Best Storytelling podcasts (Updated June 2018; image)
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show episodes
 
This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.
 
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Snap Judgment
Weekly
 
Mixes real stories with killer beats to produce dramatic, kick-ass radio.
 
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Serial
Rare
 
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episode ...
 
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The Moth
Weekly+
 
Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Since 2008, The Moth podcast has featured many of our favorite stories told live on Moth stages around the country. For informa ...
 
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the memory palace
Monthly+
 
the memory palace
 
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Criminal
Monthly+
 
Criminal is a podcast about crime. Not so much the "if it bleeds, it leads," kind of crime. Something a little more complex. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. We are a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
 
Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell's journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. From Panoply Media. Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance.
 
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Death, Sex & Money
Monthly+
 
Anna Sale explores the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.
 
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RISK!
Weekly
 
If you like The Moth, This American Life or Snap Judgment, take a walk on the wilder side with RISK! Your colorful host Kevin Allison (of the legendary comedy group The State) helms this surprisingly uncensored show where people tell jaw-dropping true stories they never thought they'd dare to share in public. RISK! is hilarious, heart-wrenching and remarkably real. Think you've heard it all? Fasten your seatbelt.
 
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Love + Radio
Monthly
 
Nick van der Kolk’s Love and Radio features in-depth, otherworldly-produced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. Get inside the mind of a rogue taxidermist. Find out what it’s like to experience a stroke firsthand. Or spend time with an artist who gives away her life savings every night. You’ve never heard anything like it before. Love+Radio is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
 
The Mortified Podcast is a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids—diaries, letters, lyrics & beyond—in front of total strangers. PS: It totally likes you. The Mortified Podcast is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
 
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StoryCorps
Weekly
 
Stories of the human heart. A candid, unscripted conversation between two people about what's really important in life: love, loss, family, friendship. When the world seems out of hand, tune in to StoryCorps and be reminded of the things that matter most.
 
1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. Thats the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, hosted by comedian Chris Gethard (the Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, This American Life, and one of Time Outs 10 best comedians of 2015). Every week, Chris opens the phone line to one anonymous caller, and he cant hang up first, no matter what. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical discussions and shameless self-promotion, anything can and will happen! T ...
 
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Modern Love
Weekly
 
Modern Love features top actors performing true stories of love, loss, and redemption. It has included performances by Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, Angela Bassett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sterling K. Brown, and more. A collaboration between WBUR and The New York Times.
 
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Mystery Show
Monthly+
 
A podcast about mysteries, hosted by Starlee Kine. From Gimlet.
 
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Heavyweight
Rare
 
Maybe you’ve laid awake imagining how it could have been, how it might yet be, but the moment to act was never right. Well, the moment is here and the podcast making it happen is Heavyweight. Join Jonathan Goldstein for road trips, thorny reunions, and difficult conversations as he backpedals his way into the past like a therapist with a time machine. From Gimlet Media.
 
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Strangers
Monthly
 
From Lea Thau, Peabody award-winning producer and creator of The Moth Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour, comes her new storytelling baby, Strangers. Each episode is an empathy shot in your arm, featuring true stories about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that WE aren't even who we thought we were.
 
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Outlook
Daily
 
Extraordinary first person stories from around the world
 
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Radio Diaries
Monthly
 
First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm
 
The Guardian's Audio Long Reads podcasts are a selection of the Guardian’s long read articles which are published in the paper and online. It gives you the opportunity to get on with your day whilst listening to some of the finest journalism the Guardian has to offer: in-depth writing from around the world on immigration, crime, business, the arts and much more.
 
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Undone
Rare
 
When big news happens, the world tunes in and then moves on. But often the stories we thought were over haven’t really ended; they were the beginning of something else. Undone is a new show from Gimlet Media that digs up the surprising things that happened when we weren’t looking.
 
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Ear Hustle
Monthly
 
Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.
 
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Conversations
Daily
 
Spend an hour in someone else's life. 'Conversations with Richard Fidler' draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.
 
