Podcast: Death, Sex & Money

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Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you've heard of—and to regular people you haven't—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we're here. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, On the Media, Nancy, Death-Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and many others. © WNYC Studios
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money2 months ago
The writer talks about how alcohol has helped him let go of his inhibitions and embrace his sexuality—after growing up in a house where drinking often led to violence.
In our last episode, we asked you about what you do when you're trying to cut back on drinking—and the desire for a drink hits. What do you do instead? Record a voice memo and send it in to deathsexmoney@wnyc.org.
Sign up for our newsletter at deathsexmoney.org/newsletter, and every Wednesday we'll send you podcast listening recommendations, listener letters from our inbox and updates from the show.
Follow our show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @deathsexmoney. Got a story to share? Email us any time at deathsexmoney@wnyc.org.
Support Death, Sex & Money today at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money2 months ago
We asked you about your relationships with alcohol—why you drink, or don't, the strategies you use to manage your consumption, and what alcohol brings you besides a buzz. Here's what you told us.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or seeking more information about alcohol consumption, check out these resources.
Sign up for our newsletter at deathsexmoney.org/newsletter, and every Wednesday we'll send you podcast listening recommendations, listener letters from our inbox and updates from the show.
Follow our show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @deathsexmoney. Got a story to share? Email us any time at deathsexmoney@wnyc.org.
Support Death, Sex & Money today at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
Bottled Up: Your Stories About Drinking
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money3 months ago
Rashema Melson recently got her college degree. Leading up to graduation day, she cracked open the "time capsules" we recorded with her, right before she dropped out of Georgetown—and right before she came back.
Sign up for our newsletter at deathsexmoney.org/newsletter, and every Wednesday we'll send you podcast listening recommendations, fascinating letters from our inbox and updates from the show. And follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Got a story to share? Email us any time at deathsexmoney@wnyc.org.
Support Death, Sex & Money today at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
Rashema Melson's Weakest Yet Bravest Moments
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money3 months ago
Two siblings open up to each other about eating and mental health, and why it took them so long to be honest about it with each other.
Sign up for our newsletter at deathsexmoney.org/newsletter, and every Wednesday we'll send you podcast listening recommendations, fascinating letters from our inbox and updates from the show. And follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Got a story to share? Email us any time at deathsexmoney@wnyc.org.
Support Death, Sex & Money today at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
A Brother, A Sister, And Their Eating Disorders
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money3 months ago
As I return from maternity leave, I'm thinking a lot about work and identity. So is Uma Kondabolu, who recently retired from the place where she worked for almost 30 years.
Are you new to Death, Sex & Money? Check out our starter kit of some of our favorite episodes. And subscribe to our weekly email newsletter! Every Wednesday we send out podcast listening recommendations, fascinating letters from our inbox and updates from the show. Sign up at deathsexmoney.org/newsletter.
Support Death, Sex & Money today at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
Follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Got a story to share? Email us any time at deathsexmoney@wnyc.org.
When Work Changes, So Do We
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money4 months ago
Carrie Mae Weems always knew she was going to be an artist, but she didn't know she wanted to be a photographer until she got her first camera in her late teens. It was a gift from a boyfriend who turned out to be "manipulative," but it launched her into a career that's made her a MacArthur Fellow and the first black woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum.
As she tells this week's guest host, author Tayari Jones, her professional drive has always been the barometer against which she's measured her personal relationships. "If I'm entering a relationship [and] struggling around notions of my ability to work, then it's not a relationship that I can stay in," she says. "I already see the handwriting is on the wall." Together, they talk about balancing that ambition with the relationships in their lives that matter. Plus, Carrie explains why she drank someone else's champagne on her wedding day.

This episode is part of Death, Sex & Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup. Tayari Jones first joined us on the show in 2018 to talk about the freedoms of singlehood, and the call from Oprah that changed everything for her.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money4 months ago
As a journalist and author, Sarah Smarsh has built her career around examining socioeconomic class. In 2018, her book Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth became a New York Times bestseller and was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award.
Sarah grew up outside of Wichita, Kansas, and spent much of her childhood on her family's farm. The Farm Crisis during the 1980s led to her family leaving farming behind, and her dad, Nick, had to find work elsewhere⁠—first, he worked locally on construction crews; now, he puts up buildings for fast food chains in far-flung places like Mississippi and Texas.
In this audio essay, Sarah interviews her dad about the changes he's endured throughout his lifetime, and about how, at 63, he thinks about his future as someone who builds things with his hands.

