Terrible, Thanks For Asking

76 EpisodesProduced by American Public Media

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 talkin… read more

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58: Happy(ish) Holidays III

November 27th, 2018

In our final episode of the season we are talking about... The Holidays. Which are a time of reflection and anticipation. Of looking back at what we …

57: Don't Should Yourself

November 20th, 2018

Two things that grief brings you: Kleenex and hotdish. Two other things? Anger and people telling you what you should do. This week, stories about …

56: Birthright

November 13th, 2018

Sheridan's dad died by suicide when she was 6 years old. And for years she feared that was his legacy. And her birthright. You can catch up with …

55: T-T-T-Today, Junior!

November 6th, 2018

Did I stutter? Erin did. Erin does. And here's what it's like to live with a speech impediment that people still make jokes about. You can catch up with TTFA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using @ttfapodcast. …

54: The Skydiving Belle And The Butterfly

October 30th, 2018

I've heard there are like, seven circles of hell? Ashley's been to at least six of them. You can catch up with TTFA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using @ttfapodcast. Nora's Instagram is @noraborealis. Check out …

53: The Beautiful Ones

October 23rd, 2018

If we're lucky, we can learn to love ourselves. But if we love the way we look? Well, people tend to look down on that. But not Gigi. Gigi loves herself. And how she looks. And you know what? YOU SHOULD, TOO. You can …

Update on Episode 51: Nebach

October 17th, 2018

A quick update and clarification on Episode 51.

52: Heather

October 17th, 2018

It's winter in Kansas, and Heather is back in her hometown, facing her abuser for the first time. You can catch up with TTFA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using @ttfapodcast. Nora's Instagram is @noraborealis. …

51: Nebach

October 9th, 2018

Dating is tough. Especially when there's strict expectations and rules. And ESPECIALLY when you finally find someone... and they don't turn out to be …

50: Soooo OCD

October 2nd, 2018

OCD is one of those acronyms we use to say, "I'm a little quirky" or "I like my room to be VERY clean." But what does it mean to actually live with OCD? I have no idea, so we asked people who do. You can catch up with …

49: What Do You Say About Suicide? (Part 2)

September 25th, 2018


48: What Do You Say About Suicide? (Part 1)

September 18th, 2018

You know what people hate talking about? Dreams. Politics. Religion. Your birth story. Also: suicide. Which is why we asked you to talk about it for …

47: Nathan

September 11th, 2018


46: Two Letters

September 4th, 2018

Annie's husband Jim died by suicide. After his death, she got into a bad space of her own. Then came the letters. You can catch up with TTFA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using @ttfapodcast. Check out our …

45: How Are You?

August 28th, 2018

No, like, really. We ask this question of all of our guests, but we asked you, too. And you answered! You're...all over the place. And that's okay. PS-- please help Nora make #fansofhans happen. You can catch up with …

44: Ripped From The Headlines

August 21st, 2018

The murder of Nation's wife was headline news around the country. But the headlines can only tell you so much. You can catch up with TTFA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using @ttfapodcast. Check out our sponsors …

43: So Many Things At Once

August 14th, 2018

Third time's the charm, except for when it's the third time your life has been completely upended. Then it's extremely disruptive. Maybe Tinder could …

42: YOLO?

August 7th, 2018


Listen to This: TBTL -- What The Hell Is An Orange Julius?

August 1st, 2018

Nora steps in to guest host the podcast that just might be Too Beautiful To Live -- a delightful daily show about life, current events, pop culture, …

Listen to This: Borrowed Interest -- Difficult Women

July 26th, 2018

Borrowed Interest is a podcast hosted by three ad-women of color -- Leeya Jackson, Shareina Chandler, and Amalia Nicholson - kicking it in the …

Listen to This: Forever35 -- Just Say No with Nora McInerny

July 18th, 2018

This week Nora wants you to listen to an amazing podcast called Forever35. Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir talk about self-care and how to get some in their (and your) lives. On this episode, they also talk to an …

Listen to This: Reply All -- An Ad for the Worst Day of Your Life

July 10th, 2018


41: The Stories We Tell

June 26th, 2018

Stories from our parents and grandparents are a sort of intergenerational game of telephone - even the ones we think we know for sure change as they …

40: Expect Good Things

June 19th, 2018

Life as a 20-something guy with stage IV lung cancer, including some very important life advice regarding travel. Check out our sponsors: Talkspace - talkspace.com with promo code TTFA FabFitFun - fabfitfun.com with …

39: Natalie

June 12th, 2018

The punishment is supposed to fit the crime. But sometimes, when the sentence is served, the punishment is far from over. Check out our sponsors this week: Children's Cancer Fund -- childrenscancer.org/ttfa Ritual - …

38: About Bob

June 5th, 2018

This is a story about a dad who is sometimes a stranger, often a mystery, and always loved anyways. Check out our sponsors this week: Talkspace -- talkspace.com/ttfa with promo code TTFA Brooklinen -- brooklinen.com …

37: Fairy Dust

May 29th, 2018

Lesly is a mother of three and a three-time cancer haver (there may be a more medical term for that) living on borrowed time. When the treatment you need is out of your reach, what the heck do you do? Check out our …

36: Rose Tulip

May 22nd, 2018

Captain Rosemarie Chapman flies airplanes for the Air Force. She met her boyfriend, a fellow soldier, and fell deeply in love. But a deployment to …

35: The Gold And The Broken Bits

May 15th, 2018

Chris was brought up to be positive. And to get on with it no matter what. But getting on with it isn't always so easy when others won't make room …

34: Karen

May 8th, 2018

Sometimes a person's absence can become a presence. A dark, unspoken void that can suck you right in if you don't address it.

