Why We Dedicate One In Every Four Podcasts To Mental Health

I mentioned something on a recent admissions podcast with Dean Z from Michigan Law School that I thought, even while saying it, was important enough to follow up on. What I said is that I can do a podcast on rankings, personal statements, essays, resumes, interviews, or any of thousands of nuanced admissions topics, and such episodes will always be among our most popular on our platforms. We have about one million listens on our podcast across all platforms, and likely 90% of those listens are for our admissions advice. Very understandable, we are after all an admissions consulting firm filled entirely with former admissions officers.

But what I also said, what I really want to focus on in this blog, is that the admissions advice I and others at our firm (and our exceptional guests - often Deans of Admission) give will last just a cycle. The mental health podcasts we do with some of the world’s foremost leaders in the field will last a lifetime.

Podcast: Dr. Guy Winch on Handling Rejection (& Waiting) in the Admissions and Job Search Process: https://www.spiveyconsulting.com/blog-post/podcast-with-dr-guy-winch

Podcast: Dr. Jud Brewer on the Highly Effective Way to Overcome Anxiety: https://www.spiveyconsulting.com/blog-post/podcast-with-dr-jud

Podcast: Interview with Dr. Gabor Maté, Author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: https://www.spiveyconsulting.com/blog-post/podcast-with-dr-gabor-mate

Podcast: Reducing Stress & Increasing Happiness, as a Student & Applicant, with Jordana Confino: https://www.spiveyconsulting.com/blog-post/jordana-confino-podcast-interview

Podcast: Dr. Anna Lembke, Author of Dopamine Nation and Featured on the Social Dilemma: https://www.spiveyconsulting.com/blog-post/anna-lembke-podcast-interview

Podcast: The Challenge of Self-Doubt in Higher Education, with Terry Real: https://www.spiveyconsulting.com/blog-post/self-doubt-in-higher-ed-with-terry-real

Now, more than ever in history, is the hardest time to grow up, psychologically speaking. It is the hardest time to be a law school applicant and student. We live in a 24/7 evaluative society where at the age you can look over your parent’s or guardian’s phone, you can see the happiest/best/most successful versions of others. Not the real versions – because social media does not often follow those that struggle (which is all of us), but the more glamorous versions. The COVID-19 pandemic and the confluence of what was already a society that trended toward less facetime now has led to deep isolation for many. The happiest people on the planet get nine hours a day, on average, of face-to-face time. How much do we get?

These podcasts matter. (We have linked our podcasts with mental health experts below.) They matter because the experts give tools on how to handle things like stress, anxiety, depression, addiction—challenges that often start in law school and become widespread in the legal community. My favorite podcaster is Rich Roll – he was a lawyer who spiraled deeply into alcoholism and depression before finding a way out. Many have had the same spiral, sadly without ever searching for and using the tools to make that same change. To live their best life as a lawyer and person.

Our firm and my colleagues here care deeply about many things. Our value-add in the admissions process is at the foundation—we love admissions and only hire those who do too. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a huge commitment for us, and many of my colleagues have taken leadership roles in this area at a number of institutions. We champion animal rights, and our website has a link to donate to the World Wildlife Fund.

The admission process can be dreadful, and the understandable anxiety that it causes is growing. If this blog post resonates with you, I’d start with Dr. Guy Winch (podcast linked below). I’ve taken his thoughts on handling rejection so close to my heart that they have really turned that part of my life around. Perhaps, and this is my sincere hope, some of these podcasts can be equally helpful for you. And we will continue to do them—if you have anyone you’d like for us to try to interview, feel free to let us know at info@spiveyconsulting.com.

-Mike Spivey