Why I Quit Listening to Health Podcasts
I don’t listen to health and wellness podcasts anymore.
And if you know me, you know how radical of a statement that is. I used to listen to health and wellness podcasts as if my life depended on it.
Podcasts hosted by nutritionists, dietitians, and health coaches are some of the best free sources of information on all things holistic health.
And when you’re in the midst of struggling with your own health issues, this free information can seem like a gift from God. But is it really?
Don’t get me wrong, becoming educated on your illness is such an important step to being an empowered patient. Being someone who can confidently discuss your treatment options, symptoms, and your own theories with your doctor or other health care teammates is a valuable tool.
But, more often than not, the constant stream of information related to the condition you’re dealing with on a daily basis can actually do more harm than good.
And it took me a while to get to this deeper understanding of how these sources of information were affecting my physical and mental health.
So, let me explain why I quit listening to health podcasts, and maybe you should too!
You’re Constantly Focused on Your Health
I used health podcasts to keep my mind busy at my job that was oftentimes very repetitive. So this meant that some days I would be listening to these podcasts for 6-7 hours a day.
That’s a lot of time thinking about and dwelling on what might be wrong with me and how I might be able to fix it.
I found that constantly listening to podcasts about SIBO, Celiac Disease, gut health, and chronic illness kept my mind always focused on how I was feeling and if my symptoms lined up to what the podcasts were covering.
I was always in the mindset that there was something wrong with me that needs actionable steps in order to be fixed.
My mind would be so consumed by my health and how I was feeling that I started to become more and more aware of my symptoms.
I got stuck in this unhealthy cycle of listening to podcasts to try to fix what was wrong with me but feeling like there was more wrong with me because I was focusing on it all the time.
With that constant barrage of health information always in your ears, you’re bound to feel more like a patient and less like a human being.
But now that these health podcasts have taken a backseat in my life I’ve found that I don’t think about my health or my symptoms nearly as much as I used to.
This doesn’t mean that my symptoms are any better than before, it’s just that I’m less focused on every twinge and gurgle. I’m not constantly on high alert.
I’ve also found that I now have to freedom to take more of a backseat role in my health care journey. I’m still very involved in my treatments and decisions around my health, but I have the freedom to trust that my practitioner knows what’s best for me.
Without my head spinning around health podcasts all day long, trying to figure out and diagnose my own symptoms, I can leave the diagnosis and protocol creation up to the professional I hired to help me on my health journey.
Keeping my mind off health podcasts, and subsequently, my own health has been such a breath of fresh air. It has dug me out of the patient mentality and brought life and light back into my days.
You’re Always Searching for the Next New Solution
Chronic illness is tricky, don’t get me wrong. When doctor after doctor tells you your labs look normal and there’s nothing they can do, we often turn to our own devices in an attempt to find relief and healing.
This is just an unfortunate reality of our healthcare system. It often forces us to become our own doctors.
And when we’re still sick after trying what seems like every solution we know of, we become desperate for that next promised cure.
Spending all day listening to health and wellness podcasts certainly gave me a wealth of potential solutions to choose from.
While spending hours listening to these podcasts, my mind was constantly spinning about a new supplement or diet to try that an expert proclaimed was a perfect solution to a certain health ailment.
I distinctly remember being on google searching for these supplements as they were mentioned on podcasts. I had turned into my own health practitioner.
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I was relying on generic information from a podcast interview instead of my knowledge of my own symptoms and health condition.
I was so desperate for a solution that I was willing to put my time and effort into any and every option that came my way.
By listening to podcasts all day, I started to over analyze and obsess about the next supplement or diet that would provide me relief from whatever I was feeling.
But what I didn’t see was that these were simply generic recommendations for the general population. These podcast guests had no idea of my health history and what I was actually suffering from. Whereas, my nutritionist did.
My highly qualified and trusted nutritionist was more than capable of developing supplement protocols and diet plans based on my actual needs and symptoms.
