Beautiful/Anonymous – Beautiful stories from Anonymous People



I am an angsty sleeper (make that: “angsty in general”, but I’m sticking to bedtime to create context). My mind is a racer and hates me:

“Stay awake Hannah! STAY AWAKE AND WORRY!”

In order to nod off, I need to drown out that whiny, insistent voice.

Music doesn’t help, in fact it infuriates me; my mind fixates on a beat or a repeated turn of phrase (I believe these are referred to by musicians as “choruses”). A section of music that during the day could rouse my very soul to ecstasy, becomes a demanding, persistent intrusion, akin to a dripping tap or gnat (ever heard a dripping gnat? Blood boiling!).

I therefore, love a podcast.

Podcasts offer me the gentle babble of babble – the perfect amount of noise to block out everything I need it to.

My current favourite is Beautiful/Anoymous (1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred). Host Chris Gethard takes a call from a stranger, they can talk for up to an hour about anything, only the stranger can end the call.

A simple concept with fascinating results.

I love hearing how the conversations unfold from the usual awkward: “err….is this…Chris?” to full blown confessional.

Gethard is able to tease stories out of people. After the first two episodes I was convinced that he must have had some training, been on a counselling course or two, but the more I listen, the more convinced I am that people just need that invitation to talk – without judgement – about what is on their mind, what is keeping them off their sleep.

He just uses that wonderful, magic sentence that can change so much:

“So, what do you want to talk about?”

And people talk. Listen and you will hear stories of lost loves and opportunities, neglected dreams and broken relationships – all that stuff we all trudge through day in, day out.

That doesn’t sound uplifting or anything like what an Angst Head like me should be listening to at bedtime – but I have yet to listen to an episode where the caller’s train of thought hasn’t been tweaked, even slightly, onto a newer brighter track.

And you also hear about life’s mini triumphs and major successes, all the “win” you can handle should you need a reminder that stuff, all kinds of stuff everyday, is awesome – total happy dream fodder.

I can’t get enough of it.