Wellness podcast and app recommendations: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text and Happify

headphones and smartphonePodcasts and apps can be an excellent complement to your self-care routine. The Campus Wellness blog will be posting recommendations for podcasts and apps that might help you find motivation or cope with stress. These recommendations are made for educational purposes only. For health and wellness advice, always speak with your doctor or make an appointment with a counsellor.

Podcast recommendation

Title: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

Favourite episodes:  Regret: The Forbidden Forest (Book 1, Chapter 15), and Belonging: The Polyjuice Potion (Book 2, Chapter 12)

Overview: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text takes a look at the Harry Potter novels as if they are instructional texts to teach people about big themes that we encounter in our lives. It can help you to think about the existential questions of life by exploring themes like belonging, acceptance, or trust. Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile walk through each chapter of the books and have interesting conversations about what we can learn through examining these works of fiction for deeper meaning.

Average length: Podcasts range from 30 to 45 minutes. You can listen to a 30-minute podcast in about the time it would take you to take the iXpress bus to from UW to the GRT Charles Street Terminal.

App recommendation

Name: Happify

What it is: A mood training and mindfulness app

Cost: Free

What it does: Happify is an app that uses evidence-based practices to help you achieve better emotional health and wellbeing. When you sign up you answer a bunch of questions about your current state of mind and then you work on different tracks like “Cope Better with Stress” and “Beat Burnout” to help yourself reframe your ways of thinking. The app provides you with activities you can do to improve your thinking over the course of your day, including meditations and games you can play to help shift your mind to other ways of thinking. The app helps you understand what you are doing and why you are doing it so that you understand the benefits and reasons for each activity. There are quite a few meditations included in the app, with many available for different situations and goals, including walking meditations you can do while you are walking to class. The games help you focus on the positive and uplifting your mood.

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