Stop the Toxic Positivity With Bestselling Author Nora McInerny

Nora McInerny

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Nora McInerny

Nora McInerny is an author from Minneapolis who freely shares her story of grief and loss. In 2014, she experienced a miscarriage and lost both her husband and her father all within a few weeks.

She made headlines when her husband’s obituary was published. She and her husband had written it together during the final weeks of his cancer battle. It was filled with humor (he presented himself as Spider-Man and the ex-husband of Gwen Stefani). It went on to capture the attention of millions of readers.

Why Nora McInerny Is Mentally Strong

Since then, Nora has gone on to share her story of grief and loss in the books she has written. But she has managed to maintain her sense of humor throughout, and she makes it clear that laughter and pain sometimes go hand-in-hand.

Nora uses her platform to spread awareness on tough subjects like grief and trauma. She gives a realistic view of what it’s like to experience deep emotional pain, and she provides hope to those who are also struggling in life (without promising that every situation has a silver lining).

What You'll Hear on the Show

What You'll Learn About Toxic Positivity and Mental Strength

Nora’s advice about naming your feelings and allowing yourself to experience a wide variety of emotions is wise. It’s something we often work on in the therapy office.

There’s science that backs up why this is good for you. Studies show just naming an uncomfortable emotion can take some of the sting out of it. So simply saying, “I feel anxiety right now,” might help you feel a bit less anxious in the moment.

Identifying feelings that seem conflicting can also help you make more sense of how you’re feeling. For example, you might tell yourself, “I’m happy that I’m starting a new job, but I’m also sad about leaving my co-workers,” or “I’m excited about this new relationship, but at the same time I’m scared it might not work out.”

Quotes From Nora

Nora McInerny

Right now we live in a culture that wants us to perform every aspect of our lives in a way that is really unnatural. And we are very adept at performing happiness.

— Nora McInerny
  • "Get your hopes as high as they can that day because you won’t feel like this forever. And also feel as sad you need to on your down days because this is also not forever."
  • "I need to tell you the things that I'm thinking about myself so you can tell me the truth."
  • "Some things are going to happen to you—beauty and terror. And it is all part of your story. You are not the one bad thing that you did or that happened to you."

More About the Podcast

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.