39 episodes

Welcome to The Merry Menopause Bookclub podcast, I'm your host, Jo Fuller ACTP Accredited Coach specialising in Menopause. I created this podcast to explore the many facets of Menopause through literature and conversation.Each episode, I'll be discussing a book that resonates with our midlife experience, delving into the physical, emotional and social aspects of this stage of life. I'll be joined by a variety of authors who will share their personal stories and expert advice.. Whether you're just starting to experience Perimenopause or a few years into your Menopause journey, tune in for supportive and enlightening conversation. My goal is to make Menopause a little less miserable and a lot more Merry.So let's discover new perspectives and insights, find laughter and empathy, and gain a better understanding of our Menopause journey together. Jo

The Merry Menopause Bookclub Jo Fuller

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 35 Ratings

Welcome to The Merry Menopause Bookclub podcast, I'm your host, Jo Fuller ACTP Accredited Coach specialising in Menopause. I created this podcast to explore the many facets of Menopause through literature and conversation.Each episode, I'll be discussing a book that resonates with our midlife experience, delving into the physical, emotional and social aspects of this stage of life. I'll be joined by a variety of authors who will share their personal stories and expert advice.. Whether you're just starting to experience Perimenopause or a few years into your Menopause journey, tune in for supportive and enlightening conversation. My goal is to make Menopause a little less miserable and a lot more Merry.So let's discover new perspectives and insights, find laughter and empathy, and gain a better understanding of our Menopause journey together. Jo

    Anya Bergman author of The Witches of Vardø

    Anya Bergman author of The Witches of Vardø

    To kick off the NEW season of The Merry Menopause Bookclub Podcast, I am delighted to have as my guest Anya Bergman author of best selling novel The Witches of Vardø. 
    In this episode, Anya shares her fascination with the real-life story of three women - Ana, Ingeborg, and Maren - who fought for survival during the brutal Witch trials of 1662 on the remote Norwegian island of Vardø.
    Anya's novel is a powerful and poignant blend of historical fact, folktales, and mythology that aims to reclaim the lost voices of the women of Vardø with sensitivity and inspire readers with a fierce sense of "F*** the patriarchy!" 
    She discusses her research process, which involved living in Norway and studying the records of the Finmark Witch trials of 1662/1663 to gain a deeper understanding of what happened on Vardø at that time.
    Anya sheds light on the tensions in Norway and Denmark with much of the blame falling on the devil and his Witches for the economic situation and an explanation for violent and misogynistic behaviour. And we discuss how the cruelty towards 'Witches' came from the genuine belief and fear of the masses in the devil and Witches. How they were seen as agents of terror that needed to be eradicated.
    Anya also explains the link between Scotland and Norway - King James VI of Scotland and Christian IV of Denmark were brothers-in-law - which resulted in Scotland ‘exporting’ Witch hunts to Denmark. Such was the brutality of the torture of women it led them to denounce each other to escape incarceration, unbearable pain and if they survived, being burnt alive. 
    Anya challenges the Menopausal stereotype in her depiction of the fascinating Ana Rhodius. A complex and multifaceted character, Love her or hate her, you as the reader get to decide. 
    Finally, Anya tells us about the remarkable memorial to the Witches built and funded by the Norwegian state on the execution site in Vardø. This episode is thought-provoking, offering insight into a dark chapter of history and the importance of reclaiming the voices of innocent women.

    Anya’s book choice
    Devotion by Hannah Kent 
    You can find out more about Anya Bergman here
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    • 37 min
    Fran Littlewood author of Amazing Grace Adams

    Fran Littlewood author of Amazing Grace Adams

    My guest today is Fran Littlewood author of the best-selling novel Amazing Grace Adams. A story of the rollercoaster ride of Perimenopause which explores love, loss, motherhood, female rage, shame, self-blame, and the societal pressure of perfection.

    Join myself and Fran, a former Times Journalist and mother of three teenage daughters as we discuss: 


    The plot of Amazing Grace Adams and how it relates to the experiences of women who feel overwhelmed by their many roles and responsibilities. Fran shares her personal experience with perimenopause, including the "terrible itch" and the importance of advocating for oneself in medical settings.The clash of teenage and midlife hormones and the impossible standards women are expected to uphold. Fran talks about the almost "comedic clash" of these two hormonal stages and the societal pressure to be perfect.The grief and past trauma that can surface during perimenopause.The struggles of parenting a teenager caught between childhood and adulthood. Fran talks about the challenges of navigating this no man's land when your child suddenly becomes a stranger.Losing control or taking control? The differences in expectations for men and women and the legacy of our mothers.
    Fran’s book choice is Wandering Souls by Cecil Pin which has been shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2023.