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Dirty John
Monthly
 
Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.
 
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Dear Sugars
Monthly+
 
The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. The Sugars are here, speaking straight into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return. Send your letters to dearsugars@nytimes.com.
 
An intimate journey into the hidden lives of ordinary people. Welcome to The Secret Room, a podcast about the true stories no one ever tells.
 
The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast ...
 
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Seriously...
Weekly
 
A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.
 
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Upvoted by Reddit
Monthly
 
Thousands of unique stories are happening on Reddit everyday, propelling people and ideas to an audience of millions. But what happens after those posts go up? What happened leading up to it? Upvoted gives these stories—from the seemingly ordinary to the extraordinary—the creative space to expand, breathe, and grow. Learn more by going beyond the upvote and see what makes Reddit so remarkable.
 
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Backseat Rider
Monthly+
 
Journalist Anthony Ponce goes from the bright lights of a major news network to behind the wheel of a ride-share car, bringing you the real life stories of his passengers. From businessmen and baristas to strippers and students... hear the unique worldviews of people from all walks of life, as Anthony and his riders navigate the streets of Chicago. (interviews are recorded with full knowledge and consent).
 
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UnFictional
Monthly
 
Unbelievably true stories of chance encounters that changed the world. A pair of mail-order shoes that led to the film The Outsiders. A secret road to a California paradise. The day LA and smog first met. Stories that will stick in your head like a...
 
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Short Cuts
Monthly+
 
Short documentaries and adventures in sound presented by Josie Long
 
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This is Love
Monthly+
 
From the makers of the award-winning podcast Criminal, This is Love investigates life’s most persistent mystery. Stories of sacrifice, obsession, and the ways in which we bet everything on each other.
 
Tell The Bartender is a storytelling podcast hosted by Katharine Heller
 
Join bestselling author Jon Ronson as he traces a very strange butterfly effect. A teen in Brussels had an idea – to make porn free and easy to stream online. The consequences of that idea are mysterious, delightful, surprising, and sad. This 7-part series takes you on a journey to places you’ll never expect.
 
You know how every day someone asks "how are you?" And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say "fine," so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word. From American Public Media.
 
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FOUND
Monthly+
 
Have you ever found a note on the ground, maybe meant for someone else? Help Davy Rothbart solve these mysteries on the FOUND Podcast, where we explore personal stories of love, loss, hope, transformation and aspiration through the lens of lost and found notes --with the power of humor and music. You can see these notes, and more, on the FOUND App on iOS, and help us solve the mysteries behind them as part of a global community art project. New full episodes every other Wednesday, with updat ...
 
Jo and Simon hear listeners' shameful secrets, including ones that were too shocking for radio! Plus more from the Parish Notice Board and another Confessions From The Crypt.
 
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The Habitat
Weekly+
 
On a remote mountain in Hawaii, there's a fake planet Mars. Six volunteers are secluded in an imitation Mars habitat where they will work as imitation astronauts for one very real year. The goal: to help NASA understand what life might be like on the red planet—and plan for the day when the dress rehearsals are over, and we blast off for real. Host Lynn Levy has been chronicling this experiment from the moment the crew set foot in their habitat, communicating with them through audio diaries ...
 
Exploring different aspects of history, science, philosophy and the arts.
 
Through first person, short format storytelling with no commentary, This Is Actually Happening probes the chaotic interiors of the human experience as we find out what happens when everything changes. If you'd like to donate to the show, go to patreon.com/happening
 
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That Story Show
Monthly+
 
That Story Show is a family-friendly clean-comedy podcast that shares funny real-life stories from listeners all over the world. Join hosts James Kennison and John Steinklauber and laugh along every week. Formerly known as Nobody's Listening
 
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Home of the Brave
Monthly
 
Home of the Brave: new and old stories from "This American Life" contributor Scott Carrier.
 
