How To Be Sad with Helen Russell

Season 2 #5 Jody Day

May 19, 2021

Jody Day is the founder of Gateway Women, the global support network for childless women - now celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Jody is also a psychotherapist and author of Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children - the book The British Medical Journal now recommend to patients coming to terms with unavoidable childlessness.  Jody says of childlessness: ‘in no way do I wish to diminish the heartbreak you might be feeling right now - I’ve been there; it’s the darkest place I’ve ever been. You never ‘get over’ childlessness, it’s not the flu, but it is possible to heal around it.’

Here, Jody and Helen talk about:

-        Jody’s journey

-        How IVF isn’t a magic bullet

-        PTSD and fertility treatment

-        Childless or child free - how the terms aren’t interchangeable

-        Unhelpful cultural ideas around not having children

-        Painful things people say

-        …and what to say back (‘I’m not ‘childless Google’!’)

-        ‘Pronatalism’ and how it does all women a disservice

-        Disenfranchised grief and how to heal it

-        Finding a new purpose – a ‘good’ plan B

Triggers include childlessness not by choice, infertility, IVF, abortion.

It’s a very powerful episode where we talk about a lot of extremely painful things (there are tears). It’s difficult but important and that’s what learning how to be sad is all about – so I hope you’ll join us on this one and do get in touch at if you would like to discuss further or visit

Follow Jody @gatewaywomen on Twitter and Instagram.

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.

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