Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.
The Nostalgia Bone from Throughline
This week at Invisibilia, we're bringing you an episode from NPR's Throughline about an emotion you might be feeling a lot these days: nostalgia. Longing for 'simpler times' and 'better days', many of us have been turning to 90s dance playlists, TV sitcoms, and sports highlights. We're looking for comfort and safety in the permanence of the past, or at least, what we think the past was. But, when it first appeared, nostalgia itself wasn't considered a feeling; it was a deadly disease. This episode traces the history of nostalgia from its origins as an illness to the dominating emotion of our time.
Therapy, with Friends
Would you ever consider going to therapy with a friend?Two best friends who call themselves brothers were drifting apart, so they asked psychotherapist Esther Perel to help — and we listened in. This episode was recorded in collaboration with Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel and a companion episode can be heard on her podcast.
Sh*t happens. So why is it so hard to talk about? This week, the ways that poop divides and binds us in our friendships.
Friends with Benefits
A lot of us think that it's a bad idea to get physical with friends. We worry it'll get messy, maybe even ruin the friendship. But if physical intimacy between friends weren't so taboo, what could our friendships look like? In this episode, we explore the gray zone of sex and friendship, following a man who deliberately kept his friendships with women hazy and now wants to apologize, and a pair of BFFs who became close through sex.
International Friend of Mystery
You know the old saying--keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But what if you can't tell the difference? In this episode, the story of two friends who got caught up in a Top Secret operation that tested their assumptions about trust, betrayal, loyalty, and power.
Nun of Us Are Friends
It's a basic tenet of friendship that you get to choose your friends. We look at two institutions that took away that choice: convents circa the 1960s and a summer program with unusual rules. What do we lose and what do we gain when we give up our preferences and try to make friends with everyone equally?