How To Be Sad with Helen Russell
Season 2 #1 Holly Tucker

Season 2 #1 Holly Tucker

April 21, 2021

Holly Tucker MBE is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and UK Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses. She’s the founder of notonthehighstreet.com and Holly & Co, a small business advice and inspiration platform and she’s also a podcaster and co-author of two best-selling business books as well as the brand new Do What You Love. Holly is a famously positive, colourful, fabulous force of nature, but life wasn’t always so sunny - and a future in business was far from a shoo-in. She got an E in business studies at school, was divorced aged 23, battled a brain tumour, endured a near break down, and has found herself on the brink financially more than once. But now, Holly says: ‘these moments have taught me everything - and I’m sure that my future is built on the scaffolding of these failures.’

In this episode, Holly and Helen talk about:

  • ‘Hurricaine Holly’ and the highs and lows of living at full pelt
  • Divorce and a brain tumour diagnosis in her 20s
  • Building a different relationship the next time around
  • How a vegetable wreath saved her life
  • Parenting and guilt
  • Burnout versus the philosophy of Francis Bacon
  • Pulling on the handbrake
  • Trying to smell the roses (and go to Ibiza)
  • Scars, vulnerability and the upside of imposter syndrome
  • Why financial education is a feminist issue

 

Follow Holly on Instagram @hollytucker, on Twitter @notonthehighst or Facebook @hollytuckerandco and find out more about Do What You Love

Follow Helen on social media @MsHelenRussell

How To Be Sad, the book, is out now.

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

BONUS! Steph Douglas of Don’t Buy Her Flowers

BONUS! Steph Douglas of Don’t Buy Her Flowers

April 7, 2021

Steph Douglas is a businesswoman, mother of three, wife of Doug, and founder of the thoughtful gift company she started after realising that sometimes - when we’re in need of a pick me up - we might not want another thing we have to look after.

 

Steph has a dedicated Instagram following thanks to hilarious and occasionally heart-breaking posts about family life, her husband’s cancer treatment and the strains of running a business.  She’s a fellow firm believer that being more honest and vulnerable makes things better for everyone and says: ‘As hard and lonely as it has been at times, I’ve slowly realised there’s nothing unique about my experience. It only takes a few random conversations … and you quickly find that most of us feel the same.’

 

In this episode, Steph and Helen talk about:

  • Cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • So called body positivity movement and eating disorders
  • The three day cycle
  • Cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Parenthood
  • Work stress and burnout
  • The struggle to look after our mental health
  • Redirecting our wasted capacity

 

Trigger: eating disorders, cancer

Find out more about Steph on her blog Sisterhood (And All That) at Don’t Buy Her Flowers or follow Steph on Instagram @steph_dontbuyherflowers

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

 

#7 Yomi Adegoke

#7 Yomi Adegoke

March 31, 2021

Yomi Adegoke is an award-winning journalist; columnist for Vogue and The Guardian; and bestselling author of Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible - written with her best friend, Elizabeth Uviebinené, based on interviews with 39 successful Black British women, packed full of data, advice and inspiration.

In 2020 Yomi and Elizabeth published Loud Black Girls - an anthology of Black British writing. As someone who has consistently written about race and racism, Yomi is a guiding voice for many young Black women. She’s also a source of inspiration, clarity and integrity for everyone else.

In this episode, Yomi talks to Helen about:

  • Painting, hobbies and culture as cure
  • How being sad and expressing grief can be political
  • Racism, injustice and why diversity within diversity matters
  • The perils of performing our emotions online
  • Homesickness, class and family ties
  • Experiencing depression and advice to her younger self

 

Find out more about Slay In Your Lane at www.slayinyourlane.com and follow Yomi on Twitter @yomiadegoke, on Instagram @yomi.adegoke or on Facebook @YomiAdegokeWriter 


Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

#6 Helen Thorn

#6 Helen Thorn

March 24, 2021

Helen Thorn is an award winning stand-up comedian, writer and podcaster – one-half of comedy double act Scummy Mummies and co-host of the UK’s number one parenting podcast as well as the body positivity podcast, Fat Lot Of Good.

