Cover art for podcast This Is Uncomfortable

This Is Uncomfortable

100 EpisodesProduced by MarketplaceWebsite

This is a show about life and how money messes with it. Each week, Marketplace’s Reema Khrais digs in with stories about the unanticipated ways money affects relationships, shapes identities and often defines what it means to be an adult. How much money do you lend a friend? Who can afford to vote? … read more

100 Episodes | 2019 - 2022

Ziwe Fumudoh makes people uncomfortable

July 18th, 2019

22:40

Growing up, Ziwe Fumudoh wanted to be a pop star. Her parents wanted her to go into medicine or finance. She ended up as a comedian writing for “Desus & Mero.” This week we talk about her work and money.

The college fund

July 25th, 2019

22:49

 When you’re a kid, your parents make all the financial decisions for you. But what happens when you grow up … and don’t agree with their choices?


That thing you buy and don’t tell your parents about

August 1st, 2019

16:06

We’re keeping things just a little uncomfortable this week with another round of our favorite game: Financial Face-Off! But first: We need your help telling a new story.

I have class anxiety

August 8th, 2019

19:53

A listener struggles to navigate all the unspoken rules of middle-class life.

What dad left behind

August 15th, 2019

26:25

When money, death and grief mix there’s no playbook for what to do. And for years, one young man has been stuck.

This episode deals with depression and suicide. If you or someone you know needs to talk, call …

The lies we tell our friends

August 22nd, 2019

24:43

Most of us tell little white lies at some point or another to make things less weird about money. But what happens when disaster strikes, and your money situation becomes impossible to hide?

Trapped in your personal brand

August 29th, 2019

21:01

Aparna Nancherla has made a career in comedy, where she often delves into her own struggles with mental health. We look at what happens when your job …

Cashing in on your kids

September 5th, 2019

17:10

Something to think about when you’re watching the new “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” this weekend: For every piece of this family’s massive empire, matriarch Kris Jenner takes a 10% cut. And when business and family …

Everyday liars

September 12th, 2019

13:57

You tell your mom you’re broke. You pretend to have student loans. You wear knock-off couture. People tell lies about money all the time. We asked about your “white lies” — and you didn’t disappoint.

Can’t buy me love

September 19th, 2019

23:12

After hooking up with her roommate, one woman can’t seem to avoid him — or his spending habits, and a couple tries showing their love for each other … in a way neither of them actually loves.

Money advice with “Call Your Girlfriend”

September 26th, 2019

21:03

Reema was on one of our favorite podcasts, “Call Your Girlfriend,” a few weeks ago to answer listeners’ tricky money questions about divorce, student debt and (shudder) investing.

F you, pay me

October 3rd, 2019

21:10

Caitlin Boston asked for a raise. Her boss gave her a hard no. Then she made it her mission to figure out what she was worth… and to get paid. Plus: we teach you how to get paid too.

TIU Live: I hate my boss

October 10th, 2019

19:50

We’re presenting a new segment this week called “The Group Chat.” It’s when we bring in friends of the pod to address your money and job problems. …

Instrument of sabotage

October 17th, 2019

24:07

In the cutthroat world of professional classical music, Eric Abramovitz was headed toward a shining career. Until something — or someone — got in the way.

Sperm, baby, sperm

October 24th, 2019

24:55

Two couples won a chance at pregnancy, but money has complicated their journeys to build a family.

Money horror stories

October 31st, 2019

21:06

This Halloween, we have listeners’ frightening stories of impulse buys, spooky scams and a very Hungry Heart.

Don’t buy your boss a gift

November 7th, 2019

24:18

“Nancy” host Tobin Low and journalist Julia Furlan join us this week to give advice on office gifts, financial independence and more in the latest …

Love thy neighbor, and pay off their debts, too

November 14th, 2019

24:36

An aspiring dancer finds a way to become debt-free. All she has to do is take on someone else’s.

When your life depends on it

November 21st, 2019

23:50

After a rare cancer diagnosis, one family’s battle with insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and the endless bureaucracy, teaches them about the price tag the medical system can put on a person’s life.

