Whitney Goodman is the radically honest psychotherapist behind the hugely popular Instagram account @sitwithwhit and the author of Toxic Positivity – something she describes ‘as a form of gaslighting’. Here, she explains how meeting struggles with platitudes can shut us down, make us feel shame, or even that we are no longer allowed to feel at all. I wanted to speak to Whitney now, more than ever, at a time when the world is experiencing so much hurt that the idea of burying our heads in the sand and just ‘looking on the bright side’ feels unfathomable. So forget ‘good vibes only’, we’re here for ALL the vibes as we talk about:
- exaggerated claims about positive thinking
- happiness and health: causation vs coronation
- the physical impact of suppressing our emotions
- the shame spiral
- why we don’t always have to be grateful
- how ‘manifesting’ can be damaging
- when affirmations don’t work
- toxic positivity and discrimination
- radical acceptance and how to reach it
- why we’re more creative and more successful when we face up to problems
Share your thoughts on social media @MsHelenRussell and if you’d like more, the paperback of How To Be Sad is out now - wherever you get your books.
Thanks as ever to Joel Grove for production and Matt Clacher at HarperCollins – and I would love it if you could rate, review, subscribe, share, tell anyone who might need to hear this so that we can spread the message: feeling ALL our feelings is OK.