 

Here, Helen talks about her marriage ending in lockdown, the shock of the loss, the fallout and its impact on her family. This is a surprisingly upbeat episode and I promise you, it’s impossible not to feel better after talking to Helen.

 

In this episode, the Helens chat about:

  • Going through a divorce
  • Reimagining your future
  • What helps
  • …what doesn’t
  • How to be sad, when you’re usually ‘the happy person’
  • In defence of humour as a defence mechanism
  • Why Helen would much rather make 10 lasagnes than receive one
  • The power of Tina Arena’s “Chains” as a sad-soundtrack
  • …and the wisdom of Unikitty

 

(Sidebar: Helen R misquotes Nora Ephron at one point – for which she apologises profusely. OF COURSE, Queen Nora ACTUALLY wrote ‘everything is copy’ not ‘content’. Helen R has clearly been on social media too much this week…)

 

Follow Helen Thorn on Instagram @helenwearsasize18. Find out more about the Scummy Mummies at www.scummymummies.com and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @scummymummies or Facebook @scummymummiespodcast

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

#5 Cathy Rentzenbrink

#5 Cathy Rentzenbrink

March 17, 2021

Cathy Rentzenbrink is a bestselling author, former editor at The Bookseller magazine and head of Quick Reads – short books to encourage adults who may not be readers. Because as Cathy believes: ‘After the wheel, the book must be one of the great inventions' since books are ‘a life raft’ - something Cathy has needed, more than once.

 

When she was 17, her younger brother was hit by a car. After the accident, he was in a so-called permanent vegetative state and the family had to endure eight years before they could have a funeral and fully grieve.

 

In this episode, Cathy talks to Helen about:

  • Growing up with grief
  • Sibling survivors
  • The experience of panic attacks, anxiety and depression
  • How therapy and EMDR can help
  • Divorce and doing things differently in relationships
  • Parenting and how to do it (neither of us have quite figured this out yet)
  • Keeping going
  • Practical advice for sad times
  • …and ways to make life meaningful.

 

Trigger: bereavement, assisted dying

 

Find out more about Cathy’s work at https://cathyreadsbooks.com/ and follow Cathy on Twitter and Instagram @CatRentzenbrink or Facebook. Cathy’s debut novel, Everyone Is Still Alive, is out in July.

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

 

#4 Mo Gawdat

#4 Mo Gawdat

March 10, 2021

Mo Gawdat of Solve For Happy is a tech entrepreneur, engineer, and former chief business officer for Google X - the “moonshot” factory tackling the world’s toughest problems in innovative ways.

 

Mo reached a place early in life where he was extremely successful, yet deeply unhappy. He set about solving this, developing an equation for happiness. But this was put to the ultimate test in 2014 when Mo’s beloved son Ali died unexpectedly. During the grief that followed, Mo channelled his heartbreak in an unlikely way – by writing about his happy-algorithm.

 

Here, Mo talks to Helen about:

 

  • How an algorithm for happiness helped him handle his sadness
  • Why being happy doesn’t mean never experiencing pain – and loss is part of life
  • Differentiating between ‘sadness’ and ‘unhappiness’
  • The usefulness of fear and loneliness
  • How everything is good and bad
  • What other cultures can teach us about sadness
  • The link between technology and unhappiness
  • The power of unconditional love
  • …and why ‘life is a game – we just have to play it’.

 

Trigger: bereavement

 

(Sidebar: if it sounds as though Helen’s choking up at one point, that’s because she is. Speaking to Mo can do that, in a good way. Goal for 2021: make it through a chat with Mo without welling up…)

Find out more about Mo’s equation for happiness and follow Mo on Twitter , Instagram and YouTube.

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

BONUS! How to be Sad audiobook extract

BONUS! How to be Sad audiobook extract

March 4, 2021

Today is publication day for Helen’s new book How to be Sad. As a special thank you to listeners of the podcast we are delighted to share this exclusive extract from the audiobook. We will be back with a new episode of How to Be Sad with Helen Russell next week.

