The Anxious Achiever

The Anxious Achiever

By Morra Aarons-Mele

Host Morra Aarons-Mele is on a mission to reframe how we think about anxiety and mental health in the workplace. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. We desperately need better models for leadership and a more holistic view of mental health. Our culture tells those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression that we can’t succeed, but we tell a different story — without sugarcoating the tough stuff. We feature stories from people who’ve been there and experts who can help you thrive. Listen in your favorite podcast app:


Thinkers50: Can We Banish Burnout?

Burnout doesn’t come on because of weakness, and it doesn’t come about overnight. Many of us are walking around with some degree of burnout! On the flip side, it takes more than a vacation or loving your job to solve the problem. In this special Thinkers50 episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele explores some of the ways companies and individuals can more effectively avoid burnout and put in place more mentally healthy systems. She speaks with Alyson Meister, a professor at IMD Business School, Jon Jachimowicz, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, and Basima Tewfik, assistant professor at MIT Sloan School of Management. Learn more about Alyson: Learn more about Jon: Learn more about Basima: Learn more about Thinkers50:
22/05/2457m 14s

Thinkers50: Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy, Start Being Your Best Friend

As part of a month long series with Thinkers50 and The Silicon Guild, in this episode host Morra Aarons-Mele explores constructive ways we can improve our relationship with ourselves, instead of always being our harshest critic. She’s joined by Duke Professor Sanyin Siang, Lenny Mendoca, Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey, and Palo Alto City Council Member Julie Lythcott-Haims to talk about ways to change your self talk and your work.  Learn more about Sanyin: Hear our past episode with Lenny: Hear our past episode with Julie: Learn more about Thinkers50:
15/05/2455m 50s

Thinkers50: Improving Work, Improving Mental Health (For Everyone)

What are some of the most important management ideas out there in today’s world? Thinkers50 is an organization that aims to identify and share these important ideas day in and day out, and all month long host Morra Aarons-Mele is partnering with Thinkers50 and The Silicon Guild for a series of roundtable talks about mental health and work. In this episode, she speaks with Columbia Business School’s Rita McGrath, Copenhagen Business School’s Poornima Luthra, and entrepreneur Andrew Barnes, founder of the Four Day Week Movement, about rethinking how we work to improve mental health for everyone.  Learn more about Rita: Learn more about Poornima: Learn more about Andrew: Learn more about Thinkers50:
08/05/2454m 59s

When Anxiety Sneaks Up on You, Try Something Different

Imagine you are having an anxious moment at work. Instead of letting yourself slip into old patterns of negative thoughts or self-criticisms, today’s guest says you can take a step back and try something new: maybe moving around, going out for lunch, drinking some water - but definitely not doom scrolling.  Emma Seppala is a lecturer at Yale and author of the book Sovereign: Reclaim Your Freedom, Energy, and Power in a Time of Distraction, Uncertainty, and Chaos. In this episode, she explains behavior changes that can make a big difference in your career.  Check out Emma’s book here:
01/05/2431m 40s

Are You And Your Employer In An Abusive Relationship?

Burnout culture is everywhere - case in point, a lawsuit brought against Goldman Sachs earlier this year by a former employee claiming that the relentless workload required by the firm led to heart problems and depression. The firm’s response was of particular note to Sarah Green Carmichael, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist.  In this LinkedIn Live, Sarah joins Morra as well as Cali Williams Yost, founder and CEO of Flex+Strategy Group, to discuss the interplay between company culture and individual experience and behavior, as it relates to our mental health.  For further reading, check out Cali’s book: And Sarah Green Carmichael’s columns:
17/04/2439m 13s

Mental Health Literacy Can Change Lives - and Careers

There was a time when everyone masked their mental and emotional struggles at work; or worse, didn’t even know that what they were experiencing might be anxiety, depression, or something similar. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele first speaks with Kent Coules, co-publisher at Hawaii Business Magazine, about his long career in media, his path to sobriety, and what he learned about drinking and anxiety along the way. Then, she speaks with Donna Volpitta, co-founder of The Mental Health Literacy Collaborative, about how important it is for adults - and kids K-12 - to better understand mental health.
10/04/2455m 23s

Think Your Family Background Doesn’t Affect You At Work? Think Again

Just as members of a family have different roles to play and different patterns of behavior they keep, so too can our family dynamics play out in the workplace. We bring with us to work our feelings about how we should assert ourselves, ask for help, deal with failure and more - all behaviors we learn in our family system growing up. Deborah Ancona, a Professor of Organization Studies, and the Founder of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management, calls these behaviors “ghosts,”and they’re not all bad. Ancona shares her research and experience on how family systems affect us at work.  Check out our previous episode on family systems theory: Read Deborah's Artile:
03/04/2448m 26s

Are You Harnessing Your Anxiety for Good?

