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.

Trust Fall
Jun 13 • 47 min
Hacking, phishing, surveillance, disinformation… these are tools used to silence dissidents and influence elections. But what happens when these same methods are used against an ordinary citizen? The story of a man fighting an enemy he can’t see and…
Two Heartbeats A Minute
Apr 10 • 68 min
The strange story of an unlikely crew of people who band together to take on one of our largest problems using nothing but whale sounds, machine learning, and a willingness to think outside the box. Even stranger, several of the world’s most accomplished…
White v. White?
Apr 3 • 62 min
A city council candidate says he’s black. But his opponent accuses him of being a white man pretending to be black. If race is simply a social construct and not a biological reality, how do we determine someone’s race? And who gets to decide? We tell the…
An Unlikely Superpower
Mar 27 • 52 min
What if you had a superpower that allowed you to see part of the world that was to come? At the age of 60, a Scottish woman named Joy Milne discovers she has a biological gift that allows her to see things that will happen in the future that no one else…
The Confrontation
Mar 22 • 53 min
Welcome to what is possibly the most tense and uncomfortable summer program in America! The Boston-based program aims to teach the next generation the real truth about race, and may provide some ideas for the rest of us about the right way to confront…
The Reluctant Immortalist
Mar 16 • 45 min
Daniel Martinez discovered the unthinkable: a creature that breaks one of the most fundamental laws of life. In the wake of his discovery—which has been widely confirmed by the scientific community—all kinds of people have thrown themselves into trying to…
The Last Sound
Mar 8 • 45 min
Bernie Krause was a successful musician as a young man, playing with rock stars like Jim Morrison and George Harrison in the 1960s and ’70s. But then one day, Bernie heard a sound unlike anything he’d ever encountered and it completely overtook his life.…
Season 6 Trailer
Mar 2 • 1 min
You hear the train barreling towards you and you’re tied to the tracks. It’s an impossible situation. Most people would panic, and then a tiny handful would think up improbable workarounds. This season on Invisibilia: inventors in desperate times.
VIDEO: The (Future) Friendship Machine
Dec 20, 2019 • 8 min
An original animated video in two parts!
Raising Devendra
Dec 17, 2019 • 30 min
What happens when you treat artificial intelligence with unconditional love?
Love and Lapses
Nov 22, 2019 • 16 min
Producer B.A. Parker started recording her calls with her father because she was concerned about the care at his nursing home. But the recordings gave her a window into something very different: their relationship. So she started recording her calls with…
Back When I Was Older
Oct 25, 2019 • 20 min
As a parent, what do you do when your four-year-old starts telling you about memories that can’t possibly be his? Memories that he says are from a past life?
Rough Translation: Liberté, Égalité and French Fries
Oct 18, 2019 • 46 min
Alix presents a new episode from NPR’s Rough Translation about residents of an immigrant neighborhood in Marseille, France who considered their local McDonalds to be a home of sorts, so when the owner tries to sell it, they take extreme measures to try…
The Profile
Sep 20, 2019 • 23 min
A mysterious profile pops up on a dating app - leading to a bubble of chaos and confusion. A story about trying to sort fact versus fiction, how destabilizing that can be, and a very strange confrontation with the truth. NOTE: Since this story was…
Aug 23, 2019 • 27 min
Richard Kraft was in a fog of grief when he bought his first Disney collectible at an auction. But once he started, he couldn’t stop. In the first episode of our new fall season, we explore the role of positive distraction in the face of adversity.
The End of Empathy
Apr 12, 2019 • 52 min
Invisibilia is a show that runs on empathy. We believe in it. But are we right? In this episode, we’ll let you decide. We tell the same story twice in order to examine the questions: who deserves our empathy? And is there a wrong way to empathize? If you…
A Very Offensive Rom-Com
Apr 5, 2019 • 61 min
A young woman discovers a pattern in her dating habits that disturbs her - a pattern that challenges her very conception of who she is and what she believes in. The realization sets her off on a quest to change her attractions. But is this even possible?…
The Remote Control Brain
Mar 29, 2019 • 46 min
What would it be like if you could control your mood with a hand held device? Literally turn the device to different settings and make yourself happier and sadder? Alix Spiegel talks to a woman who has that power. If you or somebody you know might need…
The Weatherman
Mar 22, 2019 • 43 min
In this episode of Invisibilia, we explore our relationship with uncertainty through the eyes of a chief meteorologist. We wonder: what do you do when you don’t know what to do? And how do we handle it when that question has no answer?
