Good Grief Festival is back this October 30th and 31st with another jam-packed programme of virtual events including talks, interviews, workshops and on-demand Grief School sessions. Here’s a little round up of some of this year’s highlights…

Ruby Wax in Conversation with Julia Samuel

We are delighted to welcome Ruby Wax to join us in conversation with Good Grief stalwart Julia Samuel MBE, one of the UK’s leading psychotherapists, podcast host and author of the bestselling books This Too Shall Pass and Grief Works. Ruby has brought support for mental health to a whole new audience discussing complex neurological theory in an accessible and often hilarious way. Ruby helps us understand how we can take control of our overstressed and over critical minds. We can’t wait for this very special event!

Sunday, October 31st. 18:30-19:30

Kathryn Mannix Teaches us How to Have Life Changing Conversations

In this event, Kathryn will be discussing her profound new book, Listen: How to Find the Words for Tender Conversations, a book about the hardest conversations we have in life and how to do them right – honestly and without regret.

Sunday, October 31st. 10:15-11:15

The Grief School

At The Grief School, you will find 60+ hours of on-demand events. You can choose the events that relate specifically to your experience of grief and watch them in your own time over the festival weekend. We have a diverse programme of events covering everything from childhood bereavement to complicated grief; the death of a partner to dementia; coping with crisis to finding meaning after a bereavement.

60+ hours of events available from 09:00 on Friday, October 29th to 19:00 on Sunday, October 31st

Seeing Red: The Role of Anger in Grief with Julia Samuel

Anger is one of the most misunderstood emotions we experience in grief. It can be hard to talk about, leaving you feeling anxious and as though you’re somehow not ‘normal’. Many of us are conditioned to believe that anger is negative, when in fact it can play a very important part in the grieving process. Join Julia Samuel as she discusses the role of anger in grief. She explains how anger can be thought of as your brain trying to make sense of what’s happened. You’ll never look at anger the same way again!

Saturday, October 30th. 11:30-12:15

The Wellbeing Area

We are delighted to be hosting a wellbeing area at Good Grief for the first time. Grief has a profound effect on our mental and physical wellbeing, often sending the nervous system into overdrive and affecting our ability to live happy and healthy lives. Our skilled practitioners will be offering sessions on Managing Grief with Mindfulness; Yoga to Explore Emotions; Breathwork for Grief and Sound Healing. Recordings of all of these sessions will be available on The Grief Channel after the festival so they can become part of your regular self-care routine.

Book sessions here.

What’s Your Grief? Theories + Models of Grief

In ‘What’s Your Grief?’, we’ll take a whistle-stop tour of the most influential theories as an introduction for your own further exploration. You’ll learn about attachment theory, the stages of grief, the dual process model and the ‘ball in the box’ analogy. This will be an ideal session for those keen to get under the psychological skin of grief, to better understand how we react to this most human of experiences. With Dr Robert Neimeyer and Carolyn Ng from the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition.

Saturday, October 30th. 15:15-16:00

Raynor Winn on The Salt Path + The Wild Silence

Raynor Winn‘s bestselling books (The Salt Path and The Wild Silence) tell the incredible story of a walk that changed her life. Just days after learning that her husband, Moth, has been diagnosed with a rare and incurable degenerative disease, the couple lost the farm which had been their home and livelihood for decades. The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

Sunday, October 31st. 17:30-18:15

The Comfort of The Big Beyond: Grief + Spirituality

In this session bestselling psychologist Dr Lisa Miller, and former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway will discuss the science and philosophy of spirituality and how our beliefs can radically alter our experience of grief.

Dr Lisa Miller is author of The Awakened Brain, which combines cutting-edge science with on-the-ground application to reveal that humans are universally equipped with a capacity for spirituality, and that our brains become more resilient and robust as a result of it. Now in his ninth decade, Richard Holloway has spent a lifetime at the bedsides of the dying, guiding men and women towards peaceful deaths. His book Waiting for the Last Bus is a radical and joyful invitation to reconsider life’s greatest mystery, while his upcoming book The Heart of Things is a moving and personal anthology encompassing melancholy, morality, mortality and more.

Saturday, October 30th. 10:15-11:00

Robert Mcfarlane: The Poetry + Music of Loss

We are thrilled to welcome Robert Macfarlane to Good Grief, the bestselling author renowned for his award-winning books including The Lost Words and Underland. There is an ancient and powerful relationship between grieving, singing and lyric language. In this conversation, Robert will explore the roles of music and poetry at times of grief and loss, considering what songs are often sung at burials and funerals, and what poems are traditionally recited.

Saturday, October 30th. 19:15-20:15

From Woods to Water: How Nature Holds us in our Darkest Times

Nature has an incredible ability to comfort and heal. It can help us connect to something bigger, and allows us to see the world and our lives in new ways. In this session, our two guests – Katherine May (Wintering) and Lawrence Illsey (A Brief History of Trees) – consider how immersing ourselves in the natural world can offer peace and enable us to confront, and even move through, our grief.

Sunday, October 31st. 16:30-17:15

The Dead Parent Club with Julia Samuel

We are so excited to have Julia hosting this edition of The Dead Parent Club with guests Sarfraz Manzoor (Blinded by the Light); Seamas O’Reilly (Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?) and Xanthe Barker (Will This House Last Forever?). The panel will delve deep into what it means to lose a parent, how this grief is processed at different stages of life and how it’s possible to find meaning or even to turn the loss into something positive that drives you forward.

Sunday, October 31st. 12:45-13:45

All of our events are free to attend. Recordings of all events will be available to watch on-demand after the festival on The Grief Channel. Sign-up now for just £20 and help us to keep Good Grief Festival free to attend. The funds we raise through on-demand subscriptions enable us to keep running festivals and events. We are so grateful for your support.