76 episodes

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day howtofail

    • Books
    • 4.7, 265 Ratings

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

    S8, Ep8 How to Fail: Bernardine Evaristo

    S8, Ep8 How to Fail: Bernardine Evaristo

    It is the SEASON FINALE, BABY! I know, I know - it goes so quickly doesn't it? But here we are, two months after we started season eight, with a truly phenomenal guest. Bernardine Evaristo was the first black woman to win the Booker Prize, with her stunning novel, Girl Woman Other. She joins me to talk about her failure to be an actor, her failure to drive from London to Australia (hey, it happens to the best of us) and...brilliantly...her failure to be a lesbian. Along the way, we talk about writing, motivation, race, coercive control, age, gender and the courage she found to create her own work when none was offered to her. Bernardine is the embodiment of that overused term - an inspiration - and a truly jouyous interviewee. Thank you for listening!
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    If you've enjoyed this season of How To Fail, you might like to join me for a livestream event I'm doing on 2nd October to mark the launch of my new book Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong You can book here
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    Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo is available to buy here
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    How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

    Social Media:
    Elizabeth Day @elizabday
    Bernardine Evaristo @bernardineevaristowriter
    How To Fail @howtofailpod 
     
     
     
     

    • 1 hr 2 min
    S8, Ep7 How to Fail: Siena Castellon

    S8, Ep7 How to Fail: Siena Castellon

    Siena Castellon is my youngest ever guest. She's a 17-year-old activist and mentor. She is autistic, has dyslexia and dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. And she's just published her first book.
    Her book, The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic, is a brilliant guide for neurodiverse girls navigating a neurotypical world. It is packed full of information and insight into many of the challenges that autistic teen girls face. There are sections on how to date, how to deal with social anxiety and sensory sensitivity and an analysis of the fact that autism is routinely underdiagnosed in girls (in Siena's words: 'we’re really good at hiding our autistic traits. In fact, we become so good at pretending to be “normal” that we convince everyone that we’re neurotypical.')
    Siena joins me to talk about being bullied at school, being misunderstood by teachers and failed by a mainstream education system that seemed unable to appreciate her difference. We discuss neurodiversity, sexism, dogs, prejudice, challenging the stereotypical 'Rainman' view of autism and why it's important to stand up for yourself. As Siena puts it: 'I've learnt that you can't assume that people experience the world the way you do and that it's important to express yourself to avoid people making untrue assumptions about you.'
    Siena is AMAZING. Listen to her and feel inspired (and also probably quite old).
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    The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic by Siena Castellon is out now and available to purchase here.
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    I've written a new book! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is out in October. It's a practical, inspirational and reassuring guide to the seven principles of failure I've developed since doing this podcast. Packed full of contributions from loads of former guests, as well as listener stories, it is also beautifully illustrated by Paul Blow and I would love it if you wanted to pre-order a signed copy here.
     
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    How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

    Social Media:
    Elizabeth Day @elizabday
    Siena Castellon @NCWeek
    How To Fail @howtofailpod 
     
     

    • 58 min
    S8, Ep6 How to Fail: Glennon Doyle

    S8, Ep6 How to Fail: Glennon Doyle

    This week, I bring you the utterly sensational Glennon Doyle. She is the author of three books, the latest of which, Untamed, is a memoir that defies easy categorisation - somewhat like the woman herself. Untamed is thrilling, original and brave. In it, Glennon dismantles our socialised preconceptions of what women should be and challenges us all to look at the boxes we're trapped in that are not of our own making. She joins me to talk about all of this, and about why women are taught to 'look outward for permission, approval and consent' when we should be looking 'inward for wisdom' (I KNOW! THIS IS GENUINELY HOW SHE SPEAKS!) But, don't worry, there's also plenty of amazing stuff in here whatever gender you are. 
    We also discuss her failure to have a thick skin (and how she protects herself from judgement), her failure to keep her family together (and what this taught her about love) and her failure to be fully comfortable with her own body image (despite years of trying). Every sentence she utters contains a revelation, which is why when the time came to edit this interview I just...couldn't. So I've let it run at full length, with no cuts, exactly how it happened. 
    Enjoy.
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    I've written a new book! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is out in October. It's a practical, inspirational and reassuring guide to the seven principles of failure I've developed since doing this podcast. Packed full of contributions from loads of former guests, as well as listener stories, it is also beautifully illustrated by Paul Blow and I would love it if you wanted to pre-order a signed copy here.
     
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    How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

    Social Media:
    Elizabeth Day @elizabday
    Glennon Doyle @glennondoyle
    How To Fail @howtofailpod 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    • 1 hr 5 min
    S8, Ep5 How to Fail: Julia Samuel

