A Psychotherapist’s Top 8 Favorite Mindfulness Resources

Have you been wanting to learn more about mindfulness meditation, but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you’ve meditated in the past, and are looking for some inspiration to get back in the habit.

As a psychotherapist trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, I’ve got ideas! Here, in no particular order, are 8 of my absolute favorite mindfulness resources.

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8. The Headspace App

Headspace explains how to meditate in simple, engaging videos. Great for beginners or even kids! They provide guided meditations as well as courses, none of which last longer than 30 minutes.

Cost: $12.99 monthly or $69.99 per year. You can get a free trial for 7 to 14 days. Family plans are also available through their website only.

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7. YouTube

A psychotherapist is recommending YouTube? Really? Really! There are literally thousands of guided meditations as well as meditation music, tracks, soundscapes, and on and on. Try typing in “meditation for” and anything you need help with… “anxiety,” “depression,” “sleep,” and you will find many options. Many creators (specifically Headspace and Glenda Cedarleaf from this list) provide some free content on YouTube, so check there before opening your wallet!

Cost: Free!

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6. Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Hahn

I bought and read this book around the time Donald Trump first got elected… and wow, did I need it! It was straightforward, but somehow at the same time, completely mind-blowing. I recommend this book to anyone who’s hoping to use mindfulness strategies to help them manage anger. Also, any book by Thich Nhat Hahn is probably going to slap.

Cost: $16.74 (at the above link, may vary)

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5. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Written like a devotional, this mindfulness resource provides quick and useful reflections. Great for anyone who wants to weave mindfulness into their daily life, but who only has a few minutes a day.

Cost: $17.66 (at the above link, may vary)

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4. Mindfulness Skills Workbook for Clinicians and Clients by Debra Burdick, LCSWR, BCN

This is my go-to workbook for teaching my therapy clients about what mindfulness actually *is,* as well as practical and specific ways to practice it. Whether you’re a therapist looking to brush up on your knowledge, or a therapy client looking for a supplement to therapy, or just a nerd who loves workbooks like myself, this is the one for you!

Cost: $27.89 (at above link, may vary)

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3. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis, PhD, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, MSW, and Matthew McKay, PhD

This workbook is very comprehensive, covering everything from breathing, to meditation, to progressive muscle relaxation, and even some light Cognitive-Behavioral therapy. But don’t be intimidated: it is written in simple language with lots of diagrams and checklists! Easily the best workbook I own in regards to formatting and readability.

Cost: $24.13 (at above link, may vary)

2. Glenda Cedarleaf

Oh, have y’all been sleeping on Glenda Cedarleaf?! LET ME TELL YOU about this fellow social worker and absolute queen. I’ve been listening to her guided imagery meditations for years. She has dozens of free samples as well as some full guided meditations available on her website. Her voice sounds like melted butter.

Cost: Varies

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1. Insight Timer App

Insight Timer is, by far, my favorite meditation app. Why? Because of the thousands of guided meditations on every topic, the customizable timer for silent meditation, and the COURSES! I’ve been using this app for years and recommend it to just about everyone.

Cost: Free or $60/year with a premium plan

Which of these mindfulness resources caught your eye? Comment below and let me know how it worked for you!

Rebecca Ogle, LCSW, is a psychotherapist who provides compassionate tele-therapy. She helps folks heal from anxiety, depression, people-pleasing and burnout using their strengths and inner wisdom.

Live in Illinois? Looking for a therapist?

The Courage to Quit: Why Simone Biles is More a National Hero than Ever

***TRIGGER WARINING*** Brief mention of sexual abuse

Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast of all time. And three days ago, she had the courage to quit the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Why? Simone had “the twisties,” the feeling of not having mind and body in sync while doing gymnastic stunts she has practiced hundreds, if not thousands of times.

In follow-up interviews, Simone explained that it would have been dangerous for her to continue – for her health and mental health, as well as the success of her team.

While some fans have been supportive of Simone, others have been critical.

One of the harshest tweets came from Piers Morgan: “Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous… The real world doesn’t think like that.”

‘The Real World’ should Celebrate Quitters

Piers Morgan does have a point: The real world does not celebrate quitters.

But it damn well should.

Simone Biles has devoted her entire life to this sport, and indeed this event itself – The Olympics. She is acutely aware of how important it is, and how many people look up to her.

Simone continued in gymnastics even though gymnastics did not protect her from a sexual predator. I’m speaking, of course, about Larry Nassar, a doctor for the U.S. gymnastics team who sexually abused literally hundreds of athletes, and was finally imprisoned in 2017.

