Why Everyone Should Listen to the Podcast, "This American Life"

Last winter I was trying to get into podcasts, but with thousands of options, I was not sure where to start. A friend recommended listening to This American Life. I asked what kind of podcast it was and she responded by saying that it was a mix of everything. She was absolutely right!

This is not a new podcast; it has actually been around since the 1990s. The podcast has become very popular with “2.2 million listeners each week on over 500 public radio stations in the U.S., with another 3.6 million people downloading each episode as a podcast.”  In the first six months of it being out, it won a Peabody Award. With its big success, Showtime decided to create a show based on the podcast. This American Life is hosted by award-winning host Ira Glass. Glass attended Brown University and since his teen years has worked on radio. He started out by working for NPR, and he now hosts and produces This American Life as well as writing books, comics, and articles.


This American Life puts out one podcast a week. Each week the creators pick a topic, and they gather stories that go with that topic. These topics range from politics to crime, to scientific findings, and everything you can think of. There is definitely something for everyone. The most interesting part about this podcast is that most of the stories are real. It makes the listener more aware of what goes on in the world.


The episode that got me hooked to this podcast was one titled “Dr. Gilmore and Mr. Hyde.” The podcast followed the story of a doctor named Gilmore who took over the practice of another doctor who was also named Gilmore. The story takes a turn when it is revealed that Dr. Gilmore left his practice because he murdered his father. The podcast then follows the new Dr. Gilmore on his quest to figure out how a beloved doctor could turn into a murderer. I won’t reveal the ending, but it really pulls at your heartstrings.

You can find this podcast on the Apple podcast app, their own app, Pandora, Radio Public, and Google Podcast. You can also visit their website and listen to their entire archive of over 600 episodes. Access to the episodes is free! I am sure that you will find something that interests you. It is a perfect podcast to listen to on car rides, while you’re doing chores, on walks, etc. I hope you give it a try!

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