How To Be Sad with Helen Russell

#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

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

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