Sunday, 5 January 2020

Happy Place podcast by Fearne Cotton - Matt Haig

Since listening to series 6, episode 7 of Elizabeth Day's How to Fail podcast in which she speaks with Fearne Cotton, I began listening to Happy Place, Fearne Cotton's podcast in which she chats "to inspiring individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people every day to find a different way of looking at life."

The people, (mainly celebrities) she interviews range from comedian Dawn French, to five element Acupuncture Master Gerad Kite to classical musician Ludovico Einaudi and heptathlon Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.

I have taken lots from listening to these podcasts, and despite the fact that I lead a completely different life to the people she interviews, the way Fearne talks with her guests makes it easy for them to be genuine and tap into their emotions which then make it easier for me (and other listeners) to relate to and feel a connection with. Fearne's ability to create a true rapport with her guest, whom she may have never met, is the key to their willingness to share. This talent is one that fellow podcaster Elizabeth Day also oozes, and it is because they do so that their interviewees discuss challenging experiences openly, tap into deep emotions and are able to share their vulnerabilities.

The most recent episode that I have listened to features the writer Matt Haig, who at the age of 24 experienced a panic attack that changed his life. He has since written the bestselling book, Reasons To Stay Alive, and discusses with Fearne how writing and talking about his experiences has helped him.

He discusses how he often feels like a fraud because he still experiences anxiety. When readers contact him to say how helpful his book has been to them, he feels he should be able to have used it to 'cure' him of his anxieties. 

The way he deals with this is to be accepting of himself.

He notes how we often talk about battling 
fighting and struggling with our mental health, but recognises that it is more useful if we talk about accepting and understanding our mental health.

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