In some ways, I suspect it would have been easier for Simone Biles to grit her teeth and continue performing, knowing that an injury was inevitable.

Instead, she had the courage to put her needs first in a world that is constantly putting them last.

The Stigma of Quitting

“Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”

How often have we heard sayings like this growing up – in sports of course, but really, everywhere?

The reason quitting is not “the easy way out” is that it’s often met with a tidal wave of questioning and judgment, such as…

“You can’t quit now!”

“Are you sure you’ve tried everything?”

“Come on, tough it out! Don’t be a wimp.”

People may hear these statements from others, or from themselves and their own internalized stigma about quitting.

The Courage to Quit

In order to quit, people have to trust their own instincts over others’ judgements and expectations.

Trusting your own instincts can be incredibly tough to do. Especially if others have doubted and criticized you throughout your life.

Quitting is important anytime your health and well-being is at stake.

The Courage to Quit a Job

Okay – here goes a little self-disclosure.

The last job I worked before opening my private practice made me burned out and miserable.

I came home from work every day angry – at my workplace, at the world, and at myself.

It took months for me to build up the courage to start my own practice.

(That’s the other thing people don’t realize about quitting – people often think about doing it for a looooong time before they actually take steps to do so).

Since quitting my previous job, I’m much happier. It has been better for me personally and professionally.

That said, there were times I asked myself if it was selfish to quit.

Why Quitting Isn’t Selfish

By withdrawing from the Olympics, Simone Biles made space for her team to be more successful. She may even be returning to compete in the final days! Chances are, she will perform a lot better than if she would have if she had pushed herself.

When I quit my previous job, I became a lot happier. But I also became a better therapist, wife, and person.

Quitting isn’t selfish because doing what’s right for you indirectly helps the people around you.

Our well-being impacts our communities, great and small, like a ripple effect. Happiness spreads, it inspires people, and it makes the world better.

I hope this post inspires you to quit something that is no longer serving you!

Rebecca Ogle, LCSW, is a psychotherapist who provides compassionate tele-therapy. She helps folks heal from anxiety, depression, people-pleasing and burnout using their strengths and inner wisdom.



Coping with 2020 Election Season Stress

This election season in the U.S. is more stressful than ever before (and that’s saying something).

Some common difficulties I’ve been hearing about include doomscrolling, feeling hurt and unsupported when friends and family hold discriminatory views, and fear and hopelessness about the future.

All of these feelings and MORE are completely valid. And the question is… what do you DO with them??

I’ve created an acronym to help you cope with the days preceding November 3 and beyond. When dealing with election season stress, just ASK PETE. NOT Buttigieg, for goodness sake. Just… a hypothetical Pete.

Accept that this is Hard


Keep Laughing

Preserve Energy

Express Emotions

Turn Off News, Social Media

Edit Content

This post will explore each of these skills, how to do them, and how they will help you.

1. Accept that this is Hard

Most people are having a really hard time in this current political climate, for a multitude of reasons.

One of those reasons that social media and apps are intentionally designed to maintain our attention with quick serotonin hits.

News outlets intentionally publish negative stories because they get better ratings (the psychology behind that is for another blog post!).

Many Americans feel that their basic rights are being neglected and trampled over. Even if you don’t personally feel that way, so many people around you do. We pick up on that energy, consciously or subconsciously.

So it’s not easy. Even if it seems like others are coping with it better than you are, they probably aren’t. Remember that people often choose the best parts of their life to show on social media.

2. Self Care

You are probably sick of hearing about self-care. But it is SO IMPORTANT, which is why it has become such a buzzword.

Self-care is not necessarily scheduling vacations and bubble baths.

More than that, self-care is about the basics. Remembering to drink water, take your meds, eat at regular times, and breathe. Stretching and taking walks are also important.

Many of us (cough cough, me) wait until we are already exhausted and burnt out to do self-care. Ideally, you’ll do it preventatively, even planning ahead for stressful days.

One suggestion a dear friend made is to take the day after election day off. If you know you’ll be up late watching the election results come in, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Maybe even come up with something relaxing to do the day after the election, like go for a walk in a local nature preserve.

3. Keep Laughing

Please follow some meme accounts – about politics or about other stuff. Follow singers and dancers on TikTok. Better yet, make some goofy TikToks.

I’m serious. Laughter is really good for us, and it’s important.

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4. Preserve Energy


You will not change anyone’s mind. You will walk away with frustration at best, death threats at worst.

If you *really* want to have political conversations with folks, have them with your family members and friends, in person, and listen more than you talk.

