How To Be Sad with Helen Russell

Season 3 #3 Ingrid Fetell Lee

September 29, 2021

Many of us these days are getting the memo that a meaningful, fulfilled life comes only from letting go of our attachments to worldly things, but my guest today has other ideas. Ingrid Fetell Lee is a designer and writer whose spent ten years studying the relationship between design and joy. The author of Joyful, and the blog, Aesthetics of Joy, Ingrid argues that a few moments of joy can lift us and help us to be sad, well. She says: “I don’t need to be happy to feel joy…I don’t have to worry about making everything awesome in my life.”


Here, we talk about out:

  • how many of us find joy in the material world
  • why colour, bubbles and tree houses matter
  • risk and the vulnerability in pursuing joy
  • how many of the aesthetics of joy have been traditionally viewed as ‘feminine’ – which does all of us a disservice
  • diversity in aesthetics

Find out more about Ingrid at, follow her @ingridfetell on Twitter or @ingridfetell on Instagram

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad (Waterstones , Amazon UK or anywhere you like to buy books)

Get in touch with the show at

And as ever, BIG thanks to Joel Grove for production and to Matt Clacher at HarperCollins for making this podcast happen.


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