Anxiety rarely feels good, so it might feel counterintuitive to think about it as a positive thing. But in this episode, we revisit a conversation with Wendy Suzuki, an NYU neuroscientist who studies neuroplasticity. Anxiety can bring benefits to performance and work, and we can reframe our relationship with this challenging but necessary emotion. Suzuki is the author of the book “Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion.” Learn more about Wendy here:
27/03/2445m 13s

Trauma-Informed Leadership: Is it Right For You?

In the quest to be a more empathetic and effective leader or manager, the lens of trauma-informed leadership might be helpful for you. It’s the idea that all people have various forms of trauma that they carry with them to the workplace, and that leaders should approach situations at work accordingly. Matthew Cooke, partner at the coaching, consulting and investment firm Evolution, is a big proponent of this kind of thinking. He explains how a trauma-informed leader might view or act in situations differently, the skills and resources used for managing through tough moments, and how you can apply the concepts to your own work.  Learn more about trauma-informed leadership:
20/03/2452m 39s

Accent Bias: How It Impacts You and Your Work

Heather Hansen challenges the notion of "good" and "bad" English. Good communication is about getting the message across. She’s based in Singapore and helps executives with their linguistic and communication skills. Hansen is helping us tackle a real problem in our increasingly globalized work world: accent bias. Hansen is on a mission to help increase awareness about our assumptions of what “perfect” English sounds like-- and what we think a good leader sounds like. She explains the negative impacts that accent bias can have, and how we can fight it.  To learn more about Heather, check out her TedTalk:
13/03/2442m 3s

Are You Good at Embracing Uncertainty?

Uncertainty and anxiety are highly linked in our brains: when we aren’t sure what will happen, we often go into planning, defensive mode, trying to come up with every possible scenario and ensure a good outcome. Author Maggie Jackson looks at the ways that better managing uncertainty - like anxiety - is an essential skill. Reframing uncertainty helps us perform in challenging times. Jackson shares the latest brain science and shows being more comfortable in the unknown can help our careers and our success.  More about her book:
06/03/2446m 28s

Dan Harris: 10 Percent Happier, 10 Years Later

We all have big moments that shift the course of our life - and our relationship with those moments also change over time. Dan Harris was a long time TV journalist when he had a panic attack on air in 2004. That set in motion a different course in his life - where he began meditating, finding healthier ways to manage his anxiety, and hosting the podcast 10 Percent Happier. On the tenth anniversary of his book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Really Works – a True Story he speaks with Morra Aarons-Mele about how work and public discussions of mental health has changed, how he views his life changing moment now, and what he wants next.  Check out his book here: And listen to his podcast:
28/02/2449m 20s

Toxic Bosses, Mean Girls, and Trusting Yourself

You know the feeling when you know that something is off with a relationship at work, but feel like you can’t speak up? Many of us have felt this feeling but haven’t known how to describe it or work through it in a healthy way. Toxic bosses and coworkers are super common, and can send negative ripple effects throughout the organization, far beyond a one on one relationship.  Benish Shah was a trusted colleague of mine and she wrote the column “Is it Toxic?” to help workers navigate tricky situations in their jobs. In this episode, we get her expertise on how to deal with toxic bosses and coworkers in helpful and strategic ways. We lost Benish suddenly in December, but I’m honored to share some of the work that was so important to her and to help continue her impact.  Read Benish’s column here:
21/02/2445m 45s

The Toll of Selling Your Business: Two Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories

We put so much of ourselves and our identity into our work; that’s especially true for entrepreneurs. It can be hard to deal with the emotions of selling the business you started, even when it’s the outcome you dreamed of. In this episode, we speak with two very different entrepreneurs about how their lives and mental health have changed over time, as they’ve created and sold businesses and changed career paths.  Bob Glazer is the founder of Acceleration Partners as well as the author of several books. Michael Kaplan is former CEO of Fashion to Figure, and part of the family that started the company Lane Bryant. Both share the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial journeys.  Learn more about Bob: Learn more about Michael:
14/02/2451m 51s

Is Your Anxiety a Habit You Need to Break?