This episode is part of Death, Sex & Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money4 months ago
Today, Mahershala Ali is an Oscar-winning actor who lands leading roles in TV shows like True Detective and Hollywood blockbusters like Green Book. But he got his start as a poet-turned-rapper in the Bay Area, where he grew up.
Rafael Casal is another Bay Area poet and musician who recently made his big screen debut in the movie Blindspotting, which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his creative partner, Daveed Diggs. "We put a movie out and everyone back home thinks I'm on," Rafael says. "And I'm like, that was an indie movie. I lost money."
Mahershala interviews Rafael about his childhood as a "knucklehead," his life-changing discovery of slam poetry when he was a teenager, and how he and Daveed handle uncomfortable discussions about money and creative credit.

This episode is part of Death, Sex & Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup. Mahershala Ali first joined us on Death, Sex & Money in 2016, along with his wife, Amatus. Hear their conversation about faith, love and success, taped live in Brooklyn.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money4 months ago
Actor Alia Shawkat just turned 30, and she's got some questions about what's coming around the corner in this decade. So this week, she talks with Belgian-born psychotherapist Esther Perel about what that period of time was like in her life—when she had just moved to the U.S., gotten married, and was figuring out the "pleasure and the pride" of making it on her own financially. Plus, they talk about adult friendships, and why it's important to stay in touch with people from all the different decades of your life.

Alia Shawkat first appeared on Death, Sex & Money in 2017 for our live show in Los Angeles, called Life In Our 20s. The episode also features Niecy Nash, and includes questions from listeners about how to navigate the first decade of officially being an adult.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money5 months ago
When Trevor Noah started hosting The Daily Show in 2016, he says he told his head writer early on that he might sometimes be late to work. "I'm suffering from depression and sometimes I do not see the purpose of getting out of my bed or living life," he says he told him. "And he was like, 'Wait, what?'"
Trevor and guest host Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom talk about why radical honesty around mental health can be liberating. Plus, they talk about Trevor's feelings of being an outsider growing up in apartheid South Africa, about why he believes another black man will be elected president of the United States before a woman, and about how he got so good at doing hair.

Sociologist Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom first joined us on Death, Sex & Money in 2017 to discuss student loan debt during our live call-in. Hear that, and our two-part series featuring your stories about student loan debt, here.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money5 months ago
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones spends time in some pretty elite spaces—she's a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, and a force to be reckoned with on Twitter. But, as she tells Al Letson (host of Reveal), she's careful not to forget her roots in Waterloo, Iowa, and the people there who raised her. "The benefit of being a working class black girl who has spent a lot of time around more affluent white people is you do quickly learn they're actually not really smarter than you," she says. "They just have had advantages of things and opportunities that you haven't had." This week, the two of them talk about Nikole's childhood growing up in a biracial family, reporting on inequality from a place of anger, and what happened when she tried therapy last year.

You can find episodes of Reveal, the podcast from The Center for Investigative Reporting, here. And you can read Nikole's essay for The New York Times Magazine about choosing a school for her daughter here.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money5 months ago
Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell and GQ editor-in-chief Will Welch met in 2004, at what Jason says was "the lowest point of my life." Since then, the two long-distance friends have seen each other through divorce, new marriages, career climbs, a cancer diagnosis and rehab. Jason quit drinking in 2012, and Will followed suit two years later—starting by calling Jason at a breaking point. "You getting sober was a big deal for me," Jason says during their conversation. "It was the first time in my sobriety that I felt like, oh shit, somebody needs me and I can help."

Jason Isbell and his wife, Amanda Shires, were interviewed by host Anna Sale on the show in May 2014. Listen to that episode, "Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple" here, and listen to the duo taking your live calls about breakups, relationships, creativity and loss here.
Jason Isbell & Will Welch: Somebody Needs Me
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money6 months ago
Writers Damon Young and Kiese Laymon both are on book tour, promoting their acclaimed memoirs. And while they've been friends via social media for years, they'd never met face to face before recording a conversation for Death, Sex & Money. The two sat down together to talk about basketball and body image, money anxieties, and why being a "good dude" might be more about fear than anything else.

