it’s one step at a tim e, one breath at a time. Know we care. Really!
Yes it does lie. You got this. I am there myself and just happen to pop on Facebook and saw your post. Love you, with you, we will get through. You are an inspiration to me and millions of others. Sorry I have no funny podcasts as those just aren’t my thing… I watch happy crafters crafting happy things and it is just enough to not dwell on the darkness.
The best podcast I can think of for your needs is No Such Thing as a Fish. It’s a podcast by the QI elves… which if you aren’t familiar with the British panel show QI, won’t mean much, but Stephen Fry’s longstanding run as the host was consistently epic fun (sadly, I no longer have access, so I’m not sure how Sany Toksvig’s run has been). They are four funny people talking each week about four funny/weird/interesting facts. Famously, and somewhat characteristically, in their first episode they talk about how President Garfield spent the last month of his life being fed through his anus.
It’s light, it’s funny, it’s silly, there’s always something interesting to learn. All the thumbs up!
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is my go to podcast. Extremely entertaining.
Dear Jenny, you are loved. Your feelings are your feelings, not right or wrong. Anxiety is a demon and depression his mistress. Do what feels right. You will always feel guilty or shifty and that’s part of it. Just breathe gir now.
I’m proud of you for realizing what was going on and taking steps to help yourself. Knowing that I have plans made or an appointment date often makes me feel better because 1) I did a hard thing, admitted that I needed help, and took steps to address it and 2) there is an end date. Not that everything will be magically better on that date, but knowing that feeling *like this* and feeling helpless about it is a finite time period and you know how long that is.
I’ve been in chronic pain and therefore ongoing depression for the past year and a half (I literally got hit by a bus) and I had the first of several surgeries about 5 weeks ago. Yesterday I had a whole 10 minutes (until I got out of bed) when nothing actually hurt, and I nearly started bawling because just that little break gave me hope that eventually this will all be if not gone, at least more manageable. (And yes, I’ll be suing the bus company for enough to pay off my medical bills and move somewhere more accessible).
What this rambling in a well-intentioned effort to empathize with you while totally making it look all about myself boils down to is that even a little window of feeling “better” (for certain degrees of “better”) is that those little windows can be enough to prop you up for a while, and I think you and Furiously Happy for helping me understand that..
The timeliness of this blog post is really something, as I just requested some time off work because I was feeling sick but couldn’t tell if I am actually sick or have been ignoring feeling depressed and anxious long enough that something had to rise up to stop me from being able to leave my house for awhile. It wasn’t until a few hours ago that it might be related to feeling depressed even occurred to me, and after I laid down to take a nap and process that realisation, Twitter pointed me in the direction of this post. It feels oddly serendipitous, which makes me feel happy, even though that happiness was felt in a muted way, given the limits of my emotional bandwidth right now.
The reminder that those of us who live with constant depression are never as alone as we feel (because yes, depression lies viciously and constantly) is a welcome one, even though it is bitter sweet. I can’t fully articulate how much I needed to be reminded that what I’m going through isn’t unique or made up or a sign of weakness. While I am sorry that this is something that anyone else has to deal with, there is a great comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. For whatever it is worth Jenny (and everyone else who deals with the realities of living with chronic mental health issues), there’s a lot of empathy coming from me, and heading in your direction…
Be kind to yourself. I listen to DayDrinking with Scott and Collette from Patreon. It’s about old timey movies, and I enjoy the research and info they provide for TCM movies. The do cover over stuff and there is a nice amount of conversation, plus they also talk about a few other podcasts that they like. It is fun and interesting.
Ted Lasso, Abbott Elementary, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
The podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me, has gotten me through some of my very worst days. Those three bits save me more often than they will ever know.
Like Minded Friends is hosted by two British gay comedians who are dear friends and they just talk about their lives and it is joyful. https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/like-minded-friends-with-tom-allen-suzi-ruffell/id1049741444
My Favorite Murder IS about true crime BUT is hosted by two hilarious and loving humans who champion mental health and connection. https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/my-favorite-murder-with-karen-kilgariff-and/id1074507850
I haven’t listened to an episode of Witch Wave yet but I am in my 40s now and am embracing impending Cronehood by exploring all things witchy. https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-witch-wave/id1300374274
You are loved. 💖
Kate Winkler Dawson does a fascinating podcast on historical crimes in Austin. Might be up your alley, interest-wise, but not horribly depressing! Hope you’re feeling better soon. We all love you. ❤️
I was just thinking yesterday how we hadn’t heard from you for a bit and that probably meant you were struggling, so I hope it helps you to know that people miss you when you are quiet but totally understand why.
If you haven’t already listened to “My Dad Wrote a Porno” it is absolutely a laugh riot with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and totally NSFW, but I promise it will make you forget for at least a little while.
I was in this space last December and now I’m OK. Depression lies. I’m glad you’re taking steps to take care of yourself.
If you like true crime, but don’t want anything heavy, try Ridiculous Crime! The hosts are hilarious and have great chemistry. And it’s 99% murder free!
All the positive thoughts and vibes for you 💜
You need to listen to Scam Goddess because it mixes a little bit of true crime with extremely funny commentary. Also the host, Laci, is from Texas so you get some fun Texas nostalgia thrown in every once in a while.
I see you.
I also “less than three” you.
I don’t listen to many funny podcasts, but have some go-to movies and TV
Death at a Funeral (the British version)
Get Him to the Greek
Beverly Hills Cop
Ugly Betty (all seasons are on Hulu)
Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Ted Lasso (Apple TV)
Stand up comics
Taylor Tomlinson, Iliza Schlesinger and Whitney Cummings all have stuff on Netflix, and so does Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Richard Pryor, Tiffany Haddish, etc.
