Lucy E Cousins is a freelance wellness writer who is the wellness director of Marie Claire, director of Remedy Content (remedycontent.com.au), editor of URBANSWEAT and a regular contributor to Women’s Health, among other titles. She is also the former editor of CLEO, DOLLY, Women’s Fitness and the HCF health magazine, needless to say, when it comes to media she is an expert.
Why did you decide to become a journalist? I’ve always loved learning, writing, research and talking to people – so it became an obvious choice. I started to specialise in health and wellness after I was editor of a health magazine. There is so much misinformation out there when it comes to our health, so I only refer to expert-back, research-led information that I trust.
What do you love about being a journalist? Learning new ideas, giving a voice to people smarter than me, and in a weird way, I love earning a living from creating something from nothing. My career is based on filling a blank screen with ideas. And I love the simplicity and underlying creativity of that.
What was a stand-out article or expert for you and why does it stand out? Some of the articles I’ve written recently for Marie Claire have been fascinating – How the pill affects our brain, Why women are underrepresented in medical trials, dealing with eco-anxiety. But there are two achievements we made when I was editing CLEO that I loved. One was the inaugural Equality Issue where we shone a light on amazing men and women who were moving the equality fight forward, and the other was a coverline about Marriage Equality (before it was legal) which just said, “Come on Australia, it’s now just embarrassing.”
When it comes to experts sharing story ideas with you, what are your top tips? What are you looking for? I look for solid ideas backed up by solid qualifications. I rely on experts who have a different take or perspective on common issues. I don’t want to hear ‘5 top tips for gut health’ (snooze), How to make your summer body in winter (urgh), etc. We need to be looking for new ways to present the information.
And what can they do that would annoy you?
Not being confident or willing enough to share quality quotes with me. Sometimes I interview experts and they give very short answers with no real substance to them. If you’re not happy to be quoted (which is completely fine) don’t put your hand up.
One of your best moments as a journalist? On a personal level, I love when I receive emails or messages from people who have read my articles and they’ve helped them in some way, and on a professional level, curating the Mumbrella Health Summit, and being interviewed on The Project/ The Today Show and Hamish and Andy were all highlights!
The most interesting take away you have learned from an article you have written? For me there’s not one specific article I have learned from, it’s more that the cumulative effect of all the health articles I’ve written has made me understand the importance of taking charge of your own health. Read the labels, do you research and find your trusted sources of information. Often it’s not the people or products that ‘scream the loudest’ which are the healthiest for us.