By the way, …

Home/work (rerun)

November 28th, 2019

21:32

Just in time for Thanksgiving, “This Is Uncomfortable” revisits the “jobs” we take on in our families — starting with Reema’s. Plus, one couple comes …

Bonus: Money horror stories II

December 12th, 2019

21:13

Earlier this year, Hayden started getting these surprise gifts in the mail. Once he realized who sent them to him, he wondered just how far the gift …

When money makes it weird (rerun)

December 26th, 2019

31:02

Reema tries to settle a debt she’s been avoiding. And what happens when one person in a relationship has way more money?

We’re rerunning a few of our …

Instrument of sabotage (rerun)

January 2nd, 2020

24:29

In the cutthroat world of professional classical music, Eric Abramovitz was headed toward a shining career. Until something — or someone — got in the …

I have class anxiety (rerun)

January 16th, 2020

20:57

A listener struggles to navigate all the unspoken rules of middle-class life.

This is our last rerun before we return with new episodes later this …

“This Is Uncomfortable” is back next week

January 23rd, 2020

2:36

We’re back Jan. 30 with new stories about life and how money messes with it. You know, the light stuff, like divorce, workaholism and financial …

Divorce Story

January 30th, 2020

23:45

Money gets complicated when a marriage falls apart. First we’ll hear from a divorce lawyer who ends up representing herself. Then from a couple trying to plan for the day they hate each other.

What’s your sign?

February 6th, 2020

26:03

Reema (a skeptical Libra) talks with astrologer Chani Nicholas about the booming business of astrology and together they answer listener questions …

Total financial control

February 13th, 2020

27:20

After getting married, Angie’s husband started to scrutinize every purchase. The situation soon got so much worse. We look at what happens when money …

In sickness and in fraud

February 21st, 2020

23:32

When a shady business partner leaves a newly married couple on the hook for over $300,000, it tests the limits of “for better or worse.”

For even more “This Is Uncomfortable,” sign up for our new weekly newsletter at

My boyfriend wants to pay my rent

February 27th, 2020

26:37

Sam Sanders, host of NPR’s “It’s Been A Minute” and Marketplace product specialist Sarah Menendez are here give advice on salary sharing, expensive …

WeWork too much

March 5th, 2020

25:48

When WeWork acquired her company, she got executive training, fancy corporate retreats and a dope Patagonia jacket. It was almost enough to make her forget everything she lost. This week: Why we’re so obsessed with our …

What’s a friendship worth?

March 12th, 2020

21:16

Would you spot a friend money if they needed it? How about if they asked every month? This week: the limits of friendship.

COVID-19 comforts

March 20th, 2020

15:38

The coronavirus is changing how we think about money and community. We set out to see how people are coping and put together this audio care package.

And we want to check in on you, too — let us know what you’re going …

Hard choices

March 27th, 2020

19:06

As states across the country close all non-essential businesses, people are rethinking what it means to do the right thing. Today we hear listeners’ stories of pay cuts, layoffs and telling employers they’re putting …

Love in the time of coronavirus

April 3rd, 2020

23:17

There are a lot of couples stuck at home right now. Some of them are out of work or dealing with canceled plans. Today, we’ll hear from two couples trying to figure out what their future will look like.

Zoom therapy in a pandemic

April 9th, 2020

19:37

How do I keep from fighting with my partner about money? What do I say to a friend who’s just lost a job? This week, a little financial therapy session over zoom to help us all cope with our COVID-19 anxiety.

What it’s like getting an abortion in Texas right now

April 16th, 2020

15:29

The clock is ticking for one college student after she finds out she’s pregnant in the middle of a pandemic, in a state that’s trying to restrict …

A $35,000 COVID bill

April 23rd, 2020

20:33

Danni Askini fought cancer for 18 months before getting COVID-19. Their focus was on surviving, not the cost of care. That didn’t make the bill any easier to take.

Confessions of a shopaholic

April 30th, 2020

20:51

A woman grapples with her shopping addiction in quarantine.

By the way, we were just nominated for a Webby! Please take a second and vote for us at wbby.co/pod09.

From prison to pandemic

May 7th, 2020

20:54

Kevin Harrington was exonerated last month after spending 17 years in prison for a murder conviction. He and his family are overjoyed, but the coronavirus pandemic means freedom looks a little different right now.

