In this special episode in partnership with The National Lottery, Fearne speaks to East Londoner Steve Barnabis who's dedicated his life to saving children from knife crime. He’s spent his entire career working to improve the lives of young people, to tackle youth violence, and create safe spaces for children and teens to express themselves.
After meeting the Royals at a Big Lunch event last year, Steve, together with his organisation Project Zero, and the local community, will be putting on his own Coronation Big Lunch over the bank holiday weekend. The Big Lunch, made possible by National Lottery Players, brings millions of people together annually to boost community spirit, whilst encouraging neighbours to share friendship, food and fun.
In this chat with Fearne, Steve explains how understanding the root causes of knife violence – mental health, school performance, home life anxieties – is the key to reducing anti-social and offending behaviour, and promoting social inclusion. He also opens up about how knife crime has directly affected his family.
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4. Anastacia: Resilience, cancer, and broken Barbies56:13Distress can be transformed into growth. Having had breast cancer, a double mastectomy, and Crohn’s, music icon Anastacia knows all too well how to be resilient through health scares. In this chat, Fearne and Anastacia discuss how mindset and perspective can make a huge difference to our reality, especially for someone like Anastacia, who says she’s both an anxious and an optimistic person. Plus, given the voices in her head that often told her she wasn’t pretty enough, Anastacia also gives advice on how to be ok with not looking like everyone else on the internet, and how to resist the urge to always use filters when posting online. Anastacia’s new album, Our Songs, is out now. It celebrates the music Anastacia fell in love with while in Germany and presents 12 English-language interpretations of German top hits from the 1980s.
3. Natasha Bedingfield: Speaking up, motherhood, and spaghetti straps44:00What do you want to say that you’re not saying? After decades in the music industry Natasha Bedingfield has learnt from experience that being true to ourselves has to be more important than being liked. In this chat, Fearne and Natasha explore practical ways to speak up and assert yourself, with Natasha drawing inspiration from the way legends like Tina Turner physically take control of their voice in order to be seen and heard. Plus, not concerned by prescriptive parenting guidelines, they share their own unique techniques, proving every family should feel able to live by the rules that make most sense to all the individual characters in the mix.
2. Crystal Hefner: Objectification, control, and Playboy44:38The Playboy mansion was supposed to be a place of freedom, expression and empowerment for Crystal Hefner, but it turned out to be the total opposite. As one of the girlfriends – and then wife – of Hugh Hefner, she had to be seen and not heard. In this chat with Fearne, Crystal explains how living in the Playboy mansion saw her pitted against other women and picked apart for her appearance. Recognising the financial abuse in particular, she began saving her own money, which eventually created a foundation from which to rebuild her life, and self-worth, when Hef died. Fearne and Crystal also chat about how to start discovering what you like, and what makes you happy, after previously living for other people. Plus, how to move away from feeling your self worth hinges on your appearance. Crystal’s book, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself, is out now.
1. Tj Power: Dopamine, addiction, and hunter-gatherers51:48A good life isn’t necessarily a comfortable, easy life. Neuroscientist Tj Power knows that an element of effort and challenge is vital in keeping our minds happy. In this chat with Fearne, Tj explains why it’s an issue for our mental health that the modern world enables us to get dopamine hits with zero effort. Similarly, he reckons being bored is a really solid antidote to being overstimulated and anxious. They talk through ways to naturally boost and balance brain chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, using his science-backed DOSE method. Plus, Tj offers tips on how to reinforce positive behaviours and habits rather than dwelling on the shit parts of life. TJ’s book, The DOSE Effect, will be out later this year. Listen to the Happy Place episode about tackling the Shitty Committee in your mind here!
10. Paul Brunson: Attachment theory, dating apps, and bunions54:56Are we making ourselves unhappy by setting unrealistic expectations for our relationships? Matchmaker Paul C Brunson thinks we might just be. In this chat, Fearne and Paul explore attachment theory, communication styles, and the idea that instead of looking for ‘the one’ we should prioritise doing more of the things that light us up. Plus, Paul explains why the biggest rule of dating is to find the person you want to break the rules with... Paul’s book, Find Love, is published by Happy Place Books on February 1st.
9. Emma Dabiri: Bodies, ageing, and Heather Shimmer lipstick50:06When judge ourselves less, we judge each other less too, and vice versa. Activist and broadcaster Emma Dabiri’s academic work critiques the image-conscious society we live in. In this chat, Fearne and Emma explore attitudes to everything from ageing, to weight, to race. Plus, Emma explains how much of our beauty culture is specific to the West, by comparing it to other cultures around the world. They also talk about how we can critique beauty culture while still loving the magic of self-expression and adornment and art. Emma’s book, Disobedient Bodies: Reclaim Your Unruly Beauty, is out now.
8. F*ck Blue Monday: Addressing the Shitty Committee in your mind18:03Fearne wants to f*ck Blue Monday and help you make it whatever kind of Monday you want! Today, she’s revisiting past podcast conversations (and some never heard before on the show!) to help you address the Shitty Committee in your mind. No matter how loud those rubbish voices in your heard are right now, these chats might just trigger a tiny mindset or perspective shift that’ll help you feel better able to cope when those shitty voices next pop up. If you’re in need of a real mood boost, head over to @happyplaceofficial on Instagram to watch the F*ck Blue Monday video, and join in the conversation. Watch Julia Samuel’s What Is How To video Listen to Vex King’s episode Listen to Ruby Wax’s episode Listen to Sonia Choquette’s episode Listen to Tim Peake’s episode
7. Tom Odell: Perfectionism, expectations, and weddings48:29The character trait you feel most tortured by is probably your best one too. Musician Tom Odell feels his perfectionism can make life challenging, but acknowledges it also plays a part in his success. In this chat, Tom talks about feeling fewer physical symptoms of anxiety since his last chat with Fearne in 2019, as well as how music helps him feel emotions more deeply, and understand them with more clarity. Plus, they talk about how a wedding day can bring out real tenderness in people. Tom's new album, Black Friday, is out on January 26th. His UK tour in March is sold out and final tickets are available for his headline shows at Alexandra Palace Park (July 19th), Dublin (June 26th) and Halifax Piece Hall (June 30th).
6. Michelle Keegan: Imposter Syndrome, boundaries, and puzzles41:45Imposter syndrome is likely to affect all of us at some point in our life; Michelle Keegan still feels it every time she finishes an acting job. In this chat with Fearne, Michelle talks about her disciplined work ethic, as well as how she’s learnt to cope well with the amount of rejection in her industry. They also chat about why setting boundaries – especially drawing lines between personal and professional life – is so important. Plus, they wonder why it still feels important in adulthood to seek validation from our parents. Fool Me Once is available to watch on Netflix now.