Post, Shoot
Mar 15, 2019 • 52 min
What is the relationship between the version of you that lives online and the one that walks around the earth? We think of our online selves as shadow versions of us which we can control. But in this age when facts are malleable, something strange is…
The Fifth Vital Sign
Mar 8, 2019 • 60 min
We look at how our culture’s massive effort to address pain has paradoxically increased it. And we follow one young girl as she struggles through a bizarre and extreme treatment program. NOTE: The treatment in this episode is administered by trained…
Season 5 Trailer
Mar 4, 2019 • 1 min
This moment in our culture can feel fraught. From ‘fake news’ to the opioid crisis, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future. So this season, Invisibilia helps you discern truth from fiction, cure your pain, and find your true love with conviction.…
BONUS: Youth Radio Girl Mystery
Dec 21, 2018 • 32 min
When truth becomes stranger than fiction.
BONUS: The Prayer
Dec 7, 2018 • 14 min
How one prayer changed a life.
BONUS: Who Do You Let In?
Oct 16, 2018 • 24 min
Who do you let in and who do you keep out?
BONUS: Leave A Message
Sep 14, 2018 • 11 min
Why would you leave a message when you can just send a text?
BONUS: Invisibilia Live with Story District
Jun 14, 2018 • 47 min
On April 19, 2018 Invisibilia co-hosted our first-ever live event with our friends at Story District.
The Callout
Apr 13, 2018 • 55 min
When someone in your community transgresses, do you banish them in an attempt to make the community safer for everyone? WARNING: This episode contains obscenities and descriptions of sex and violence.
Everything Good
Apr 6, 2018 • 48 min
We’re living in a polarized world, where picking a side is almost a requirement. But what happens in the space in between?
The Pattern Problem
Mar 30, 2018 • 57 min
Are we destined to repeat our patterns or do we generally stray in surprising directions? CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual abuse.
What Was Not Said
Mar 22, 2018 • 48 min
We examine how leaving things unsaid with our intimates can lead to misunderstandings and missed connections.
The Other Real World
Mar 16, 2018 • 50 min
Can a reality show - and telling a certain kind of story - call a different kind of reality into being?
I, I, I. Him
Mar 9, 2018 • 40 min
What happens when you lose something so central to your life that you no longer understand who you are? How do you find yourself again?
Season 4 Trailer
Feb 23, 2018 • 2 min
We’re living in a black and white world, where the stories we tell ourselves lock us into one side or the other. These stories define us – imprison or liberate us. In their fourth season, co-hosts Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel map the grey areas.
BONUS: Catch-Up with Max Hawkins
Dec 22, 2017 • 12 min
What happens when you have to choose between having an open mind, or a moral backbone? Listen to the original episode here:
BONUS: Catch-Up with Bill Millar
Sep 12, 2017 • 10 min
In a special podcast bonus, co-host Hanna Rosin checks in with Bill Millar, who we met in Season 2’s “Flip the Script.” They talk about dating, cats, and how love can look different for everyone. Listen to the original episode here:…
Jun 22, 2017 • 55 min
It feels like emotions just come at us, and there is nothing we can do. But we might have it backwards. We look at an unusual legal case and examine a provocative new theory about emotions.
High Voltage (Emotions Part 2)
Jun 22, 2017 • 37 min
An anthropologist discovers an emotion, and after a tragic event, comes to understand it. And a young woman does the one thing guaranteed to ruin a date, and learns something about her emotional life.
Jun 15, 2017 • 44 min
What happens when we can’t agree on reality? In Eagle’s Nest Township, Minnesota, residents have been grappling with that question since long before the polarizing presidential election of 2016.
Bubble-Hopping (Reality Part 2)
Jun 15, 2017 • 29 min
The concept of social bubbles has become popular lately as people grapple with the unexpected outcomes of the 2016 election. We meet two people making radical attempts to break out of their bubbles.
The Culture Inside
Jun 8, 2017 • 56 min
Is there a part of ourselves that we don’t acknowledge, that we don’t even have access to and that might make us ashamed if we encountered it?
Future Self
Jun 1, 2017 • 46 min
We all have a better self, a version of us that is better, more successful. It can inspire us to achieve our dreams, or mock us for everything we have failed to become.
True You
Jun 1, 2017 • 35 min
What happens when you discover a part of yourself that is so different from who you think you are? Do you hold on to your original self tightly? Do you explore this other self? Or do you just panic?