For many of us, anxiety is a partner on our journey of life: it is always there. But a helpful reframe could also be the idea that anxiety is a habit. And the good news is: habits are something we can break. We’ll learn about how to recognize these habits and change them, especially at work.  In this episode Morra speaks with Dr. Judson Brewer, author of “Unwinding Anxiety” and journalist Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit” as well as the new book “Supercommunicators.”  Check out Jud’s book here: You can find Charles’ books here:
07/02/2457m 21s

Former Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Google on Why Teams and Culture Matter

How far have we come in terms of mental health at organizations, and how far do we still need to go? Kristin Maczko leads Strategic People Programs for Synopsys, but formerly served as the Head of Health and Wellbeing at Google before recently being laid off. She speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about how she’s seen workplace structures around mental health shift over time, the mistaken idea of mental health being only the individual’s responsibility, and how we separate our jobs from our core sense of self and value.  Hear more about Kristin on her podcast:
31/01/2452m 6s

What You Still Don’t Understand About Imposter Syndrome

Studies show that over 70 percent of us feel imposter syndrome at one time or another. But there’s a lot we still don’t know about the why, the how, the what. In this episode, imposter syndrome expert Lisa Orbe-Austin returns to the show to talk about the latest research, how we can start fresh this year, and what’s really holding us back in our careers.  Learn more about Lisa Orbe-Austin here:
24/01/2433m 17s

“I Have Always Cared a Lot What Other People Think of Me”

Congressman Adam Smith spent years quietly struggling with both anxiety and physical pain, while serving the people of his state and the entire country in Washington D.C. For many years, holding public office meant hiding things like mental health struggles, but things have changed recently. He speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about what his anxiety felt like (running on a treadmill that was slowly speeding up), how it impacted his job, how it has made him more empathetic, and how he hopes to change the conversation.  Find his book here:
17/01/2441m 58s

Micromanaging, Mental Health, and Breaking Free

Leaders out there who are guilty of micromanaging might not immediately realize that it comes from a need for control, and probably a bit of anxiety. On the other side of the table, being micromanaged can have really negative impacts on our mental health. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Julia Milner, a leadership professor at EDHEC Business School, about how to recognize, handle, and prevent micromanaging in your work.  Read more here.
10/01/2437m 34s

LinkedIn Live: From Digital Transformations to Personal Transformations

Charlene Li is someone who has spent her career focusing on digital transformations and disruptive leadership. And she practices what she preaches - she even helped host Morra Aarons-Mele set up an AI (check out Li shares how to define your individual purpose and find the motivation to “be great” in this special LinkedIn Live.  Read more:
05/01/2437m 49s

“You See Flashes of Really Deep Emotion in the Heat of These Competitions”

What can we learn about performance and mental health from professional athletes? As we start a new year off, Morra Aarons-Mele revisits her conversations with sports and performance psychologist Alex Auerbach, who works with the Toronto Raptors; and with former NFL star Ryan Mundy, who now runs a mental health start-up called Alkeme Health.  Learn more about Alex: Learn more about Ryan and Alkeme Health:

Pressure, Perfectionism, and Passion: What Medical Professionals Face

The limelight - and appreciation - given to medical professionals early in the pandemic has largely faded, but the stresses they face continue. In this episode, Morra speaks to a veterinarian and a physician about their personal mental health, compassion fatigue, and making decisions that go against the grain. Her guests are Chief Medical Officer at Mars Veterinary Health Molly McAllister and Dr. Ariela Marshall, a hematologist and health entrepreneur.
20/12/231h 4m

The Loneliness Epidemic and Work (with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy)

Do you feel lonely, even when you’re almost never alone? It’s a common feeling for many workers in the U.S. right now - with around 50 percent of Americans experiencing measurable levels of loneliness. That sense of loneliness has a huge impact on our collective mental health as well. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele in this special LinkedIn Live episode about what we can all do to improve the situation. Learn more here:
13/12/2340m 48s

We All Experience Class At Work (And Why We Should Talk About It)