33: Witness

May 1st, 2018

What's worse: keeping the people you love at a distance, or showing them your true colors and losing them forever? Patricia doesn't want to find out.

32: Bryson's Purpose

March 27th, 2018

Chelsey and Kevin are parents, public servants, and two people just trying to make sense of the absolutely senseless. If this is God's plan, I have a …

31: Transformation

March 20th, 2018

It's not just a hashtag. Transformation is inevitable (and not always a choice.) But nothing transforms us more than love.

30: Route 91

March 13th, 2018

On the eve of Kelli's 25th birthday, she found herself running for her life in a dystopian nightmare. It was supposed to be an incredible weekend to celebrate the dawn of a new phase of her life. Instead, it was the …

29: If/Then

March 6th, 2018

Charlotte's career is built on organized chaos. As an Operating Room nurse, she has a protocol for every tragedy, a THEN for every IF. Until one …

28: Revenge of the Porn

February 27th, 2018

The INTERNET never forgets (dang it).

27: The Use of These Memories

February 20th, 2018

There's a thin line between life and death. Between what's here -- now -- and what was. Between what's here -- now -- and what will be. Taz Ahmed knows about that line. In a dark house in Kathmandu, she and her aging …

26: Perfectly

February 13th, 2018

Sometimes, it all just falls into place. For Megan and Clark, a one-week span showed how things can work out perfectly to create the best days of your life... and the worst.

25: The Broken Places

February 6th, 2018

When the world breaks everything, when everything is The Absolute Worst, you're lucky if you have people to lean on. You're even luckier if they're …

24: Incompatible With Life

December 12th, 2017

At 32 weeks pregnant, Cat and Jim find themselves planning for their son's death while hoping for his birth. This is a story of a life and a death, extraordinary in every way.

23: Live with Dessa, Alyssa Limperis and Geoffrey Wilson

December 5th, 2017

TTFA is live from the historic Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, MN! Featuring conversation with writer/rapper/entrepreneur Dessa, who took to …

22: Happy(ish) Holidays II

November 28th, 2017

Lauren's brother died at Thanksgiving. And her mother at Christmas. So... this time of year it's not all Ho Ho Ho for her. Or for a lot of other …

21: Introducing Childhood

November 21st, 2017

Malena is 10 years old, and she worries a lot. About her grades. About her procrastination. About her dad. Especially about her dad. Kids are the …

20: The Truth We Live

November 14th, 2017

Amee doesn't have a dad. But she used to. He was the best. He was the worst. And he claims that he doesn't remember any of it.

19: What Does All This Loss Mean?

November 7th, 2017

Dead sister. Dead grandma. Dead grandpa. Dead uncle. Dead mom. Dead dad. Dead brother. The list of loss goes on and on for Jaamil, and so does his …

18: Chapter 2

October 31st, 2017

Hope and Aaron died on the exact same day. Each leaving behind their spouse, their child, and all the love their small families had created. Nearly three years later, their spouses have remarried. But don't you dare say …

7: Unbroken (#metoo)

October 24th, 2017

Sexual violence thrives in silence, and it's hard to talk about... so we don't. But rape survivor Sarah Super refuses to be quiet, and has dedicated …

17: Esther Perel Live at Now Hear This Festival

October 17th, 2017

If you are or ever plan to be in a relationship, you need to know Esther Perel, The Patron Saint of Relationships. Known for her TED Talks, her brilliant book, Mating in Captivity, and her captivating podcast, Where …

16: Forever Alone? (Part 2)

October 10th, 2017

In our last episode, we met chronically single Chelsea, who was looking for love in all the same places we all look for love... and coming up empty-handed. Now, we meet Chelsea's new boyfriend (!!!!) and explore what …

15: Forever Alone? (Part 1)

October 3rd, 2017

As the saying goes, "There's a lid for every pot." There's someone for everyone. Chelsea has been looking for her lid -- her someone -- since high …

14: Best Friends Forever

September 25th, 2017

There are friendships, and there are FRIENDSHIPS of the all-caps variety. The latter ones are harder to forge the older you get. Which is what Janya …

13: Baby Huey

September 20th, 2017

Courtney and Jay are parents to 9-year-old Bruce, who they affectionately call Baby Huey. Bruce has never had a friend. Never had a playdate. Never …


September 18th, 2017

Nora is back from her honeymoon with a special announcement: TTFA is doing a live show! (Plus, this week's episode will be out on Wednesday - so stay tuned!) TTFA LIVE! In person!! Hear us perform an episode right in …