By …

Our parents’ debts (from Terrible, Thanks for Asking)

May 15th, 2020

46:34

This week, we’re showcasing a story from our colleagues at “Terrible, Thanks For Asking”: When a supporting pillar is knocked out of a family, the …

School’s out (forever?)

May 21st, 2020

23:08

When you’re 17 or 18, you’re often making choices that can dictate the course of your whole life. Making those decisions during a pandemic is even …

Barred from benefits (from The Uncertain Hour)

May 28th, 2020

36:37

Millions of Americans who are out of work don’t receive unemployment benefits. That’s by design. An episode from “The Uncertain Hour’s” pop-up season “A History of Now.”

If you liked this epsiode, you can hear more at

It’s expensive to get arrested

June 5th, 2020

27:16

A teenager protesting police brutality lands in jail, and we try to understand the tricky business of bail.

How to pay for college

June 18th, 2020

29:15

Years ago, one woman put college on hold because she couldn’t afford it. Now she faces a hard choice to keep history from repeating itself. Plus: …

The fight for fair pay in Big Tech

July 2nd, 2020

22:53

One woman’s fight against Silicon Valley’s racial pay gap. Plus, why it’s so hard for Black workers in tech to get ahead

 

 

Money makes me sick

July 16th, 2020

23:42

Meet the professional auditor who can’t stand to look at his own bank account. Our team goes on an adventure to help a man who’s anxious about his spending get more comfortable checking his finances.

Life in the coronavirus heckhole

August 6th, 2020

24:30

To get a new bike, this 11-year-old signs a contract to do the thing he hates most: math. How one family is using a tactic borrowed from the business …

WeWork too much (rerun)

August 20th, 2020

27:09

When WeWork acquired her company, she got executive training, fancy corporate retreats and a dope Patagonia jacket. It was almost enough to make her forget everything she lost. This week: Why we’re so obsessed with our …

Love in the time of coronavirus (rerun)

September 10th, 2020

26:40

There are a lot of couples stuck at home right now. Some of them are out of work or dealing with canceled plans. Today, we’ll hear from two couples trying to figure out what their future will look like.

This is a rerun …

“This Is Uncomfortable” is back this week!

September 15th, 2020

2:06

Money messes up everything. This pandemic is widening the wealth gap, pushing thousands of people into debt, and shifting family and relationship dynamics. Why do so many of us let our careers define who we are? Who …

Who can afford to vote?

September 17th, 2020

30:09

From restricted access mail-in ballots to poll taxes, voting rights have always been tied to power and money.

“Why don’t you fix your teeth?”

September 24th, 2020

26:44

One woman’s smile becomes a marker of poverty that feels impossible to escape.

Can’t make rent, can’t get evicted

October 1st, 2020

20:35

Marilyn worked hard to afford her own home. But when a sheriff showed up at her front door with a summons for eviction court, suddenly she was stuck …

Divorce story (rerun), plus a request for your help!

October 8th, 2020

23:03

Money gets complicated when a marriage falls apart. First, we’ll hear from a divorce lawyer who ends up representing herself. Then from a couple trying to plan for the day they hate each other.

Plus: Have you hidden a …

Friendship is a full-time job, with Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow

October 15th, 2020

22:19

Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are very good friends. And as hosts of the podcast “Call Your Girlfriend,” and co-authors of “Big Friendship,” they’re also in business together. This week they sit down with Reema to talk …

Financial infidelity

October 22nd, 2020

21:11

You find out your partner has hidden thousands of dollars of debt. Now what?

Jordan Rosenfeld is a writer. Follow her on Twitter @Jordanrosenfeld.

 

 

Money horror stories III: the ghost of purchases past

October 29th, 2020

24:02

This Halloween, we have listeners’ spooky stories about good ideas gone bad, from giving a hormonal teen a debit card to getting into business with a scammer. Plus, a Backstreet Boys obsession that goes awry.

Can’t buy me love

November 5th, 2020

26:08

After hooking up with her roommate, one woman can’t seem to avoid him — or his spending habits. Then, a couple tries showing their love for each other … in a way neither of them actually loves.

