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Helen Russell

Author, journalist and speaker

Helen Russell is a British journalist and speaker, based in Denmark, and the author behind the bestselling book “The year of living Danishly – uncovering the secrets of the World’s Happiest Country”, which was published in January 2015. She has a talent to fascinate people and create messages vividly. She is a charismatic humorous speaker who takes the audience on an entertaining journey.


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Helen Russell was a journalist and archetypical Londoner, when she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, Denmark, and she then discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries.

Helen Russell gave herself a year to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From education, childcare, food and interior design to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate preference for burning witches, the resulting book The Year of Living Danishly is an international bestseller that shows where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how Non-Danes might just benefit from living a little more Danishly. She went on to write about the science of change in Leap Year, pen a love letter to female solidarity in Gone Viking, and investigate the global secrets of how to be happy in The Atlas of Happiness.

As a bestselling author and expert on happiness, life overhauls, work-life balance and cultural difference, Helen lectures internationally as a keynote speaker, takes part in panel discussions, broadcasts regularly, and is a favourite for after dinner speeches.

‘A lovely mix of English sensibility and Danish pragmatism. Helen Russell seems to have understood more about the Danish character than I have!’ (Sandi Toksvig, BBC host and comedian). ‘Russell is possessed of a razor-sharp wit and a winning self-deprecation,’ The Independent.


    Helen Russell foredrag

    The Year of Living Danishly – Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country

    • This lecture is based on Helen’s bestselling book, The Year of Living Danishly. The lecture, as well as the book, covers the key areas that psychologists and experts agree we need to live a more content life. These include: Trust, security, a sense of belonging, equality, addressing the aesthetics (& ‘getting hygge with it’).
    • An entertaining, insightful and useful guide to getting happier, suitable for group events, human resources professionals as well as CSR agendas.

    Helen Russell foredrag

    The expat experience (and how to survive it)

    • An engaging cross-cultural talk on the challenges internationals face when moving to Denmark, combining personal experiences and humorous anecdotes with practical, useful ideas and tools for making Denmark feel like home. Areas covered include: Culture shocks and what to expect, how to feel at home without losing your own identity, getting the best out of Denmark, how befriend a Dane, what not to do (…from someone who’s been there and made all the mistakes!), 10 top tips for living Danishly.
    • This lecture is perfect for international groups and work placement initiatives as well as companies hiring expats.

    Helen Russell foredrag

    The cultural differences between Denmark and the UK

    • Archetypal Londoner Helen Russell has worked in Europe, America and Asia – and each time she leaves her home country, she discovers more about what it is to be British. Moving to Denmark was no exception and she was appalled to discover that Danes have no word for “please” (the most commonly used word in her vocabulary), don’t hold open doors for each other and discuss money in broad daylight – something that verges on taboo in the UK. An amusing look at why Brits behave as they do and the informal codes in British society, including: Manners, money, the weather, family matters (at least, some of the time), traditions, honesty (& how it can be overrated).
    • Great for companies with employees working in the UK or thinking of expanding there as well as cultural adventurers, schools and universities.

    Helen Russell foredrag

    The science of change and taking leaps into the unknown

    • Helen spent several years researching into the science of change and the best tools and techniques we can all use to get better at it for her 2016 book, Leap Year – how small steps can make a giant difference. Drawing on the expertise and advice of neuroscientists, psychologists, business leaders, scientists, nutritionists, physical education experts, and even FBI hostage negotiators, Helen can speak about our fear of change and what we can do about it. She can share the tools and techniques
      to help with confidence and better decision making; how to reverse a downward spiral; the power of making changes in incremental steps; and why support networks are key to success; as well as her top 10 tips for making leaps into the unknown.

    Helen Russell foredrag

    The secrets of happiness from around the world

    • Join Helen for an entertaining and insightful trip around the world to discover the secrets of happiness from 30 countries. From Australia to Wales, via Bhutan, Ireland, Finland, Turkey, Syria, Japan and many more, Helen will share the insights from her new book The Atlas of Happiness, uncovering lots of fascinating habits, attitudes and actions and how we can use them to improve our lives.
    • Anxious? Take Icelandic inspiration and get some Þetta reddast. Lost your way in life? Make like the Chinese and find your xing fu. Too much on your plate? Learn the Italian art of dolce far niente.
    • Helen talks about how the book came about and why this matters, right now, in these days of rolling news and in the facre of negativity bias. She can inspire with her manifesto on how optimism isn’t frivolous: it’s necessary, now, more than ever,
      before sharing some examples of unique happiness concepts around the world and what she learned during the course of her research that can help us all move forward as global citizens.
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