Your books and your honesty change lives and save lives. I have never said I love you to a stranger, but I super love you, Aloha!
I like Ted Radio Hour podcast from NPR. Some selected episodes of X-ray vision are fun too.
I usually follow the horror and/or true crime stuff too, but it hasn’t been good to have that in my ears lately.
I like these: https://civilizedpod.com/
I also listen to your audiobooks, but you probably know how those go….
*hugs* Thanks for the reminder that Depression Lies…. I needed that today.
Hugs and spoons for you my dear,, Miss Jenny. You are an inspiration to all of us who suffer with brains that lie and tell us or for me, how I fail at life. So, when my mind hates me and wants to drag me down, I watch cat videos, all animals are goofballs. I also found Miriam Margoles on YouTube, I hope I spelled that right, she is hysterical. She’s always talking about shitting or farting and showing her boobs to people to make them laugh. And she does, for me anyway. Also, I read your books and listen again to the wonderful messages you give us so we don’t feel alone. I love and care for you so much and I know you are to write furiously happy essays about your trip. I can’t wai
My “I don’t want to feel my feelings, I just want a laugh” podcast is Stop Podcasting Yourself. Two charming Canadians talk with a guest comedian most weeks, and they pretty much shoot the breeze and then share overheards. They’ve been going since 2008, so you can just look for episodes with guests you enjoy: Paul F Tompkins (of course), Alicia Tobin, Ivan Decker, River Butcher are all good places to start.
Don’t know if you can access the Baroness Von Sketch show (it’s up here in Canada) but I laugh so hard I cry, regularly, watching them (it’s an all female comedy sketch show). Which, of course, is good crying…
Hunter S. Tomcat knows what’s up. My housemate’s cat is a self-trained (cat’s self, not housemate’s self) assistance cat, and when my housemate’s computer is making them make the ow noises, Murderface (the cat) removes the computer. Or tablet. Or phone. Usually by lying on top of the device and/or housemate’s hands.
Watch Jack Whitehall Travels with my Father on Netflix. The father is hilarious. Jack is a bit of a doofus but the two of them traveling in Season 1 to SE Asia — laugh out loud and giggles!! As for the rest — your anytime best is good enough. Be at peace; you are loved. 😘
I highly recommend The Minimalists podcast. They are super chill & non-judgemental, and they outline a cool way to live.
Re-upping the recommendations for No Such Thing as a Fish. They’ve got a big back catalog if you really want to dive in. Answer Me This is another favorite of mine, coming back soon for a special episode after wrapping up about a year ago after many, many years. Nice Try and Spectacular Failures are pretty good, too.
I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been in the same boat and you are so right. It’s so hard to tell if it’s my chronic illness that’s kicking my ass, or my depression, or both. I’ve been binging The Office (American and BBC versions) and Wes Anderson movies to bring me some glimmers of joy. Hope things start to lighten up for you soon!
Smartless is a delightful, mindless podcast. Oh, and if you’re a fan of The Office, Office Ladies is a delight as well.
I super love you too. Thank you for putting sh** in perspective – the kind of perspective where we’re all human and everyone has to put up with difficult stuff every day and why don’t we all give each other the benefit of the doubt &c. It’s been a hell of a day but I think we all get what each other is trying to say in the end. I hope everyone gets what they deserve. In most people’s case that’s all the icecream they can eat. And as for the others – pfft. It’s really late in this part of the universe – wish me some more shuteye. All the best to you. /Cathrin
Ted Lasso on AppleTV is the funniest, most real, feel good tv show on anywhere right now. He has demons; and it deals with ego and toxic positivity and soccer and life and it’s just the best. There are two seasons out, and a third season drops later this month (I think).
Also, you are completely not alone. Sending love.
Dateline podcasts. Something about Keith Morrison’s voice is so damn soothing ava peaceful, even when the content matter is anything but.
Super love you and your helper dragon! Everybody needs a helper dragon… Don’t Ask Tig is a delight and the guests seem to enjoy being part of the experience. Xoxoxo
The podcast 99% invisible (99pi) is my go-to. Roman Mars has a super soothing voice and you learn quirky things in short doses.
OMG Jenny–I never saw so many sentences that say “I should feel” – what a bunch of crap! Stop “shoulding” all over your self. (From Stuart Smalley Saves His Family–not a good movie, but funny!) I don’t see how telling anyone how they “should feel” could ever be helpful, least of all when you are telling yourself. You feel how you feel. It’s like telling someone “You should be taller, then you’d be able to reach all that stuff on the top shelf.” Take care of yourself because you are awesome and we all love you.
Thank you for putting my feelings into words. Also, I did two rounds of TMS. I never would have known about it had I not read your blog. It was hard, but worth it.
I LOVE We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle/Abby Wombach. It is real – but encouraging, and raw and just really really good.
The British show QI with Sandi Toksvig (not Stephen Fry) is available on youtube and will make you laugh in every episode. You’ll also learn a lot about woman’s suppression on the side and in a funny way. Sandi is a treasure of a woman. She knows a lot and is fucking hilarious. My sister and I watch a few episodes every night, it is the only thing that keeps her from staying in bed.
Shagged Married and Annoyed brought me happiness in a dark time. Funny, irreverent and people do gross things. It’s awesome. All the love.
Jenny, I’m happy you were able to reach out to your support system and hopefully the ketamine treatments will help. The world is a better place with you in it and I’m really glad you’re here.
As for podcasts, not sure if something therapy related would be your jam right now but I found Other People’s Problems really comforting.
Try out the Golden Ratio podcast – I am 1000% sure you will love it. It’s by Jen Golbeck (GR Mom) and her husband Ingo (GR Dad) – it’s about their life with 5 or so dogs (they rescue sick and old golden retrievers). It’s amazing and I hope is brings you some joy.