Multi award winning documentaries from Ireland. With over 1,500 documentaries on offer, the Documentary On One has the largest archive of documentaries available globally. These productions are radio stories about real life and contain documentaries dating as far back as 1954, right up to the present day. A wealth of life, ideas and experiences are on offer - but most importantly - stories. Winner of over 150 national and international awards since 2008, why not immerse yourself in a world o ...
 
Remembering the good, the bad, and the awkward parts of growing up
 
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Trust the Random
Monthly
 
A conversation about how random circumstances or coincidences lead people down different paths to better lives through interviews with great people.
 
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Making Obama
Rare
 
Former President Barack Obama — along with key advisers, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Season One of Making told the story of how Oprah built a media empire. Now, the story of how Chicago shaped the country's first African-American president.
 
Earshot presents documentaries about people, places, stories and ideas, in all their diversity.
 
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The Untold
Monthly+
 
Grace Dent presents a series documenting the untold dramas of 21st-century Britain.
 
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Family Ghosts
Rare
 
Every house is haunted. In each episode of “Family Ghosts,” we'll investigate the true story behind a mysterious figure whose legend has followed a family for generations. Grandmothers who were secretly jewel smugglers, uncles who led double lives, siblings who vanished without a trace...these specters cast shadows over our lives in ways that might not be immediately obvious. But we are all formed in part by our familial collections of secrets, intrigues, and myths. By engaging with each oth ...
 
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show series
 
Why Molly received an dishonorable discharge from the military and how she's able to keep it a secret. SHIPSTATION Thanks ShipStation. Get one month Free and an additional month free with Shipstation.com promocode: Secret SUMMER SURVEY Take our Summer Survey! PICTURES See Molly's Dishonorable Discharge, DD From 212. It says “fraudulent entry in ...…
 
Democrats are desperate to retake part of Congress. Their best shot is the House. This fall, they’ll be slugging it out with Republicans—but in the meantime, they’re slugging it out with each other. The progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic party are going head-to-head in Democratic primaries all over the country right now, wrestling ...…
 
Might explorations of gender in great art of the past help illuminate today's issues?
 
Aaron is an Emotions Addict. He is a member of a fellowship, Emotions Anonymous, which offers a twelve-step style approach to dealing with emotional issues such as rage and depression, who also might see these issues as root causes of other addictive behaviors. An emotions addict, Aaron says, can’t resolve emotional distress most as people migh ...…
 
During her 20s, Vicky Beeching from the UK had made it as one of the most successful musicians in the Christian rock music scene in America. But while playing to crowds of hundreds of thousands of people, she carried a secret. After years of hiding the truth, she decided to reveal her identity… but how would her fans respond?Presenter: Emily We ...…
 
As a young woman, Diane Benscoter had a burning idealism, and a desire for purpose.
 
Missy is an emotional addict. Her uncontrollable emotion is anger. Missy says she has been “wired this way” for as long as she can remember. Her temper was short, and her sister used to tease her relentlessly. Her parents were of no help, and often encouraged the sister’s behavior. Her anger issues would lead to an extreme dislike of other chil ...…
 
In a grown-up world, kids often have no choice but to go along with the course charted by the adults around them. This means that kids are subject to grown-up problems, often in ways they can't understand until much later in their lives. This week, we'll hear what it's like to be a kid caught up in a tangle created by adults.…
 
"What would it be like to consciously feel you were nothing but a robotic phenotype", asks Will Self, "pre-programmed to replicate its own integrated genotypic code then become...obsolete?" Taking the contemporary TV series "Westworld" as his starting point, Will explores consciousness, humanity and artificial intelligence. Producer: Adele Arms ...…
 
The writer and illustrator Judith Kerr has created some of our best-loved books for children since publishing her first, and perhaps most famous book, 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea', which celebrates its 50th birthday this year.Judith's life has always inspired her writing, from fleeing Nazi Germany as a child, a story she told in 'When Hitler Sto ...…
 
Beginning in 1888, hundreds of Irish teenagers were sent to a convent in Texas that was dedicated to educating emancipated slaves after the American Civil War. A lifetime later, the grand niece of two of these nuns uncovers their stories, which chronicle a century of change in the Catholic Church, race relations, and women’s rights (2018)…
 
