Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Jul 19, 2021

With Bestselling Author Helen Ellis


Our relationships with our closest girlfriends are one of the most important, life-affirming relationships that we have. While male relationships are important, female friends not only provide companionship and validate our feelings, but they also provide emotional support and comfort us through the roughest of times. How often have you shared something in confidence with your best girlfriend that you wouldn’t tell anybody else?


My guest, Helen Ellis, is the author of Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light. It’s a delightful and funny collection of essays about cherished, long-term friendships among women. She highlights the intimate things we discuss with our girlfriends that we might not share with our spouses or our families because maybe they’re just a little bit too intimate (or embarrassing), but not for your girlfriend. Written with humor about real-life issues that we’re fearful of discussing in public or with anyone outside of our close circle, Helen describes the heartwarming, bittersweet side of long-term friendships and growing older together. Chosen as one of our PureWow’s “The 18 Best Beach Reads of Summer 2021”, this amusing and insightful book makes a great addition to your summer reading list.


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • What was it like for Helen moving from Alabama to NYC?
  • How did Helen meet her husband?
  • What was Helen’s education and career path?
  • What was it like working for Chanel?
  • What does Helen think makes women from the South different?
  • Why did Helen decide to write a book about female friendships?
  • What is a “second-best friend”?
  • What are Helen’s different friend groups?
  • Why does the book focus only on female friendships?
  • Why does Helen think women 5‒10 years older than you make the best friends?
  • How does Helen find her groups of friends?
  • How can you tell when someone is a very good friend?
  • What does Helen do when a friend hurts her feelings or has a vastly different opinion?
  • Why does Helen think laughing is so important?


Today’s Takeaway: 

Helen’s book, Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light, demonstrates how sharing your feelings with your closest girlfriends and looking at our situation with humor may see us through the darkest of times. Talking through your fears with a close girlfriend might provide a solution or motivate you to take the next best step for yourself. At the very least, it may help us see the humor in our lives. And we could all do with a bit more laughter these days. A good sense of humor makes it easier to cope when you don’t feel well or you’re in pain. Laughter really is the best medicine. When we laugh, we release endorphins that not only lift our mood but might improve our health. Laughter helps us navigate the daily frustrations of life. When we’re able to see our situation in its proper perspective, it might even improve our social life. People are drawn to others who make them laugh. Carl Reiner said if we keep laughing, we’ll live forever. At the very least, it certainly makes life more enjoyable. Remember that every day is a gift, so get out there and live, laugh, and enjoy every moment. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”

Brought to You By:

Florine Mark


Mentioned in This Episode:

Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light

Southern Lady Code

American Housewife

Helen Ellis on Twitter



“I wrote another book and no one would publish it. And then I wrote another book, no one would publish it. I wrote a third book, no one would publish it… and then I quit writing for years.” — Helen


“When your best friend isn’t available and you call me, I will show up and help you!” — Helen


“Being the second-best friend is a good gig if you can get it. I’m number 2! I’m number 2!” — Helen