How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

S10, Ep2 How to Fail: Matt Haig

February 10, 2021

Today, I invite you to listen to one of my most-requested guests. I've lost count of the number of messages I've received begging me to get Matt Haig on the podcast, and now here he is: the man, the myth, the legend himself!

Matt is a bestselling author of both fiction and non-fiction and a mental health advocate whose admirers include everyone from Dolly Parton to the Duchess of Sussex. After surviving serious, life-threatening depression in his 20s, Matt used his experiences to form the basis of his 2015 memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, which was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and stayed in the UK top 10 for 46 weeks. His latest novel, The Midnight Library, tells the story of Nora Seed, who, after attempting to take her own life, finds herself in a library of books which contain alternative versions of Nora’s future. It's a charming meditation on what it means to live a fulfilled life, and on the often blurry line between failure and success.

Matt joins me to talk about his failure to get the right work / life balance, his failure to check his own privilege and how he wishes he'd been open about his mental health earlier [TW: contains discussion of depression and suicide]. We also talk about having thin skin in an age of social media, how to handle criticism and the dangers of being given 'expert' status when you've never sought it for yourself.


Matt's latest novel, The Midnight Library, is out now.


Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong contains 7 Failure Principles developed from two-and-bit years worth of accumulated podcast wisdom and is out now.


How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email


Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Matt Haig @mattzhaig






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