This American Life

This American Life describes contemporary life with themed episodes and a variety of stories on that theme — mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. The stories presented are engaging, intimate, surprising, funny, disturbing and bittersweet.

Recent Episodes

#339: Break-Up

Writer Starlee Kine on what makes the perfect break-up song and whether really sad music can actually make you feel better. Plus, an eight-year-old author of a book about divorce, and other stories from the heart of heartbreak.

#530: Mind Your Own Business

Stories of meddling, snooping, and just getting way, way up in other
people's business. A cellphone hidden in a bag of chips starts a messy turf war between the FBI
and a local sheriff; and a surprising handbook lets us peek into the secret world of professional
cheerleading. Plus: Studs Terkel.

#241: 20 Acts in 60 Minutes

Instead of the usual "each week we choose a theme, and bring you 3 or 4 stories on that theme" business, we throw all that away and bring you 20 stories—yes, 20—in 60 minutes.

#529: Human Spectacle

Gladiators in the Colosseum. Sideshow performers. Reality television. We've always loved to gawk at the misery or majesty of others. But this week, we ask the question: What's it like when the tables are turned and all eyes are on you?

#528: The Radio Drama Episode

Our most ambitious live show ever! (VIDEO DOWNLOAD) We pulled together a massive team of theater pros at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Opera House – nearly 50 singers, actors, dancers and musicians. The result? Journalism turned into a Broadway musical, into opera. Mike Birbiglia, Sasheer Zamata, Stephin Merritt, Lindsay Mendez, Josh Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda and others.