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Death, Sex & Money

Podcast Death, Sex & Money
Podcast Death, Sex & Money

Death, Sex & Money


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  • A New Year's Pep Talk From Robin Arzón
    For people who love Peloton, the company's head instructor Robin Arzón is an inspiration. I know quite a few people who swear by Robin's tough love teaching style and confidence-boosting mantras. But there was a time when Robin wasn't always confident, or even into athletics. "When I identify with feelings of anxiety, it is the younger version of myself," she told me. "Being picked for kickball or something like that is like my worst nightmare." But in the aftermath of trauma, she started running, and it changed her life. Robin and I also discussed how she envisioned the home and marriage she has now, the ways becoming a mother changed her relationship to her body, and the limits she places on her time. 
  • Why I Steal
    Alice* lives in a small town, where the work dries up in the winter. She and her husband have jobs at a seasonal restaurant, where she says they each make about $500 a week. When it gets cold, they go on unemployment to support themselves and their young daughter. Alice supplements that income by shoplifting. "I do have rules that I follow," she explained. "I don't ever lift from small mom-and-pop kinds of stores. When you lift from somewhere like Walmart they already have it built into their insurance...I would say it feels more like maybe a paper cut, as opposed to stabbing someone." We first learned about Alice through Tumblr, where there's an active community of people who say they shoplift. They post pictures of their "hauls," as well as tips for other lifters. For Alice, finding that community was huge. "It felt like I had people that I could talk to about it," she told me. "Because it is such a huge part of my life, and to have people that I could talk about it with like it was normal, that felt great. It just sort of opened up a whole new world of possibilities."  Alice told us she keeps her shoplifting a secret from her husband. And while she used to steal while her daughter was with her, stuffing groceries and makeup into her diaper bag, she says she stopped once her daughter was old enough to understand what was happening. "I don't want her doing something that's obviously dangerous," Alice told us. "I don't ever see her like being a tag team. I don't really want that for her." Since first talking with Alice in 2017, a lot has happened in Alice's life. We called her back to find out how she and her family fared during the pandemic—and to find out if she's still stealing today.  Thanks to Tasbeeh Herwees for her help with this story. You can find Tasbeeh's article for GOOD Magazine about the shoplifting community on Tumblr here. And to listen to our 2017 episode featuring your responses to Alice's story, click here.  *Name changed
  • A Season to Savor
    For the last couple years, we’ve produced special year-end episodes where the entire Death, Sex & Money team shares moments we’re proud of, and looks back at the year we've been through. But after another difficult year, I'm sharing a concept that's helped me get through it: savoring. I talk with some of the people and artists who've shared ideas or made work that I've savored this year: including my therapist; Kendra Adachi, host of The Lazy Genius podcast; and Saturday Night Live's Ego Nwodim. Plus, I share more of the TV shows and movies I savored this year. Looking for The Favorites File from Kendra Adachi? Find it here! If you're able to give right now, and would like to support our work in 2022 and beyond, visit to make a year-end contribution. Thank you!
  • The Weight Of Love
    Recently, we asked for your stories about how weight and body size has affected your romantic relationships. We heard from single people who are dating, couples who have been together for a long time, and from people who described their bodies as fat, thin, overweight, plus size, and everything in between. In this episode, I talk with listeners about how navigating weight and body size inside a relationship has sometimes made their partnerships stronger...and sometimes broken them apart. 
  • Why Alan Cumming Doesn't Do Drama
    Alan Cumming has a favorite Australian mantra: "Shouldn't be a drama." And he told me that he first came across it after a tumultuous period in his life. It was the mid-'90s, and he was struggling with an eating disorder, coming to terms with the abuse he endured from his father as a child, and his first marriage had recently ended. But as he was navigating those changes, he was also on the cusp of fame. Alan was learning what he liked about living alone in London, and exploring what he called his "debauched phase," which eventually led him to his now-husband. He wrote about this chapter of his life in his new memoir, Baggage: Tales From A Fully Packed Life. "What I'm trying to do is normalize being a hot mess," he told me. Now 56, Alan and I talked about why non-monogamy works for him and his marriage, what he likes about getting older, and how he stays motivated during his at-home workouts. If you or a loved one needs support around an eating disorder, you can call or text the National Eating Disorders Association's helpline at (800) 931-2237.

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