How to be Sad with Helen Russell

We think a lot about being happy and ways to achieve lasting happiness. In fact, research has found that we often see sadness as a weakness and that many of us are, in a way, afraid to be sad. But Helen Russell, author of How to Be Sad: Everything I’ve Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad, sees value in sadness. Helen has researched sadness from the inside out for her entire life, discovering that the key to happiness is unhappiness.

Turns out that when we allow ourselves to experience pain, we learn to truly appreciate and embrace joy. Drawing upon her own life experience, as well as the latest research on sadness—from psychologists, geneticists, neuroscientists and historians—Helen explores why we get sad, what makes us feel this way, and how to move through sadness in a healthy way. With Helen’s guidance, we can learn to better look after ourselves and each other, simply by getting smarter about sadness.

In our conversation this week we talk about:

  • What we can learn from our sadness and how it can serve us;
  • How to take better care of ourselves when we’re sad;
  • Why we feel shame about sadness;
  • How to be with others’ sadness;
  • How to make space for sadness.

You can listen to our conversation wherever you stream podcasts (Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio) or listen here:



Helen Russell is a bestselling author, journalist and speaker. Her first book, The Year of Living Danishly, became an international bestseller and has been optioned for television. She is the author of four other critically acclaimed books, translated into 21 languages. Helen also writes for magazines and newspapers globally, including The Times and The Sunday Times, the Telegraph, the Independent, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, the Observer, Metro, Grazia, Stylist and Stella. She’s spent the last eight years studying cultural approaches to emotions and now speaks about her work internationally. Learn more at helenrussell.co.uk.



Kristen Manieri is certified as both a habits coach and a mindfulness teacher. Her book, Better Daily Mindfulness Habits: Simple Changes with Lifelong Impact, was released summer 2021. She specializes in: stress reduction, energy management, mindset, resilience, habit formation, rest rituals, and self-care. As the host of the weekly 60 Mindful Minutes podcast, an Apple top 100 social science podcast, Kristen has interviewed over 100 authors and thought leaders about what it means to live a more conscious, connected, intentional and joyful life. Learn more at kristenmanieri.com/work-with-me.

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