Oh Boy Episode 42: Helena Bala

In partnership with TheRealReal.

Helena Bala knows that everyone has a story. It’s why she started Craigslist Confessional — a safe space for everyone to tell theirs — in 2014. She was born in Albania and, as a child, attended international schools in Slovenia and then Bridgeport, Connecticut. She has the kind of open energy that just makes you want to tell her stuff. Fitting, all considering.

She moved to America just before 9/11 and experienced how her otherness become a burden. Years later, she got a law degree so she could pursue a career in human rights. Although she now jokingly calls herself a “recovering lawyer and lobbyist,” she’s still very much interested in helping people. She founded Craigslist Confessional (which now also runs as a column on Quartz) after making a connection with a homeless man simply by listening to his story and then telling him hers. It sparked an idea — maybe more people simply needed open ears. Two years later and she’s still listening.

On that note, pop in your headphones and give her your ears for today’s episode of Oh Boy.


Helena Bala is the Founder of Craigslist Confessional, follow her on Twitter @clistconfession! She’s also a regular contributor to Man Repeller! Follow host Jay Buim on Instagram @beardwizard and check out his website, too. Logo by Kelly Shami; illustration by Amber Vittoria

This podcast is sponsored by The Real Real. The Real Real is launching its first pop-up shop from December 1st to 15th at 79 Greene Street in Soho, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat-Sun.


Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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