Best Storytelling podcasts (Updated August 2018; image)
Related podcasts: Story Stories Arts Society Digital Live Theater Business Education Featured FM Storyteller Personal Spiritual Training Interviews Books Religion Marketing Conversations Comedy  
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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 cinematic, and dramatic radio. Hosted by Glynn Washington.
 
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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.
 
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.
 
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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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.
 
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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.
 
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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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
 
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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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Seriously...
Weekly
 
A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.
 
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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.
 
An intimate portrait of ordinary people's hidden lives. Welcome to The Secret Room, a podcast about the stories no one ever tells.
 
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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.
 
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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Short Cuts
Monthly+
 
Short documentaries and adventures in sound presented by Josie Long
 
Exploring different aspects of history, science, philosophy and the arts.
 
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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...
 
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.
 
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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.
 
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.
 
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 ...
 
Tell The Bartender is a storytelling podcast hosted by Katharine Heller
 
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 ...
 
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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 ...
 
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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The Blue Expat
Monthly+
 
There are many Vietnamese living outside of their countries, hence there is a need to connect them and let their stories be told. The Blue expat connects with Vietnamese expats and interview them on different topics. From this show, not only the expats can share their experiences and sympathy but also people living in Vietnam will have more realistic picture of lives of Vietnamese expats. Nơi những kinh nghiệm được chia sẻ, những câu chuyện xung quanh cuộc sống của người Việt Nam khi ở nước ...
 
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Home of the Brave
Monthly
 
Home of the Brave: new and old stories from "This American Life" contributor Scott Carrier.
 
Remembering the good, the bad, and the awkward parts of growing up
 
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Earshot - ABC RN
Weekly
 
Earshot presents documentaries about people, places, stories and ideas, in all their diversity.
 
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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.
 
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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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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
 
Abdel Nasser Ould Ethmane is from Mauritania, a country in north-west Africa where slavery has existed for centuries. As a child he thought it was normal for a noble family like his to own slaves, but as he grew older he began to question the practice and ended up as one of the leading campaigners for abolition. He's co-founded an organisation ...…
 
In Episode 34 of the A Story Not Forgotten Podcast Liam sits down with a fellow rider at the annual Triumph Motorcycle rally the 4th episode with Rally folk if youre keeping score the man they call Morto Morto tells one of the more colourful stories from his past and how a regular saltoftheEarth kind of guy went from serving as a Unit Commander ...…
 
Sean grew up in a neighborhood in which if you didn’t gamble, you didn’t belong. Bets began at a young age with friends, as they would play baseball with each other. In his early teens, a friend introduced him to a bookie, and Sean made bets on sports games right away, putting up bets of hundreds of dollars that he didn’t have. His losses would ...…
 
Matt Haig's candour about his depression and anxiety has resonated around the world
 
The story of six Irish Missionary sisters who have now returned home. Produced by Patricia Baker.
 
The story of six Irish Missionary sisters who have now returned home. Produced by Patricia Baker.
 
Let's face it. With the ghosting, inappropriate comments, and awkward small talk ... dating can be so bad it's hilarious. Awkwafina ("Crazy Rich Asians," "Oceans Eight") reads Sarah Moses's essay.
 
Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian American writer of a genre of books called Afrofuturism, which combine science fiction with African mythology. Nnedi wrote the comic Black Panther: Long Live the King and is now working on a spin-off based on the superhero's sister’s character, Shuri. But becoming a writer was not the most straightforward journey fo ...…
 
Compulsive Gambler Joel’s first bet was, as it often is, during childhood. Joel was a fantastic marble player; and not only one the games among the kids, he would up winning all the marbles and taking them home. But as a teen, his parents took him to the track, giving him two dollar to play with. Joel won fifteen. And from that moment, he just ...…
 
Jimmy Shu's childhood in Sri Lanka planted the seeds for his later life as a legendary restaurateur
 
In this hour, we're on the move Three stories from the road, rail, and the sky. Hosted by Catherine Burns, The Moth’s Artistic Director. The Moth Radio Hour is produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media. Storytellers: Belal Mobarak, Ted Conover, and Rosanne Cash. Sponsored by: www.rocketmortgage.com/Moth www.squarespace.com/M ...…
 
Sohan Lal started out shining shoes and then began driving a rickshaw. It was then he started meeting tourists and learning languages, which became his passport to the world. It was also how he met a Swiss tourist called Nadia and fell in love. (Photo:courtesy of Sohan Lal/Rikschawalla.)
 
