For 7 or 8 years now, I’ve been a podcast junkie. I listen while I’m cooking, cleaning, exercising, drying my hair, putting on makeup, or trying to fall asleep. If you’re new to podcasts, here’s great tutorial on how to download them automatically when new episodes are released. It’s so easy—don’t be intimidated. Let me know your favorites!

Here are my picks for the best podcasts on the topics of aging, death & dying, grief, loss, suicide and depression, the opioid crisis, self-care, and the digital afterlife. I’ve arranged them by category. Just click a tab to see my recommendations for podcasts on that topic.

Descriptions appear exactly as written on the podcast’s website or in iTunes:

The Order of the Good Death

The Order is about making death a part of your life. Staring down your death fears—whether it be your own death, the death of those you love, the pain of dying, the afterlife (or lack thereof), grief, corpses, bodily decomposition, or all of the above. Accepting that death itself is natural, but the death anxiety of modern culture is not.

The Art of DyingWell

Welcome to the home of our Art of Dying Well podcasts. These monthly programmes aim to make death and dying something we can talk about openly without discomfort or fear. Each month we interview a guest on a key topic, engage in a little ‘death chatter’ before getting the ‘View from the Chaplain’s chair’. The Art of Dying Well website was devised and commissioned by the Catholic Church of England and Wales.

Death by Design

We must become the designer of our own destination; we must learn how to build the pathways to our last chapter, to create the blueprints that reflect our individual lives and values. During this podcast, we’ll interview hospice and palliative care experts, authors, artists, and share personal stories of caregivers inspired to create tools to help others with their own end of life journey as well as share intimate stories of those facing a serious illness. By sharing these stories and information, we hope you will learn how to design, plan and embrace your own end of life.

Death: The Podcast

New Orleans has a unique relationship to death: we have a ridiculously high murder rate, we party at funerals, and we end up above ground. Death: the podcast tells the stories of personal experiences of death — fear of it, laughing at it, life-changing brushes with it, dealing with lost loved ones, and our own inevitable and unknown heart-stopping moment. Through confronting death we learn what it is to be alive.

Death, Sex & Money

Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Post Anna Sale talks to celebrities you heard of — and two regular people you haven’t — about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it while we’re here.

To read about my own experience with grief, please see my post Saying Goodbye to My Dad.

Descriptions appear exactly as written on the podcast’s website or in iTunes:

Terrible, Thanks for Asking

You know how every day someone asks “how are you?” And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say “fine,” so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word.

Dealing with My Grief

My name is Darwyn M. Dave, and I lost my father in April 1978 when I was just 10 years old. Even though that was a long time ago, I have realized that I’m not “over” his dad, but in fact I’m still dealing with it. I started the Dealing With My Grief blog/podcast to discuss how I have been coping with grief and bereavement since that time. It is my hope that in creating this base I am able to connect with others who have lost someone close to them and in some small way help them deal with their pain.

The After Life

Join me each week as I explore belief, faith, and new ways of transcendent thinking with guests who live extraordinary lives. Meet individuals born of resilience after having their lives upended and rearranged from losses of death, divorce, illness, addiction, miscommunication, poor choices, and other common maladies, mishaps, and missteps that befall our shared humanity. Each of us has a story to tell, will yours be one of them?

Grief Out Loud

Remember the last time you tried to talk about grief and suddenly everyone left the room? Grief Out Loud is opening up this often avoided conversation because grief is hard enough without having to go through it alone. We bring you a mix of personal stories, tips for supporting children, teens, and yourself, and interviews with bereavement professionals. Platitude and cliché-free, we promise! Grief Out Loud is hosted by Jana DeCristofaro and produced by The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Oregon.

Death Prattle

Death Prattle is an often off topic, frequently silly, and sometimes serious conversation about the loss of a loved one and the mourning process. Hosts Tara and Talcott discuss their own experiences with grief, death-related items in the news, and invite guests to lend their perspectives is a not-so-serious talk about a very serious topic.

Descriptions appear exactly as written on the podcast’s website or in iTunes: 

The Aging Boomers

Frank Samson is a Certified Senior Advisor and expert in senior care. His podcast, “The Aging Boomers,” discusses many of the issues facing boomers and an aging population today.