Have you seen the Canadian comedy Schitts Creek? In the face of wild dysfunction, it has a tender, sweet and hopeful heart. Love to you always, Jenny!
Went to Hawaii last year. Leaving the condo at all was an activity. We had groceries and ate frozen pizza on the lanai, and had time to watch Stranger Things together. One day we just did that and I had a big cry when I stubbed my toe and my husband had too many White Claws by the pool and it was okay to have down time. Other days we snorkeled. We planned one tour thing that whole week and that was enough because vacation in paradise is not a race. Make it the trip you want, and listen to comedy podcasts like Smartless, or funny audiobooks.
You have probably already had the chance to read this, but…just in case: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy is such an amazing heart massage for all ages. And Apple TV animated it into a lovely half-hour story. I just…if you haven’t read it, please do–and if you have…well, then…you’ll know what I mean.
Thanks for being you. See you on the other side.
Derry Girls is a fun and silly Netflix binge – be sure to put on the captions so you can understand them. Podcasts that make me laugh are the Popcast with Knox and Jamie, Smartless, and Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.
Reply #260.. probably not going to be seen.. But “Good relationship/Bad illness” is a thing. I’m working on that myself in PRT (pain reprocessing therapy). I’m a fan of Carpool Karaoke clips to cheer me up! Sending energy. Xoxo from Austin
Gastropod – a blog about food through the lens of history and science. Sounds boring. Is fascinating and fun and the two women who host it are fantastic.
Sending so much love to you, turkey-lips. And no, before you go google it, turkeys do NOT have lips. It’s a term of endearment, yo.
Watch “I’m Sorry”. There are two perfect seasons and they make me laugh so hard. And the show goes right up to cringe and then stops right before you get there, so you never have to turn it off in embarrassment.
Can I Pet Your Dog is a great podcast that I revisit when I’m real deep in the hole. It’s funny and light, the episodes are relatively short, and you can’t lose while listening to people talk about their dogs.
Something for you to watch: The Half Husky Bros – Two hilarious dogs, especially in their food review videos. https://www.youtube.com/@HalfHuskyBros. There are some videos on YouTube, but more on Facebook. … P.S. Will Hunter S. Thomcat wear a bowtie?
We LOVE the podcast Smartless. Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett interview a wide variety of celebrity guests. They’re funny, irreverent, and very interesting.
One of my favorite podcasts is “Awesome with Alison.” She has her own demons and her own ways of working through them. 10/10 recommend
Oh honey, bless your heart (Yes I’m from the South too! But I really do mean it sincerely with my whole heart!). I am an almost 69 year old disabled senior citizen getting more rickety by the day with several mental health diagnoses and a litany of meds and though I have trouble sleeping at night what are my favorite “bedtime stories?” TRUE CRIME! MOST ESPECIALLY of late the Murdaugh case. It started with the new Netflix documentary and I immediately became riveted and crazed over finding out more. I watched everything I could find on YouTube and Googled it but it looked like the case was ongoing which really excited me because I thought I could watch it live somewhere? PODCASTS? I didn’t know there were podcasts, I’ll look for those, but thank you very much Hailey darlin’ you’ve ruined the ending for me. We all knew the asshole was guilty but I wanted to SEE it happen! Boo hoo. I hope I can find the grand finale somewhere to watch.
And good luck with your trip honey and I hope it doesn’t take too long to get the ketamine. I love you dearly, I own and have read and listened to the audible versions of them over and over (I prefer audible because I just love to hear your voice!) and I love watching your book review/interviews with authors on YouTube. You are AMAZING! And we all understand and wish you well and I hold you in my heart and prayers and I just wish I could find a dead stuffed something or other to send you to cheer you up but anything fantastic is beyond my Social Security budget (which doesn’t mean I won’t stop looking!)
Take care beautiful soul. You are the sun, the moon, and the stars to me (Right after my dog Molly.)
Drifting off with Joe Pera — quiet & warm with a few dark edges
Levar Burton Reads – childhood nostalgia
On the Media – so smart
Spark & Fire – non-narrated stories about creativity
Home Cooking – binge the archive! Samin’s laugh is the best thing ever!
take good care – i don’t know you but many people i love live with depression.
I have been struggling and just doing my best not to acknowledge it at all, because i just don’t have time to be sad right now. So i get you. But i have started curating my VERY private instagram (don’t have any friends on my list) with things that make me happy. They tend to do several little videos a week and i find myself so excited to look for a new one. Number 1 – ethereal in e. this guy does a “happy birthday ” song everyday and i sing along with him. He also occasionally has 10 minutes of calming music. Number 2 – bwb positivity. This guy i just found, and his joy in his craziness is awesome. I might have bought a fan today. Good luck getting out of this one.
I totally understand where you are coming from with depression and anxiety. What gets me out of my funk is with podcasts like The Happiness Lab with Laurie Santos on Spotify. It’s interesting, helpful and not the same old sugar sweet bs. It’s good stuff and good for the soul. I have also embraced the Hygge lifestyle. Look it up. It helps A LOT! It embraces the things you love and brings you comfort. Sending good joo joo to you my friend.
I don’t know if you watch any of the crap on Bravo, but if you do, there’s a hilarious recap podcast called Watch What Crappens that I would recommend. Take care 🙂
I love LeVar Burton reads. It’s Reading Rainbow for grown ups.
If you enjoy dungeons and dragons, check out critical role on twitch. They have a podcast of their d&d campaign, as well as other podcasts, like one where they play telephone after telling a story. They’re lovely people.
Shrinking on Apple TV! It has a slightly sad understory but it’s super funny and my depressed brain can follow it when I’m having a good moment.
