Bardell was born in Craigshill, Livingston and attended the University of Stirling. Her first jobs were with STV and GMTV London, where she became an assistant producer of the current affairs Sunday Programme.
In February 2016 she was included in The Independent's group photograph of 28 LGBT MPs and peers.
- "The SNP’s business, innovation and skills spokeswoman came out to 'herself' during the general election last year."
- http://www.thenational.scot/politics/meet-your-new-scottish-mps-8-hannah-bardell-livingston.3165 Greg Russell, "Meet your new Scottish MPs: #8 Hannah Bardell, Livingston," The National20 May 2015
- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/gay-mps-the-photograph-that-shows-westminsters-attitude-towards-lgbt-politicians-is-changing-a6886771.html Mark Leftly, "Gay MPs: The photograph that shows Westminster's attitude towards LGBT politicians is changing", 20 February 2016