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Dear Sugars


Radically empathic advice. Produced by WBUR.


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Radically empathic advice. Produced by WBUR.




Redux: A Spy In The House Of Love

Snooping on your spouse is generally ill-advised, but what if he or she has an addiction and is constantly lying about it? The Sugars and writer Ariel Levy answer this question in this episode, originally released on December 2, 2017.


Redux: The Empty Chair, Part 2

This is part two of the series on early childhood death. The Sugars read letters from parents who worry that their grief may overshadow their surviving children. They are joined by the writer Emily Rapp Black, who decided to have another child after learning that her son had a fatal congenital disorder.


Redux: Trust Your Body

Her grandmother always introduced her as the “chubby one.” Now, she vacillates between moderation and binge-eating. “It’s only when my pants are nearly impossible to button that I force myself to lose weight,” writes the letter-writer who calls herself Body Negative. “And then the pattern starts all over again.” The Sugars discuss and share their own struggles with body image.


Episodes We Love: The Power Of No, Part 2: Oprah Winfrey

"What do I want?" This is the question Oprah Winfrey finally asked herself, after years of struggling to say "no" to people in her life. In the second of this two-part series, the Sugars continue their conversation with Oprah Winfrey on when, why and how to say "no."


Redux: The Other Half of Sexless Relationships

In this episode, the Sugars answer letters from letter writers who want to have sex less frequently than their partners do.


Encore: The Empty Chair, Part 1

In the Empty Chair series, the Sugars discuss early childhood death, an absence that can be ever-present. In Part 1, they read letters from siblings who live in the the shadow of their parents’ grief. This episode was originally released on November 4th, 2017.


Encore: What About The Stepchildren?

When the Sugars answered a letter from a woman who felt trapped in the role of "wicked stepmother," dozens of listeners wrote in asking the same question: what about the stepchildren, who have no control over the restructuring of their family? This episode, the Sugars respond with an episode devoted to the other side of the story.


Encore: I Divorced My Spouse, And My Child Divorced Me

Divorce is always a painful process, but it's especially so when there are children in the middle. In this favorite episode from the archives, the Sugars discuss situations of parental alienation caused by divorce. They answer letters from a mother and a father whose daughters have cut off all communication with them after taking the other parent's side. This episode was originally released October 14th, 2016.


Dear Sugars introduces Love Letters

Dear Sugars fans: We wanted to share with you an episode from Love Letters, hosted by Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein, that we think you'll enjoy.


Encore: The Power of No, Part 1

There’s incredible power in saying “yes.” It opens up avenues and allows us to be brave. In Cheryl's case, it’s what led to her becoming Sugar. But saying yes to life's opportunities can also have its risks. In this favorite episode from the archives, The Sugars are joined by Oprah Winfrey to discuss when to say no, how to say no, and what happens in the wake of that. This episode was originally released July 15th, 2017.


Encore: In the Shadow of Damaged Parents

A damaged parent can cast a dark shadow over our lives, especially when we inherit some of that damage. In this favorite episode from the archives, Steve’s father, the psychoanalyst Dr. Richard Almond, joins the Sugars to answer letters and offer a way out.


Encore: The Price Of Our Dreams

In this favorite episode from the archives, the Sugars, along with fiction writer George Saunders, field letters from people who are chasing their creative dreams but frightened by the practical and financial risks that come with that pursuit. This episode was originally released on August 5th, 2017.


Encore: Sexual Fluidity

"Whatever" -- that's how the actress Maria Bello describes her sexual orientation. Her "love who you love" attitude toward sexuality, regardless of gender, is often referred to as fluidity. In this favorite episode from the archives, Maria joins the Sugars to discuss a couple of letters having to do with the confusion and complications that can accompany a shift in one's sexual preferences and partnerships. This episode was originally published on March 3rd, 2017.


Encore: When Your Loved Ones Just Don't 'Get It'

Our loved ones are the people who are supposed to understand us. But what if they just...can't? Where do we turn then, and how do we fight the feelings of resentment that this lack of understanding can stir up? This episode was originally released November 11th, 2016.


Encore: Career Vs. Love

You love your partner, you love your career... but they're pulling you in different directions. What do you do? In this favorite episode from the archives, The Sugars have help from psychotherapist and sociologist Leslie Bell, author of Hard to Get: 20-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom. This episode was originally released on April 13th, 2017.


Dear Sugars introduces Violation, a new podcast about who pulls the levers of power in the justice system

Dear Sugars fans: We wanted to share with you a new podcast we're working on at WBUR. Violation tells the story of two families bound together by an unthinkable crime. It explores America's opaque parole system and asks: How much time in prison is enough? Who gets to decide? And, when someone commits a terrible crime, what does redemption look like? Listen to the trailer and if you like what you hear, head over to the Violation feed wherever you get your podcasts and hit subscribe so you'll get new episodes when they drop, beginning March 22.


Encore: Baby or Bust

You wants kids; your partner doesn't. Or your partner wants kids, and you don't. Whatever the scenario, few subjects are as emotionally charged and potentially deal-breaking in a relationship as a disagreement over the decision to become parents. In this favorite episode from the archives, The Sugars take on this tricky topic with the help of the writer Danielle Herzog, who's written in the past about ending her own marriage to become a mother. This episode was originally published on March 22nd, 2017.


Encore: Emotional Labor

Remembering the grocery list, coordinating with the babysitter, scheduling a get-together with the in-laws: These are some of the invisible tasks that (most) women exclusively do in their romantic relationships — and the list goes on and on. In this favorite episode from the archives, The Sugars commiserate with Gemma Hartley, the writer who set off a national conversation about emotional labor with her viral article in Harper’s Bazaar, “Women Aren’t Nags — We’re Just Fed Up.”


Encore: May-December Romances

In this favorite episode from the archives, The Sugars discuss relationships with big age gaps, so-called "May-December" romances with the help of Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the memoir Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me, which tells the story of her marriage to New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who's 27 years her senior. This episode was originally released October 20th, 2016.


Encore: Should I Stay Or Go?

In this favorite episode from the archives, The Sugars bring you another "Rapid Fire" episode, where they give brief answers to a handful of letters that are all centered around a theme. The theme for this episode is "stay or go" -- people who have a voice in their head telling them to leave their relationship, but who aren't sure it's the right move. This episode was originally released on September 9, 2016.