The Durrells, it’s an easy fun sweet little pbs show about a British family in the 1930s/40s that moves to Corfu, Greece. Just watched it to help me through a rough time. And obviously, rewatch Ted Lasso and Schitt’s creek.
I can highly recommend absurd laughs listening to: My Brother, My Brother, and Me [Lin Manuel Miranda is a huge fan], Comfort Creatures, Sawbones, and This Might Get Weird.
I work in the pediatric ED so pretty much only listen / watch kind happy things (can’t do the other…. too much at work..) so:
All things Great and Small (PBS)
Terry pratchett on audiobook (any terry pratchett will do…)
Paddington movies (the 2nd might be the best movie of all time)
ESPN daily podcast with Pablo Torre – (sports but you don’t even have to like sports to like this one)
I’ve been using fluffy podcasts as a way to cope with some hard things for a while now, and can absolutely recommend “You Are Good, a feelings podcast about movies.” Even when I don’t know or love the movie they are discussing, it’s still such a fun conversation, and when they discuss a movie I love, it’s pure magic. I hope your depression stops lying to you soon. Love from Vancouver. Kate
Right now I am rewatching Taskmaster and I keep up with the Taskmaster podcast because both of those make me laugh.
I hope your treatments go well!
I love “Off Menu”. It’s a British podcast hosted by two comedians I like. Every episode they invite a different celeb (usually british) to come on and tell their dream meal.
I also have the BBC radio app (I’m in the US, they let us have it…promise!). They have comedy shows. The ones I listen to the most are Just a Minute, Elephant in the Room (off air but all back episodes available), and Museum of Curiosities.
Thank you for this. I, too, am trying to move away from dark podcasts. The Splendid Table is, well, splendid, about food from all over the world and lovely interviews with passionate people. Also Lateral is an enjoyable quiz show where friendly people work together to try and solve riddles.
1. Unhappy Hour
2. Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata
4. Mirths and Monsters
5. Normal Gossip
6. The Horror Virgin
7. Completely Arbortrary
I like Unhappy Hour and they finally finished after their 236th episode. It’s a guy who used to be part of the fledgling flock of Buzzfeed people when Buzzfeed was first big. He and his producer just complain about a specific topic and talk about crazy news.
You can try Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata as well. Those two are goofy comedians who are besties.
Ologies with Alie Ward if science-y with curtains and fun subjects that you think are going to be boring but turn out to be really cool!
Mirths and Monsters makes me really happy because it’s just so pure and CK is Scottish and has the best soothing voice and accent. It’s kid friendly, but he basically goes around with his furry crew and meets Bigfoot and investigates the Winchester Mansion, etc. It’s really cute!
Normal Gossip is great; there are no real stakes, it’s not ongoing drama, and some of it is funny and insane.
The Horror Virgin is great. It’s a horror movie review show. I hate horror movies but I listen to the three hosts recap so I don’t worry about FOMO and they are a riot. It gets really good when Paige and Mikey become regulars.
Completely Arbortrary is about…well, trees! It’s something interesting you can have on in the background and learn about different species of trees.
I know this is a lot. I spend a lot of time home by myself most days because of my odd work schedule. These guys have kept me company for a long time. I hope they can keep you company too.
I adore The Cryptonaturalist. I started listening to him when his 3rd podcast came out and I love his poetry and FB posts.
Listen to Smartless if you want something fun and light!
Super love you, too! Maybe re-binge Ted Lasso (you’ve seen it, right?! Otherwise, run don’t walk!!!) before the new season drops in a couple weeks. It’s mostly fun and cheerful but might also make you sob a couple times, in a good, cleansing way. If it makes any difference the trip to Hawaii was looooong and tough but the views and the POG mimosas were WORTH IT.
Dear Jenny, you’re not alone. Please know how absolutely loved and treasured you are. You matter.
For comfort shows I cannot recommend What We Do In The Shadows enough. It’s perfect and wacky and the cast is fabulous.
Abbott Elementary is beyond funny and you fall in love with everyone and laugh and have all the feels. Good feels.
I’m sorry, so sorry you’re in this hell club but it does help to know we aren’t alone.
Me, too, you. 💕💕💕💕
I have been in this same place for 6 weeks. I didn’t think I would ever get through it, I feel so faulty. It was so, so dark. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t afford ketamine treatments, my pharmacy switched to a worthless Cymbalta generic, I got Covid for the first time, couldn’t suss out what was what in the giant hairball of illness, anxiety, depression, deep grief…and my OCD went into overdrive. I bought one of those pore-cleaning pens that has a lighted camera that connects to your phone so you can obsess over every single pore. It was my only relief. It is ruining my skin and I can’t stop. The whole house went to hell, then I JUST found an unopened letter from my insurance company saying they had APPROVED name brand Cymbalta in NOVEMBER! So I’ve been suffering all this time when I had no idea the appeal to their refusal had worked out after all. Three months of med issues, tremors, mania, the worst depression… and I wouldn’t have had to go through any of it had I been competent enough to keep up with the mail. I love my life and where I am for the most part, am insanely lucky, but for 6 weeks I couldn’t reach any of it. My brain lied to me 24/7.
Thank you for this, it makes me feel so much less crazy and alone in my madness.
Esketamine, dispensed under the brand name Spravato, IS covered by my insurance. You still go to a clinic, but no one has to stab you, because it’s a nasal spray. You take six squirts, have a lovely, peaceful trance for about 90 minutes, and done. Please try it if there’s a clinic near you. It has worked wonders for me.
