Nora Knows What to Say” is an advice series from The Lily and Nora McInerny, author of “No Happy Endings” and host of the podcast “Terrible, Thanks for Asking.” She knows all about navigating challenges. In 2014, her husband died of brain cancer, her father died and she miscarried her second child — all in the span of seven weeks. In this series, McInerny helps readers of The Lily prepare for difficult conversations.


She chose to be a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes she feels guilty. | Episode 1

Kristina Park never thought she’d want to stop working as an attorney. But during her pregnancy, she found it difficult to envision leaving her son with a nanny. She decided to become a stay-at-home mother. When talking with friends, some of whom knew her when she was an attorney, Park struggles to feel proud of the choice she made.

She has bipolar disorder and PTSD. When should she tell people she dates? | Episode 2

Timika Young was in a relationship with someone who didn’t accept her mental illness. Young, who is a rapper, talks candidly about her experiences with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in her music. She asks podcast host and author Nora McInerny when and how to tell potential love interests about her mental health challenges.

She’s almost 30. She’s ready for a change but afraid to make the wrong one. | Episode 3

Kam Bedward wants to move to a new city, change her career and find love, but she feels hopeless. Having lived in South Florida her whole life, Bedward has a network of friends and family that she’s afraid to leave. She has a well-paying job, but she isn’t fulfilled.

She isn’t sure how to tell her parents she’s a survivor of sexual violence | Episode 4

Sarah Ceccio is a college senior will be directing a theatrical performance about her experience as a survivor of childhood sexual violence. Before her parents see the show, Ceccio wants to tell them about the abuse she endured. She asks podcast host and author Nora McInerny how to start the conversation.

She still grieves her deceased husband, but she’s in love with someone new | Episode 5

Elizabeth Elsea’s husband died in June 2017. She’s now in a new relationship and she’s thinking about remarrying. Elsea wants to keep the memory of her deceased husband alive while making sure her new partner feels respected. Podcast host and author Nora McInerny shares her experiences as a remarried widow.

She thinks some men she dates smell bad. Should she tell them? | Episode 6

More than once, Leslie has found herself dating someone she finds smelly. She wonders, is it ever appropriate to tell someone you’re dating that you don’t like their body odor?

She hates small talk. She's hungry for meaningful connection. | Episode 7

Amy lives in a small Utah community. She knows a lot of people, but she’s struggled to build meaningful connections. She wants to talk openly with friends about her mental health, but isn’t sure how.