How a true crime podcast helped my anxiety
According the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million adults over the age of 18. I am one of those that are affected. Ever since the age of 12 I have struggled with OCD and I never felt comfortable talking about it with anyone until I listened to the hugely successful true crime/comedy podcast, “My Favorite Murder.”
Even though most people might think a murder podcast would create anxiety rather than help it, “My Favorite Murder” takes a personal approach in talking about the crimes. It is hosted by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, and these two funny ladies take listeners on a journey through the ugly world of true crime.
Entertaining fans, or in this case, murderinos, since January 2016, Kilgariff and Hardstark each select a murder (survivor story, cult story, or really anything related to true crime) and talk to each other about the crimes. The crimes are sometimes hard to stomach but Kilgariff and Hardstark masterfully incorporate tasteful jokes and personal anecdotes to move the narrative along.
It’s with these personal anecdotes that the listeners get a true sense of who these women are. They are not just comedians who know an awful lot about murder; they are two real women who are not afraid to talk about what’s bothering them.
Personally being someone who has struggled with anxiety for most of my life, it’s refreshing and honestly heartening to hear someone talk so candidly about mental health in such a positive way. Both Kilgariff and Hardstark believe in the power of going to see a therapist.
The podcast itself is a form of therapy for not only the hosts, but also the listeners. Many of the crimes spoken about highlight the discrimination against the mentally ill, sex workers, and women. Karen and Georgia have compassion for both the victims and perpetrators (to a degree) of the crimes.
There is such a stigma surrounding mental health. Often people don’t talk about it. I for one never spoke about my OCD, as mentioned earlier.
However, after I heard the LA accented voices of Karen and Georgia I realized my problems do matter and they are people out there just like me. Georgia specifically has been opened about the strenuous relationship she shares with her mother, while Karen has been more than opened with her alcohol abuse. Listening to this podcast has helped me come to terms with my own anxieties, and not just acknowledge them but seek help.
The podcast often talks about the everyday anxieties that we as women feel. Karen and Georgia reaffirm that it’s okay to feel scared when walking alone at night or when we have a neurotic self-centered moment, but most importantly, there are ways to change the way we feel in those circumstances. They proudly proclaim in many episodes that we don’t need to be nice when put in an uncomfortable situation. We know what’s best for us and it’s important for us to know that. We know our own strengths and weaknesses and conversations that the podcast offers highlight that.
I believe it’s important for young women to not feel alone in world where women are constantly pitted against one another, open conversations about mental health allows us to lift each other up rather than tear each other down. Fans of the podcast have come together by quoting Karen and Georgia’s many one-liners said throughout the show. These quotes have become memes and even tattoos for fans, but most notably they have become battle cries for us women.
There are so many other true crime podcasts out there, but what sets “My Favorite Murder” apart from the rest is the sense of community they’ve created.
Friendships, between friends have been formed through Facebook groups and in person meet ups. Those obsessed with true crime and those struggling with anxiety have found a place to call their own alongside Karen and Georgia.