Obsessive compulsive disorder - OCD treatment and therapy from NOCD

10 Must-Listen Podcasts For People With OCD

9 min read
John Gower
By John Gower

Accurate representations of your experience can be life-changing. That’s especially true for those experiences that are commonly misunderstood or overlooked altogether—like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As someone with OCD, I can attest to the power of quality, informative, empathetic media. 

I especially love the podcast format because it allows for personable storytelling and nuanced conversations. Hearing other people’s stories, particularly from fellow OCD sufferers and OCD experts, has given me a sense of community and helped me understand that it’s a disorder I have—not a personal flaw.

Here are 10 must-listen podcasts I’d recommend for anyone with OCD. These podcasts deliver accurate, expert-backed information that, I hope, will help you feel less alone as much as they have for me. You can also send these to friends, family members, and loved ones who you’d like to help better understand your experience with OCD. Please note that this is not a ranking or an exhaustive list, but rather a way to highlight some of the numerous helpful podcasts within the OCD community.

1. The OCD Stories hosted by Stuart Ralph

About: Stuart Ralph started this podcast to provide hope to those suffering from OCD and raise awareness of the condition. The show seeks to debunk the misrepresentations of OCD and portray it in a truer light. Each week, Stuart brings on various guests, including advocates, clinicians, and those who have OCD to share their journeys.

Recent topics covered: Over 400 episodes in, recent topics covered include normalizing compulsions that people may find embarrassing, a review of evidence-based OCD treatment, OCD and chronic illness, and the ways shame can act as a barrier to treatment.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podbean, The OCD Stories website, or YouTube (without video).

Fun fact: For his work broadcasting accurate, expert information on OCD, Ralph was given the Hero award by The International OCD Foundation in 2018.

2. Your Anxiety Toolkit hosted by Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT

About: Kimberley Quinlan is a therapist who specializes in the treatment of OCD and related disorders. Quinlan is especially skilled in encouraging self-compassion during OCD recovery—so much so that she wrote a book called The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD. Compassion comes through in everything she does, including this podcast. She often hosts special guests, including fellow clinicians and those with lived experience with OCD.

Recent topics covered: Your Anxiety Toolkit is nearing 400 episodes, with recent topics covered including strategies for increasing distress tolerance, common recovery roadblocks, and how to live according to your values instead of your fears. There are also episodes that focus on having OCD and a co-occurring condition, like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Where to listen: Just about anywhere you listen to podcasts. You can also listen directly from the website or watch on YouTube.

Fun fact: Quinlan also runs an educational (and compassionate) Instagram account @youranxietytoolkit.

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3. Purely OCD hosted by Lauren Rosen, LMFT, and Kelley Franke, LMFT

About: Both hosts of Purely OCD are therapists as well as OCD sufferers. They discuss OCD treatment, recovery, and their lived experiences with OCD. These hosts value bringing humor and levity to such a heavy experience—if you’re the kind of person who thinks laughter is the best medicine, this podcast is for you.

Recent topics covered: With 80 episodes to catch up on, some of the most recent topics covered include Relationship OCD (ROCD), the role of optimism in OCD recovery, and the experience of managing multiple OCD themes.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, the Purely OCD website, or Spotify (though episodes on this platform stop after June 2023).

Fun fact: Rosen and Franke host Instagram Lives to engage with listeners and discuss the podcast. This can be a great way to find community with other OCD sufferers. Follow them both @theocdtherapist (Franke) and @theobsessivemind (Rosen) to stay up-to-date on when IG Lives are taking place.

4. OCD Straight Talk hosted by Chris Leins, MA, NCC, LPCC-S

About: Backed by the Kentuckiana Treatment Center for Anxiety & OCD, this podcast discusses recent research and other literature on OCD and anxiety-related disorders. It explains effective, evidence-based treatment strategies. Leins also educates listeners on what most often keeps OCD and anxiety sufferers stuck.

Recent topics covered: How family members can help their loved ones in the recovery process, how to ruminate less, and the most common mistakes people can make when undergoing therapy for OCD.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Podbean.

Fun fact: In 2022, this podcast was named by Spotify as being among the top 10% most shared podcasts and one of the top 10% most followed.

5. The Lovely Becoming hosted by Mimi Cole, ACMHC

About: Cole chats with therapists, activists, and storytellers about intrusive thoughts, trauma, and the importance of bringing awareness to mental health conditions that aren’t talked about enough.

Recent topics covered: This podcast isn’t currently releasing new episodes, but there are just over 40 to catch up on. Recent topics covered include embracing worthiness, how OCD can impact relationships, and the value of caring for others as we care for ourselves. This podcast also features a lot of content about eating disorders, PTSD, and complex trauma.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Fun fact: Check out the podcast’s Instagram (@lovelybecomingpodcast) for episode recaps and resonant quotes. 