This episode originally …

How the WNBA drove Loeffler into overtime

November 12th, 2020

22:24

The WNBA is a workplace with a track record of standing up for its rights and beliefs. And this year, players went up against an unlikely opponent: a U.S. senator who co-owns one of the league’s teams. Plus, we take a …

The student loan trap

November 19th, 2020

24:00

Jessie Suren grew up hearing the same advice over and over: College would be her ticket to the middle class, even if it meant taking out tens of …

The lies we tell our friends

November 26th, 2020

24:00

Most of us tell little white lies at some point or another to make things less weird about money. But what happens when disaster strikes, and your money situation becomes impossible to hide?

This episode originally …

There’s no place like home

December 3rd, 2020

24:57

One woman pursues her idea of the American dream — home ownership — only to have it completely backfire.

Pandemic motherhood

December 10th, 2020

24:00

The pandemic has been brutal on working moms. In September alone, women left the workplace at four times the rate that men did. The numbers are shocking, but behind them are real, human experiences. This week, we hear …

Productivity won’t save you

December 17th, 2020

25:24

We live in a world that rewards us for producing, and producing, and producing. But why is it that no matter how much we do, it never feels like enough? This week, we’re going to look at our obsession with productivity …

On April 1, we’re all getting scammed

March 25th, 2021

2:42

This season we get into those gut-wrenching, eyebrow-raising money moments and the nagging feeling that one way or another, we’re all getting …

A lifelong scam

April 1st, 2021

35:53

Axton Betz-Hamilton spent 20 years trying to track down an identity thief that wreaked havoc on her family, only to discover the truth was uglier than she’d imagined.

For more “This Is Uncomfortable,” subscribe to our …

“Click here for a life-changing opportunity”

April 8th, 2021

36:44

Kiara Aceves felt a little lost after graduating high school. She didn’t know what her next steps would be until she was presented with a …

The marriage penalty

April 15th, 2021

35:42

After spending years fighting to get disability benefits, Amber was finally approved. But she and her wife, Diana, didn’t realize they had entered a complicated, arcane system where health care might cost you your …

Pretty hurts

April 22nd, 2021

27:37

Society places a big premium on looking a certain way — our cleanliness, our class status, even our mental health is judged based on our appearance. Esther Calixte-Bea was taught at a young age to hide her body hair. …

A cruel disease

April 29th, 2021

37:11

Reporting on suicide is complicated. In trying to tell the story of someone who’s no longer here, which parts do you tell, which parts do you keep private? After a young woman dies by suicide, Reema sets out to …

What’s mine is not yours

May 6th, 2021

32:15

When Lindsey Galbraith’s marriage ended over financial infidelity, she swore she would never mix money and relationships again. Then she met someone …

The intern uprising

May 13th, 2021

32:00

Growing up in Ohio, Diana Wang dreamed of working for a fashion magazine. So when she was offered the position of head intern at Harper’s Bazaar, she thought she’d finally landed her big break. But she didn’t realize …

I need more money because I need more money

May 20th, 2021

30:00

Growing up, Aisha Salaudeen always considered herself middle-class. But when she turned 13, her parents sent her to boarding school in Lagos, …

Bad romance

May 27th, 2021

39:36

Mira Celper had always wanted to be best friends with her mom, but their relationship grew strained once her mom started dating the mysterious David, …

Productivity won’t save you (rerun)

June 3rd, 2021

28:00

We live in a world that rewards us for producing, and producing, and producing. But why is it that no matter how much we do, it never feels like enough? This week, we’re going to look at our obsession with productivity …

Going off script

June 10th, 2021

29:00

Many of us feel pressure to hit life milestones by a certain age. But what if that prepackaged timeline — finishing school, achieving financial …

A big, fat loophole

June 17th, 2021

29:26

What if we told you there was a way to walk away from your debts with no financial consequences? There’s just one big catch.

By 21, Anthony was on …

Meet the scammer

June 24th, 2021

32:42

How do you bounce back from getting scammed? Become a scammer yourself, obviously. The inside story of a young man’s transformation into an online scammer — and the lengths he goes to for money when no one is looking.

