July 11, 2024

International Relations or International Popstar? (with Rachel Platten)

While in college, Rachel Platten was on the path to a career in international relations. But then she decided to switch course and swap a semester abroad in Spain for a semester abroad in Trinidad where she fell in love with music. She now has a song that has been streamed more than a billion times (Fight Song) and a new album “I Am Rachel Platten” out at the end of the summer. Rachel talks to Sam about the impact postpartum depression has had on her music, how she loves having bossy friends, and how sometimes music can save you when nothing else can.

July 4, 2024

Doctor or Doc…umentary Filmmaker? (with Joy-Ann Reid)

When MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid was growing up she was expected to be a doctor, lawyer, or architect. Then she decided to drop out of Harvard, ditch her doctor aspirations, and re-enroll as a documentary film major. These days the biggest decision Joy makes every day is deciding what news stories to include in her show The ReidOut. Sam talks to Joy about what qualifies as “breaking news,” why she doesn’t believe undecided voters, and her new book “Medgar and Myrlie” and why it’s so important for Civil Rights love stories to be written.

June 27, 2024

College or Kitchen? (with Alison Roman)

While a student, Alison Roman made a life-changing decision to leave college to start working in a restaurant kitchen and has never looked back. Sam talks to Alison about being such a decisive person, creating viral recipes, the magic of pasta water, weighing information and intuition and making the content for yourself that you wish to see in the world when no one else will make it for you.

June 20, 2024

Woman in Late Night or Woman on Tour? (with Taylor Tomlinson)

When Taylor Tomlinson was interviewing to be the host of After Midnight, she wasn’t even sure she wanted the job. She loved making her own schedule as a touring stand up comedian, and loved her road family. But when the network said she would still have time to be on the road, it was an easy decision to say yes. Sam asks Taylor about how the stakes of her decision making have gotten higher now that other people work for her, choosing to be part of a team, getting advice from other female comedians, and how anxiety can be helpful.

June 13, 2024

Make Comedy or Watch Comedy? (with Nick Kroll)

When comedian Nick Kroll decided to end his hit show “Kroll Show” he wasn’t totally sure what he would do next. But it was important to him to decide something was done rather than drag it out. Sam asks Nick about how he’s so good at zeroing in on what he genuinely wants, finding the funniest people in the room to make Big Mouth, and how to decide if he should keep his family out of his standup material.

June 6, 2024

Presenting Wild Card with Rachel Martin

Here’s some good news! Choice Words is coming back for season two on June 13th! Get ready for more amazing (and questionable) choices from great guests like Nick Kroll, who we’ll be kicking things off with.

May 23, 2024

Choices We Made: Logic or Emotion? (with Stephen Dubner)

As the author and podcast host of “Freakonomics,” Stephen Dubner spends a lot of time thinking about and studying what goes into good decision-making. In one of our favorite episodes from the vault, he gives Sam tips on balancing logic with emotion, offers ways to use your imagination to help you make a choice, and defends the coin-flip method.

May 20, 2024

Choices We Made: Honest Conversations or Family Secrets? (with Laura Dern and Diane Ladd)

When Laura Dern found out that her mother, Diane Ladd, had scarring on her lungs, the doctor told her to be gentle with her mom because she’d be dead in 6 months. Laura chose to challenge that diagnosis by taking her mother on regular walks to expand her lung capacity. Not only did it work, but it turned into a new book co-written by the two award-winning actresses. In one of our favorite episodes from the vault, Sam asks the mother-daughter duo how those walks saved Diane’s life and what family stories and secrets were uncovered during those strolls.

May 16, 2024

From A Slight Change of Plans: “The Science of Making (and Keeping) Friends”

We’re bringing you an episode of A Slight Change of Plans from our friends at Pushkin. Named by Apple as the Best Show of the Year 2021, host Dr. Maya Shankar blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are, and who we become, in the face of a big change.

May 9, 2024

Kierkegaard or Californication? (with David Duchovny)

When actor David Duchovny was teaching his daughter to ride a bike, he made the questionable choice of taking her to the top of a grassy hill at Pepperdine University in Malibu and pointing her straight downhill toward Highway 1. Luckily she learned (quickly) how to brake, but he realized not all of his ideas are good ones. In fact, some are failures. Sam asks David how to view failure through a positive lens, why it’s so hard for Americans to admit defeat, and why Yale is still waiting for him to teach a Kierkegaard graduate class.