Rules for Road Tripping
May 30, 2017 • 4 min
Season 3 has ended but we’re hard at work on Season 4! We’ll see you soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share Invisibilia’s tips for a successful road trip.
Season 3 Trailer
May 18, 2017 • 2 min
On June 1, Invisibilia is back for Season 3! Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season!
Outside In
Jul 29, 2016 • 64 min
There’s a popular idea out there that you can change from the outside in. Power posing. Fake it ‘til you make it. If you just assume the pose, inner transformation will follow. Is it true?
The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes
Jul 22, 2016 • 61 min
Do clothes have the power to transform us? Seven stories that explore how clothes can change us in quiet but surprising ways with help from Yowei Shaw, Chenjerai Kumanyika and Colin Dwyer.
Flip the Script
Jul 15, 2016 • 60 min
Psychology has a golden rule too: If I am warm, you are usually warm. If I am hostile, you are too. But what happens if you flip the script and meet hostility with warmth?
Frame of Reference
Jul 8, 2016 • 59 min
We all carry an invisible frame of reference in our heads that filters our experience. Alix and Hanna talk to a woman who gets a glimpse of what she’s been missing – and then loses it.
Bonus: Mr. Kitt
Jul 5, 2016 • 12 min
In this special podcast bonus, Lulu Miller tells the story of William Kitt, a resident of the Broadway Housing Communities, featured in our episode “The Problem with the Solution”. William Kitt was insane, by his own definition. But he no longer believes…
The Problem with the Solution
Jul 1, 2016 • 59 min
Americans LOVE solutions. But are there problems we shouldn’t try to solve? Lulu visits a town in Belgium with a completely different approach to dealing with mental illness.
Bonus: Four-Minute Mile
Jun 28, 2016 • 6 min
In a special podcast bonus, Lulu Miller tells the story about a young runner who always thought he had it in him to break the four-minute mile, until a potential change in personality made him question if he was the same runner.
The Personality Myth
Jun 24, 2016 • 57 min
We like to think of our own personalities, and those of our family and friends as predictable, constant over time. But what if they aren’t? What if nothing stays constant over a lifetime?
The New Norm
Jun 17, 2016 • 61 min
Social norms determine much of your behavior - how you dress, talk, eat and even what you feel. Alix and new co-host, Hanna Rosin, examine two experiments that attempt to shift these norms.
Season 2 Trailer
May 20, 2016 • 3 min
On June 17th Invisibilia is back for Season 2! Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season!
BONUS: Inside Out!
Feb 14, 2015 • 4 min
Alix and Lulu present a bonus podcast about why “Inside Out” was considered as a possible name for the show, but ultimately wasn’t chosen.
Our Computers, Ourselves
Feb 12, 2015 • 57 min
In Our Computers, Ourselves, a look at the ways technology affects us, and the main question is : Are computers changing human character? You’ll hear from cyborgs, bullies, neuroscientists and police chiefs about whether our closeness with computers is…
The Power Of Categories
Feb 6, 2015 • 56 min
The Power Of Categories examines how categories define us — how, if given a chance, humans will jump into one category or another. People need them, want them. The show looks at what categories provide for us, and you’ll hear about a person caught between…
Jan 29, 2015 • 57 min
In Entanglement, you’ll meet a woman with Mirror Touch Synesthesia who can physically feel what she sees others feeling. And an exploration of the ways in which all of us are connected — more literally than you might realize. The hour will start with…
BONUS: Falling Off a Cliff
Jan 23, 2015
A podcast BONUS for you today. We didn’t have enough room in our Batman show for this lovely story about Julee-anne Bell, one of the many people who have learned Daniel Kish’s echolocation technique. Enjoy!
How to Become Batman
Jan 22, 2015 • 57 min
In “How to Become Batman,” Alix and Lulu examine the surprising effect that our expectations can have on the people around us. You’ll hear how people’s expectations can influence how well a rat runs a maze. Plus, the story of a man who is blind and says…
Jan 16, 2015 • 58 min
In “Fearless,” co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller explore what would happen if you could disappear fear. A group of scientists believe that people no longer need fear — at least not the kind we live with — to navigate the modern world. We’ll hear about…
The Secret History of Thoughts
Jan 9, 2015 • 57 min
Co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller ask the question, “Are my thoughts related to my inner wishes, do they reveal who I really am?” The answer can have profound consequences for your life.
Invisibilia Preview
Dec 18, 2014
Invisibilia, a show about the invisible forces that shape human behavior, weaves personal stories with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.