Can you forgive Mark for his literary lapse, Lisa's Duck Discretion, Mr I's Snail Fail, and Danny's Quick Cash scheme? Plus this week ‘Confession From The Crypt’ has a scary movie theme and there's a chance to hear more of the Confessions that are just too rude to broadcast on the radio! If you have a Confession or want to get in touch, email c ...…
 
For decades, politicians have welcomed the super-rich with open arms. Now they’re finally having second thoughts. But is it too late? • Read the text version here
 
The documentary “Love Means Zero” profiles the controversial tennis coach Nick Bollettieri and his broken relationship with Andre Agassi. Filmmaker Jason Kohn frames the story around three classic tennis matches that defined their careers. Like a great tennis match, the film is filled with suspense, joy and tears. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Nei ...…
 
Joy McCann's early fascination with the vast Southern Ocean has become a lifelong passion
 
Amy first tried Crystal Meth in San Fransisco, when some friends shared their stash with her one night before heading out to a nightclub. But within months, Amy was using daily before work and often let people cook meth in apartment kitchen. In her own words, meth provided Amy with a “quick euphoria.” Meth would make her hypersensitive and hype ...…
 
Punjabi-Canadian Jagmeet Singh is a politician and martial artist, who loves serving his constituents. He wears brightly colored turbans to disarm racism, but worries that his stylish reputation is taking center stage.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Ben Goodes, 13, loves eating junk food and playing with his dog and best friend, Maya. Ben is looking for human friends, but has social anxiety related to his autism. People confound him, but he’s braved a sleepover to learn the secret to making budsBy podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Judy Kennedy, 61, is unable to walk because of a neurological disease. She wants romance but is finding it hard to meet new people. Politician Jagmeet Singh, math prodigy Tai Poole and host Sook-Yin Lee help Judy find ways to new connections.
 
Judy Kennedy, 61, is unable to walk because of a neurological disease. She wants romance but is finding it hard to meet new people. Politician Jagmeet Singh, math prodigy Tai Poole and host Sook-Yin Lee help Judy find ways to new connections.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Judy, the “NO. 1 GRANNY”, sings, dances, golfs, skis, and loves driving. That’s her problem. Her family is worried about her and wants Judy to give up the wheel. Faced with the realities of ageing, should Judy park the car?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Boy genius Tai Poole is struggling with a problem that he can't quite solve: accepting his ailing grandfather's mortality. Sook-Yin and strangers suggest ways they can stay close and offer insight from their own experiences with death and sickness.
 
Boy genius Tai Poole is struggling with a problem that he can't quite solve: accepting his ailing grandfather's mortality. Sook-Yin and strangers suggest ways they can stay close and offer insight from their own experiences with death and sickness.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Sook-Yin Lee checks in with guests from Vancouver, Salt Spring Island, and Toronto after they’ve checked out. The big question remains: Once you return to the world post-sleepover, what happens to your problems?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Teen Josis Thomas is set to attend Laurentian University on a scholarship. It is a dream opportunity but he’s worried about leaving behind his beloved Regent Park, making ends meet, fitting in and living up to all his expectations.
 
Basketball star Josis Thomas is set to attend Laurentian University on a scholarship. It is a dream opportunity but he’s worried about leaving behind his beloved Regent Park, making ends meet and fitting in.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Hear part two of 'Sleepover Live Power Nap Edition', where three mystery guests meet for the first time in a king-sized bed on stage with Sook-Yin Lee to share their deepest dilemmas.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Author Sheila Heti is a shining literary light. But it seems the more popular she is, the more detractors there are. She doesn’t want to be paralyzed by online comments, but she refuses to ignore valid criticism
 
Author Sheila Heti is a shining literary light. But it seems the more popular she is, the more detractors there are.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
In the Sleepover Live Power Nap Edition, three mystery guests meet for the first time in a king-sized bed on stage with Sook-Yin Lee to share their deepest dilemmas.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Dr. Jon Fiddler is “a wild child queer kid at heart”, who works on a Pikangikum First Nation reserve. The reservation's living conditions impede his ability to treat those in need. Jon has to decide whether or not he wants to work there.
 
