June 29, 2022
Sadness happens to all of us, but in much of the world we don’t know how to handle it. Let alone talk about it. Having spent 10 years researching into happiness worldwide as a journalist and author, I began to notice that many of the people I met were so obsessed with the pursuit of happiness that they were phobic of feeling sad. As was I.
So why are we so bad at ‘sad’?
How is there still shame around expressing vulnerability?
And are there some any ‘good’ things about being sad?
I couldn’t find anywhere people were having these kinds of conversations - so I started my own.
Each episode, I’m joined by a special guest sharing their own experiences of how to be sad, well with insightful and surprisingly uplifting stories of lives lived. Here are some of the highlights so far, ahead of series five, launching next week:
- From S3E8 with Kate Bowler, NYT bestselling author and Duke history professor on being diagnosed with colon cancer at just 35 years old, navigating life with the knowledge it could end any moment, ‘emotional tourism’, bucket lists and why Kate won’t be making one. TW: cancer
- From S1E7 with Yomi Adegoke, award-winning journalist and bestselling co-author of Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible on how being sad and expressing grief can be political and the perils of performing our emotions online.
- From S4E1 with Emily Dean, author of Everyone Died So I Got A Dog, radio presenter and podcaster on family roles and the different pressures these bring.
- From S4E2 where bestselling author Mitch Albom shares a little known story about how the bestseller Tuesdays With Morrie came about.
- From S3E5 with Dr Julie Smith, clinical psychologist and former NHS turned TikTok star and author of Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? on what happens when we push emotions away, how the stakes get higher the longer we stay in ‘the trap’, and what we should be doing instead.
- From S2E5 with Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women, the global support network for childless women on unhelpful cultural ideas around not having children, disenfranchised grief and how to heal it. TW: grief, childlessness not by choice, IVF
- From S4E1 with Emily Dean, on how to support someone who’s grieving. TW: sibling bereavement
- From S1E4 with Mo Gawdat, Solve For Happy author, tech entrepreneur and former chief business officer for Google X on how life is like a video game (and this is A Good Thing). TW: losing a child
- From S4E2 Mitch Albom on the pain of losing his daughter and the impact this had on his marriage. Plus why happiness isn’t a guarantee: it’s a gift that can help us to be sad, better. TW: losing a child
You can find all the books we talk about on the How To Be Sad podcast recommends page at Bookshop.org where you can also find the book, How To Be Sad, now in paperback.
Keep in touch @MsHelenRussell and subscribe to join us next time. Because remember: we’re all in this together.