Fly on the Wall podcast is my current fave, and I always, always love Conan’s podcast (Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend). I only listen to funny podcasts these days. When you’re in bed but don’t feel like sleeping, put Superstore or Brooklyn Nine Nine or Community or 30 Rock or Parks and Rec on in the background. None of these things cure depression, but the lightness of them sort of seeps in over time. 🙂
In the throws of depression myself. Having the thoughts of being a crappy mom and wife. I know they are lies but they are there nonetheless. Ty for sharing with us.
sending love and hopefully a little light to clear the darkness I’m sorry you’re going through this. You deserve happiness (even if you don’t believe it right now). All I know is you have made me smile and laugh out loud more times than I can possibly count. Thank you for that.
I highly recommend watching Kathleen Madigan: Hunting Bigfoot. Sending ❤️.
Normal Gossip is the podcast I listen to when I need break from dark, true crime podcasts.
60 songs that explain the 90’s
Films to be buried with
Grace and Frankie
Home Movies (animated show)
The Great North
The Last Man on Earth
I recommend the podcast Lingthusiasm! A fairly light podcast about wacky linguistics things!! Might be fun for a depressed writer. It’s definitely interesting stuff.
Jenny….You got this girl! Just tell your damn brain …that Ketamine worked before….and it will work again! Your whole enormous tribe is here for you. Day or night. I personally suggest binge watching Young Sheldon. Love you. Anne Z
Watch Good Omens. Take care of you. We need you.
The Jan. 10, 2022 episode of “Smartless” with Kathryn Hahn. I’ve listened to it at least 6 times and it always gives me a mental boost.
Thank you as always for your honest posts. I’m a week into a bout of pneumonia, in the midst of a severe depression (and I also have a long-standing mystery illness). I sound like someone crinkling a bag of chips when I breathe. My comfort is that I now sound just like my orange tabby when he breathes. I’ve been recording clips of both of us breathing to play for my spouse to see if he can spot the difference. It’s been a long, dark stretch and it’s hard to see the way out some days. Reading your post today reminded me of the light that does eventually come back. My comfort listening/watching go-tos are:
– any David Sedaris story read by him, especially ones about mystery growths on bodies, learning a language or visiting a doctor in another country. He also casually mentions taxidermy more often than you’d expect.
– the episode of Smartless with George Clooney as a guest
– the episode of Modern Family where Mitch and Phil get high
– the late, lovely Leslie Jordan’s audiobook memoir
Thank you for being a light in the darkness for so many. We’re all shining a light your way.
Sawbones the marital tour of misguided medicine is funny and informative! But also if that will send you down the dark and twisted I don’t reccomend it. I also loved the adventure zone, a d&d podcast with a bunch of brothers and thier dad. If you want raunchy but laugh outloud funny my dad wrote a porno is pretty good.
On another note, I’m glad you have plans and ways to get support. And I can definitely understand that sometimes just because you may not “look depressed” or struggling doesn’t mean you aren’t.
Listen to Hunter S. He is taking care of you and knows it’s time for you to take a break and lie down or whatever helps you feel better. Jenny, you’re so brave and doing such a good job of taking care of yourself in this miserable depression. It’s so good you reach out when you need support. We’re here for you! My favorite comfort shows are Gilmore Girls (Netflix), Younger (Hulu), I Love Lucy (Hulu and other places), and Friends. Tell your brain you deserve to be in Hawaii and do whatever feels good. You deserve it and so much more. Love you ❤️.
Sending love your way. While reading your books in public, you’ve made me snort laugh like a jackass and smile hours later thinking about something you said. Take time to rest, pamper yourself, and recharge; you deserve all the things!! Two fun podcasts are Smartless and Randy Rainbow. ❤️❤️❤️
Just posting to let you know that I know what it’s like and to send you good thoughts. (I notice you mention ketamine treatments but that they’re not covered by your insurance – have you tried TMS? I believe it’s covered by most plans. It has really helped me.)
Here are my podcast recommendations:
Stuff you should know
Don’t ask Tig.
I hope they bring you a little lightness
You are SO LUCKY to have such wonderful support in your life. I go to work each day, drain myself putting on happy faces for each kid that sees me around school, and especially for the awesome lil guy I work with, and then I come home and know I have to keep putting on a face for my family, and I’m just so tired. So very tired.
Also, you are wonderful, and you help.
Sending hugs and as always thank you for sharing your journey with us. I need to be reminded over & over that I am not alone and I’m doing the best I can. My fun podcast that I haven’t seen mentioned already is The Sporkful with Dan Pashman. Super love you back!
I love Mega, it is an improv podcast about a fictional megachurch with new guests each week. If you have been brought up in the church but it wasn’t for you as an adult, this podcast is a great place to find humour in your past experiences. They also have a thoughtful non-improv chat podcast that ends in poetry and I love listening to it while driving. Has been going for years.
Jenny, you have no idea how much I love you! 💕
I feel all of this so deeply. We love you, Jenny.
I listen to Bigfoot Podcasts. Cryptids Canada, Buckeye Bigfoot, and Dixie Cryptid are my favorite. They are so soothing, I fall asleep listening to them. So basically I’m prepping for eventually not seeing a Cryptid. Also, during the ‘demic, I bought a closet full of sasquatch-related shirtwear. No expenses spared. Love you, be you, do be do.
I don’t know if you are willing to watch anime, but when I am sick or my depression becomes too much, I watch the English dub of Fruits Basket. It’s very funny, sad sometimes, but always hopeful.
I also find comfort in the absurd, so movies like UHF, Cannibal! The Musical, America’s Sweethearts, and of course Evil Dead 2 & Army of Darkness.
I am also going through a rough depression right now, Jenny. Believe it or not, listening to your audiobooks brings me so much joy in this dark time, more than I can tell you in a simple post. I wish I knew the perfect thing to write here to give back to you even a small piece of the comfort you have brought to me.
