Podcasting has gone mainstream. There are around 700,000 podcasts worldwide, and a total of 29 million episodes produced so far. What used to be a marginal form of media now has dozens of streaming apps, and some of the biggest players receive millions of listens every month. With a microphone, an idea and a computer, anyone can broadcast to the web.
The growing number of podcasts about death and dying are part of the increased awareness around these important issues, on top of the desire to educate and entertain audiences. Anthropology, comedy, law, death care and thanatology are just some of the amazing topics and themes these podcasts cover. Here are just some of the Best Podcasts About Death and Dying. Part 2 coming soon!
The Best Podcasts About Death and Dying
The Adventures of Memento Mori: A Cynic’s Guide for Learning to Live by Remembering to Die is podcast exploring the science, mysticism, culture and mystery of death. The show follows host, D.S. Moss, as he attempts to reconcile his own impermanence and live a more meaningful life. Problem is, life keeps getting in the way. Some notable episodes include Moss’s 3-part Myths of Immortality and his 2-part Ayahuasca experience in the jungles of Peru. Read our interview with D.S. Moss here!
Bone Lab Radio was founded by a group of friends in San Francisco. Kate, Jeannie, Jennifer, and Jenny are academic researchers and science communicators. These 5 friends believe that bones have a story to tell, including the process of decomposition, helping us hear music, sports injuries, and a lot more.
Death, et. seq (literally, “Death, and what follows”), is a podcast by friend of TalkDeath, Tanya Marsh. Marsh is a law professor at Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina who specializes in funeral and cemetery law. Death, et seq. aims to demystify funeral planning, and talk to people with expertise on funerals, cemeteries, and other methods of disposition — people with a wide range of perspectives.
Death in the Afternoon is a new podcast from the team behind Ask a Mortician and The Order. The “deathcast” will dispel myths about death and dead bodies, dive into history and dark tales you’ve never heard before, and hopefully make you less afraid to talk about the inevitable. Death in the Afternoon is hosted by Caitlin Doughty, Louise Hung, and Sarah Chavez.
Life, Death and Tarot is a podcast by thanatologist and public health educator Cole Imperi. The podcast takes listeners through a non-magical method of introspection and self-discovery via tarot cards. If interviews aren’t your thing, listen to the Mortisodes which feature thanatology-adjacent content. Ever wonder how death and difficulty make life better? This is the podcast for you.
We’re all gonna die – but that doesn’t have to be bad news! Get ready for your inevitable demise with Max and Dorian as they explore the history and culture of death and decomposition. From dressing corpses, faking your death to eating the dead, this podcast is informative, funny, and well worth the download.
WhenYouDie.org curates voices from palliative care doctors, leading researchers, death doulas and the bereaved as well as poets, comedians, artists and everyday people. The podcast, hosted by Kelly MacLean is only one part of WhenYouDie.org’s larger mission, including a feature length documentary! You can listen to Mandy and Jeremy from TalkDeath discuss their experiences at Death Salon 2017.
Kaddish: A Podcast on Death and Mourning is a monthly podcast hosted by Student Rabbi Ariana Katz that focuses on mourning ritual and customs, features first person storytelling and interviews, uses Jewish tradition to contextualize and deepens themes of the show, and holds space at the intersection of life and death.
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 (It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)) 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. We really recommend the 3-part series on the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.
Hosted on NPR and brought to you by the TED Radio Hour, these are a collection of TED talks in podcast form. If you couldn’t get enough of the TED cadence in video form, you can now follow along in your car. Rethinking Death is one original episode where a variety of TED speakers contemplate the end of life with wisdom and humor.
See Part 2 of the best podcasts about death and dying HERE!