Grief can be far more complicated than it sounds. When you’re going through it, listening to other people’s experiences can provide perspective and real comfort. Podcasts offer an uncomplicated way to do this, allowing listeners to engage with new ideas and insights about grief, death and sadness, and be privy to deep conversations at any time, in any place, and without having to do any of the talking.
Through their cleverly-titled podcast, Sally Douglas and Imogen Carn candidly tackle the topic of grief in a relatable way that makes it easier for all to understand. They share conversations of what loss is really like, with honesty and humour, as two young women who struggled to find the right resources and support when they both lost their mothers during lockdown.
As well as sharing their own truths (and some tips for “dead-min” aka death-related admin!), Sal and Im interview world-leading experts on grief, loss, trauma and mental health to create content that will surely educate and inspire, regardless of where you are in your grief. Listen here.
Terrible, Thanks For Asking
Nora McInerny’s podcast provides valuable information on how to actually process feelings of grief, and intends to normalise giving a more authentic response to the dreaded “How are you?” She’s been asked that question plenty of times herself, since her husband died in 2014. After his obituary went viral and Nora received many poignant responses from strangers also going through a difficult time, she used their messages to kick off her podcast. Tune in.
The Art of Dying Well
Dying well, or what constitutes a “good” death will mean something different to everyone, usually informed by a person’s individual journey through life. The folks at St Mary’s University have dedicated a whole faculty to the art of it – The Centre of the Art of Dying Well – where they bring together many of the best minds and partner with a range of organisations to support and develop community and offer companionship at end-of-life and, ultimately, death.
Each episode of the podcast focuses on a specific topic within the world of grief and bereavement; anything from deathbed etiquette to speaking at funerals and forward planning. The series aims to make death and dying something we can talk about openly without discomfort and fear, because after all, dying well starts with living well. Learn the art.
The What’s Your Grief Podcast
This grief support podcast offers extensive resources, personal stories and coping skills, making it useful for the bereaved as well as those who work with or love them. The hosts are two mental health professionals, Eleanor Haley and Litsa Williams, who seek to leave no stone unturned in demystifying the complicated and sometimes crazy experience of living after loss. Eleanor and Litsa provide information in a digestible format, covering topics ranging from grief theory and expectations to the use of grief strategies and how to navigate social media while grieving. Get stuck in.
“Funny people talking about death” is how Griefcast describes itself. That’s because it’s hosted by British comedian Cariad Lloyd. She examines the human experience of grief and death from her own perspective, and also with the help of some of her fellow comedians and performers.
Cariad manages to balance the funny with the awful in her podcast, using her platform to make space for natural and unhurried conversations about the more sombre subjects. As Cariad puts it, “We’re all in this club that no one asked to join, and it’s really helpful when you realise there’s other people in the club too”. Join the club.
The Adventures of Memento Mori
While it’s not a traditional grief podcast, some may also find comfort in learning about death culture, and the knowledge that people have experienced the associated feelings for all of time. The Adventures of Memento Mori unpacks the science, mysticism, culture and mystery of death.
D.S. Moss takes a more satirical and philosophical approach in hosting the podcast, which is described as a “Sceptic’s Guide for Learning to Live by Remembering to Die”. He begins by administratively making death preparations in his first episode (from 2015), Plan on Dying, where he ponders who will DJ his funeral. Available here.
The Grief Coach: Conversations about Life and Death
After losing her father to cancer when she was 30, Brooke James realised the need for resources that matched the gravity of emotions in her grieving process, which also offered concrete support. She started The Grief Coach to provide a space that respects profound loss and understands the practicality of needing to make decisions in heartbreak.
Brooke’s guests include innovators in funeral arrangements, spiritual leaders, therapists, authors and grievers themselves. Together, they cover everything from the practical to the emotional sides of grief and end-of-life issues. Meet the coach.
This Too Shall Suck: A Fresh Perspective on Grief
Loryn Denise is the millennial creator behind this podcast, which offers a more modern take on grief. She uses her upbeat personality, honesty and ability to tackle tough questions to create a safe space where grief, loss and death are no longer taboo topics.
Loryn has experienced grief first-hand and is able to emphatically connect with guests on her show to have the candid, transparent and raw conversations that other millennial grievers can benefit from hearing. Check it out.
If you don’t know where to start or feel like an entire death and grief related podcast feels a little too hardcore for you, there are a range of podcasts that feature the topics of grief and death as part of their broader series. Here are a few enlightening episodes to dip into (if you’re not ready to dive into a full series):
Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
ABC Conversations with Richard Foller, Sarah Kanowski
The On Being Show
The Thoughtful Travel Podcast
Episode: 16 - On Grief and Travel
Episode: 144 - Grief, Travel and Change