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Harry Potter Saved My Life

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Unexpected life lessons from The Boy Who Lived. Every episode, superfan Harriet Morris looks at one character, spell, invention or place from the magical world of Harry Potter (and related works) and asks: what hidden soul-saving teachings are there to help us navigate and dismantle anxiety, depression and the curveballs that life has a habit of throwing at us?

Unexpected life lessons from The Boy Who Lived. Every episode, superfan Harriet Morris looks at one character, spell, invention or place from the magical world of Harry Potter (and related works) and asks: what hidden soul-saving teachings are there to help us navigate and dismantle anxiety, depression and the curveballs that life has a habit of throwing at us?
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Unexpected life lessons from The Boy Who Lived. Every episode, superfan Harriet Morris looks at one character, spell, invention or place from the magical world of Harry Potter (and related works) and asks: what hidden soul-saving teachings are there to help us navigate and dismantle anxiety, depression and the curveballs that life has a habit of throwing at us?






Update January 2019

A quick update on what I am working on - and one of my favourite passages from the entire series, taken from The Goblet of Fire


S2E4: How To Stop Feeling Suicidal Using Harry Potter

In this episode, I explain how I used Harry Potter to help a client deal with her suicidal urges. Please note that my area of expertise is compulsive and binge eating, not suicide – so take everything you hear as anecdote, rather than expert advice. In addition, my client has never attempted to take her own life – we are talking about passive suicidal ideation (i.e. dealing with thoughts such as ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’ rather than any active intention to end her life). 4 min 30:...


#2.3: Hagrid (part 1)

Hogwart’s favourite half-giant teaches us three important life lessons throughout the course of the seven books. What are they? Loyalty? Being a good father figure? Well, although these are traits that many people think of, I believe they are least interesting for our purposes here. Instead, let’s talk about: #1 Building Better Boundaries. Hagrid is an anti-teacher in this respect – he shows us what happens when we fail to build healthy boundaries. This is apparent not just in his naïve...


#2.2 Crimes of Grindelwald Review

A choc-full-of-spoilers review of the latest Fantastic Beasts installment. I talk about what was great, and what was not so great. In particular: *The theme of belonging and can an isolated outsider ever become a leader? *The surprising symbolism of the niffler stealing Grindelwald’s blood pact trinket *What I think about Queenie’s defection to Grindelwald *Is it right for it to take such a dark turn after Fantastic Beasts? RESOURCES Episode on Draco:...


#2.1: Should I Go and See The Crimes of Grindelwald?

S2E1: A no-spoilers episode to kick off season 2. I give you a review of the latest Fantastic Beasts film that contains absolutely no major plot giveaways – beyond what your local cinema might have in their description blurb. I talk about what’s good and not so good about The Crimes of Grindelwald so you can decide for yourself. I talk about where I disagree with the criticisms levelled at this movie – and where I think the naysayers are right. In particular: *The issue of exposition in a...


#14: Season 2 Trailer - and a bit about Jacob Kowalski

Season 2 of this podcast is just around the corner! Be sure to subscribe so you get the next episode the moment it is released. I include an excerpt about Jacob Kowalski (the thoroughly befuddled muggle from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them) which was featured in episode 14 of my other podcast, The Eating Coach. Here is the full episode that extract comes from, plus all the video clips for each Hollywood Rebel: http://www.theshiftinside.com/films/


#13: The Time Turner: Neutralising Regret

Wouldn’t we all just love a Time Turner? How fabulous would it be to go back in time and wipe out that awful interview, the person you wish you had never met, or the job you would avoid like the plague if you had your time over again. However, I believe that the REAL fantasy pull of the Time Turner is two-fold: to help us turn away from the inevitable forward march of time and to avoid having to feel regret. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen. In this episode, I discuss how JK Rowling’s very...


#12: Voldemort: Dismantle Your Fears

So many of our fears have a very powerful misunderstanding at their core. Find out why so many of us are servants to our fears, instead of brave adventurers who dismantle them at every opportunity. Harry chooses to face Voldemort in the forest – and we too can stand up to our fears…with equally powerful results. New section: Who’s Your Favourite…? Thanks to Marina Darlow from www.vision-framework.com who hosts the Better at Business podcast at http://betterat.biz/ for being the first...


#11: Omnioculars - Reel VS Real Life

Today I look at the significance of omnioculars in the Muggle world. If you have forgotten, they appear at the start of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire when our hero is watching the Quidditch World Cup: "You can replay action ... slow everything down ... and they flash up a play-by-play breakdown if you need it. Bargain - ten Galleons each." Find out what they mean to us in our life, and how they can help us be happier and more empowered. RESOURCES Ideas for future show topics?...