    S8, Ep5 How to Fail: Julia Samuel

    Today's guest is someone I fell in platonic love with by reading her work. Julia Samuel is one of the country's leading psychotherapists but she is also well-known as an author. Her first book, Grief Works, was a Sunday Times bestseller and is routinely cited as one of the most helpful and compassionate books on bereavement you will ever read. Her second book, This Too Shall Pass, Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings, was published just before lockdown and could not have been a more insightful guide to the uncertain times we all found ourselves in. Adwoa Aboah called it 'one of the most valuable books I've ever read', while my hero Esther Perel, said it was 'a remarkable portrayal of how we need to understand ourselves to truly heal'.
    She joins me to talk about failing exams, failed jobs, her self-perceived failures as a mother and the impossibility of putting our emotions through a logical system. We also touch on imposter syndrome, quitting things you aren't good at, being a twin (she is one!), her close friendship with the late Princess Diana (plus what kind of godmother she is to Prince George) as well as the discomfort she feels talking about herself, rather than being the one to ask questions of a client. 
    I am so honoured to have Julia on the podcast. Her integrity and intelligence, forged through 30 years as a working therapist, shine through absolutely everything she does. Her work has been crucially important to me personally and I'm sure it will be to you too.
    As Julia says: 'We are brought up thinking life is an upward journey, a stairway to a better place, each step higher than the last. but the reality is far less certain: there are ups and downs, and the only certainty that exists is that there will be change.' 
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    Julia's latest book, This Too Shall Pass, is out now and available to order here.
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    I've written a new book! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is out in October. It's a practical, inspirational and reassuring guide to the seven principles of failure I've developed since doing this podcast. Packed full of contributions from loads of former guests, as well as listener stories, it is also beautifully illustrated by Paul Blow and I would love it if you wanted to pre-order a signed copy here.
     
    *
    How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

    Social Media:
    Elizabeth Day @elizabday
    Julia Samuel @juliasamuelmbe
    How To Fail @howtofailpod 
     
     
     
     
     

    • 59 min
    S8, Ep4 How to Fail: Scarlett Moffatt

    S8, Ep4 How to Fail: Scarlett Moffatt

    Scarlett Moffatt was working at the checkout in Asda when she and he family got the chance to be on Channel 4's Gogglebox. She rapidly became the show's break-out star with her brilliant one-liners. Television fame followed - she co-presented with Ant and Dec, won 2016's I'm A Celebrity and now hosts the official podcast for Rupaul’s Drag Race UK. But with her overnight celebrity also came increased scrutiny and criticism.
    She joins me to talk about becoming an accidental famous person and dealing with online abuse (she will now reply to trolls with the phone number for the Samaritans). Scarlett also discusses her shifting relationship with body image and her own struggles with anxiety and low self-worth.
    This is a woman who has worked hard all her life - from her first job at 14, putting sweets into Pic n' Mix to being employed in sales at the Carphone Warehouse. When she went on I'm A Celebrity, she had only just managed to clear her student overdraft. With the fee she was given from that show, Scarlett paid off the mortgage on her parents' house. She talks to me about the value of hard graft, being bullied at school, a bicycle accident that left her with Bell's Palsy and using humour as a defence mechanism. This episode also contains what is quite possibly the greatest Tom Hardy anecdote you will ever hear.
    Thank you Scarlett, you are an absolute gem. Those school bullies were wrong about you. They always are.
    *
    I've written a new book! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is out in October. It's a practical, inspirational and reassuring guide to the seven principles of failure I've developed since doing this podcast. Packed full of contributions from loads of former guests, as well as listener stories, it is also beautifully illustrated by Paul Blow and I would love it if you wanted to pre-order a signed copy here.
    *
    You can listen to Scarlett hosting Rupaul's Drag Race UK: The Podcast here.
    *
    How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

    Social Media:
    Elizabeth Day @elizabday
    Scarlett Moffatt @scarlettmoffatt
    How To Fail @howtofailpod 
     
     
     
     

    • 50 min
    S8, Ep3 How to Fail: Matthew Syed

    S8, Ep3 How to Fail: Matthew Syed

    Matthew Syed is an acclaimed author, newspaper columnist and broadcaster. He is also, in many ways, is the father of failure. I mean that as a compliment, obviously. Through his seminal, bestselling books - Bounce, Black Box Thinking and his latest, Rebel Ideas - he has shown again and again that failure can actually be the richest seam of data acquisition. 
    His interest in making mistakes in order to evolve started, incongruously, with table tennis. He was the British number one in 1995 but later choked in spectacular fashion at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The experience triggered a fascination with what it means to fall apart under pressure and why it happens.
    Syed joins me to talk about all this, as well as leaving school at 15, his childhood experiences of racism, the horror of cold-calling when he ran a marketing agency, the 'terrible' early newspaper columns he wrote, the necessity for diversity of thinking, fatherhood and why we don't need to be scared of airplane turbulence (thank goodness, quite frankly, because I'm terrified of it). It was a joy meeting Matthew, and I also liked his exceptionally polite way of saying 'thank you' when I ask a question.
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    I've written a new book! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is out in October. It's a practical, inspirational and reassuring guide to the seven principles of failure I've developed since doing this podcast. Packed full of contributions from loads of former guests, as well as listener stories, it is also beautifully illustrated by Paul Blow and I would love it if you wanted to pre-order a signed copy here.
    *
    Matthew Syed's lates book, Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking is available to order here.
    *
    How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

    Social Media:
    Elizabeth Day @elizabday
    Matthew Syed @matthewsyed
    How To Fail @howtofailpod 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
265 Ratings

265 Ratings

SKinghan ,

Glennon Doyle

Loved the Glennon Doyle podcast! How beautiful. Felt so inspired afterwards. Elizabeth, you have a knack of getting the absolute best out of your guests while sharing vulnerability in an amazing way. Superb.

Edel19 ,

So inspiring!

Omg the podcast with Mo Gawdat is so inspiring and has left me wanting to retrain my brain - thank you!!

JC98JuliE ,

Just brilliant

Possibly my favorite podcast EVER. Elizabeth has the most magical way of showing vulnerability in a beautiful light. This podcast always makes me feel better and lighter after having listened.❤️

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