The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast, as described by the show host and founder, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, is a weekly conversation about “all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.” Dr. Joy is a licensed psychologist based in Atlanta, Ga.
Dr. Joy began broadcasting in 2017, and as of Dec. 1, 2021, she has produced 235 episodes. Her show can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and the show's website. What I enjoy most about this podcast series is the variety of topics. Some topics are about self-care and better mental health, such as “Getting Better Sleep,” “How Music and Dance Impact Our Mental Health,” and “Creating Calm Through Meditation and Affirmation.” Some topics are about how we think about ourselves, such as “Thoughts about Body Image” and “What Influences How We See Ourselves and Others.” And some topics get real personal, such as “How Our Sex Lives Changed During the Pandemic,” “What Not to Do When Co-Parenting,” “Transracial Adoptions,” and “Surrogacy and Egg Donations.” Honestly, some of the discussions made me a little uncomfortable; talking about mine or anyone else’s sex life makes me feel uncomfortable.
The episodes not only range in topics but also in length of time, varying from about 40 minutes to as long as 75 minutes. Listening to the show feels like you are eavesdropping on a conversation between good friends. There is laughter, personal stories, vulnerability, and a healthy dose of practical-yet-professional advice. I resonated with many of the topics, but there were many that I found difficult to find a connection. While I appreciate the variety, I find that I prefer podcasts with a little narrower focus, or at least, topics that speak more to my stage of life. One other thing I didn’t like about the podcast is all the commercials. I listen to podcasts to get away from commercials.
In addition to full episodes, Dr. Joy occasionally offers her listeners bonus content. The bonus content ranges in time from 4-minute nuggets of affirmation to a 38-minute update on the guests on an earlier show. Dr. Joy’s voice is friendly and welcoming. Her shows and bonus content are part public therapy session, part public service announcement, and part talk with your best friend forever. While the show’s title is Therapy for Black Girls, the insights provided are not just for Black women. Most of the guests on her show are Black—Black professionals, Black clients, and Black friends.
I believe the name and the guests of the show are Dr. Joy’s way of demystifying and normalizing mental health care for Black women. Normalizing mental health care is a worthy endeavor and not just something needed for Black women. Black women are often caught in the crosshairs of racism, sexism, and trying to help everyone around them while neglecting themselves. This podcast is a reminder to Black women and all who find themselves caring for everyone but themselves while trying to navigate social issues and culture wars that they/we can’t pour from an empty cup. The show makes it very clear that mental health is just as important as physical health.
I would recommend this podcast—but more for women who are in their 30s, for whom the content might be more relatable. The content is mature, but not vulgar. I would give it four out of five podcast mics.