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Helen Russell

Journalist and bestselling Author
Country: Denmark

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.

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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

    Keynote by Speaker Helen Russell

    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 we need to live a more content life.
    • These areas include: trust, security, a sense of belonging, equality, addressing the aesthetics (& ‘getting hygge with it’)
    • An insightful, entertaining and useful guide to becoming happier, suitable for group events, human resources professionals as well as CSR agendas.


    Keynote by Speaker Helen Russell

    The expat experience – how to survive & thrive

    • An engaging talk on cross-cultural challenges internationals face when moving to Denmark. Helen combines personal experiences and humorous anecdotes with practical, useful ideas and tools for making Denmark feel like home.
    • In this keynote, speaker Helen Russell teaches her audiences about the cultural shock and what to expect, what not to do (…from someone who’s been there and made all the mistakes!), how to feel at home without losing your own identity, getting the best out of Denmark, how to befriend a Dane and the 10 top tips for living Danishly
    • Perfect for international groups and work placement initiatives as well as companies hiring expats.


    Keynote by Speaker Helen Russell

    How to be British

    • Archetypal Londoner Helen Russell has lived and 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.
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Helen Russell’s Keynote Speaking Topics