#10: Snape - The Dangers of Confirmation Bias

Today we look at our own tendancy to use events and actions of other people to confirm our pre-existing beliefs through Snape...and indeed Harry. Find out exactly how they are inverted mirror images of each other, a kind of mutually destructive, corrupted yin and yang. And of course we take this lesson out of JK Rowling's world, and into our own. Find out what feeling is a pretty good clue that you are suffering from confirmation bias, as well as the question that can help you be more...


#9: The Dursleys - The Hidden Benefits of Jealousy

What surprising lessons can Harry Potter's hideous relatives have to offer us? The hidden benefits of jealousy, that's what. Another shot of inspiration from superfan Harriet Morris who can seemingly find not exactly a font of wisdom from Privet drive, but some backwards, unintended life advice Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon never intended to give their nephew, but is writ large in neo lights whenever either of them open their (rather mealy) mouths. RESOURCES Episode 2 (mistakenly I...


#8: Halloween - Discover Life’s Greatest Paradox

The 31st October is massively significant in the Potterverse, and even more meaningful for us – if we look deep enough. How we do it is by unearthing the strange paradoxes that occur every Halloween to Harry and his friends. His parents died on this day – but it is also the day that he, Ron and Hermione join forces as a powerful trio that will eventually work together to defeat Voldemort. These conflicts of meaning continue throughout the whole series – listen today to decipher what...


#7: Draco - The Loneliness of Change

Draco Malfoy is much more than a bully gifted with magical powers. He offers us two very different sources of inspiration when it comes to empowering ourselves. First of all, he makes us ask What is great about that person who drives me crazy? It is the ONLY question we can ask. Without Draco, Harry would not be master of The Elder Wand. We too can use bullies and other difficult people as sources of resilience. Secondly, Draco exemplifies the loneliness of true change. Nobody is there to...


#6: Felix Felicis - Change Your Story

How can we shed our victimhood using the metaphor of Felix Felicis? This is the continuation of last episode on Ron - so go back and re-listen to that first if you haven't already. Lucky potion, as introduced by professor Slughorn in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, can be used to talk about many different challenges - but here I am going to focus in on the episode where Harry pretends to give Ron some Felix. This potion allows Ron to change the victim story he is telling...


#5: Ron - Shedding Victimhood

I HATE being poor! I'm not wearing that! I'm no good at Quidditch! Just exactly what IS up with Mr Ronald Weasley? Why would such a self-styled victim be part of the most powerful wizarding trio Hogwarts has ever seen? In this episode I discuss the two great gifts Ron has to offer us on our own journeys to empowerment: his sheer ordinariness and the way he sheds his victim identity. I love the way JK Rowling holds her ginger-haired hero up as a refreshing counterbalance to the cult of...


#4: Hermione - Soul-Saving Rebellion

How can 'the best witch of her age' help us live more empowered lives? Isn't she, as Snape puts it, just 'an insufferable know-it all'? Yes she is. Of course she is. But Hermione is so much more than that. It is she, not Harry or Ron, who punches Draco in year 3. It is she who masterminds Dumbledore's army when Harry is a bit too consumed by rage to organise anything. By comparing Hermione to Percy Weasley, we see her in a new light, and understand the lessons she has to teach us about...


#3: Hogwarts - The Replacement Tribe

Today I talk about the role that the idea of Hogwarts has for us in healing from anxiety, depression etc. Nobody transitions from abused child to powerful leader without some form of social support – and we CAN do this, even without a half-giant on a motorbike whisking us off to a strange new world! So much of people’s misery is down to the fact that we are essentially tribal creatures living in a tribeless society. In this episode, you will discover: The specific ways we are still...


#2: Harry and Self-Acceptance

In this episode, we look at how you can accept yourself better – not via useless affirmations, but by integrating the shadow within. This concept, coined by Jung is “the unknown ‘‘dark side’’ of our personality - dark both because it tends to consist predominantly of the primitive, negative, socially or religiously depreciated human emotions and impulses like sexual lust, power strivings, selfishness, greed, envy, or rage, and due to its unenlightened nature, completely obscured from...


Harry Potter Saved My Life (Trailer)

A glimpse into what to expect from Harry Potter Saved My Life, the show that explores the soul-saving lessons hidden in JK Rowling's magical world.