    Want more Fran? You can follow her on Twitter

    If you enjoy this episode please like and subscribe to the podcast and leave a review, it really does make a difference and helps other listeners to find me. Thank you, Jo.
    Support the showLearn more about me and my work at www.themerrymenopause.com

    Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN

    Join my private Facebook group

    • 34 min
    Matt and Sarah Davies authors of You, Me and the Space Between Us

    Matt and Sarah Davies authors of You, Me and the Space Between Us

    My guests for this episode are the authors of You Me and The Space Between Us, married couple Matt and Sarah Davies .
    Matt is a marriage counsellor and psychosexual and relationship therapist, and Sarah is a movement and somatic coach.  
    Combing both their areas of expertise, You, Me and The Space Between Us is a blend of personal narrative and expert advice, written with empathy and warmth. It is a book for anyone who is struggling with their relationship. I LOVED IT and would highly recommend whatever your relationship status, I guarantee you will learn something to make your relationships better. 
    Join us as we discuss:
    What is 'the space between us' and how working with it can improve our relationshipsHow the space between us, is about the ‘us’ not the ‘you or me’Why relationships are difficultVulnerability in relationshipsWhen to ask ‘what does the relationship need” rather than what do I need?How we can lose sight of ‘we’How to stop an argument - play the game of ’switching sides’How to avoid your relationship becoming boring and sexlessWhy people have affairs and the role of the patriarchyHow to sustain a relationship after the honeymoon periodHow it’s possible to have both freedom and longevity in a relationshipSimplifying attachment styles - The Octopus and The TurtleWhy good conflict is vital for a long-lasting relationshipStop looking for perfection - embrace the 80/20 rule Desire and sex in midlifeAre you a couple who has sex or a sexy couple?Matt and Sarah’s book choice - Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski
    If you enjoy this episode please like and subscribe to the podcast and leave a review, it really does make a difference and helps other listeners to find me. Thank you, Jo.
    Support the showLearn more about me and my work at www.themerrymenopause.com

    Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN

    Join my private Facebook group

    • 40 min
    Mel Schilling author of The C* Word (Confidence)

    Mel Schilling author of The C* Word (Confidence)

    I am joined for this episode by the fabulous Mel Schilling. Human behaviour and performance specialist and Married at First Sight relationship expert Mel Schilling talks to me about her new book The C* Word.
    Mel draws on her 20-year background in psychology, with this empowering and practical guide to making friends with our fear, tackling imposter syndrome and building the skills of confidence to enhance every aspect of our lives. 
    Join us as we delve into:-
    How can we rebuild our confidence in midlife. Brain fog and hot flushes - two of the biggest reasons that so many of us lose our confidence. Mel openly shares her experience of both of these whilst filming live TV. How humour can be a great asset in re-building confidence Mel opens up about her own journey with brain fog and her decision to start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage it.We discuss coaching techniques that can help overcome brain fog, anxiety, and hot flushes, particularly when dealing with presentations or public speaking.We explore self-worth in midlife and the feeling of invisibility that many of us experience during this phase of life. Addressing negative self-talk and techniques to re-wire our brains and be kinder to ourselves. Mel reveals how our body has an identical response to "I am scared" to "I am excited" and how to recognise these feelings and make them work to our advantage. Midlife dating advice from the expert! Mel gives me her expert advice on navigating midlife dating - which apps to use, getting clear on dating goals, recognising 'red flags', and the difference between 'deal breakers' for a relationship vs personal preferences. Are you dating un-cooked men too?!Mel shares her own experience of online dating, where she met her husband. Mel’s Book recommendation - Great Sex Starts at 50 by Tracey Cox. 
    Follow Mel on Instagram


    Support the showLearn more about me and my work at www.themerrymenopause.com

    Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN

    Join my private Facebook group

    • 37 min
    Kate Baily author of Love Your Sober Year

    Kate Baily author of Love Your Sober Year

    For this episode I am joined by Kate Baily co-founder of the Love Sober platform and author of 'Love Your Sober Year.' 

    Kate coaches women to feel empowered by their choice to stop drinking alcohol, harnessing their decision to go sober and pivot from surviving to thriving in all areas of their lives using a holistic approach to growth, mindset and wellbeing.