Dr. Jon Fiddler is “a wild child queer kid at heart”, who works on a Pikangikum First Nation reserve. The reservation's living conditions impede his ability to treat those in need. Jon has to decide whether or not he wants to work there.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
As a “passion coach”, Eryn Faye Frans helps confused Christians navigate sex and intimacy. But for all of her expertise, Erin Faye is struggling with her own problem: after being diagnosed with colon cancer, she's trying to get her own passion back.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Alan Zweig is a documentary filmmaker and self-described ‘old dad’. He has major control issues that he's encouraged to let go of at the sleepover. What will Alan hang onto when his problems are unleashed in
 
Alan Zweig is a documentary filmmaker and self-described ‘old dad’. He has major control issues that he's encouraged to let go of at the sleepover.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Walter Callaghan is a former military medic, forced out after a serious back injury. Over ten years later, Walter still clings to his military identity and ghosts of the past. Can Walter learn to let go of the guilt he’s been harbouring all these years?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Scaachi Koul is an outspoken writer with an undeniably bold presence. As night falls, she reveals the weight of her upsetting personal problem: the deterioration of an important relationship that has turned into a silent standoff. She says it's unsolvable
 
Scaachi Koul is an outspoken writer with an undeniably bold presence. As night falls, she reveals the weight of her upsetting personal problem: the deterioration of an important relationship that has turned into a silent standoff.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Davinder Mahli, 18, is passionate about theatre, and has written award-winning plays. Davinder’s parents worked hard to send him to theatre school, but his inspiration is slipping. Does he stick it out, or does tell his parents he’s switching majors?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Charlie McGettigan is eight years old, freckled and fearless. Despite her confidence, Charlie wrestles with a problem that has the kids at school making faces at her. Will strangers Scaachi Koul and Alan Zweig be able to help solve Charlie's troubles?
 
Charlie McGettigan is eight years old, freckled and fearless. Despite her confidence, Charlie wrestles with a problem that has the kids at school making faces at her. Will strangers Scaachi Koul and Alan Zweig be able to help solve Charlie's troubles?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Oseko Ogega is a working class hero with a gift of the gab. He leads a double life, and it’s got him at a crossroads: should he be a working stiff or follow his passion?A rap battle in the wilderness helps unlock the secret of his struggle.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Sleepover with Sook-Yin Lee finds connections between strangers in a hotel room. It launches June 27. Here's Sook-Yin on what the show’s all about.
 
Sacha Ouellet is a tough and tender twenty-something, juggling two jobs. She left a tumultuous home life at the age of 17, but recently reconciled with her mom. Will her dreams of moving away to be a full-time artist threaten their relationship?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Orville Thertell -- a typical affable Canadian--might be too nice. Orville’s being taken advantage of, but can’t put his foot down. Sequestered in a boathouse in the woods, can tough talk from a city guy and a realtor help him stick up for himself?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Groundbreaking Vancouverite, Tru Wilson, is part of a new generation of empowered trans kids demanding to be heard.Tru's got enough optimism to light up a room. How will this bright tween face a dark world?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Deep in the Canadian wilderness arrives Trudy Wilson— realtor, long distance swimmer, and devoted mom. Family is important to Trudy, but since her mom’s death, she’s been battling with her big brother. Can strangers solve Trudy’s sibling rivalry?By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Vancouver’s Soheil Biniaz is a self-made millionaire, who's learning deep connection is something his money can't buy.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Perfect strangers sequester themselves for 24 hours to help each other. But what happens when they return to an imperfect world? Sook-Yin Lee checks in with guests from Toronto and Peterborough to find out.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
Meet the incredible cast of strangers that slept over with Sook-Yin Lee and spilled their problems for Season 2.By podcasting@cbc.ca.
 
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