I can try…. So, my husband and I have gotten into the habit of making an annual holiday out of hilariously weird stuff we have accidentally said to each other. Here are a few of those: February 28th is Stubbornly In Love Day, March 6th is Bounce on a Dildo & Suck on a C**k Day, April 28th is Meecrob Day, May 1st is 5 Hour F**k Fest Day, June 30th is Flop Your Flaps Day, August 8th is I’d Tap That Ass Day, September 1st is I Ran Out of Superlatives Day, November 13th is $1000 BJ Day, and December 24th is Festervus. Now that I sound like a pervy freak, I sincerely hope that anything here makes you smile.
Podcasts: Welcome to Nightvale, Myths and Legends, Levar Burton Reads
The Murdaugh trial – I live in SC, one county over. Believe me, I will be a happy woman if I never have to hear that name again. It’s constant here.
Wait, what??? You’re going to be in Iowa? I must have the details. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF PETE TELL ME ABOUT IOWA
(I’m doing a keynote for the Women in Leadership conference in Ottumwa. Did I spell that right? ~ Jenny)
The film, Enchanted April, is one of my favorite, cheer me up films when life feels dark. The Anne of Green Gables book series is also a comfort, and anything written by Alice Hoffman.
Love, love, love you and your ability to share. Thank you.
My podcasts run to true crime, Real Crime Profile in particular, but that’s not what you need right now. I find escaping into audiobooks helpful, though. I especially love Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. I LOVED Sangu Mandanna’s The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches. Jen DeLuca’s series that starts with Well Met is fun.
Derry Girls on Netflix makes me snort with laughter.
Have you heard/seen Elyse Meyers yet? I HIGHLY recommend her if you have not. Her podcast is “Funny, Cuz It’s True” and I really think you would like her. Hope you feel better soon. Always in your corner Jenny, always.
For hilarity and extremely NSFW content take a listen to “My Dad Wrote a Porno”. The worst writing ever with brilliant commentary.
Sending good thoughts your way (fuck you, depression!). For podcasts, I highly recommend That’s Spooky – hosted by a queer couple out of Toronto, it’s a combination of true crime, weird-ass news and issues that affect the LGBTQ community, along with a healthy dose of Drag Race commentary. While you might not actually laugh out loud in your current state, you’ll probably at least smile. It’s a wholesome good time, in spite of (because of?) all the talk about butt plugs 🙂
Your honesty and willingness to bare yourself give me such hope especially when I am in a bad place. Thank you for baring yourself.
I recommend “Clear+Vivd” with Alan Alda- it’s not always light, but it’s a look at empathy and how we communicate with each other. Some episodes are achingly beautiful and there’s almost always great chemistry between Mr. Alda and his guests.
Komi Can’t Communicate on. Netflix is cute and doesn’t require a lot of attention to get the story. The narrator lays everything out for you.
Schitt’s Creek and Bob’s Burgers on Hulu are two of my go-tos for light, warm content.
Much love. I do know the feels. I feel them a lot. Sending you love and hope for better feels soon. 💞
I realized this week I was back down in the trenches of my depression as well… it sucks. And I live by myself!
A new podcast I’ve been enjoying a lot (if you are or were a Buffy fan) is The Rewatcher.. where they are rewatching Buffy… one has seen it and the other hasn’t.
Thanks for always being honest and sharing what you go through… it makes me feel less alone.
I’ve been obsessed with the Murdaugh trial too. Now that it’s over, I’m not sure what to do with my time. Oh, I watched the Netflix documentary today!
I listen to “A Little Bit Culty” and “We Can Do Hard Things” podcasts which help me stay alert for cult leaders and with everything else too~! Hope you feel better soon.
Wow…sorry you’re going through this. I’m having this myself right now but I don’t have much support or sense of my limits, and I’m between therapists right now. So when I stop blubbering I’m gonna read all the comments and glom onto the good vibes. I’m between cats too, and Hunter looks so much like my Bailey…I think I need to get myself a dragon. Thank you 🥴💙
Sending love and wishes for hope for all of us going through the depths….where I’ve been since my husband of 30 years passed away suddenly. It’s been 14 months, but the grief is all encompassing. The only reason I drag myself out of bed is because I need to take my sweet doggie companion outside-he shouldn’t suffer because of me. Plus if I don’t work I won’t have a place to live, so there is that. Luckily I can work from home most days, although it is so hard to make myself do it. Saw the doctor this week….he just said keep on your meds, and maybe see a counselor. Duh… Thank you Jenny for making me feel not so alone.
Wait, Wait Don’t Tell me is wonderful
The other ones are Naked Lunch & Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone
I’ve been listening to The Back Side of Water, a podcast about Disneyland by someone who was a cat member on the Jungle Cruise and various other hosts. There are several podcasts with the same name, but you want the one that looks like sign posts sticking up out of water with vaguely Disney font and small Mickey ears on the S.
I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself – that is your job right now! (I couldn’t bold and italicize ‘your job’ – but it’s there!) And if you haven’t already seen it – Derry Girls on Netflix is a solid lifter-upper. And I had Murdaugh fever too – thank God the jury got it right. Hugs to you, Jenny!
This is where it gets interesting with Sharron McMann, she’s the Governerd who is like listening to the best history teacher of all time!! And speaking of McMahon, also Heather McMahons podcast is hilarious.
I hear you—and I’m encouraged by your run on sentences to put some of my own never with a period because I used to think it made people think I was crazy… well, duh. Thank you — and remember: those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. I’m glad to have lots of people who matter
Jenny….let me share you the podcast (aka PUBCCAST) that has helped me through the pandemic and beyond. Kathleen Madigan Pubcast….on YouTube. It’s as if we are all at the bar and just talking about all the nonsense we have found on the internet.
She is on episode 127 now and updates every Tuesday. It makes me laugh every week and she is one of my favorite comedians. Her new special is on Amazon Prime “Hunting Bigfoot”.
I hope it gives you a giggle.
