39 episodes

The Shift is a podcast that aims to tell the truth about being a woman post-40, created and hosted by journalist and author, Sam Baker.

In this frank, funny, sometimes painfully honest new podcast series, Sam talks to a variety of women about the good, the bad and the ugly side of being a supposedly grown up woman in a world that would quite like to ignore us. Each week, guests including Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes, Sara Collins and Jo Whiley share their experiences of getting older and how they rewrote the rule book. From body image to suddenly discovering all your clothes hate you, from confidence to career reinvention, they talk frankly and openly about mental health, body image, menopause and so much more.

Prepare yourself for a no-holds barred look at what it means to be a woman who’s not getting any younger in a society that’s not interested in us. Clue: we’re not having it!

The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker sam baker

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 259 Ratings

The Shift is a podcast that aims to tell the truth about being a woman post-40, created and hosted by journalist and author, Sam Baker.

In this frank, funny, sometimes painfully honest new podcast series, Sam talks to a variety of women about the good, the bad and the ugly side of being a supposedly grown up woman in a world that would quite like to ignore us. Each week, guests including Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes, Sara Collins and Jo Whiley share their experiences of getting older and how they rewrote the rule book. From body image to suddenly discovering all your clothes hate you, from confidence to career reinvention, they talk frankly and openly about mental health, body image, menopause and so much more.

Prepare yourself for a no-holds barred look at what it means to be a woman who’s not getting any younger in a society that’s not interested in us. Clue: we’re not having it!

    Dr Jen Gunter on menopause, mental health and why we all need a meno-party

    Dr Jen Gunter on menopause, mental health and why we all need a meno-party

    The best way I can think of to describe this week’s guest is that she’s a women’s health vigilante. (A vagina vigilante if you will!) Dubbed twitter’s resident gynaecologist, and the nemesis of snake oil salesmen everywhere, Dr Jen Gunter is the living embodiment of “information is power”. She has made it her life’s mission to give you the information you need to make life better for you - and for your vagina. 


    Best known for her book The Vagina Bible, and publicly taking Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop to task for, amongst other things, flogging jade eggs. “Dear Ms Paltrow,” she wrote back in 2017, “It is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming.” Now Jen is bringing that same, erm, direct approach to the menopause with her new book, The Menopause Manifesto. A banger of a book that tells you everything you could possibly need to know and plenty of stuff you don’t but will be glad you do.


    Jen is characteristically no-bull as she talks menopause, mental health, why we all need to know WTF is going on and why women need more menopausal role models. And whatever you do, don’t get her started on manufacturers who think shoving “meno” in front of a product name is a licence to print money…! Join me and Jen as we cross the crimson bridge and throw ourselves a meno partiy! Welcome to the order of menopause!


    You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker and The Menopause Manifesto by Dr Jen Gunter.


    The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. I'd love to hear what you think - please rate and review, or let me know on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
     
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    • 45 min
    Esther Freud on motherhood, guilt and upending your life in your 50s

    Esther Freud on motherhood, guilt and upending your life in your 50s

    How does it feel to come from a family with a legend? If you’re today’s guest, novelist and playwright Esther Freud (daughter of painter Lucian Freud and great granddaughter of Sigmund Freud) you work with that legacy to produce some of the finest novels of the last thirty years. Her first Hideous Kinky, based on her unusual childhood, was made into a film starring Kate Winslet and after the follow-up, Peerless Flats, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young Novelists. Scroll forward a couple of decades and her ninth novel, I Couldn’t Love You More, comes full circle, this time exploring aspects of her family’s history through the lens of three generations of mothers. (Bring tissues!)


    Over the next 40 minutes Esther talks candidly about motherhood, guilt, shame, the way women are constantly judged, her own entangled family history, how the onset of menopause made her question everything and why now 57 she’s happier than ever. 


    CONTENT WARNING: There’s some conversation about forced adoption and Ireland’s mother and baby homes that some people may find upsetting.


    You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker and I Couldn't Love You More by Esther Freud.


    The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. I'd love to hear what you think - please rate and review, or let me know on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 40 min
    Kate Mosse: why caring is a feminist issue (from the archives)

    Kate Mosse: why caring is a feminist issue (from the archives)

    This is a replay of an episode published at the start of the year in which Kate Mosse talked about her experience of caring for both her own elderly parents, and her husband's mother. I'm replaying it now to coincide with the publication of her memoir, An Extra Pair of Hands, in which she writes movingly about that experience and its profound effect on her family.


    Kate is also founder of the Women's Prize for Fiction, now in its 26th year, and a bestselling author of seven novels and two short story collections. She is kind, funny and candid as she talks about how easily women's history is erased (and why we should never forget the women who went before us), her “other” job as a full-time carer - and why caring is a feminist issue - the devaluing of women’s work, being a pathological optimist and why she CANNOT WAIT to be 60. Trigger Warning: Kate also speaks honestly about bereavement and grief, three quarters of the way through the episode.


