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How to Be Sad: Everything I've Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad

How to Be Sad: Everything I've Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad

by Helen Russell
How to Be Sad: Everything I've Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad

How to Be Sad: Everything I've Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad

by Helen Russell


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"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. 

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063115354
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/05/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,026,280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

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. 

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I How to Look After Ourselves When We're Sad

1 Don't Fight It 3

2 Lower Expectations 20

3 Take Time. Be Kind. 31

4 Avoid Deprivation 49

5 Avoid Excess 60

6 Get Mad 74

Part II How to Talk About Being Sad

7 Shake Off Shame 91

8 Stop Apologizing for Feeling 103

9 The Fallacy of Arrival 111

10 Summit Syndrome 123

11 Get Some Perspective 134

12 Get More Perspective 146

13 The Tipping Point 155

14 Going Pro 166

15 The Buddy System 180

16 Support Network Needed 196

Part III Stuff to Do When You

17 Take Your Culture Vitamins 209

18 Read All About It 218

19 Get Out (& Get Active) 229

20 Get Even, Mind 245

21 Get Even, Body 260

22 Do Something for Someone Else 269

Epilogue 281

Acknowledgments 289

Notes 293

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