Thinking about death can be hard. But after a year of high profile celebrity deaths, it has become difficult to avoid it. Luckily some of the world’s best storytellers, journalists, speakers and comedians have begun to share their experiences of death and dying to help us reflect on our own. Here are some of the best death and dying podcasts out there.

1. We Need To Talk About Death

Exploring some of the most common questions about death and dying, this three-part programme from the BBC offers a great overview of the reality of dying in the UK today. The shows feature insights from people approaching the end of their lives as well as professionals working in the field. Topics include: how to have the death you want, managing pain and what happens when someone is dying.

 

2. Griefcast

Comedian Cariad Lloyd, whose dad died in her teens, chats to other comedians about their own personal experiences of grief after the death of someone special. Featuring comedy heavyweights like Adam Buxton and Sara Pascoe, this show is honest, funny, moving and highly relatable.

 

3. The Vigil

In a one-off programme for the BBC, people talk frankly about their own experiences of watching an elderly parent die and how it feels hour after hour, day after day. Exploring experiences from the mundane to the profound, this is a moving show about a time few of us are prepared for.

 

4. One Last Thing Before I Go – This American Life

This episode of the award-winning show (from the team behind global hit Serial) looks at ways in which people are trying to get through to their loved ones in the face of death. In Japan, every year a phone booth attracts thousands of people going to talk to relatives who died in the tsunami and earthquake years earlier.

 

5. Rethinking Death – TED Talks

This collection of talks from TED speakers explores how we can better understand death as a part of life. Ranging from bucket lists to burials, the speakers challenge conventional wisdom on death and dying. Don’t miss BJ Miller’s powerful talk on ‘What Matters at the End of Life’.

 

6. Life is a Mystery – Death, sex and money

As the name suggests, death features frequently in this taboo-busting podcast from across the pond. But this moving interview with Australian blogger Elizabeth Caplice is one of the best episodes. Elizabeth, who had stage 4 cancer, talks honestly about processing the news she had months left to live, her changing relationship with death and planning for her funeral.