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.