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Alonement is a podcast about the positive side of spending time alone. When being alone isn't lonely, it's alonement: finding joy and value in solitude. Each week, host Francesca Specter asks a new guest about the time they spend by themselves – and why it matters to them.

Alonement Francesca Specter

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Alonement is a podcast about the positive side of spending time alone. When being alone isn't lonely, it's alonement: finding joy and value in solitude. Each week, host Francesca Specter asks a new guest about the time they spend by themselves – and why it matters to them.

    Sophia Money-Coutts: No One Ever Hashtags 'I Said No'

    Sophia Money-Coutts: No One Ever Hashtags 'I Said No'

    So, you know when you’re *supposed* to be interviewing someone professionally and you end up just chatting away like mates? Such was my experience of interviewing this week’s guest, Sophia Money-Coutts – the former features director at Tatler and now a thrice-published author – resulting in a laughter-filled episode which covers everything from egg freezing; solo travel; Zoom fatigue; and what happens when you become newly-single in your 30s. P.s. Sophia also shared the best (or indeed worst) songs on her break-up soundtrack, including Tracy Chapman’s ‘The Promise’ and Passenger’s ‘Golden Leaves’. Broken hearts, steer clear.  Sophia’s latest novel, The Wish List, is out now, available from Amazon and Waterstones.  Twitter: @ChezSpecter @sophiamcouttsInstagram: @alonementofficial @sophiamcoutts

    • 47 Min.
    Jonny Benjamin MBE: What 'You Are Not Alone' really means

    Jonny Benjamin MBE: What 'You Are Not Alone' really means

    Introducing my joint first guest of season two, mental health activist Jonny Benjamin MBE! I laughed and I cried in equal measure while producing this episode, which has themes ranging from Jonny’s mental health journey; his experience of growing up gay in the Jewish community; and the perils of hiding your phone from yourself when you live alone. Jonny was SO funny and easy to talk to – qualities that make him ever the more inspiring in the wake of what he’s been through. In 2008, Jonny stood on the edge of Waterloo Bridge ready to take his own life – but was saved thanks to a chance intervention from a stranger. Since then, Jonny has dedicated his life to raising awareness surrounding mental illness and suicide. Even the Duke of Cambridge is a fan, providing the foreword to Jonny’s book, The Stranger on the Bridge. Jonny Benjamin’s book, The Stranger on the Bridge, is available from Amazon and Waterstones. If you enjoyed this episode – I’d LOVE it if you could leave a written review. It’s the absolute best way to help others discover the show.Twitter: @ChezSpecter @mrjonnybenjamin Instagram: @alonementofficial

    • 1 Std. 1 Min.
    Florence Given: The Cake & Crumbs Relationship Theory

    Florence Given: The Cake & Crumbs Relationship Theory

    Florence Given is an illustrator, Instagram sensation and now a debut author, with the release of her bestselling book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty. It’s not hard to understand why she was voted Cosmopolitan’s Influencer of the Year ‘19. Famous for slogans such as ‘Dump Him’ and ‘Don’t Raise Him He’s Not Your Son’, Florence is an intelligent and refreshingly original feminist voice. While speaking to Florence, I couldn’t help thinking – how is someone so wise at just 21? But then, why should there be a minimum age to learning these things? In this podcast episode, Florence doles out the sage advice many women wish they had as a teenager. She also introduced me to the cake and crumbs theory – to work on fulfilling your own needs – or 'bake your own cake' so you don't feel hungry enough to accept 'crumbs' of attention (like Instagram 'likes') from other people. Game-changer.Florence Given’s debut non-fiction title is available now from Amazon, Waterstones and all good booksellers.Twitter: @ChezSpecterInstagram: @alonementofficial @florencegiven