I love you, Jenny. I’m currently pulling myself out of the darkness as well. I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts but I listened to one yesterday that was really nice to listen to. It was On Being with with Krista Tippett and I listended to the Feb 23 episode with Nick Offerman (it showed up in my facebook feed). I just love his voice and they talked about woodworking and Wendell Berry. It wasn’t ‘dark’ but also wasn’t funny, it was just… really nice to listen to. Sometimes funny stuff makes me feel sad or guilty when I’m in the dark and can’t find my sense of humor.
For binge-watching TV when I’m down, my go-to’s are Schitt’s Creek, Good Omens and Dr. Who.
Please don’t be hard on yourself for not being okay right now. You are still doing ALL THE THINGS… you’re just not doing ALL THE THINGS, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE (there’s a joke in there about a movie but, again, can’t find it in the dark here). You’re doing great even if you’re not feeling great, if that makes sense. I know this because you’re still here, you’re asking for help, and you’re taking the right steps to get better.
The Banana Podcast. A silly news podcast by two goofy dudes! Fantastic!!
I was going to tell you about these great books that always make me feel better and this great blog that always helps, but then I realized you already know because you wrote them!
I love to listen to Levar Burton Reads. Exactly as implied in the name The wonderful Levar Burton reads short stories for us. As a fan of Reading Rainbow, I am immediately drawn into it at the intro. Also, it starts off with a lovely reminder to breathe, which I often need.
For a lighthearted sitcom I recommend either the hilarious British show, Coupling, or if you want to go American old-school the The Bob Newhart Show from the 70’s – two of my faves. Hugs to you, Jenny! Thank you for all you do & give to the world and for just being amazing.
Try both versions of the television series All Creatures Great and Small. Clean, sweet and beautiful.
Seconding Beach Too Sandy Water Too Wet; it’s my favorite funny podcast. Not funny but lighthearted, sweet, and interesting: Just the Zoo of Us. A husband and wife team discuss animals in detail and rate them on their appearance and skills.
Depression is a dirty trash can full of poop. I hope that the darkness lifts enough for you to enjoy a little bit of Hawaii. Thank you for your honesty in your posts.
Many things in my house are topsy turvey, and it’s making me crazy. Plus, I live in California, where people have been praying for rain. We’ve been getting it day after day. I have a dog whose name is Jenny (yes, named for you) but she has been whining way more than necessary or usual. Tuesday, I felt like either throwing her into traffic, or having me walk in front of a bus. Neither really happened, and we’ve had 3 days of sunshine, and life is better. Your blog and your books help me stay sane, knowing I’m not alone. Thank you.
Lots you loads, Jenny. 💖💖 I love your plan, and have doubt that you’ll kick the bout of depressions ass. In the mean time, my comfort show is Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Lame special effects, but great dialogue!
Also, I’ve been enjoying the tv show Abbott Elementary. It’s a sitcom about teachers in public school in Pittsburg, and it’s sweet. Brooklyn 99 makes me laugh hard every time I watch it.
Bob and Sheri – especially The Oddcast – is a funny, easy-breezy podcast. Sheri Lynch is wickedly funny and extremely smart. She is a Philadelphia transplant to the south. Many stories are about her family – and her razor sharp wit and humor help her describe all facets of life ~ good and bad. You get to know the cast of characters as you listen – then they kinda feel like friends.
All the best from NY
I haven’t been able to read through all the posts, so maybe someone already suggested _Around the World in Eighty Days_ with David Niven, Cantiflas, and a young and luminous Shirley MacLaine. It’s the best and you can play “Spot the famous person doing a cameo” (at the end, the movies shows you who they all are).
I am so sorry depression and everything else have dragged you down. And you’re right. You’re not alone. I’ve been in the mire for about fifteen months now (treatment refractory; meds make it worse, not better. And like you, it’s interwoven/entangled with chronic illnesses). But your courage and humour help keep me from drowning. Thank you.
I hope you get some relief soon and that it lasts for a long time — or maybe forever.
I love Dark History with Bailey Sarian. It’s dark stuff, but she keeps it light and her quips are hilarious. Give it a listen.
I love you Jenny 💖
I’m sorry you (and everyone who is) are suffering now. I never, never thought I would be the person who didn’t shower for far too long, who wears the same clothes for days, only combs my hair when it starts to tangle too much and stays in bed most of the time. But here I am. Right next to you.
I’ve been blessed the last few months and even bought an old truck I’ve been wanting which my father is restoring for me. My response? Making myself bleed. Today is not a suicidal day, just a self harm day. I feel if I hear another person’s voice, my head will explode.
But, this is about you and to let you know you’re not alone. EVER.
Get rest, don’t feel guilty, because this is not your fault.
Seconding Life is Short, with Justin Long. Justin interviews celebrates and other accomplished people, and his brother teases him in the intro and altro. They have great banter and Justin has become a really insightful interviewer.
Thank you so much for being a role model for knowing your own limits and admitting them so you’re not trying to exceed them. It’s a lesson I needed to learn. Now I don’t overcommit (as much) or feel as guilty for saying no. “I don’t have capacity for that” is a complete explanation, even if it doesn’t make sense to people whose plate is bigger to begin with. I hope your trip goes as well as it possibly can, whatever that means.
It’s OK if you go to Hawaii and the only thing you’re grateful for is a lack of mosquitos or that this bout with depression has palm trees. Do the thing. Enjoy it any damn way you want or don’t.
My mother passed away recently and I’m stuck between depression and longing. So I try to write snippets, too many words hurt sometimes, but I hope there is healing for you and all who are feeling a bit lost:
It’s probably about death,
it is totally about death.
how shoes are left waiting,
a clock stopped
hands no longer running.
time breaks for my breath
As long as I’m breathing
Creator speaks to me in the rain,
there is no shelter,
there never was.