Damon Young is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Very Smart Brothas, and the author of "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker". Kiese Laymon is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi, and the author of "Heavy: An American Memoir".
Audio excerpts courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio from HEAVY by Kiese Laymon, read by the author. Copyright © 2018 by Kiese Laymon. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Damon Young & Kiese Laymon: The "Good Dude" Closet
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money6 months ago
When singer Marilyn Maye turned 90, she celebrated on stage in New York City in a performance residency she called "90 At Last." Now 91, the Kansas-based jazz and cabaret legend talks with actor and Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell about continuing to work well past retirement age, loving and leaving alcoholic partners, and about what they both envision for the end of their lives.
Special thanks to 54 Below for their help with this episode.

John Cameron Mitchell was interviewed by host Anna Sale on the show in April 2015. Listen to that episode, "Hedwig, Older and a Little Less Angry," here.
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money6 months ago
Awkwafina grew up Nora Lum in Queens, and was raised by her father and grandmother after her mother died when she was four years old. Guest host Lisa Ling talks with Awkwafina about how she coped with that loss by developing a sense of humor early on, and about why—despite feeling a lot of money anxiety—she isn't afraid to turn down high-paying gigs.

Guest host Lisa Ling appeared on Death, Sex & Money in 2017. Listen back to her episode, "What Lisa Ling Regrets," here.
Lisa Ling & Awkwafina: Shut Up, Let Me Shine
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money6 months ago
Having a Death, Sex & Money-style conversation isn't easy. It's long. It's intense. And it can get very awkward. In those moments when you might gloss over a sensitive topic, break the tension, and move on to the next question...you instead have to dig a little deeper. Get a little more personal.
But our lineup of guest hosts—former show guests and some new folks, too—are up for the challenge. And while host Anna Sale finishes up her maternity leave, you'll get to listen in as they have tough conversations with the people they're most curious about.
Among them: Journalist Lisa Ling talks with rapper and actor Awkwafina about losing her mom as a kid and finding unconditional love as an adult. John Cameron Mitchell interviews 91-year-old cabaret legend Marilyn Maye about her love affairs with alcoholic men and her fears about ending up in a nursing home. Writer Damon Young sits down with author Kiese Laymon to talk about body image and money anxieties. Americana singer Jason Isbell interviews GQ editor-in-chief (and his best friend) Will Welch about masculinity, mental health and their shared sobriety.
These conversations and a whole lot more are coming to you starting this Wednesday, April 10. Don't miss them!
The 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money7 months ago
We asked for your stories about layoffs, and we heard from a lot of you—including a listener named Stephanie. She wrote in about her dad, Steve, who lost his job two years ago and has been looking for work ever since. She told us that they talk about work a lot together, so we asked if they'd continue that conversation and let us listen in.
A Father and Daughter Talk About Layoffs
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money7 months ago
Actor Daniel K. Isaac grew up as the only child of a single immigrant mother. She's a devout Christian—so the first time Daniel came out to her, it was to ask for her help to stop being gay. But in his late teens, after years spent voluntarily in conversion therapy, Daniel decided that he was done trying to fight his sexuality. And in the years since, accepting that part of himself has meant finding new ways to relate to his mom.
Daniel K. Isaac Is Opting For The Gray Area
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money7 months ago
When Chef José Andrés moved from Spain to the U.S. in 1991, tapas weren't yet a thing on this side of the Atlantic. José is credited with changing that. He opened his first restaurant in Washington, D.C. when he was just 23 years old, and today he has a thriving business empire with more than two dozen restaurants across the country. He's also become known in recent years for his disaster relief work, both in the U.S. and abroad. But figuring out life outside of the kitchen has been more of a challenge. José talked to me about why he left home at a young age, and why he's sometimes felt less than confident when it comes to parenting his two daughters.
José Andrés Googled ‘How To Be A Father’
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WNYC Studiosadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: Death, Sex & Money8 months ago
We first met Diane Gill Morris three years ago, when her two sons, Kenny and Theo, were in their early teens. Both of them are autistic, and Diane worried about where they would end up living—and who would end up caring for them—when they became adults. "When they were little, it was all about figuring out how to help them," Diane told us. "Now it’s, okay, this is who they are. I can continue to help them grow and evolve....But the hard part is just accepting that this is quite conceivably the rest of my life."
We recently checked in with Diane, who moved with her entire family into a house that seemed perfect for them to live in together as they aged. But when her younger son, Theo, started having violent outbursts at home, their plan of continuing to care for him was thrown into question.

Did you miss our first episode with Diane? Go back and listen. Diane also guest hosted Death, Sex & Money in 2016. Hear her conversation with two other parents of autistic children, including a police officer, here.
When We Sent Our Son Away
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