Stacey Duguid on coming back from midlife collapse

Before I got to know today’s guest, Stacey Duguid, I thought she was a bit scary TBH. Fierce in all the ways. And then I got to know her - when I was editor of Red and she worked on Elle - and discovered she wasn’t. At all.

Because Stacey, like so many of us, is just exceptionally good at putting on a front. And that front served her well, until it didn’t. She was 45 when everything collapsed. Or, more accurately, she put a grenade under it. The thing she’d been trained to want ever since she was tiny: the house, the husband, the children, the career, the happy ever after. All blown to smithereens. 

Now 49, a single mum and a successful journalist, very much back from the brink, Stacey has written In Pursuit of Happiness, the most brilliant book about a midlife collapse and ultimately recovery. I know you are going to love it.

As candid in person as she is in print, Stacey talks frankly about the pain of divorce, searching for a self you’ve never met, self-blame, “hotness syndrome”, perimenopause mayhem (and I mean MAYHEM), making peace with her mother, rediscovering her creativity, midlife sexuality and…

If you enjoyed this episode, you might like my conversations with Rosie Green and Natalie Lee.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on, including In Pursuit of Happiness by Stacey Duguid, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

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