Then why the rain?
Because I love you.
And the sky falls
And I am breathing
As stated above, The Cryptonaturalist and This Is Love are podcasts that always give me the warm fuzzies. I also really love Desert Oracle Radio (aliens, cryptids, and Joshua Tree) and Undressing with Felicia Day and Tom Lenk (hilarious reviews of The Witcher, Bridgerton, and more plus lots of amusing Hollywood industry speak).
Have you listened to ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’ podcast? Hilarious! Got me through many a dark day.
I absolutely adore the podcast “What’s Her Name” – each episode covers a woman from history we should know about but don’t. Fascinating.
I, too, am drawn to true crime and have been riveted to the Alex Murdaugh trial and soaking in as much commentary on it as possible. I’m glad it’s over for several reasons, one being that now I can get some of my time back.
When I get stuck in my own head, and the inner voice won’t shut up, I have found putting in the earbuds and listening to podcasts to be a way to shut the voice up, and podcasts that make me laugh are right up there. A couple of my favorites are:
“Smartless” (with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett)
“Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” (with . . . well, guess)
“Even the Rich” is another very entertaining Podcast where the two hosts tell very interesting stories about the very challenging things many rich and famous people have been through. I find these stories to be very interesting even if the celebrities are ones I have never followed.
Jenny, you bring joy to thousands and thousands of people who love and care about you. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The challenge is that, once the tunnel is entered, there is no way to know how long it is. Sending positive thoughts that this time dark time passes soon, and that you enjoy your trip to Hawaii.
So…my friends have a podcast called “Madness Madness” that is all about cults. There is SOME darkness because, well, CULTS, but they are funny, funny people and I think you would enjoy them a lot. So give that one a shot. I hope you know that the Pants fam here in Oklahoma loves you dearly, and that we are always, ALWAYS sending good thoughts your way.
The Josh Johnson Show and Distractable are both more funny in nature
A way with words!!!
I very highly recommend True Story, A Documentary Podcast. It’s Tig Notaro and Cheryl Hines discussing a documentary they’ve each watched. They’re constantly digressing into other subjects and it’s highly amusing.
I also really like Disastrous History, which is a bit dark but in an explained wow-why-did-that-happen kind of way.
Hope you’re feeling better soon!
I know you listen to it already but are you all caught up with Welcome to Night Vale? I’ve actually restarted it from the very beginning and it’s fantastically comforting. Sending you love and hugs.
Another vote for the tv show QI, and the podcast No Such Thing as a Fish. Also the Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry podcast. All are filled with the kind of short funny and oddly educational (if sometimes scatalogical) bits of information that can often help distract the angsty bits of my brain away from chewing on itself.
(Also adoring Hunter is apparently supposed to be at the top of your “to do” list. Cats. 🙄)
Wishing you safe passage through this particular thicket. 🙏
Hugs and vibes. Great British Pottery Throwdown is my go-to, but I’m a potter so there’s that. Been there in the dark and you’ve helped move me out so I hope that somewhere someone can do that for you. This too shall pass and while it is sitting here, it’s lying to you.
I hear you and understand. I have depression and anxiety attacks. Meds are a wonderful thing, but also knowing yourself and your triggers is huge.
I don’t listen to podcasts, but I think that you might enjoy checking out the journey of the Lobster https://youtube.com/@Bradybrandwood. This gentleman rescued a grocery store lobster as a bit of an experiment. He has posted videos updating Leon’s journey. He has other videos, but those are what I follow.
Stefan Ianiro’s nature video are really interesting and, I find, calming. https://youtube.com/@StefanoIaniro
Last, but not least, The Dr. Plants’ videos of the different tanks, aquariums, and terrariums that they build for their creatures are really cool.
We’re you raised by wolfs is a go to funny one for me.
I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of that and hope you can enjoy your time in Hawaii as much as possible! I also like to listen to, read, or watch both dark things and funny things (or a combination) when I’m depressed, which is a lot of the time. But my favorite podcast is Dax Shepard’s – Armchair Expert. He has had tons of celebrities and experts/professionals of all kinds on and he is amazing at interviewing people. They always go really deep into how they grew up or how they got to where they are now, and most of the time they’re very funny just because Dax is a funny guy and brings that out in people. I usually listen to it when I’m driving to or from visiting relatives and it gives me something to talk about when I arrive, which is a nice bonus.
I’m so delighted that there are over 300 comments here and so many great podcast/show ideas.
I’ve seen some love for the Maximum Fun network and McElroy family and would like to add another plug for Wonderful. It’s so nice to hear a husband and wife chat about things that bring them joy for 30-45 minutes. You can see the things they’ve covered here:
I like to lose myself in a fun story too, so The Adventure Zone (Bureau of Balance arc), Not Another D&D Podcast, and Dungeons and Daddies (not a BDSM podcast) are all good for a laugh and an escape from reality for a bit.
Love you Jenny, thanks for bringing us all together. I can hear you say, “Depression lies,” from listening to your audiobooks and it gets me through the dark times.
Leon the Lobster. Not sure why that got cut kut.
Hang in there, you got this! Podcast rec’s I can’t give much… I like sawbones and atlas obscure.
I recommended it when responding to a different post, but I am mentioning it again here. Naked Lunch podcast with Phil Rosenthal and David Wild. All the episodes are chef’s kiss good, but the Carl Reiner episode is a delight. Sending you positive vibes.
I’d let you know where I go ( and my mom and daughters as well) when I have dark times, but it’s you and your words. So….takes Hunter S. Tomcats initiative and find something you might find funny vs a must do list. Have you tried watching the thanksgiving episode or WKRP in Cincinnati?!? Or the one with the song for the funeral home? Do it…….