How To Be Sad with Helen Russell

Season 2 #9 Rebecca Schiller

June 16, 2021

Writer and campaigner Rebecca Schiller moved her family to a rural smallholding in the hope of a simpler life. But she soon found that life wasn’t any simpler and was a damn sight harder in many ways. She has written movingly about how we can never escape ourselves – no matter how much we try – as well as her experiences with depression, anxiety, and living with undiagnosed ADHD until recently.

Rebecca says now: ‘everyone – including me – wants neat and happy endings to stories of chasing a dream. Society encourages us to believe that we are one thing or the other: happy or sad, good or bad, right or wrong; that we must pick an angle’. But we’re all beginning to understand that life is a little more complicated than that - and as Rebecca has also written: ‘nature is not a simple fix’.


Here, we talk about:

  • Neurodiversity and how it’s misunderstood
  • The positive aspects of having a ‘different’ brain
  • How at our lowest ebb, something profound shifts
  • Rejection and learning to understand it
  • Parenting and the importance of risk
  • Being kinder to ourselves. Starting now…

Follow Rebecca @schillerrrrr on Twitter and @rebecca.schiller on Instagram and check out Earthed via (where you can also find How To Be Sad, the book, plus a host of other podcast guest book recommendations!)

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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