    The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. I'd love to hear what you think - please rate and review, or let me know on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.


    You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker and An Extra Pair of Hands by Kate Mosse.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 42 min
    Pragya Agarwal on shame, surrogacy and the many faces of motherhood

    Pragya Agarwal on shame, surrogacy and the many faces of motherhood

    This week’s guest is the behavioural and data scientist, Dr Pragya Agarwal. A passionate campaigner for gender and race equality, Pragya is the author of the much-praised Sway, about unravelling unconscious bias, and the host of of the podcast, Wish We Knew What to Say: talking with children about race. 


    Pragya is also - and I tell you this only because it’s relevant to today’s conversation - the mother of three daughters, the first is now in her early twenties, her twins, now aged five. It’s that journey - from one sort of mother to another that led to her new book, (M)Otherhood: a moving (and rigorous!) personal exploration into what it means to be (or not be) a mother when you don’t fit society’s mould.


    Over the next 45 minutes Pragya blows my mind with her braininess about everything from the myth of choice and learning to embrace ambivalence, body image, being a good girl, how motherhood changed her relationship with her own mother and why she wished she was her father’s son.


    A self-confessed worrier, she also talks candidly about how brown women are invisible when it comes to fertility, premature menopause and her ultimate decision to pursue surrogacy.


    CONTENT WARNING: there is some discussion of infertility


    You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker and (M)Otherhood by Pragya Agarwal.


    The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. I'd love to hear what you think - please rate and review, or let me know on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 44 min
    Annie Mac on turning 40 and why middle aged women are a force to be reckoned with

    Annie Mac on turning 40 and why middle aged women are a force to be reckoned with

    My guest this week is a business woman, broadcaster, curator, tastemaker and DJ. She headlines festivals, hosts one of BBC Radio 1’s flagship shows, was Europe’s biggest female DJ and has her own hit podcast Changes with Annie Mac. And now, as if that wasn’t e-bloody-nough (bc let’s not forget the two kids), Annie Macmanus has written her first novel, Mother Mother. Oh and she’s cool. And nice. (In the best possible way. Not in the I’m too lazy to think of a proper adjective kind of way.)


    Over the next 45 minutes, Annie talks about the unexpected impact of turning 40, growing up with her fans and why middle aged women are a force to be reckoned with. Although this was recorded before she resigned from her job hosting Radio 1's flagship show, she’s candid about saying goodbye to DJing and how it feels to start again professionally, why she’s a control-fan and how she learnt to be comfortable in her own skin. Plus she gives me a lesson in radical no-ness!


    You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker and Mother Mother by Annie MacManus.


    The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. I'd love to hear what you think - please rate and review, or let me know on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 40 min
    Mona Eltahawy on anger, ambition and ageing disgracefully

    Mona Eltahawy on anger, ambition and ageing disgracefully

    The phrase force-of-nature was created to describe this week’s guest. Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy has been fighting back and refusing to shut up for the best part of 50 years. She has been assaulted and detained in Tahir Square, banned from an Australian TV network, and has made it her business to be the scourge of the pale male, and stale everywhere. She is also a huge source of inspiration for women and girls the world over through her Feminist Giant newsletter.


    In her new book - The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, a fierce, fearless and utterly uninhibited manifesto and call to arms - she tackles head on all the things women are taught from an early age and encourages us to stick two fingers up to the lot of them. Mona doesn’t want equality - she wants to set us free. She wants us to be the star of our own lives. She wants us to sin!


    Mona is unashamedly political as she talks anger, perimenopause, ambition, ageing disgracefully, going grey and why she believes it’s up to us to decide how we want to emerge on the other side of menopause.


    You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker and The Seven Necessary Sins For Women And Girls by Mona Eltahawy.


    The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. I'd love to hear what you think - please rate and review, or let me know on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
259 Ratings

259 Ratings

Alison337 ,

Brilliant guests

I’ve just discovered The Shift and am really enjoying it - some brilliant guests and I love how Sam interviews and challenges them. Great, relevant, interesting, funny discussions. Very addictive (I am binging back catalogue!)

nashvilleyeah ,

My favourite podcast

I absolutely love The Shift. Great guests and skilled interviewing by Sam Baker who has great warmth and empathy and really gives her guests the space to speak.

Kim wads ,

Great chat with Annie

I loved listening to Annie. I am a great fan of hers and listening to this brilliant chat has clarified everything. I have watched and listened to her and have seen the change and saw myself reflected in her. Listening to her talking about us women (I’m 40) being on this journey with her from our raving days to now enjoying her podcast (outstanding) to now pre ordering her book. Love this podcast it’s fabulous listening to like minded (still cool and relevant) women thank you.

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