Catharsis, Hope, and Craigslist with Helena Dea Bala – Episode #101

Catharsis, Hope, and Craigslist with Helena Dea Bala - Episode #101


In the newest episode of the Parent Footprint podcast, Dr. Dan welcomes author Helena Dea Bala to discuss her new book CRAIGSLIST CONFESSIONAL: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers.  This episode is filled with heart and hope about the human experience.

An Albanian immigrant, Helena Dea Bala came to the U.S. at twelve years old and spent her weekends helping her mother clean houses to make ends meet. She later graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The George Washington University, and also from its law school. Unfulfilled at her day job, she gave herself one year—one year to just listen. Five years in, CraigslistConfessional.com is her full-time project. She has written for The Washington Post and Vogue. 

Helena spent five years documenting people’s secrets through “Craigslist Confessional,” a personal project which became a Quartz column and the book CRAIGSLIST CONFESSIONAL: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers.  

Helena’s work challenges us to treat the strangers among us with empathy and respect.  She explains, “This experience has taught me about what it means to be human, about genuine connection. It has taught me how to listen to learn. Not to change. Not to fix. Not to respond. To learn. It brings me back to that quote by Socrates: ‘The more I know, the more I realize I know nothing.’ These stories really put things into perspective—they make you realize the futility of passing judgment, and the utility of empathy.”

During today’s interview, Dr. Dan and Helena talk about moving and teachable moments in her life that listeners will immediately connect to including:

  1. Helena’s parents and their sacrifices to create a new life in America for the family
  2. The inspiration for Helena’s Craigslist Confessional series 
  3. The stories about parenthood in the book and which ones she will always remember
  4. Practicing empathy and compassion – both for yourself as well as others
  5. Helena’s very personal and honest essay about challenges in her own parenting journey

The episode concludes with Helena’s sweet Parent Footprint moment about music and motherhood. 

For more information about Helena and her book please visit:  https://craigslistconfessional.com/.

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