Allan Little looks at arts festivals started in the aftermath of World War Two
 
Third time's the charm, except for when it's the third time your life has been completely upended. Then it's extremely disruptive. Maybe Tinder could help? Check out today's sponsors -- Talkspace -- talkspace.com/ttfa Brooklinen -- brooklinen.com The Great Courses Plus - thegreatcoursesplus.com/thanks…
 
Andy is a compulsive gambler. His game of choice was poker, but he would gamble on anything he could. And all he would do is lose money. He barely if ever won. Andy’s legitimate creditors – namely the bank – would often call his house, speaking with him or his wife, asking for him to get his bills current. Andy wasn’t raised a gambler, but was ...…
 
John Ball, Shane Smith and Terri Mintz share true stories about Jobitron of Azeroth, an irresponsible father, and a friend of the friendless.
 
Drugs, rampages, the postal system. This call has it all. Buckle up and enjoy. This episode is brought to you by Talkspace (www.talkspace.com/beautiful), Pact (www.wearpact.com code: BEAUTIFUL), Bombas (www.bombas.com/STORIES), and Caffe Monster.
 
If you are a parent, you probably do not need an introduction to Fortnite Battle Royale. It's the online video game that's been absorbing the minds and time of millions of children and young adults since its launch last September. To the uninitiated, it's an online shooter game that has elements of The Hunger Games movies and the building video ...…
 
Fish mongers recorded on the streets of Harlem in the 1930s. An 8-year-old girl’s impromptu news cast made on a toy recorder in a San Diego store. Lyndon Johnson talking to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover a week after President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Sounds lost and found. As The Kitchen Sisters prepare to launch their new series The Kee ...…
 
Fish mongers recorded on the streets of Harlem in the 1930s. An 8-year-old girl’s impromptu news cast made on a toy recorder in a San Diego store. Lyndon Johnson talking to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover a week after President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Sounds lost and found. As The Kitchen Sisters prepare to launch their new series The Kee ...…
 
At 19, Colleen Gwynne rescued her mum from a violent marriage. Then she joined the police and solved one of Australia's most complicated murder cases
 
Catherine Fletcher explores Monterverdi's pioneering use of female roles and performers
 
Deborah Jiang-Stein had always known she was adopted, but didn't know where she'd come from. That was until she was 12 and found a letter hidden at home. She was shocked to find out that she was born in jail. Deborah felt it was her destiny to become a criminal like her biological mother. She explains how she escaped a life of crime. (Photo cre ...…
 
NCAD was a scene of heated controversy and disturbance in the late sixties and seventies. This documentary meets the man who stepped in to the role of Director following that time. Welsh man Jonah Jones talks about his vision for art and design and how he will repair the years of neglect by the government, education system and public.…
 
No language in history has dominated the world quite like English does today. Is there any point in resisting? • Read the text version here
 
Inez gets her first boyfriend, Wade writes California Raisins fan fiction, Jessica shares passive aggressive poetry, and much more. Recorded live at the Leacock Theatre at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Show notes Support GRTTWaK. Become a patron. Photos from our Calgary event Rate or review GRTTWaK in iTunes Join the email newsletter Upcom ...…
 
In a special edition of the science and comedy podcast to mark the 100th episode, Brian Cox and Robin Ince reminisce about their favourite moments from the show.
 
Michelle’s first drink alone was at age 11. Her family home was complete with a bar that was never locked. She came home from school one day and found an open bottle of wine in the kitchen fridge, and so she tasted it. She felt guilty about taking the sip, but she kept repeating the drink each day when coming home from school. Click to play…
 
The Exotic Adrian Street grew up in a three generation family of Welsh coal miners, but he wasn’t destined to be in the dark.
 
Our insatiable appetite for fish is growing, the way we hunt them is changing, yet fish farming for many still has a salty pong about it. Come visit the community of Port Stephens who are treading the choppy waters of aquaculture.
 
Michael Veitch's great-grandfather arrived in Australia on a ship dubbed 'the floating charnel house'
 
A flute player breaks into a British museum and makes off with a million dollars worth of dead birds.
 
