Jennette McCurdy talks about her hard feelings in a podcast
Jennette McCurdy hasn’t always made room for her more difficult feelings.
“I realized that I had so much judgment about my feelings, which just made it harder to accept and process,” she told POPSUGAR. “I had so much self-loathing about difficult feelings because I thought there were only a few of the relevant things. I thought, “You’re supposed to be happy and grateful all the time. That means you’re a good person.” So I’d pretend that’s what it is, and if I felt anything else, I’d punish myself.”
Over the years, the author, whose raw and powerful memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” has spent more than 60 weeks as a New York Times bestseller since its publication. in August 2022, found herself criticizing herself for being strong. feelings just didn’t work for her. Now, she’s making room for her feelings in a whole new way with “Hard Feelings,” a podcast from Lemonada Media. Each episode of the show, which was shown for the first time on October 24, features her reflections on a different challenging emotion or topic, from shame and stress to loyalty beyond. The podcast is particularly special because McCurdy records each episode in real time, when she is actually in the middle of dealing with a difficult situation.
The external format of the podcast was inspired by McCurdy’s long-time practice of making voice notes, journaling, and essentially recording “every thought or feeling I have.” Normally she would have abandoned these reflections after they were created without looking back, but eventually she found the process cathartic. “At some point I thought, you know what?” she says. “I think this would be a good podcast.”
“Socially, there’s such a narrow range of emotions that we can feel or are supposed to feel. I hope it’s encouraging to hear someone who is very vulnerable with their ugly and uncertain parts, not just the smart smart parts.”
Listeners seem to feel the same, as the podcast hit No. 1 on Apple Podcasts the week it first came out. The episodes are surprisingly raw and highly flexible, largely due to McCurdy’s unscripted, real-time approach, and it’s important to her to record them while she’s really feeling the emotion of it. does she reflect. “For example, I recorded an episode a couple of days ago that I couldn’t have predicted the day before,” she says. “I was like, ‘I feel something strong,’ and I grabbed my phone.
Meanwhile, in the episode “bad mood,” McCurdy reveals that she recorded an earlier episode where she found herself giving advice on how to get out. from a slump – but when her bad mood didn’t go away later in the day, she decided to reschedule it more realistically.
“I was trying to be someone I wasn’t,” she says of that episode. “I don’t know where I came from, but I was splitting tips and tricks to get out of bad fun. It wasn’t real for me. I had to do another one where it was.”
With “Hard Feelings,” McCurdy is certainly creating relatable content, but she’s challenging a topic that’s too prominent in self-help and confessional media. Often, reflections on difficult times are shared after the fact, rather than when they are actually happening – and usually when help is needed. This type of content often inadvertently implies that all emotions and struggles are issues to be settled, rather than natural facts of life to be accepted and allowed.
It’s been a long journey for McCurdy to get to a place where she can honor their feelings in all their forms. “Understanding my feelings is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she said, adding that she has lived much of her life in a state of constant disconnection. from her feelings. “I had such a bad relationship with my emotions for so long. Tears would come down my face, and I couldn’t tell you what emotion was at the heart of it. Was it sadness, anger , it was jealousy, I had no language or tools to understand my emotional experience.”
Image source: Brian Kimsky
Most people don’t; we are not taught exactly how to handle our emotions at school and we often use imitation patterns that our parents show us. But learning to accept her feelings has been key to McCurdy’s healing journey. Anyone who has read her memoir will know what McCurdy had to deal with from a young age, living with a mother who controlled her body and career and who constantly dis- allow her true feelings and desires. On his podcast, McCurdy also delves into his family history for lessons and insights. In the episode “Loyalty,” for example, she explains why she chose to cut off her father and reflects on the harmful idea that you have to stay by someone no matter what they do. Through it all, she doesn’t try to edit or criticize her feelings or minimize what she’s been through.
“Socially, there’s such a narrow range of emotions that we’re allowed or supposed to feel,” she says. “I hope it’s encouraging to hear someone who is very vulnerable with their ugly and insecure parts, not just the smart smart parts.
Learning how to handle and honor tidal or stormy emotions in a healthy way—without shutting them down or letting them explode—can be a very challenging task. After all, it means sitting through pain without tuning it out. But ultimately, McCurdy wants people to know that this practice is an important part of any healing journey. Repressed emotions are at the heart of so many diseases, from addiction to eating disorders. McCurdy struggled with the latter for a long time, as she details in her memoir and talks on the podcast. But learning to process her emotions, as overwhelming as the process can be, “has been incredibly healing and productive for me,” she says.
Today, in addition to telling about her feelings, she is busy writing her first novel, which she is “so excited” about. She has also recently launched a book club, and slowly, it seems she is building a life based on writing, vulnerability and connection.
She is also slowly but surely learning to accept that she is a person who “gives a lot of f*cks,” as the description of her podcast mentions. “I really wear my heart on my sleeve, because for better or worse I can’t hide it. I can’t cheat. I can’t laugh at someone I don’t like or make fun of someone I do. It is very inevitable. I feel,” she continues. “I guess that’s the driving force for me.”
The last episode of “Hard Feelings” premiered on November 7.