93 episodes

The Shift is a podcast that aims to tell the truth about being a woman post-40, created and hosted by writer and broadcaster, Sam Baker. 
Did you ever wonder why you stop hearing so many women's voices once they pass 40? That's where The Shift comes in - a frank, funny, sometimes heartbreaking, always honest look at what it means to be a woman in midlife and beyond. Work, life, love, health, sex, money, identity, body image... What does it all mean when everything around you (and inside you...) is changing? Each week, award-winning author and journalist Sam Baker asks a different woman how she got here, where she's going - and how it feels to be where she is right now. Expect intimate conversation, big laughs, occasional tears and an awful lot of ripping up the rule book and stamping on it... Past guests have included Nicola Sturgeon, Marian Keyes, Philippa Perry, Anita Rani, Tracey Thorn, Isabel Allende, Bobbi Brown, Barbara Blake-Hannah and many more, talking everything from confidence to career reinvention, mental health, menopause and so much more.
If you love The Shift and would like to become a member of our community and receive a weekly newsletter, join The Shift bookclub and so much more, please visit https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/

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

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 29 Ratings

The Shift is a podcast that aims to tell the truth about being a woman post-40, created and hosted by writer and broadcaster, Sam Baker. 
Did you ever wonder why you stop hearing so many women's voices once they pass 40? That's where The Shift comes in - a frank, funny, sometimes heartbreaking, always honest look at what it means to be a woman in midlife and beyond. Work, life, love, health, sex, money, identity, body image... What does it all mean when everything around you (and inside you...) is changing? Each week, award-winning author and journalist Sam Baker asks a different woman how she got here, where she's going - and how it feels to be where she is right now. Expect intimate conversation, big laughs, occasional tears and an awful lot of ripping up the rule book and stamping on it... Past guests have included Nicola Sturgeon, Marian Keyes, Philippa Perry, Anita Rani, Tracey Thorn, Isabel Allende, Bobbi Brown, Barbara Blake-Hannah and many more, talking everything from confidence to career reinvention, mental health, menopause and so much more.
If you love The Shift and would like to become a member of our community and receive a weekly newsletter, join The Shift bookclub and so much more, please visit https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Kit de Waal on race, class, privilege – and her exceedingly cool hair!

    Kit de Waal on race, class, privilege – and her exceedingly cool hair!

    Today’s guest is the award-winning writer, Kit De Waal. Until she was 21, Kit had never read a book voluntarily. But once she started there was no stopping her. Kit started writing in her mid-40s and published her award-winning debut, My Name Is Leon, at 56. Since then she has used her success to work tirelessly to promote the voices of working class writers. Using some of her advance to set up the Kit de Waal Creative Writing Fellowship (aka the Fat Chance scholarship!) and editing Common People, an anthology of working class writing.
    Now she’s turned her attention to her own childhood. Her memoir, Without Warning And Only Sometimes, is the story of growing up in poverty, one of five children with a Black father and Irish mother who brought them up Jehovah’s Witness…
    Kit joined me from possibly the most envy-inducing workroom I’ve ever ogled via zoom (and I’ve ogled a few!) to talk being single and reclaiming your own space at 60. We discussed race, class, privilege, the impact of a childhood spent not stepping on the cracks and why she hates that “f*****g overused word resilience”. Plus why she’s not interested in a man on the downward slide, being a Tuesday friend and her exceedingly cool hair
    * You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Without Warning And Only Sometimes by Kit de Waal and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!
    * And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/
    • The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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    • 56 min
    Julia Cameron on alcoholism, creativity and emotional sobriety

    Julia Cameron on alcoholism, creativity and emotional sobriety

    My guest today is the author of the cult bestseller The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron. Part book, part tool-kit, part spiritual guide, The Artists Way has sold over 4 million copies globally and has inspired countless artists, writers, and creatives including Elizabeth Gilbert, Alicia Keyes, Pete Townshend and many more.
    In the 30 years since that was published, Julia has written a movie, 7 plays and 23 books, including her memoir Floor Sample. Written in her late 50s she looked back over the first half(ish) of her life: her catholic education, alcoholism and drug abuse, her brief marriage to director Martin Scorsese, and her subsequent search for meaning, for herself, for home, ultimately for a way to be comfortably sober.
    Speaking from her home in Santa Fe, Julia shared her incredible journey from “just a girl” at Catholic school to The Artists Way by way of leaving Washington a writer and landing in Hollywood a wife. She spoke candidly about losing the love of her life, getting and staying sober, how the nuns were her introduction to women with power and how the morning pages transformed her life. Now 74 and 45 years dry, she says, she’s braver than ever.
    * You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including The Artists Way by Julia Cameron and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me! Julia's recommendation, Creative Ideas by Ernest Holmes is out of print, but you can buy it here.
    * And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/
    • The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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    • 37 min
    Jane Fallon on embracing 60 and being a Botox hold-out

