How To Be Sad with Helen Russell
#5 Cathy Rentzenbrink

#5 Cathy Rentzenbrink

March 17, 2021

Cathy Rentzenbrink is a bestselling author, former editor at The Bookseller magazine and head of Quick Reads – short books to encourage adults who may not be readers. Because as Cathy believes: ‘After the wheel, the book must be one of the great inventions' since books are ‘a life raft’ - something Cathy has needed, more than once.

 

When she was 17, her younger brother was hit by a car. After the accident, he was in a so-called permanent vegetative state and the family had to endure eight years before they could have a funeral and fully grieve.

 

In this episode, Cathy talks to Helen about:

  • Growing up with grief
  • Sibling survivors
  • The experience of panic attacks, anxiety and depression
  • How therapy and EMDR can help
  • Divorce and doing things differently in relationships
  • Parenting and how to do it (neither of us have quite figured this out yet)
  • Keeping going
  • Practical advice for sad times
  • …and ways to make life meaningful.

 

Trigger: bereavement, assisted dying

 

Find out more about Cathy’s work at https://cathyreadsbooks.com/ and follow Cathy on Twitter and Instagram @CatRentzenbrink or Facebook. Cathy’s debut novel, Everyone Is Still Alive, is out in July.

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

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

 

#4 Mo Gawdat

#4 Mo Gawdat

March 10, 2021

Mo Gawdat of Solve For Happy is a tech entrepreneur, engineer, and former chief business officer for Google X - the “moonshot” factory tackling the world’s toughest problems in innovative ways.

 

Mo reached a place early in life where he was extremely successful, yet deeply unhappy. He set about solving this, developing an equation for happiness. But this was put to the ultimate test in 2014 when Mo’s beloved son Ali died unexpectedly. During the grief that followed, Mo channelled his heartbreak in an unlikely way – by writing about his happy-algorithm.

 

Here, Mo talks to Helen about:

 

  • How an algorithm for happiness helped him handle his sadness
  • Why being happy doesn’t mean never experiencing pain – and loss is part of life
  • Differentiating between ‘sadness’ and ‘unhappiness’
  • The usefulness of fear and loneliness
  • How everything is good and bad
  • What other cultures can teach us about sadness
  • The link between technology and unhappiness
  • The power of unconditional love
  • …and why ‘life is a game – we just have to play it’.

 

Trigger: bereavement

 

(Sidebar: if it sounds as though Helen’s choking up at one point, that’s because she is. Speaking to Mo can do that, in a good way. Goal for 2021: make it through a chat with Mo without welling up…)

Find out more about Mo’s equation for happiness and follow Mo on Twitter , Instagram and YouTube.

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

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

BONUS! How to be Sad audiobook extract

BONUS! How to be Sad audiobook extract

March 4, 2021

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.

 

Follow Helen on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @MsHelenRussell

Read more about Helen’s new book, How To Be Sad at Waterstones, Amazon or Apple.

Get in touch with the show at howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

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

#3 Hollie McNish

#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 howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

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

#2 Meik Wiking

#2 Meik Wiking

February 24, 2021

Meik Wiking is a Danish happiness researcher, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, and author of the bestselling Little Book of Hygge.

 

Meik is committed to researching into how more of us can get happier, but in doing so, he’s also studied what doesn’t make us happier. His latest report studied the impact of the coronavirus on wellbeing and - spoiler alert – it isn’t great. Here, he talks about his experiences of loss and sadness – both personally and professionally.

 

In this episode, Meik talks to Helen about:

  • The loss of his mum at an early age
  • Why sadness matters
  • The dark side of happiness
  • Comparison anxiety and inequality
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Professional setbacks
  • Living with less
  • Acts of service and the importance of feeling ‘useful’
  • How to keep on an even keel
  • Finding joy in difficult times

 

Trigger: suicide, bereavement

 

Find out more about Meik at https://www.meikwiking.com/ and follow Meik on Twitter and Instagram @MeikWiking or Facebook @meikwiking1

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 howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

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

#1 Ella Mills

#1 Ella Mills

February 16, 2021

Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella is a champion of plant-based living, an award-winning author, and an adept businesswoman.

Here, Ella also opens up about her lows and feeling vulnerable at times - not least where it all began with a debilitating condition that started her quest for change.

In this episode, Ella talks to Helen about:

  • Loss
  • Regret
  • Chronic illness
  • Depression
  • Trolling and online abuse
  • Feelings of rejection and how we gravitate towards negative feedback
  • Having a high profile and the challenges that come with it
  • Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable
  • The importance of ‘acceptance’
  • And how ‘everything passes...even when it feels insurmountable’

 

Trigger: depression

 

Find out more about Deliciously Ella https://deliciouslyella.com/ and follow Ella on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @DeliciouslyElla

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 howtobesadpodcast@gmail.com

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

Trailer

Trailer

January 26, 2021

Why do we cry? How come love hurts? And what’s a happiness researcher doing talking about sadness, anyway?

Helen Russell is a journalist and happiness researcher and How to be Sad is a new podcast  based on her book of the same name - exploring why we get sad, what to do when we’re sad, and how we can all get happier by learning to be sad, better. Because let’s be honest – we are in unprecedented times. None of us are where we thought we’d be this time last year and we’re all struggling. We’re having to get better at having difficult conversations and finding ways of handling our sadness.

Join Helen as she talks to some high profile people from all walks of life who have done just that. Each week, special guests share their own experiences of everything from heartache to burnout, anxiety to addiction, the differences between sadness and depression - and how they cope.

Find out more @MsHelenRussell #HowToBeSad and pre order How To Be Sad at https://harpercollins.co.uk/products/how-to-be-sad-everything-ive-learned-about-getting-happier-by-being-sad-better-helen-russell?variant=32618500653134

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