6. The Anxious Truth hosted by Drew Linsalata

About: Drew Linsalata is an author and therapist-in-training. His podcast is aimed at helping people understand OCD, anxiety, and panic, and empowering listeners to begin or continue down the path of recovery.

Recent topics covered: With almost 300 episodes, recent topics include panic attacks (which are common for people with OCD), anxiety and social media, and the common anxious or OCD-related behavior of “scanning” or “checking” how you feel.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or YouTube.

Fun fact: Linsalata has an active social media account where he posts excerpts from the podcast and other informative tidbits about anxiety and OCD. He also occasionally hosts Instagram Lives. Find him @the.anxious.truth.

7. AT Parenting Survival Podcast hosted by Natasha Daniels

About: This podcast is for parents of children and adolescents with anxiety or OCD. Daniels is both a therapist and a parent of three kids with anxiety and OCD. The show focuses on sharing resources and tools for most effectively helping your anxious kids.

Recent topics covered: This podcast has over 350 episodes, with recent topics covering how to help your child with OCD at home, how to navigate a child being resistant to treatment, and the feelings of isolation that can come with navigating a child’s diagnosis.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube.

Fun fact: Daniels is also the author of several books, including Crushing OCD Workbook for Kids: 50 Fun Activities to Overcome OCD With CBT and Exposures.

8. The OCD & Anxiety Show hosted by Matt Codde, LCSW

About: As a therapist with lived experience with OCD, Matt Codde shares practical tips to help listeners on their recovery journeys. He also tackles common obstacles to progressing in treatment and the evidence-based strategies that can be used to overcome them.

Recent topics covered: There are over 300 episodes of The OCD & Anxiety Show, with recent topics including how to detach from intrusive thoughts, the fear of “failing” at treatment, and common beliefs that can keep people stuck in cycles of OCD- and anxiety-related behaviors.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube 

Fun fact: Codde wrote a book about his evidence-based approach to the treatment of OCD and anxiety, titled From Stuck to Unstuck.

9. Free Me From OCD hosted by Dr. Vicki Rackner

About: With the expert insight of physician, life coach, and mother Dr. Vicki Rackner, this podcast is targeted to teens and college-aged young adults with OCD, as well as their loved ones. It aims to empower both sufferers and their support networks to live a life where OCD is not in charge.

Recent topics covered: Managing perfectionism, what to do when someone refuses OCD treatment, and the most common feelings that can arise with OCD.

Where to listen: Just about anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Fun fact: Rackner organizes an initiative called OCD Confessions. To participate, you write down the intrusive thought you feel the most shame about on a postcard and mail it to the address listed on the website. They’ll then be posted on the site (anonymously) to reduce stigma and create a visual reminder that you’re not the only one having these thoughts.

10. You’re Not Alone hosted by Zach Westerbeck

About: Zach Westerbeck is a former sufferer of OCD, anxiety, and severe depression. He started this podcast with a mission to make sure other people know they’re not as alone as he once felt. He interviews OCD experts and fellow OCD sufferers to bring listeners strategies for better living by way of improving their mental health.

Recent topics covered: Living boldly despite OCD, learning to value your time even when compulsions try to take it from you, and how OCD recovery can lead to better relationships with yourself and others.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Listen Notes.

Fun fact: Westerbeck is active on Instagram (@zach_westerbeck). Follow for relatable, easy-to-understand OCD content and recovery tips.

Happy listening!

I hope you found a show on this list that you can’t wait to dive into. While podcasts are, of course, not a replacement for evidence-based therapy, they can be a helpful supplement to treatment, giving you insight as you wait to begin treatment, providing inspiration during it, and creating a sense of solidarity among those experiencing a potentially isolating diagnosis.

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Taylor Newendorp

Taylor Newendorp

Network Clinical Training Director

I started as a therapist over 14 years ago, working in different mental health environments. Many people with OCD that weren't being treated for it crossed my path and weren't getting better. I decided that I wanted to help people with OCD, so I became an OCD therapist, and eventually, a clinical supervisor. I treated people using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and saw people get better day in and day out. I continue to use ERP because nothing is more effective in treating OCD.

Gary Vandalfsen

Gary Vandalfsen

Licensed Therapist, Psychologist

I’ve been practicing as a licensed therapist for over twenty five years. My main area of focus is OCD with specialized training in Exposure and Response Prevention therapy. I use ERP to treat people with all types of OCD themes, including aggressive, taboo, and a range of other unique types.

Madina Alam

Madina Alam

Director of Therapist Engagement

When I started treating OCD, I quickly realized how much this type of work means to me because I had to learn how to be okay with discomfort and uncertainty myself. I’ve been practicing as a licensed therapist since 2016. My graduate work is in mental health counseling, and I use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy because it’s the gold standard of OCD treatment.

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