269 Susan Cain: The Upside of Seeking Sadness

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Nobody wants to be sad. We actively avoid it, and use all the technology in our power to distract ourselves from it. But Susan Cain says, maybe we should seek sadness out.

She knows a thing or two about it. Her books about introversion and quiet reflection are New York Times bestsellers, and her TED talk has been viewed 40 million times.

Her latest book, “Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole,” is about what we miss when we stop confronting sad feelings. Susan explains that reflecting on pain — including the pain of others — is something we need more of in our lives, especially in a digital world, where we increasingly only see vacation photos, smiling kids, and job promotions.

This practice can be about deep personal connection, or simply seeking a sad song or choosing a heartbreaking movie once in a while. After all, there's a reason history's most enduring art is about longing and loss.

This episode references Whitney's recent newsletter, which you can read (and subscribe to!) here:

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