And once I stopped listening to health podcasts and relying on them as my main source for new health solutions, I was able to completely trust and rely on my nutritionist to take charge of my health.
Once I did that, I not only saw great improvements in my physical health, but my mental health improved as well.
I was no longer a slave to the google search. I was no longer the one responsible for bearing the burden of developing treatments and protocols. I could pass that burden off to someone far more qualified than myself, and just rest in knowing that I was being taken care of.
Trust me, letting go of the burden of treating yourself while dealing with chronic illness is such a freeing experience.
And for me, my symptoms stopped feeling so severe, and I just felt lighter and more free to live my life than I had before.
You’re On the Lookout for Other Conditions that Could be Behind Your Symptoms
Once I had exhausted all of the podcasts I could find on the conditions I knew I had, I started to venture into podcasts that covered other conditions that could be related to what I was dealing with. I started listening to podcasts on thyroid health, mold exposure, heavy metal toxicity, and the list could go on.
But, constantly being on the lookout for new symptoms and what they can mean can really take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing.
While these podcasts were interesting and informative, they also served as resources where I could obsess and dwell on symptoms and what they might be telling me about my overall health.
If a certain podcast episode was talking about a condition that I didn’t have, I would find myself hyper-analyzing my symptoms to see if maybe I did fit into that category.
With chronic illness, we’re so desperate for answers and a solution to our pain that we’re liable to trick ourselves into believing we’re suffering from a condition that we’re actually not.
I remember I signed up to listen to a free seminar on Mold Illness. I was excited to learn about a new topic that I’d never really dived into before. But, from the first speaker I tuned into, my mind started spinning over all the symptoms and health ramifications that being in a moldy environment could pose.
I was completely overwhelmed. And since I was still sick after 4+ years of treating gut infections, I had so much anxiety wondering if I would ever be able to fully heal.
Turns out, I didn’t have mold toxicity, not even close. I was just dealing with some hidden gut infections that we hadn’t yet tested for.
The Mold Seminar, while very informative, was too much for my already burdened mind, body and spirit to handle. Instead of empowering me, it ignited fear and anxiety in me and kept me wondering if I could ever feel normal again.
But, once I stopped over analyzing my symptoms through countless podcast episodes and seminars, I found that what I thought I was experiencing physically, was really just a manifestation of my anxiety and mental energy I was putting into symptom-spotting.
Staying constantly focused on our health and minute-to-minute symptoms can actually perpetuate our illnesses and make our symptoms seem worse than they actually are.
By stepping back from the constant influx of health information, especially when you’re already sick, can be a huge mental relief from the toll of chronic illness.
My Challenge to You
So, today, I challenge you to take a step back and evaluate your relationship to health and nutrition information, in whatever form you ingest it.
Make sure that your life isn’t being consumed with your illness and the symptoms surrounding it.
Life is so much more than your physical wellbeing. And yes, I can still say that as someone who suffered for years with chronic gut issues and infections that I never thought I’d be able to overcome. Physical health isn’t all that we have.
All of the health and nutrition information we accumulate should only be a tool to help us pursue our greater purpose, not the purpose for which we live each and every day.
Focusing so heavily on our symptoms, how we’re feeling, and how we can fix what’s wrong only serves to steal our joy and rob us of the life that we do have. Even while we’re in the midst of chronic illness.
I challenge you to take a break from learning about your illness. Put your trust in the people you’ve teamed up with to help you heal. And spend your time and energy investing in something that brings you joy and fulfillment.
You might even find that by not focusing on your health and your illness so much that your symptoms seem less severe, and you’re able to do things you once thought were a thing of the past.
And if you’re still having anxiety and find yourself worrying about your health, I’d love to help. You can sign up for my free, five-day Stress Management Challenge.
In it, I’ll walk you through the five steps that I took to overcome anxiety and fear around the unknown in my own life. It’s a powerful course that has the ability to help you completely reframe your thoughts around your health and the stressors in your life. I’d love to see you there!