Linda Marigliano on Sharing Lessons of Love and Immigration Stories

Love – a universal language that transcends boundaries, cultures, and time.

It’s a force that can inspire, challenge, and ultimately transform our lives. And I’m not just talking about the heart-fluttering, romantic kind of love, but also the tough love, the kind of love that helps us grow, teaches us the hardest lessons, and makes us strong in the face of challenges. Linda Marigliano’s “Tough Love” podcast embarks on a mission to uncover these lessons hidden within the folds of love stories.

Linda is a creator, co-founder, author, and podcaster. She created Tough Love during the most difficult times of her life. It was in the middle of a rigid lockdown in Australia in 2021. After being in a long distance relationship for three years, Linda quit her high profile radio job planning to move overseas and begin a new life with her boyfriend who lived in LA, but the pandemic happened and the world stopped. She found herself stuck in Australia due to border closures and was forced to move back in with her strict parents in her mid-30s. 

Her podcasting journey began with the ambition to share her own story, inspire diversity, and share Australia’s proud immigration stories. Building the podcast from scratch was a challenge she embraced with passion.

Facing Challenges Head-On

Linda’s most significant challenge in this journey was launching, producing, and marketing the podcast as an independent creator. She had to master every facet of the podcasting industry, acquiring equipment to set up her home studio and venturing into the field as a roving reporter, capturing real-life scenes like a documentary. The hustle was relentless as she faced rolling deadlines and created a media campaign to promote the series.

As the podcast’s host, Linda also faced the personal challenge of sharing her vulnerable story. Linda had to let the listeners into her own uncertainty in modern life as she opened up her Italian Chinese family home. She addressed topics about how she froze her eggs during Season 1 and how she navigated her heartbreaking long distance relationship.

These stories, though challenging to share, created a devoted community of listeners who resonated with her journey through uncertain times.

Achievements and Milestones

The “Tough Love” podcast has been a remarkable success. In 2021, it earned the title of Best Lockdown Podcast at the Australian Podcast Awards and was a finalist in the Best New Podcast category. What makes this achievement even more impressive is that “Tough Love” is a completely independent project, with no financial backing from a production company.

In 2023, Linda achieved another milestone in her journey. Not only did she release her own book, “Love Language,” a deeply personal and true story that inspired the podcast, but she also performed a SOLD OUT live podcast show at the iconic Sydney Opera House.

This performance brought her Chinese mother, Janet, into the spotlight, sharing her experiences of growing up in a tiny village in Malaysia and how her unwavering loyalty to her family back home has shaped the way she lives her life. This narrative moved the audience, making them eager to learn more about Janet, her upbringing and her immigrant journey as a teenager who had a difficult time fitting in when she first moved to Australia.

Mission and Vision

Linda’s mission for the podcast is to share her compelling story using innovative documentary storytelling and music, offering practical lessons for modern life, while her vision involves expanding her audience to live shows, events, and exploring television and film opportunities. 

With Linda’s focus on her Chinese Malaysian culture, especially through her friends and her mother’s portrayal in it as a strong business woman even in her late 60s (and fan-favorite), amplifies diverse Asian perspectives, resonating with a dedicated community of listeners.

Message from Linda

If there is one episode of the Linda Marigliano’s Tough Love podcast you should listen to, make it the Season 2 ‘Help, My Parents Are Getting Older’ episode. This one showcases how we feel when we realize our parents are aging and what it means to remain loyal to family. We attend a salsa party with my Chinese mother, Janet, and she tells us about her Malaysian upbringing. It’s a moving, heartbreaking, but ultimately joyous scene.

I am incredibly proud to have inherited my mom’s deep Asian hustle spirit! There’s delight in hard work, and I love hearing the Asian hustle stories you share.

Now, I’m finally living in LA, reunited with my boyfriend, and the hustle continues. I’m open to exploring the city and connecting with the Asian community, so please reach out. And stay tuned for Linda Marigliano’s Tough Love Season 3!


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