Until a year ago, I didn’t even realize that iPhones even came with a Podcast app, but over the past 12 months I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur. Almost every morning throughout spring and summer, I’ve followed the same ritual on my 45-minute stroll to work: Plug in headphones, hit play, and walk to the office listening to fascinating stories from total strangers.
As a voracious consumer of shows, I’ve spent hours working my way through the archives of This American Life, Criminal, Reply All, Mystery Show, Start Up, and just about every buzzy program available. Until I ran out: I quite literally had walked my way through 569 episodes of This American Life, 28 episodes of Criminal, and all the rest.
Panicked, I took to Facebook and Twitter—where else?—for new recommendations, and the overwhelming majority of friends, strangers, and loose online acquaintances told me there was one show left for me: Death, Sex, and Money.
While the show doesn’t have the cult following of some other programs (hey there, Serial), it’s been steadily growing in popularity since 2014. Possibly, your friends have even recommended the show to you, but you ignored their suggestions to keep on listening to the aforementioned buzzier podcasts. Big mistake, friend, because you’re missing out.
Death, Sex, and Money is a show about—as the program’s introduction explains—”things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more.” Specifically: Death, sex, and money—a.k.a the three most taboo (read: interesting) conversation topics on the planet.
Host Anna Sale has an amazing knack for getting regular folks to open up about these three themes, which she covers in snappy, 25-minute segments. Titles like, “My Father’s Secret Life,” “The Sex Worker Next Door,” “Brooklyn Left Me Broke and Tired,” and “Cheating Happens,” make for some truly compulsive listening, trust me, and the first person accounts of infidelity, poverty, love, prostitution, cancer, and everything can be deeply moving or laugh-out-loud comedic. So if you haven’t already started on Sale’s program, get moving—this show just keeps getting better.