You don’t have to do that either, though. Especially if their views denigrate your personhood, or they are toxic or abusive people. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. There are so many other ways to make a difference politically.

That leads me to my second point: Don’t try to do everything all at once.

If you want to become more involved in activism, give what you can give, in the areas of expertise or interest that you have. Make your own corner of the world better, and trust that others are doing the same.

faceless young woman with stress ball on white background
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5. Express Emotions

Common emotions that come up around election time include… ANGER. FURY!! Sadness. Fear. Guilt.

When we push these emotions down or aside, they find ways to pop back up – like whack-a-mole. They might pop back up as irritability, anger outbursts, irritable bowels, muscle tension and pain… the list goes on.

When we allow ourselves to sit with and process emotions, we have more control over them.

Here are some ideas for adaptive ways to express these emotions:

  • Talk to someone
  • Write in a journal
  • Work with clay or knead dough
  • Listen to, sing, or make music
  • Cry
  • Dance
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6. Turn off the News & Social Media

You do not have to watch the news. Not even the debates (or now I guess “town halls”??). You definitely do not have to follow 45 on Twitter.

What I often hear from people when I say this is, “…but I want to stay informed!”

I get that. But we can all agree the presidential debate was in no way informative. On the contrary, several clients actually told me it was re-traumatizing due to dynamics similar to their families of origin.

There are SO many ways to stay informed. The New York Times Daily podcast gives a brief summary of the most important news every day. You can learn the highlights from friends or family.

If you’re still hesitant to disconnect, at least consider giving yourself a break. A night or even an hour in which you turn off all news-related notifications on your phone. Better yet, you might establish a time every evening when you choose to put down your phone.

7. Edit

Not only is the AMOUNT of content we consume important, but so is the content itself.

Notice how specific Instagrams, TikToks, news websites, and Facebook posts make you feel.

If you’re not sure how you feel, observe what’s happening in your body. Is your heart pounding? Are your shoulders and neck tense? Is there a pit in the bottom of your stomach?

Unfollow and mute anything that that drains energy from you.

By the same token, FOLLOW accounts that will help you feel empowered, validated, and hopeful. You may consider following hashtags like #bodypositive, #mentalhealthmatters, and #anxietyrelief to find accounts that uplift you.

I hope ASK PETE helps you cope with election season stress. Hang in there. And remember, there are a lot of good things and people happening in the world. They just don’t get shown on the news.



Rebecca Ogle, LCSW, is a psychotherapist who provides compassionate tele-therapy through a politicized lens. She helps folks heal from anxiety, depression, people-pleasing and burnout using their strengths and inner wisdom.

Stop Reading This.

I’ve started about a hundred blog posts about Black Lives Matter, and Pride month.

None of them felt right.

And it FINALLY dawned on me why.

A a cis, straight, white woman, I have nothing to add to this conversation that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) haven’t already been saying for hundreds and hundreds of years.


White people talking over BIPOC is part of the problem!

That definitely doesn’t mean I’m off the hook, though. I want to be part of the solution. Advocating for social justice aligns with the social work code of ethics, as well as my own personal morals.

I know fighting for social justice is going to take time, and commitment, and sacrifice, and a lot of self-reflection.

And yet, we all have to start somewhere. So I’m going to start by amplifying Black voices.

Photo by Tina Bowie

Start Reading This.

Between the World and Me – Book by Ta-Nehisi Coates. A heartbreaking and eye-opening letter from father to son.

Heavy: An American Memoir – Memoir by Kiese Laymon. A vulnerable account of a brilliant Black man and his relationships with his body, his mother, and his liberation.

Redefining Realness – Memoir by Janet Mock. Not only the story of growing up poor, multiracial, and transgender in America, but also, of a self-actualized woman currently living her dreams.

We Should All Be Feminists – Essay / book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her intersectional and affecting take on feminism in the 21st century. 

1619 Podcast – Podcast hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones. Learn through a gripping combination of storytelling and facts how the history of slavery in the U.S. continues to impact our lives today.

Still Processing – Podcast hosted by Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris. Reflections on pop culture and media through a Black, queer lens.

With all of this said, I would love to diversify the blogs I read. If you are an LGBTQ+ and / or BIPOC writer, PLEASE comment below and let us know what your blog is about! Thank you in advance!

– Rebecca

Rebecca Ogle, LCSW, is a psychotherapist who provides compassionate tele-therapy. She helps folks heal from anxiety, depression, people-pleasing and burnout using their strengths and inner wisdom.