    • 44 Min.
    Daisy Buchanan

    Daisy Buchanan

    It’s the SEASON FINALE! Meeting Daisy Buchanan earlier this year for this recording felt strangely familiar. I’ve been reading Daisy’s wonderful words for years, and when she arrived at my flat it felt like she had leapt straight out of the page: thoughtful, funny and with superhuman levels of emotional intelligence. In this episode – the season finale for first ever Alonement series – we discuss everything from the trap of people pleasing to the difference between a drain and a radiator (don’t know what I’m talking about? Keep listening!). We also reflect on Daisy’s happiest solo memories, and how she’s used the love languages theory to help connect with her husband Dale (forgive the part where we BOTH draw a blank over naming the fifth love language – which is, of course, quality time!). Below, I’ve listed the wonderful cultural references peppered through this interview by Daisy. I’d like to thank each and every one of you lovely listeners for tuning in to the podcast. I can’t thank you enough for your support and kind words over the last couple of months – I can’t wait to share the second series with you all! In the mean time, if you’d like to leave an Apple Podcasts review to let me know what you thought that would be appreciated so much. Bye for now – and see you all on the other side. Stay healthy and happy! Book: The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman [For reference: touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts and quality time] Quote: ‘I’ve learned to talk to myself instead of listen to myself.’ - Dr James Gills Podcast: The Life Coach School podcast - Brooke Castillo Social media: Twitter: @ChezSpecter @NotRollerGirl Instagram: @ChezSpecter @alonementofficial @thedaisybee Get in touch: press@alonement.com

    • 46 Min.
    Alexandra Shulman

    Alexandra Shulman

    One of the great perks of recording this podcast is the chance to chat to some of my career idols. This week’s guest, former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, is not only someone I’ve looked up to for years, but also my former boss. I began my career as a Vogue intern – where I picked up many of the skills that have seen me through my journalistic jobs, and got to see Alexandra – the longest-standing editor in Vogue’s history – in action.In this episode, Alexandra reveals how her natural independence of thought and unflappability helped her succeed as a leader – ‘I’ve always had opinions’. She also shares honest anecdotes from her time at the magazine’s helm, including the time she got tongue-tied while sitting opposite Benedict Cumberbatch on a plane. It’s an anecdote about as far from The Devil Wears Prada – a film based on her US counterpart – as you can get.We discuss everything from the myth of ‘having it all’ and single parenting to the role clothing plays in influencing your sense of self – a key topic at the heart of Alexandra’s latest book, ‘Clothes… and Other Things That Matter’ – available now on Amazon..Instagram: @chezspecter @alonementofficial @alexandrashulmanTwitter: @chezspecter @AShulman2

    • 35 Min.
    COVID-19 special: Dr Michelle Dickinson aka Nanogirl

    COVID-19 special: Dr Michelle Dickinson aka Nanogirl

    It’s official: scientists are the new celebrities – which is why I’m so delighted to have one as my remote guest for the second special COVID-19 episode of the Alonement podcast. British-born nanotechnologist Dr Michelle Dickinson, a long-term friend to Jacinda Ardern, has been working with New Zealand’s Prime Minister to help communicate the science behind COVID-19 to the public. Day to day, Michelle runs Nanogirl’s Lab – under her alter-ego of Nanogirl – to teach children STEM skills. Self-identifying as ‘a weird socially-awkward introvert’, Michelle has nevertheless established herself as a household name and shared with me how she has harnessed her quiet superpowers in order to effectively communicate the science behind the COVID-19 virus to the public. Michelle is also, believe it or not, loving lockdown: an opinion that has been whispered by some introverts over the past few weeks. Despite this – she also speaks about the huge toll that the health crisis is taking on the public’s mental health, and why it’s important to her to communicate the psychological toll on those feeling scared and alone at this time. Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or you haven’t made your mind up yet, I hope you find our conversation just as fascinating and eye-opening as I did. Did you enjoy this episode? Let me know what you think with a written review on Apple Podcasts. You can also get in touch on press@alonement.com. Twitter: @ChezSpecter @medickinsonInstagram: @ChezSpecter @alonementofficial @medickinson

    • 41 Min.

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