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Embodied Podcast

Sex and relationships are intimate — and sometimes intimidating to talk about. In this award-winning podcast, Host Anita Rao guides us on an exploration of our brains and our bodies that touches down in taboo territory.

In 2020, Mashable named us as one of the best sex, erotica, dating and relationship podcasts. Embodied has won two Edward R. Murrow Regional Awards for best podcast (in 2021 & 2022). The podcast has also won two National Headliner Awards for Best Information Podcast: second place in the 2022 and third place in 2021. In the summer of 2022, NPR's Codeswitch featured us on their Summer Road Trip Playlist!

Read Anita's piece on the origin story of the Embodied series in The Huffington Post!

Check out our gorgeously illustrated season one discussion guide! And our discussion guide for our diet culture series Resolved.

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Learn more about Quilla, the musical genius behind our theme music!

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  • Anita had a terrible 18th birthday (she'll tell you later), but not much changed for her when she legally became an adult. For tens of thousands of young folks in the U.S. each year who turn 18 while in foster care, "legal adulthood" brings a slew of new challenges. Two women who aged out of foster care tell Anita about their experiences and how they informed the relationships they're building today. Plus, she meets someone who's seen the foster care system from both sides — as a kid, and as a foster parent.
  • Anita is a dog mom. Her wire-haired, bearded terrier Oliver has been her companion through heartbreak, job changes and pandemic turmoil. She's never going to feel ready to say goodbye, but she knows from watching others lose family pets, that pet grief can wreck you, and it's better to acknowledge this reality sooner rather than later. She talks with pet owners, a veterinary social worker, a vet and her own parents about making space for pet grief and memorializing the animal companions we have loved.
  • Anita's idea of relaxation often involves a good book. She's begun exploring the vast world of romance novels and was surprised to learn how much more diverse the genre has become since the days when Fabio was the only inspiration for sexy book covers. Three neurodivergent authors tell her about writing the characters they longed for as readers and making space for new takes on the "happy ending."
  • Anita does not work with her boo, but after sharing home office space for two pandemic years, she's started to wonder how couples who *do* work together make it work. She talks with two sets of couples in very different professional industries about their strategies for tackling finances, alone time and intimacy.
  • Anita has not participated in a Dry January, but there are times when she's motivated to pay extra-close attention to her relationship with alcohol. Most recently: during the pandemic. While some of us started drinking more, another group of folks committed to sober curiosity: a movement encouraging introspection about your relationship with alcohol. She meets two people who are years into building sober lives and asks them to reflect on how their sobriety journeys have shaped everything from relationships to thoughts about the future.
  • Anita's now living in one of the few places in the U.S. South without an abortion ban. As her home state becomes the nearest safe provider for millions of people, she's observing how abortion providers here are preparing for the spike in demand. She reconnects with one of them, Dr. Rathika Nimalendran, who has been providing access to abortions in North Carolina for years, to talk about what action she's taking in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
  • Anita comes from a tea-drinking family, but she's happiest when she's holding a mug of coffee the size of her face. For years, she's been reading headlines about why coffee is "good" for you, but she's not sure where myth ends and fact begins. So, she turns to the experts: Dr. Rao (her dad) is back to explain why coffee makes you poop, and how it affects your gut. A neuroscientist tells her about what her brain is doing once coffee hits her system. And two folks with deep ties to java talk about coffee culture, from bean to brew.
  • Anita treasures sleep and moments of silence. So when she hears typical narratives of early parenthood that include unending cries and restless nights, she has concerns for the mental toll on new parents. But culturally there is a lot of silence around how challenging it can be, and recognizing deteriorating mental health while caring for another person can be isolating. In part two of the postpartum series "Delivered," she meets a prolific artist whose experience with postpartum depression catalyzed a mental health journey and a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder. She also talks to a couple about what folks should know about sex and relationships postpartum and why the mental health of non-birthing partners should be part of the postpartum conversation.
  • Anita has been around enough postpartum folks to know that there's a whole lot they felt unprepared for when it came to how their physical bodies would experience pregnancy and childbirth. In part one of a two-part series, she hears from folks about meeting their new postpartum bodies. A postpartum doula talks about her trauma-informed approach to caring for the physical body; a photographer shares why they're trying to diversify the images we associate with postpartum bodies; and a former Marine talks about navigating the pressures of a highly physical job postpartum.
  • Anita got glasses young, and as a kid every time her prescription got worse, her anxiety about losing her vision spiked. She realizes now how much of that fear was ableism at work. Three artists who've lost their sight and found myriad ways to fortify a culture of blind pride show her it's about disrupting the binary and pushing for a more accessible, creative future.