Just to feel something: 8 kinda-sad podcasts that will make you feel all the feels (but give closure in the end)

Society & Culture June 8, 2022

Is anyone searching for sad podcasts just to feel something? Is it just us? These podcasts definitely hit us in parts of our hearts that, if some of us can be so lucky, often go untouched. Even if we aren’t dealing with breakups, loss, or death and need to know that we aren’t alone, sometimes we just need an outlet to cry.

We have classic storytelling podcasts like “Heavyweight” and “This American Life” with standout tear-jerking episodes and beautifully tragic podcasts like “Dying For Sex” and “Alligator Candy” all about honoring lost loved ones and preserving their memories. These podcasts are guaranteed to make you feel all of the feels but ultimately leave you feeling hopeful.

Terrible, Thanks For Asking

Listen to ‘Terrible, Thanks For Asking’

On “Terrible, Thanks For Asking,” host Nora McInerny asks people to share their honest truths about how they’re doing. No matter how complicated, Nora wants to hear it. She’s heard from survivors of crime and assault, to survivors/fighters of illnesses, to war veterans, people who have lost loved ones, and everyone in between. It’s tragedy mixed with hope, compassion, and even a little bit of humor at times, but at the end of every episode, there is never a dry eye in the house.

Sorry About The Kid

Listen to ‘Sorry About The Kid’

“Sorry About The Kid” is definitely not an easy listen. Alex McKinnon was just 10 years old when his brother Paul was hit and killed by a speeding police cruiser outside of his school. Paul was just 14. In his CBC podcast, Alex is determined to get to know his older brother 30 years after he was killed while he also takes a look at how trauma and grief shape the lives of those left behind and what happened to the officer that killed Paul.

Dying For Sex

Listen to ‘Dying For Sex’

Dying For Sex” is a podcast all about the sexual odyssey of a woman diagnosed with a terminal illness. Hosted by Nikki Boyer and her best friend Molly, the two talk about Molly’s sexual escapades after she became diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. It’s hilarious, shocking, empowering, and ultimately heartbreaking. While Molly passed away in 2019 and never got to see the publishing of this podcast, her memory (and life lessons) live on in “Dying For Sex.”

This American Life image

This American Life

Listen to ‘This American Life’

Another classic storytelling podcast, “This American Life” covers a wide range of the human experience and has well over its fair share of tear-jerking tales. Standout terribly sad episodes include “The Favorite,” “Really Long Distance,” “Animal Sacrifice,” and “Wartime Radio.”


Listen to ‘Unread’

Unread” is an unlikely story about friendship, a silent battle with depression, and Britney Jean Spears. When his friend Alex committed suicide after dealing with depression for years, host Chris Stedman went on a search through the Britney Spears fandom to find out more about his pop star-loving friend. It’s tragic on so many levels, heartbreakingly kind, and entirely unique.


Listen to ‘Griefcast’

British actor, comedian, and writer Cariad Lloyd hosts “Griefcast,” a podcast helping people so that they won’t suffer alone. She knows that grief can be isolating; she felt it when her father died when she was just 15. And her podcast is helping people cope with loss by having honest, real, unhurried conversations about love.

Alligator Candy

Listen to ‘Alligator Candy’

Similar to Alex of “Sorry About The Kid,” David Kushner does not remember much about his brother. David was just 4 years old when his 11-year-old brother John was murdered in the Florida woods on the way to 7/11 for some “Alligator Candy.” Over the course of six episodes, David talks with people who do remember John, piecing interviews, police reports, a broken memories together.


Listen to ‘Heavyweight’

Much like “This American Life” and “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” on this list, “Heavyweight” speaks with real people about real things that have happened to them. While many episodes aren’t tear-jerkingly sad, we definitely experience the full range of human emotions throughout each and every one. Some standout sad episodes are “#20 Soraya,” “#5 Galit,” and “#23 Alex.”

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