The pitfalls of teenagers and tiaras. This week, Mortified explores the obsession kids have with becoming a princess. The Mortified Podcast is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Listen to all eps at getmortified.com/podcast.
 
Jenn returns to re-tell her story of teenage alcoholism. She had her first drink in her first week of her freshman year in High School, but she had wanted to drink for a long time leading up to it. She was too scared to drink at home, but found friends a couple of hours away whose parents permitted the teenagers to drink. Her first drunk was wi ...…
 
Would you hire someone to impersonate one of your relatives? Yuichi Ishii is a former actor who runs Family Romance, a 'family rental' business in Japan. He pretends to be people's fathers, husbands and ex-lovers. Over nine years, he's played spouse to a hundred women and organised 8,000 fake weddings. But, it's an ethical minefield when you're ...…
 
Privilege comes in many forms: socio-economic privilege, gender privilege, heterosexual privilege, to name a few. But behind every case is an imbalance of power, invisible to those who possess it, and ever-present for those who don’t. In today’s episode, the Sugars reply to two letter writers whose loved ones are unable see their own privilege. ...…
 
James tells the Featured Story about an embarrassing moment at Subway. John’s kids rename themselves. James’ son is an evil comedy genius. We’ve got another Mommy Lifehack, some great listener submissions and the Recap Song. Enjoy!
 
Barbara is addicted to sex and love, and she shares her story in hopes others can begin to understand the difference between normal sex, love and romance, and those who use them as a “drug of no choice.” Barbara asserts that much of this stems from a need to be approved and accepted. Her own issues began in childhood, with a mother preoccupied ...…
 
As we near the end of four years of collective reflection on the First World War, Michael Morpurgo talks of the importance of never taking peace for granted. "We have been looking back, remembering, or trying to", he writes, "because remembering a time and a war that none of us can remember is hard". He discusses one particular plan - the dream ...…
 
Unpack this week's podcast of hilarious holiday confessions! Featuring Ann’s foul bowel story, clumsy Kath’s cycling confession ‘You’ve Placed a Hill in My Heart’, Tom’s cruise confusion, Prankish Paula’s hilarious tale and M’s swimming spectacle ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’.If you have a request for a confession from days gone by, email Fa ...…
 
Leezan Salam from Iraq is a student turned teacher at the Baghdad School of Music and Ballet. The school was set up in the late 1960s to give students both an artistic and a full academic education. But in recent times its dancers have become targets for extremists who think ballet is un-Islamic. Leezan has risked her life to keep dancing.Image ...…
 
An aspiring filmmaker foregoes big city lights for blood and vampires in Pennsylvania. Storyteller: Tony Buba Hosted by Dan Kennedy Sponsored by: www.rocketmortgage.com/Moth www.squarespace.com/Moth www.ziprecruiter.com/Moth
 
Snowflake students have become the target of a new rightwing crusade. But exaggerated claims of censorship reveal a deeper anxiety at the core of modern conservatism • Read the text version here
 
The documentary classic “The Atomic Cafe,” an archival-footage essay about America’s relationship with the atomic bomb, is back in theaters with a new 4k restoration. Filmmakers Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty compiled government propaganda, newsreels, educational films — like one that tells students to “duck and cover” if a bo ...…
 
Horizontal stripes have been used to draw the eye and sign-post the audacious for centuries - from Medieval miniatures to the films of Tim Burton. Whether used on a lighthouse or a zebra crossing, stripes grab our attention and in the very same moment tell us to stay away. In nature they're often the mark of something that's out to confuse, or ...…
 
Dave is a sex and love addict. He spent most of his life wondering how he became this way. He still isn’t sure. Dave grew up in a upper-middle class home in a family of high achievers. His parents and siblings were very loving. There was no outright abuse. But Dave’s father was very success-oriented, and there was a lot of pressure to perform t ...…
 
From painkiller addiction to parliament Jacqui Lambie's life has been a rollercoaster
 
Osher Gunsberg on that time he really should have stopped a few drinks earlier.
 
Adam Smith traces the birth and afterlife of Hemingway's explosive short story.
 
After a salesman at Oakland’s Lake Merritt disappears, journalist Tammerlin Drummond investigates what happened to him. Video used in story provided by user ritchhazel on YouTube.
 
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