    Jane Fallon on embracing 60 and being a Botox hold-out

    Have you always wanted to wreak revenge on your worst enemies? Those who’ve wronged you, conned you or just crossed you? Well, if you’ve ever lain in the bath (or on the sofa or wherever) fantasising about how you’d get your own back, my guest today is your woman! Jane Fallon - aka the mistress of the revenge romp! 
    Formerly a TV producer (Jane gave us the era-defining This Life amongst other things), she did a massive handbrake turn at 45 after a flash of overnight inspiration (lucky her!) And chucked it all in to write a novel. Her debut Getting Rid Of Matthew was a hit and 12 novels later she hasn’t looked back. Her latest Just Got Real, looks at what it means to be unexpectedly single again in mid-life and tackles the world of online dating.
    Jane joined me to talk about giving voice to women over 40, how perimenopause induced her creative midlife crisis, why, for some reason, she thought she could get through menopause without telling anyone (hoho), the liberation of embracing 60, being a Botox holdout and how she trained herself to stop catastrophising. I’m grateful to Jane for telling me about the decision not to have children and her deeply held belief that she would have made a terrible mother.
    Oh, and BTW Jane, I'm still waiting for photographic evidence of that cartwheel!
    * You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including JUST. GOT. REAL. by Jane Fallon and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!
    * And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/
    • The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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    • 49 min
    CJ Hauser on learning to live your own dreams, not other people’s

    CJ Hauser on learning to live your own dreams, not other people’s

    How does it feel to be catapulted to Internet fame, literally overnight. My guest this week, CJ Hauser, found out when she wrote a little essay back in 2019 about cranes (as in, the birds, not the machines!). Except CJ had just called off her wedding and The Crane Wife wasn’t about cranes, so much as the shapes we contort ourselves into in order to please other people. about denying our own needs and accepting LESS.
    Forty eight hours after it was published The Crane Wife had gone viral, been read millions of times and identified with by just about everyone who read it. I read it. I couldn’t believe how much it spoke to me. Nor, it seemed, could anyone else.
    Now CJ has written a memoir in essays - also called The Crane Wife - about love, relationships and the stories we tell ourselves, not, it seems, in order to survive, but in order to set the bar so high we spend the rest of our lives failing to reach it.
    CJ (and her dog Moriarty @thedogphilosopher on instagram...) joined me to talk about the unnerving impact of overnight success, being “a breakup pro” and learning to live your own dreams, not other people’s. We also discussed her Schrodingers biological clock, the life lessons she’s learnt from Dr Who, she introduced me to the concept of "bucking" and her unified theory of s****y men!
    * Read CJ’s original essay The Crane Wife here.
    * You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including THE CRANE WIFE by CJ Hauser and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!
    * And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/
    • The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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    • 47 min
    A quick word from Sam

    A quick word from Sam

    Hello everyone! I just wanted to let you know about a new initiative coming from The Shift.
    I launched The Shift with Sam Baker podcast 18 months ago on a hunch: I figured that if the way women's voices were silenced after 40 bugged me (OK, bugged is a bit of an understatement!) then the chances were it bugged you, too. I had no idea how right I was. Now, thanks to you, my regular listeners, The Shift is approaching a million downloads and is growing fast. As well as a podcast and a book, The Shift is now (drum roll) a newsletter and a community!
    The reasons for this are two-fold:
    1) You keep telling me you want more of The Shift - more women's voices, more stories, more content about the issues that affect you - and I want to give you more. Rather than four short seasons a year, my plan is to make The Shift podcast a weekly affair landing every Tuesday morning, with breaks for Christmas and summer holidays. As well as that, there will be a weekly newsletter and a community, plus access to podcast transcripts, early bird access to events, live podcast recordings and more.
    2) Making The Shift takes time and money and I need your help. If you value The Shift and would like to support the work that goes into it - as well as getting a newsletter in your inbox every week, membership of The Shift bookclub, community and more - I'd love it if you'd consider becoming a member and being part of The Shift as it grows.
    Interested? You can find out more and join at steady.media/theshift
    Thanks for listening
    Samx

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    • 54 sec
    Poorna Bell on the unexpected power in being 40

    Poorna Bell on the unexpected power in being 40

    By her own admission, today’s guest, award winning journalist Poorna Bell, wasn’t looking forward to 40. She feared, as society had taught her, that it might be the beginning of the end. And so, she set out to prove herself wrong. 
    Poorna has written two memoirs about grief and mental health in the wake of her husband, Rob’s death by suicide. And followed those up with Stronger, an inspiring reevaluation of women’s strength interwoven with her own discovery of power lifting (I kid you not. This woman could bench press Johnny Depp - but I fear she’d have to join the queue.) It’s no surprise that Poorna has become an advocate for diversity, mental health and body image. 
    Now she’s turned her hand to fiction. Her debut novel, In Case Of Emergency is a warm, funny, immensely entertaining story of friendship, sisterhood, being single in a couples world and a brown woman in a white world.
    Poorna joined me to talk about taking back power, finding her strength and how fitness changed her. Why she’s all in favour of marriage but has no plans to get back on the relationship escalator, why ageing is her superpower, finding clarity post-40, her search for midlife role models as a brown woman and embracing being a 40something goddess.
    You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including IN CASE OF EMERGENCY by Poorna Bell, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!
    And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/
    • The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
    podchaser token: 0XeeihrspYQYlmZOFLzt

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    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 Ratings

KiLoLo207 ,

Great listen!

I just found this podcast and listened to the episode with Jane Fallon and it was a breath of fresh air from you both. Can’t wait to dive into other episodes!

Zoe D'Apollo ,

Exactly what I needed

I recently got into podcasts. I’ve always been a reader but never really had time for anything else. I found myself with free time during which I can’t read, I don’t like audio books so I started these. I came across your show and I am in love. I just turned 41 and I still don’t feel like an adult most days, especially when I’m with people my age. I definitely needed the encouragement and validation I get from you and your guests. I love the guests you choose, I love the questions you ask, and I definitely love that you ask for book recommendations! I’ve already written some down and ordered one. Keep being awesome!

hoooo2394 ,

Great guests

The guests are great, but my misophonia can’t really handle the host’s lisp

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