35 episodes

At The Curious Life, we ask what you're thinking. We meet with some of life's most interesting characters, both well-known and everyday people who have intriguing, inspiring or unusual stories and bring them to you in conversation, with humour, depth and providing plenty of food for thought. Jump in and get curious!

The Curious Life Written, hosted and produced by Jana Firestone

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 41 Ratings

At The Curious Life, we ask what you're thinking. We meet with some of life's most interesting characters, both well-known and everyday people who have intriguing, inspiring or unusual stories and bring them to you in conversation, with humour, depth and providing plenty of food for thought. Jump in and get curious!

    Surrogacy and COVID

    Surrogacy and COVID

    In this episode, we meet with Kath and Terry, two of the lovely people featured in The Feed documentary, Covid Surrogacy. (Now available at SBS On Demand).

    Both Kath and Terry have their own stories about surrogacy here in Australia. Two very different paths that eventually led theirs to cross, and for two beautiful lives to be created.

    The doco explores the stories of families at various stages of the surrogacy process, from the perspective of intended parents, local and international surrogates and the incredible women caring for the babies who have been born during COVID and have been left stranded overseas due to travel restrictions.

    Kath and Terry share the events that led up both pregnancies, the reality of carrying a baby that is not genetically yours (and will be handed to their parents after the birth), the highs and lows of the hormones, and the emotional bond that has formed between the families through their experience.

    Terry and his partner Ben came very close to not being present for their daughter's birth, from travel restrictions to legal arguments and that left huge questions for both families about what would happen in the event of the worst case scenario.

    They share all that and more, and in this eye-opening discussion that sheds light on a slice of the reproductive world that is not often talked about.

    To follow the journey of Kath, Terry, Ben and their two gorgeous girls, you can find them on Instagram at Making Another Berry.

    To watch to full documentary, head to SBS On Demand, or click on this link.

    To find out more about surrogacy, head to the Surrogacy Australia Facebook page.

    You can follow The Curious Life here and please tag us in your thoughts!

    Don't forget to leave a rating or review on iTunes, so we can keep sharing the stories that matter.

    Edited and Voice Over work by the endlessly incredible Julie Reynolds for Audio Lemonade. This was a tricky one with plenty of challenges, so thank you Julie!


    • 33 min
    Making Her Mark with Michala Banas

    Making Her Mark with Michala Banas

    In this episode, we chat with the wonderful Michala Banas, who shares her story of a life in film and television. Michala has worked in front of the camera from the tender age of 18 months (although insists that doesn't really count), and rose to fame in the acclaimed Australian family drama Always Greener. You might recognise her as the very direct and somewhat uncouth Amber Wheeler, in the Aussie comedy, Upper Middle Bogan. A role which she played with delight.

    Michala has worked with some of the biggest names in film, on stage and in television and has had a raft of experiences that could have kept us chatting all day.

    Over the course of the conversation, Michala analysed some of her own professional setbacks, and how she has overcome some of her biggest challenges. She also shared her thoughts on the often overlooked mental health of people in the entertainment industry and her involvement with the revealing documentary The Show Must Go On.

    Michala recently added a new string to her already impressive bow, training in London as an Intimacy Coordinator. Wondering what that entails? Well you'll just have to listen to find out!

    You can follow Michala on Instagram at @michalabanas

    Don't forget to follow us at @thecuriouslifepodcast to share your thoughts on the ep.

    And please leave us a rating or review on iTunes - every single click counts!

    Edited and Voice-Overs by the fabulous, magical unicorn Julie Reynolds of Audio Lemonade.

    • 58 min
    The Butterfly Foundation: Talking Helps

    The Butterfly Foundation: Talking Helps

    In this episode, we meet three people whose lives have been impacted by eating disorders, with stories that are less commonly shared in mainstream media.

    The Butterfly Foundation's Talking Helps campaign was created to urge people living with an eating disorder, to reach out for help - particularly those who may not fit the eating disorder stereotype.

    To bring to light some of those stories, I had the opportunity to talk with Dominik and TJ who have lived with eating disorders themselves and are now in recovery. They both have stories that we don't typically hear, as men suffering with disordered eating and the ways that they were able to access support and begin their recovery journey.

    I also spoke with Amelia, who gave us an insight into her work for the Butterfly Foundation's National Helpline, supporting people with eating disorders and their families, carers and professionals.

    These were enlightening conversations and reinforced the importance of taking that first step, to talk with someone about your mental health.

    For anyone wondering about their own relationship with food or their bodies, call the National Helpline to talk with someone today 1800 33 4673.

    Head to The Butterfly Foundation website for more information and resources. You can also access support by chatting online through the website or by email at support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

    This episode was brought to you by Southern Cross University - reset your future today!

    A huge thank you to the wonderful Julie Reynolds of Audio Lemonade for her voicework and brilliant editing skills as usual!

    Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @thecuriouslifepodcast and please do leave us a rating or review on iTunes. Each one counts and helps these stories be seen and heard.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Every S****y Thing with Marcia Abboud

    Every S****y Thing with Marcia Abboud

    Trigger warning: this episode contains a frank and honest discussion about suicide, family violence and addiction.

    This week's guest is author Marcia Abboud, who talks openly about the trauma and grief she has experienced throughout her life, which she bravely laid bare in her book, "Every S****y Thing".

    In it, Marcia tells her story of growing up with an abusive father, the impact on her brothers who bore the brunt of his rage and their subsequent spirals in and out of addiction. She also reflects on her experience of sudden loss, marriage breakdown, double lives and the impact on her own mental health that almost saw her take her own life, one frightening night.

    We talk about the events that shaped the pages of Marcia's book and how she has been able to overcome so many profound traumas to live a full and happy life today.

    This truly is a story of turning unfathomable tragedies into triumph.

    Marcia is generously offering listeners 50% off her book! Just head to her website and enter the code JANA50


    You can also follow Marcia on Instagram at @marciaabboudauthor.

    Don't forget to follow @thecuriouslifepodcast and please do leave us a rating or review on iTunes!

    For anyone impacted by the themes discussed in this episode, please don't hesitate to reach out for help. Lifeline is available 24/7 on 13 11 14.

    This episode is brought to you by Southern Cross University - reset your future with Australia's #1 ranked Psychology degree.

    Edited by the ever-fabulous Julie Reynolds of Audio Lemonade.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Serving it Up with Sarah Todd

    Serving it Up with Sarah Todd

    In this episode, celebrity chef and restauranteur Sarah Todd shares her story of transformation from a shy country girl to a confident, successful and celebrated chef in one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

    Sarah's adventure began after being discovered by chance at a fashion show and being offered a contract to move to Sydney and pursue a modelling career.

    While her modelling took off and sent her travelling all over the world, it was cooking that truly ignited Sarah's passion. After enrolling at the famous Le Cordon Bleu in London and training classically in French cuisine, Sarah took a leap of faith, applying for Masterchef back home in Australia.

    Little did she know, that leap would catapult her into international fame and dramatically change the course of her life.

    Sarah is a single mother, has opened two hugely successful restaurants and has books and television series under her belt and in the pipeline. She talks candidly about the challenges of balancing the demands of a thriving career and motherhood, across two continents and finding ways to make each moment count.

    Sarah's passion, resilience and ability to adapt is ever-present throughout her story and if you've ever wondered about taking the leap and following your own passions, then this is episode for you.

    Follow Sarah on Instagram to hear all about her latest ventures or check out her website www.sarahtodd.com.au

    Don't forget to give us a follow @thecuriouslifepodcast and leave us a review on iTunes!

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Love in the time of COVID with Sarah Calleja

    Love in the time of COVID with Sarah Calleja

    As a therapist for the last decade and a half, Jana has a particular interest in bringing you interviews with the most fascinating people with the most interesting stories to tell.

    Today, Jana is joined by a much loved previous guest, Counselling Psychologist and Clinical Sexologist Sarah Calleja.

    Together they explore a question on a lot of people's minds, after reports of alleged trysts between quarantined guests and security guards recently, at a luxury Melbourne hotel. What is the seductive enticement of forbidden love? Why is it so alluring? And are you thinking about it a little too much? Sexy or salacious? Plus how are you feeling? Sexually? And what can you do if you are alone at this time of lockdowns and isolation? How are other people compensating for a lack of touch? And what really goes on behind closed doors with sex workers.

    Plus, Jana and Sarah will give you some amazing tips on how to look after yourself and your partner. So sit back, relax and enjoy this episode of The Curious Life Podcast.

    This episode is brought to you in partnership with Southern Cross University, with Australia's #1 ranked psychology degree, according to the Good Universities Guide. Reset your future today!

    Southern Cross University

    You can find Sarah through her website Action Psychology or on Instagram here: Action Psychology

    Follow The Curious Life on Insta and Facebook here.

    Edited and voiceovers by Julie Reynolds of Audio Lemonade

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

OleKB14 ,

Inspiring stories

Fascinating and entertaining real-life stories from inspiring people. Do yourself a favour and listen to Jana and her guests.

Lizziebelle21 ,

A+ interviews

I really enjoy this podcast! Really great guests and super insightful questions. Easy to love!

MissKGorge ,


I have latched onto a few podcasts here and there. A friend says to me, “you drive so long to and from work, why don’t you listen to podcasts” I’ve found them all that little bit dull and therefore not doing their job on lengthy commutes! FINALLY it’s podtastic that I’ve found one! Jana interviews with great experience yet I’m only at podcast 2, Season 1. Where did she come from? Her guests so far are interesting and lengths apart in a positive way. I’m simply excited to get to see how great this podcast and Jana actually become.

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