"In any human life there are going to be periods of unhappiness. That is part of the human experience. Learning how to be sad is a natural first step in how to be happier."—Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute
"How to Be Sad is a poignant, funny, and deeply practical guide to better navigating one of our most misunderstood human emotions. It's a must-read for anyone looking to improve their happiness by befriending the full range of their own feelings." - Laurie Santos, Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Psychology at Yale University and host of The Happiness Lab podcast
An expert on the pursuit of happiness combines her powerful personal story with surprising research and expert advice to reveal the secret of finding joy: allowing sadness to enrich your life and relationships.
Helen Russell has researched sadness from the inside out for her entire life. Her earliest memory is of the day her sister died. Her parents divorced soon after, and her mother didn’t receive the help she needed to grieve. Coping with her own emotional turmoil—including struggles with body image and infertility—she’s endured professional and personal setbacks as well as relationships that have imploded in truly spectacular ways. Even the things that brought her the greatest joy—like eventually becoming a parent—are fraught with challenges.
While devoting a career to writing books on happiness, Helen discovered just how many people are terrified of sadness. But the key to happiness is unhappiness—by allowing ourselves to experience pain, we learn to truly appreciate and embrace joy. How to Be Sad is a memoir about living with sadness, as well as an upbeat manifesto for change that encourages us to accept and express our emotions, both good and bad. Interweaving Helen’s personal testimony with the latest research on sadness—from psychologists, geneticists, neuroscientists and historians—as well as the experiences of writers, comics, athletes and change-makers from around the world, this vital and inspiring guide explores why we get sad, what makes us feel this way, and how it can be a force for good.
Timely and essential, How to Be Sad is about how we can better look after ourselves and each other, simply by getting smarter about sadness.
Helen Russell is the internationally bestselling author of The Year of Living Danishly, which kickstarted the hygge trend. Her signature style which combines intellectual curiosity with witty and heart-warming observation has won her myriad fans round the world.
"In any human life there are going to be periods of unhappiness. That is part of the human experience. Learning how to be sad - is a natural first step in how to be happier." — Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute
"I didn't think I wanted to read this book until I read it. Then I couldn't stop. An absolutely gorgeous and insightful and intelligent and necessary book." — Hollie McNish, poet and author of Nobody Told Me
"This is such an important subject and we would all be better off if we absorbed Helen’s robust research and kind advice and allowed ourselves to be sad." — Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of A Manual for Heartache
"A very persuasive account of how accepting sadness as a key part of our human experience can lead to more fulfilment and ultimately more happiness. Full of moving personal insight and brilliant research. This book reframes feeling sad." — Anna Jones, author of The Modern Cook's Year
"How to Be Sad is a poignant, funny, and deeply practical guide to better navigating one of our most misunderstood human emotions. It's a must-read for anyone looking to improve their happiness by befriend the full range of their own feelings." — Laurie Santos, Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Psychology at Yale University and host of The Happiness Lab podcast
"So brilliantly researched and written with great energy. And boy, did it make me think – I must have turned down 50 pages to come back to later!" — Pandora Skyes, host of The High Low podcast
“Helen brings an entirely unique combination of research, interviews, transparency, and story-telling to every book she writes. Thank you, from all of us.” — Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist
"Helen Russell’s beautiful, thought-provoking book reminds us that sadness isn’t the opposite of happiness. Her deep research and practical advice show us how embracing our sad moments might just be the key to unlocking more joy." — Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful and founder of The Aesthetics of Joy