'Queen of the mommy bloggers' Heather Armstrong dies aged 48

‘Queen of the mommy bloggers’ Heather Armstrong – known as Dooce – dies aged 48 after detailing battles with sobriety and suicidal depression

  • Heather B. Armstrong, 48, was among the first wave of successful bloggers
  • She wrote two parenting books and a third about her battle with depression  

‘Queen of the mommy bloggers’ Heather B. Armstrong – known as Dooce to her followers – has died at the age of 48. 

Armstrong, who lived in Salt Lake City, shot onto the internet scene in the early 2000s and became a pioneering blogger, writing candidly about her struggles with motherhood, depression and alcoholism. 

Her death was announced on her Instagram page today.

‘Heather Brooke Hamilton aka Heather B. Armstrong aka Dooce aka love of my life. July 19, 1975 – May 9, 2023. “It takes an ocean not to break.” 

‘Hold your loved ones close and love everyone else,’ the post read. 

‘Queen of the mommy bloggers’ Heather B. Armstrong – known as Dooce to her followers – has died at the age of 48

Armstrong’s death was announced on her Instagram page today

Her boyfriend Pete Ashdow told The Associated Press she died by suicide after recently relapsing following 18 months of sobriety. 

Armstrong was among the first ‘mommy bloggers’, detailing her struggles with depression and parenthood, since 2001. 

By 2009, she had a monthly readership of 8.4million and was making $40,000-a-month with banner ads, according to a 2019 Vox profile. 

In 2016, after battling suicidal depression and sharing her struggles online, she took part in a clinical trial at the University of Utah.

The three-week trial involved her being induced into minutes-long comas three days a week. 

In 2016, Armstrong entered a clinical trial where she was made braindead three times a week for three weeks in an attempt to cure depression 

The results were promising – six of the ten patients who took part in say their mental health improved, and continued to be better for three months afterwards.

It’s unclear if the treatment was ever advanced for approval.

After the trial, Armstrong wrote about it in her book: The Valedictorian of Death. 

The experiment used propofol anesthesia to flatline her brain ­for 15 minutes. She was the third person to try it. 

In an interview with The New York Post about the treatment, she said she was not at all fearful that it might kill her.

She did it ten times, and noticed small changes in her behavior after initial bouts of nausea. 

Armstrong with one of her children and ex-husband Jon. No other details about her death have been released


She took part in drastic experiments to try to cure her depression, signing up to be made brain dead 10 times, then writing about it in the book: The Valedictorian of Death. Her previous books include Dear Daughter and It Sucked Then I Cried

Armstrong with her kids Leta (left) and Marlo (right) 

‘It was after the second treatment when I suddenly realized, “Oh, I showered without even thinking about it. 

‘After the third treatment…I started doing my hair and wearing cleaner clothes,” she said.

She wrote about the experience in her book The Valedictorian of Death. 

Her previous books include Dear Daughter and It Sucked Then I Cried. 

She was also open with battles about sobriety, writing in an April 6 blog post – her final entry – ‘On October 8th, 2021 I celebrated six months of sobriety by myself on the floor next to my bed feeling as if I were a wounded animal who wanted to be left alone to die. 

‘There was no one in my life who could possibly comprehend how symbolic a victory it was for me, albeit it one fraught with tears and sobbing so violent that at one point I thought my body would split in two. 

‘The grief submerged me in tidal waves of pain. For a few hours I found it hard to breathe.’ 

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