 

We live in an age when reality TV shows climax in a tearful finale. But feeling sad – genuinely sad – is still taboo. Yet, sadness happens to us all, sometimes in heartbreakingly awful ways. If we don’t know how to be sad, it can be isolating for those experiencing it and baffling for those trying to help others through dark times.

Today, most of us know intellectually that ‘sad’ is normal. But we’re not always brilliant at allowing for it, in practice. Sadness is going to happen, so we might as well know how to ‘do it’ right. And it’s time to start facing our problems and talking about them. Positive psychology may have become more accepted in mainstream culture, but rates of depression have continued to rise.

We’re trying so hard to be happy. But studies show that we could all benefit from learning the art of sadness and how to handle it, well.

We cannot avoid sadness so we might as well learn to handle it. Helen Russell, while researching  two previous books on happiness,  found that today most of us are terrified of sadness. Many of us are so phobic to averse to negative emotions that we don’t recognise them.

 

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

#3 Hollie McNish

#3 Hollie McNish

March 3, 2021

Hollie McNish is a poet, writer and Ted Hughes Award-winning author of Nobody Told Me – a collection of poems and stories about raising a child in modern Britain..

 

Hollie writes with raw honesty, warmth and humour, but as well as great critical and mainstream success, she’s also had her fair share of setbacks and her work articulates perfectly the ‘everyday sadness’ that we all experience.

 

In this episode, Hollie and Helen chat:

  • Motherhood myths
  • The commercialisation of parenthood
  • The frustrations of modern life
  • Guilt
  • Class and snobbery
  • Online abuse
  • Not belittling our sadness
  • The unexpected freedoms of being a single parent
  • Sting’s next project…
  • …and reframing selfies as ‘the oil paintings of the Tinder age’

 

Trigger: suicide

 

Find out more about Hollie’s work here  and follow Hollie on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube @holliepoetry

 

Hollie’s next collection of poetry, Slug, is out in May.

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones or Amazon. 

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

#2 Meik Wiking

#2 Meik Wiking

February 24, 2021

Meik Wiking is a Danish happiness researcher, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, and author of the bestselling Little Book of Hygge.

 

Meik is committed to researching into how more of us can get happier, but in doing so, he’s also studied what doesn’t make us happier. His latest report studied the impact of the coronavirus on wellbeing and - spoiler alert – it isn’t great. Here, he talks about his experiences of loss and sadness – both personally and professionally.

 

In this episode, Meik talks to Helen about:

  • The loss of his mum at an early age
  • Why sadness matters
  • The dark side of happiness
  • Comparison anxiety and inequality
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Professional setbacks
  • Living with less
  • Acts of service and the importance of feeling ‘useful’
  • How to keep on an even keel
  • Finding joy in difficult times

 

Trigger: suicide, bereavement

 

Find out more about Meik at https://www.meikwiking.com/ and follow Meik on Twitter and Instagram @MeikWiking or Facebook @meikwiking1

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones  or Amazon 

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

#1 Ella Mills

#1 Ella Mills

February 16, 2021

Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella is a champion of plant-based living, an award-winning author, and an adept businesswoman.

Here, Ella also opens up about her lows and feeling vulnerable at times - not least where it all began with a debilitating condition that started her quest for change.

In this episode, Ella talks to Helen about:

  • Loss
  • Regret
  • Chronic illness
  • Depression
  • Trolling and online abuse
  • Feelings of rejection and how we gravitate towards negative feedback
  • Having a high profile and the challenges that come with it
  • Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable
  • The importance of ‘acceptance’
  • And how ‘everything passes...even when it feels insurmountable’

 

Trigger: depression

 

Find out more about Deliciously Ella https://deliciouslyella.com/ and follow Ella on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @DeliciouslyElla

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell


Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones  or Amazon 

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

Thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App