On Oct. 14, we’re airing out our dirty laundry

October 11th, 2021

1:55

“This Is Uncomfortable” is a podcast about our money and our feelings. And a lot of the money stuff we have the most feelings about we also like to keep secret.

In season five, the secret’s out.

We’re revealing …

No more money, please

October 14th, 2021

42:47

The more Morgan Curtis learned about the source of her family’s multi-generation wealth — from gold mining, to fossil fuel investment, to slave …

Just trust me

October 21st, 2021

35:47

When Ibby Hanlon started experiencing mysterious and debilitating pain, she put her faith in the medical system to find a solution. After a series of …

Ruin-your-life money

October 28th, 2021

32:23

What happens when you stumble on something with the potential to change your life? Oscar (not their real name) was going through a rough patch in life when they found a bag of money in their dim basement apartment in …

Family secrets

November 4th, 2021

37:36

Matthew Chow spent his adult life trying to build a close relationship with his estranged father. But just when he felt like he made real progress, …

Alimony till death

November 11th, 2021

35:53

When Sonia Delgado divorced her husband after 30 years of a bad marriage, she thought she’d finally seized financial freedom. She’d no longer have to go along with her ex’s money decisions, which had landed them in …

White Gold (from “How We Survive”)

November 18th, 2021

38:40

This week, we’re running a story from our colleagues at the new Marketplace podcast “How We Survive.” It’s about the climate, but it’s not all doom …

The College Fund (rerun)

November 25th, 2021

25:04

When you’re a kid, your parents make all the financial decisions for you. But what happens when you grow up … and don’t agree with their choices?

Endless circle of debt

December 2nd, 2021

38:11

When Dalip Singh became taxi driver in New York City, he thought it’d be his ticket to the middle class. It would take years before he discovered …

Chasing hippos

December 9th, 2021

32:10

Gina Serna is helping lead Colombia’s effort to sterilize the roughly 120 invasive hippos roaming the Magdalena River — hippos that were never …

The Mariachi Rent Strike

December 16th, 2021

32:25

The Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles has historically been home to tightknit immigrant communities. Francisco Gonzalez had lived in an apartment a block away from the neighborhood’s Mariachi Plaza for a decade …

On May 5, “This is Uncomfortable” is back!

April 22nd, 2022

3:20

“This is Uncomfortable,” our show about life and how money messes with it, is back for a new season starting May 5!

This season, we’re exploring love and relationships of all kinds. Because there’s probably no close …

So, who’s gonna pay for this?

May 5th, 2022

30:35

Nicole and Rachel were deeply, happily in love when they had their first serious fight about money. Nicole’s two-year old nephew accidentally …

Finding Michael, part one

May 12th, 2022

25:03

When Stephanie Stone’s older brother Michael died, their family didn’t have the money to pay for his burial. His body went unclaimed, and the county …

Finding Michael, part two

May 19th, 2022

31:39

Last week, we followed Stephanie Stone’s years long journey to find her late brother Michael’s gravesite. This week, our team picks up the search. …

Hired, fired, can’t retire

May 26th, 2022

36:33

Rebecca Danigelis never planned to stop working. She was an executive housekeeper in Boston raising two kids as a single mom, and everything she …

The naked truth

June 2nd, 2022

32:01

Growing up, Chris was bullied. He was always the heaviest kid in the class, and his peers relentlessly made fun of him and his body. But Chris had a …

Bad romance (rerun)

June 9th, 2022

37:05

This episode originally aired May 2021.

Mira Celper had always wanted to be best friends with her mom, but their relationship grew strained once her …

Let’s take it slow

June 16th, 2022

34:53

Adam had worked his way up to manager at a branch of a global bank, only to see his responsibilities double during the pandemic. After trying to make it work, the extra duties without extra pay began to compromise his …

Together, apart

June 23rd, 2022

38:05

Six years in, Sana and Adnan Akhand loved being married to each other. But sharing everything — their apartment in New York City, their money, the …

What’s mine is not yours (rerun)

June 30th, 2022

31:02

This episode originally aired in May 2021. When Lindsey Galbraith’s marriage ended over financial infidelity, she swore she would never mix money and …

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