Death: The Podcast

New Orleans has a unique relationship to death: we have a ridiculously high murder rate, we party at funerals, and we end up above ground. Death: the podcast tells the stories of personal experiences of death — fear of it, laughing at it, life-changing brushes with it, dealing with lost loved ones, and our own inevitable and unknown heart-stopping moment. Through confronting death we learn what it is to be alive.

To hear me on an episode of Death Goes Digital, click here! Read more about the digital afterlife in my post Is Digital Immortality a Creepy Concept? And learn about a new way of incorporating technology into a funeral in Geofilters to Create Custom Geofenced Funeral Stickers—it’s the most popular post on my blog.

Descriptions appear exactly as written on the podcast’s website or in iTunes:

Death Goes Digital

Death has gone digital! With the rise of online memorials, posthumous messaging services and buying a funeral online, the Internet is transforming end of life planning and funerals. In this podcast we talk about the latest trends, new products and ideas that are impacting this marketplace. My name is Peter Billingham and through speaking at conferences, writing books and consulting I help the funeral industry and the end of life planning marketplace change and adapt to an online world. Perhaps I can help you?

For more on hospice care, see my post Is Hospice the Only Thing Americans Agree On? Read about end-of-life greeting cards in my post Farewell Cards Find a Niche.

Descriptions appear exactly as written on the podcast’s website or in iTunes:

Caregiving Podcast Network

Your Caregiving Journey, with Denise Brown of Caregiving.com, delves into discussions about your caregiving situations. Each week, we’ll tackle a topic related to the challenges of caring for a family member or friend.

The Heart of Hospice

The Heart of Hospice is dedicated to helping personal and professional caregivers who are serving people who need hospice. The mission is to provide information and education so people can make informed choices in regard to hospice.

Caring for Aging Parents

Attention Baby Boomers! If you are caring for your Mom or Dad and could use a little help, this Podcast could be like finding gold! Each week we’ll bring you valuable content that may help you in your journey of taking care of Mom and/or Dad. From the “Big Picture” questions of “Where Do I get Started?” Down to some nitty-gritty details on professionals and services that you may not even know are available to help. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and check back often as we add resources just for you.

The podcast described below is a little different. It’s an audio drama—like an audiobook, basically. This podcast genre has become really popular in the past year or two.

Descriptions appear exactly as written on the podcast’s website or in iTunes:

Wooden Overcoats

RUDYARD FUNN RUNS A FUNERAL HOME ON THE ISLAND OF PIFFLING.

It used to be the only one. It isn’t anymore

Rudyard Funn and his equally miserable sister Antigone run their family’s failing funeral parlour, where they get the body in the coffin in the ground on time. But one day they find everyone enjoying themselves at the funerals of a new competitor – the impossibly perfect Eric Chapman! With their dogsbody Georgie, and a mouse called Madeleine, the Funns are taking drastic steps to stay in business…

To learn how suicide touched my life, see my post Regrets…Still Missing Maggie. For advice on writing an obituary for someone who has died suddenly, see Tragic Death and Obituary Writing. And for thoughts on writing a tribute when drugs were involved, see Making a Mountain Out of a Dime Bag and Toss the Template and Tell the Story.

Descriptions appear exactly as written on the podcast’s website or in iTunes:

Depressed Not Dead: Battling Depression and Suicide

Join me as I attempt to rise above my depression and suicidal ideations.

Heroin Uncut

Heroin Uncut is a blunt, honest look at the opioid crisis. Recovering drug addict Jay Lassiter believes truth is a powerful tool – and one we need to fight back against the political interests, social pressures and lack of understanding that make this crisis worse every day. Heroin Uncut is a special project of NJ1015.com and Townsquare Media. New full episode every Monday.

Frankly Speaking About Cancer

Frankly Speaking About Cancer takes you on a journey through topics that inform and inspire people with cancer and their loved ones. Hosted by Cancer Support Community President and CEO, Kim Thiboldeaux, episodes tackle critical issues including: achieving the best care and quality of life, treatments of the future, the drug approval process, relieving stress and anxiety, life beyond treatment and talking to kids about cancer. Every week, Kim brings together the voices of noted physicians, researchers, nurses and social workers, as well as patients and caregivers from every walk of life with whom you can connect and draw inspiration. Timely and relevant, Frankly Speaking About Cancer guides you through the cancer maze and gives you the tools you need to live well. Frankly Speaking About Cancer with the Cancer Support Community is broadcast every Tuesday at 1 PM Pacific Time and 4 PM Eastern Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Network.