    Join Kate and me as we talk about both of our sober journeys during Perimenopause including:-


    Perimenopause and alcohol.The important distinction between 'what looks normal' socially vs 'what feels normal' to us. Alcohol and motherhood.Alcohol as a coping tool.The mental impact of alcohol.How we build better lives and get rid of alcohol if it’s costing us more than money.Why  we need to be asking ourselves better questions so we can meet our own needs. The comparison between alcohol today and valium in the 60s.The stigmatism around women and alcohol, but not so much men and alcohol.JudgementThe marketing behind alcohol, it’s not a coincidence, that next to the back-to-school promotion there will be a wine promotion. Calling out social BS -  to access our personal power, we need to call out the cultural narratives around us.Calling out brain fog! If you are struggling with alcohol you are not alone 25 billion people are also struggling with alcohol. What is sober curious?How the language around alcohol and addiction has changedGetting in touch with our values is the groundwork for a different relationship with alcohol.Kate’s book choice  - If Women Rose Rooted, by Sharon Blackie

    You can find out more about Kate here
    Support the showLearn more about me and my work at www.themerrymenopause.com

    Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN

    Join my private Facebook group

    • 35 min
    Kim Vopni author of Your Pelvic Floor

    Kim Vopni author of Your Pelvic Floor

    My guest for the final episode of S7 of the podcast is Kim Vopni aka @thevaginacoach. Kim is a speaker, women’s health educator, coach and Menopause support practitioner. She is also the author of the bestselling book Your Pelvic Floor which was The Merry Menopause Bookclub pick in February. 
    Menopause can bring several changes to the body, including pelvic health issues. Join us as we discuss:-
    The Importance of Pelvic Floor Health: Kim emphasises the importance of pelvic floor health and how it's often overlooked until something goes wrong. She encourages women to take a proactive approach to their pelvic health by seeking education and treatment early on.Signs of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Kim explains common signs of pelvic floor dysfunction, including incontinence, prolapse, and pain. She stresses that these issues are treatable and encourages women to seek help from a pelvic floor physiotherapist.The Link between Pelvic Health and Back Pain: Kim shares that 95% of women with lower back pain have a pelvic floor issue. She also shares her mother's journey with pelvic floor issues and how working with a physiotherapist at age 77 avoided surgery.Strategies for Proactive Pelvic Health: Kim suggests three strategies for proactive pelvic health during menopause: seeking treatment from a pelvic floor physiotherapist, doing pelvic floor exercises, and training the pelvic floor to respond to movement rather than static positions.Understanding Overactive Pelvic Floor: Kim explains that pelvic floor dysfunction can also result from an overactive pelvic floor, which can cause tightness rather than weakness. She notes that seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist can help women understand the status of their pelvic floor and develop appropriate treatment plans.Living a Pelvic-Centric Lifestyle: Kim provides practical tips for living a pelvic-centric lifestyle, including staying hydrated, avoiding bladder irritants, and understanding the importance of vaginal PH and its relationship to UTIs.Kim’s Book Recommendation - Next Level   by Stacy Sims. 
    You can find out more about Kim here
    Wishing you a Merry Menopause
    Jo
    Support the showLearn more about me and my work at www.themerrymenopause.com

    Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN

    Join my private Facebook group

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

@leesawhisker ,

Like having a regular cuppa with your menopause ‘big sisters’

The Merry Menopause Podcast has become one of my most loved & trusted guides to navigating the choppy waters of this menopause life transition.
Jo’s manner is so warm and authentic and she interviews such a wide range of authors covering all areas that I’ve become so more better informed, less fearful & more inspired for what lies ahead.
It’s like meeting up for a regular cuppa & a chat with the best ever menopause ‘big sisters’ passing back insights and wisdom to find your OWN best way through - to not just feel better, but to really harness the opportunities this menopause transition presents. Thank you Jo! Can’t wait for next season!

r8chel~ ,

A helpful and empowering listen for all women

I adore the Merry Menopause podcast - I’ve been an avid listener from the start and Jo and her guests have become such warm, heartening and supportive company on this intense perimenopause journey. It has resonated often and I’ve learned so much about what is happening to our bodies and minds at this life stage, how it can manifest, how we can help ourselves. The range of authors Jo talks to introduces natural, mindful and medical approaches to menopause, with some myth and fiction along the way, enabling the listener to then delve deeper into the books that speak to their own menopause path. Huge, heartfelt thanks for all the midlife and menopause wisdom, experience, passion and expertise shared; it is so needed.

FullerGF ,

Delighted I finally gave myself the gift of listening to this excellent podcast

This has been on my list of podcasts for several months now. Today (due to some cancelled work commitments) I finally gave myself the time to listen in. Time well spent! It’s such an easy and informative listen. Jo has clearly read the books she’s talking to the authors about. Which we know is not always the case. She allows the authors to talk, tell their stories and share their wisdom, whilst prompting them from her own curiosity and her desire to educate us, with spot on questions. It was a joy to listen to. You’ll feel like your in good company. Enjoy!

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