12: Horrible and Wonderful and Figuring it Out

September 11th, 2017

Harris Wittels was the executive producer of Parks and Recreation, the coiner of the word "humblebrag," a Phish enthusiast, and the funniest person in any room he walked into. He died of a heroin overdose in 2015, …

11: The Ending Matters

September 6th, 2017

How do you want to die? We're willing to bet the answer isn't, "Very painfully, please!" Brittany Maynard was 29 when she died of brain cancer. Aaron …

Mini-Season Ep 9: Love Hurts

July 19th, 2017

When Lea Thau's fiance left her, she felt all the feelings. Then she had their baby, and decided to start dating again. But, despite going out, nothing seemed to be clicking. Over and over. And eventually, she wanted to …

Mini-Season Ep 8: Dear Grown-ups

June 13th, 2017

What do you wish your grown-ups had said to you when you were a kid? Especially while dealing with really hard stuff? We wanted to know, so we asked the Terrible Club - listeners who support the show - and they had some …

Mini-Season Ep 7: Naomi + Khaleel

June 7th, 2017

Khaleel Thompson is an 18-year-old who loves music, reading, and his cat, Domino. Naomi is his mother, asking why four police officers fired more …

Mini-Season Ep 6: 19 Hours Ago

April 25th, 2017

Grief is always fresh for someone, somewhere. Right now, someone is losing a friend. A partner. A parent. And they are entering a new role, a new …

Mini-Season Ep 5: To Michael

April 17th, 2017

When someone dies, you're supposed to say something. Someone is supposed to say something. Someone is supposed to summarize this person, prove that they existed, that they mattered. But what do you say when a …

Mini-Season Ep 4: Is It OK?

April 10th, 2017

Alysha-Aubrey sent us a story about both her parents falling seriously ill at the same time, and the toll it took on her as a teenager. And she ended …

Mini-Season Ep 3: #trypod with The Hilarious World of Depression

March 27th, 2017

March is #trypod month, where everyone should force their loved ones to listen to podcasts. Not sure which one to subscribe every family member to? …

Mini-Season Ep 2: Are You Up?

March 14th, 2017

It's 12:00. No, 1:00. No, 4:45 in the morning. You should be sleeping -- we all should be -- but you're not. You're laying there as the minutes tick …

Mini-Season Ep 1: Not The Bummer Olympics

March 6th, 2017

So many people start off their stories by saying that it doesn't compare to what happened to someone else. But this isn't a game of Who Has It Worse, so why do we act like there is some sort of imaginary yardstick for …

10: Semper Fi

January 30th, 2017

When Nora McInerny's dad died, she lost his stories. The ones that she's not sure she can can't quite remember right, and the ones she never knew. Like those from his time as a Recon Marine in Vietnam. So Nora decides …

9: Under a Cloud of Loss

January 23rd, 2017

Damon's grandparents were murdered 18 months before he was born. And, for the first time in his life, he prepares to see his grandparents' murderer face to face.

8: The Middle Place

January 16th, 2017

For most of us, death is scary. And what happens next is just as mysterious. But what if we could see death as something beautiful? Or holy? Sarah …

7: Unbroken

January 9th, 2017

Sexual violence thrives in silence, and it's hard to talk about...so we don't. But rape survivor Sarah Super refuses to be quiet, and has dedicated …

6: A Henry Sky

January 2nd, 2017

Colleen Barton is a pediatrician, a wife, and a mother to a beautiful son named Henry. Since Henry's stillbirth, Colleen and her husband have been …

5: Help Me Remember

December 26th, 2016

Dawn Pereda is a nurse who was injured by a patient while working. And this injury resulted in a brain injury that has changed her life completely. …

4: Me, Too

December 19th, 2016

Danni Starr had everything she wanted: an enviable career, a husband, and, finally...her first baby. But off the air, motherhood was not what she expected it to be. She had taken all the classes, read all the books, …

3: Happy(ish) Holidays

December 12th, 2016

Two days after Nora's husband Aaron died, she celebrated Thanksgiving with her family. Well...maybe not "celebrated." Actually, why would you do …

2: I've Made a Huge Mistake

December 5th, 2016

The year is 2007. Eva Hagberg is a 20-something writer snagging bylines in the New York Times by day, and partying herself stupid by night. It is all going great, until she gets her big break, and her big breakdown...

1: In Love and Memory

November 28th, 2016

Toddlers Ralphie and Bronson have lived most of their young lives with dead fathers. Their mothers - Nora and Moe Richardson - struggle to understand how to help their boys remember the dads they won't know directly. …

0: Sad Nora and the Secret Baby

November 20th, 2016

Nora McInerny is in love with two men. With one man, who died two years ago this week, she has a child. And last week she had a child with the other. She didn't tell many people about the new baby. Or her pregnancy. …

Coming This Fall – Terrible, Thanks For Asking

June 17th, 2016

Lots of things happen in a life. Some of them are hard. Terrible Thanks For Asking is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about getting through things when life just keeps kicking you in the privates over and over. It …
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