Unpacked Podcast inspiring listeners to live authentically 

The Unpacked Podcast is creating a safe place for individuals to explore the messy parts of life.

Local founders of the Unpacked Podcast, Evan Dewald and Tara Linsley are opening the conversation between guests and listeners by hosting live recording events. 

The first live event featured guest local psychologist Maureen Speidel and gave the audience of approximately 40 people an opportunity to hear an unedited-raw interview, ask questions, and enjoy appetizers and drinks.

“The event was a chance to share the messages of Unpacked while having discussions and getting the chance to see some of our listeners in person,” Linsley said. “The event went great, and the recorded part of the evening went very well.”

The live event initiated important discussions around relationships and what restoration looks like, while audience members asked what it means to be resilient, and what it looks like to repair and heal.

“The feedback we received was thought-provoking and challenged people to think about their relationships and think about how they personally handled the pandemic,” Linsley said. 

Dewald and Linsley enjoyed the intimate and small feeling of the event, and are hopeful to host panel discussions, and have more live events with audiences. 

By starting Unpacked, it has been Dewald and Linsley’s goal to ask more questions of their guests, others, and themselves.

It’s important to Dewald and Linsley that they choose guests based on interest, knowledge, and awareness of a topic, and how they care for themselves and others.
“The podcast was named Unpacked so we could keep our topics as general and wide-ranging as we like,” Linsley said.

Dewald and Linsley are looking for guests that will help to grow their audience, ask questions, and challenge guests to seek help or go deeper into their own lives. 

“It’s conversations with counsellors, industry leaders, and storytellers, discussing their experiences of being human. We talk about the strength that comes from big messy failures and vulnerable moments so we can learn to live more authentically,” Linsley said.

“We are unpacking the messy parts of life and we use the lens of storytelling to help our audience to grow and hopefully give them the chance to reflect on their own lives,” Linsley said. “There is strength and courage that comes from sharing vulnerable and authentic stories and we hope our audience gets a sense they are not alone in whatever they are struggling with and if they need help. We do our best to encourage and provide resources in the episode and the notes.”

Although Dewald and Linsley aren’t used to having an audience watching them have a conversation with the Unpacked guest, they were able to get into the flow. 

“It was a new way and trying something new,” Linsley said.

The energy from the audience helped Dewald and Linsley to clarify, ask questions, and change the path of the conversation depending on what the audience wanted to hear.
“One of the highlights was the response from the audience and being able to use the energy in the room,” Linsley said. “We also really loved having previous guests from the show in the room It was exciting to see them and thank them publicly.”

The Unpacked Podcast received a Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and United Way Chestermere grant to continue hosting live events. 

Dewald and Linsley are now preparing for season three of Unpacked and are excited to continue spreading awareness around mental health and supports available in the Chestermere area.

“We are so grateful for the support of our community,” Linsley said.

The Unpacked Podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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