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Helen Russell

travels from Denmark

Journalist and bestselling Author

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Keynote speaker Helen Russell is a British journalist and bestselling author based in Denmark. Starting her career in public relations, Helen knows how to bridge the gap between brands, journalists and experts. She has a talent to fascinate people and shape messages vividly. Helen Russell is a charismatic humorous speaker who takes her audience on an entertaining journey.

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist, archetypal londoner and exuberant speaker Helen Russell 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.

What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen Russell decided there was only one way to find out: she gave herself a year to uncover the formula for Danish happiness.

From childcare, education, food and interior design to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, the resulting book The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey 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. As an author and expert on happiness, life overhauls, work-life balance and cultural difference, keynote speaker Helen Russell lectures internationally and can facilitate panels and give after dinner speeches.

Helen is a journalist and former editor of MarieClaire.co.uk. She now lives in Denmark permanently and works as a Scandinavia correspondent for the Guardian, as well as writing a column on Denmark for the Telegraph and humorous features for The Times, Metro, Grazia, Wall Street Journal and The Independent, among others. She has a 36-year-old husband, a two-year-old dog and a one-year-old son. Helen drinks a lot of coffee to cope with all three of them and is currently writing her second book.

‘A lovely mix of English sensibility and Danish pragmatism, vivacious speaker 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.

Photo by Simon Meyer

See keynotes with Helen Russell
Keynote by speaker Helen Russel

The Year of Living Danishly – Uncovering the secrets of the world’s happiest country

  • This talk is based on Helen’s bestseller “The Year of Living Danishly” and touches upon the key areas that psychologists and experts agree are important in order to live a more content life. The key areas include trust, security, a sense of belonging, equality, addressing the aesthetics (& ‘getting hygge with it’)
  • Helen offers an insightful and useful guide to becoming happier delivered in an entertaining and engaging way. This keynote is suitable for group events, human resources professionals as well as CSR agendas.
Keynote by speaker Helen Russel

The expat experience (and how to survive it)

  • In this engaging keynote, speaker Helen Russel provides an overview of the challenges foreigners face when moving to Denmark. Helen combines research with her personal experiences and funny anecdotes.
  • Helen shares practical and useful tips and tricks to make Denmark feel like a home. She covers important areas like culture shock, making friends, keeping your identity. She also shares her top things not to do when moving to Denmark which stem from personal experiences.
  • This keynote presentation is ideal for international organisations as well as companies looking to hire expats.
Keynote by speaker Helen Russel

The cultural differences between Denmark and the UK

  • As someone who has worked across Europe, America and Asia, Helen Russell keeps discovering more about what it means to be British. In this eye-opening keynote, Helen shares the most notable differences between Denmark and the UK.
  • When Helen moved to Denmark she was appalled to discover that Danes have no word for “please”, don’t hold doors for each other and talk salary like it’s everyone’s business – something that verges on taboo in the UK. This keynote offers an amusing look at why Brits behave as they do as well as the norms in British society like manners, money, family, traditions and honesty.
  • This presentation is perfect for international companies with employees working in Denmark or thinking of expanding as well as cultural adventurers, schools and universities.
Keynote by speaker Helen Russel

The science of change and taking leaps into the unknown

  • In this keynote, Helen Russel presents her discoveries from her book “Leap Year – How small steps can make a giant difference”. Helen spent several years researching the science of change and now presents the best tools and strategies for embracing change.
  • The audience will learn how to feel more confident with decision making, the power of making changes in incremental steps and Helen’s 10 tips for making leaps into the unknown. Helen draws on the knowledge of neuroscientists, psychologists, business leaders, nutritionists and even FBI hostage negotiators.
Keynote by speaker Helen Russel

The secrets of happiness from around the world

  • In this insightful keynote, speaker Helen Russel shares the secrets of happiness from 30 countries. This keynote is based on research from her new book “The Atlas of Happiness” and Helen uncovers lots of interesting habits and attitudes that we can all learn from.
  • Helen talks about how she started her book and why we need to look to other countries for inspiration in the face of negative bias. Helen inspires her audience as she shares examples of unique happiness concepts as well as what she learned herself during her research.
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    Keynote topics with Helen Russell