📝 An open letter to THWoD

My thoughts on and appreciation for the delightful podcast, The Hilarious World of Depression.


To John Moe and co.,

Thank you. The work you have done in creating and continuing THWoD is truly life-changing. I began dealing with mental health issues in the summer of 2018. I browsed the podcast directory in Overcast looking for comedy shows, and stumbled upon THWoD. Great job on the name by the way. I was drawn in, and all of my many recommendations have been met with a smile at hearing the name.

As I listened to guests share their stories with mental illness, I found validation. As you have mentioned many times, one of the problems with mental illness is that it convinces you that are you alone, a freak, an aberration. Hearing that others felt the same gave me a new level of self-compassion.

The more I listened and progressed in my journey, the more I wanted to share. I finally had the courage to write my own coming out story with mental illness. I found the fear my brain fed me at sharing the personal details of my life was a lie. I received an outpouring of love and compassion, and many people shared their mental health struggles with me.

I recently returned to work after a couple months off for a medical leave of absence. I have tried to share personal details of my struggles with people who ask why I was out. And I have found that those conversations result in the most meaningful and authentic bonding experiences I have had at work.

THWoD continues to be a major part of my life. I tell almost everyone it is my favorite podcast right now. My kids were intrigued and perplexed when I told them about it. “Uh, Dad, I don’t think depression is very hilarious…”

It is clear this is a labor of love. You truly care about what you are creating and the impact it has in the world. John, I’m sure that it takes a toll on you to invest yourself in connecting with the darkest parts of people’s lives. I want you to know what a difference the show has made for me.

Here are some of my favorite moments:

Thank you again, and I wish you all the best as you continue your own mental health journey.

Ben Norris signature