Ever been at work and everyone starts talking about their recent trip to Italy, or their Ivy League college reunion coming up… and you just feel left out? Beyond money, class is something that also involves culture and it shows up everywhere - including at work. The stress we feel around class can have a big impact on our mental health, and it’s likely that our class also impacts how we approach our mental health. In this episode, we chat through all the ins and outs of class with Jonathan Menjivar, the host of the podcast Classy. Listen to his show here:
06/12/2346m 28s

Want To Run A Good Company? You Can’t Ignore Menopause Anymore

The working world has gotten a lot more open about a lot of things, from mental health challenges to the realities of being a working parent. But a topic that is still taboo for many is the subject of menopause. Today's guests share why understanding more about this phase of life and how it affects women's physical and mental health is paramount to running a successful organization.  In this episode Morra speaks with Dan Simons, cofounder of Farmers Restaurant Group, a business with $100 million in revenue. He’s on a personal mission to normalize conversations about menopause at work as part of a larger part of his leadership which includes being more open about mental health. Joining the conversation with her perspective is Amy Gallo: author, contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, and cohost of the HBR podcast Women at Work. Read Dan's blog post here:
29/11/2351m 56s

How Your Family History - and Tensions - Affect You At Work

Many in the U.S. this week are celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving - which, unfortunately for many, can mean difficult conversations with family about money, politics, and even the past. At a time when old habits can re-emerge for people, host Morra Aarons-Mele revisits a conversation with Kathleen Smith about family systems theory. The role we played in our family of origin shapes how we show up as a leader and colleague. Smith is a writer, therapist, and associate faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family.
22/11/2338m 33s

Building Your Career When You Have Borderline Personality Disorder

Today’s guest always seemed to seek out chaos in his career. It wasn’t until a diagnosis that he learned to manage his emotions, stay still, and practice consistency as a leader.  Bryce Seto is an SVP of Business Strategy and Business Development, and has been managing borderline personality disorder since he was diagnosed several years ago. He’s also cofounder of the Blossom Mental Health Fund and has been writing about his experience with BPD to decrease stigma and help the work world better understand what he - and so many others - goes through.  Read more about his story here:
15/11/2339m 10s

Farnoosh Torabi on Fear, Money, and Career Success

Farnoosh Torabi is a veteran journalist and personal finance expert who has spent much of her life trying to help others have a healthier relationship with money. But we all have hangups, and varying degrees of anxiety when it comes to how we make money and how we measure success. She speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele in this special LinkedIn live interview about her new book A Healthy State of Panic: Follow Your Fears to Build Wealth, Crush Your Career, and Win at Life. She says that in some ways facing our fears can help improve our mental health and our overall lives.
01/11/2336m 33s

LinkedIn Live: How to Speak Up

Speaking up is an essential skill in work and in leadership, but it can be scary and anxiety-inducing for many of us. This week, Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with executive coach Nihar Chhaya about how can speak up more strategically, get what you want, and manage your mental health.
27/10/2328m 47s

Leadership, Burnout, and Breakdowns (and Why Coaching Can Help)

Everyone needs support at work, whether that comes in the form of coaching, therapy, some combination - or something else. In this episode we look at the specific kinds of challenges that executives face with burnout and breakdowns with executive coach Dr. Chris Bittinger. We’ll learn more about coaching versus therapy, the work he does at Open Pivot, and his own mental health journey.
25/10/2341m 22s

Mood and Food: What You Need to Know About Gut and Mental Health

While information about the connection between food, gut health, and our overall well-being has come into the spotlight in recent years, it can still often be something that only the privileged have time, money, and energy to devote to. Kimberley Wilson is hoping to change that. She’s a psychologist with a degree in nutrition, and author of the books How to Build a Healthy Brain and Unprocessed: How the Food We Eat is Fueling our Mental Health Crisis. Wilson explains how deep the connection is between mental health and what we eat, how that shows up in our daily lives, and why these ideas matter for everyone.
18/10/2339m 2s

The Israel-Hamas War and Managing Grief

It was an emotional and scary week for millions of people around the world following the horrific attacks in Israel and subsequent ramp up of war. In this episode, we return to Rebecca Soffer, author of “The Modern Loss Handbook.” to offer up thoughts on dealing with grief - and work - through such a tragedy, and we share her previous episode on grief for helpful frameworks.
16/10/231h 3m

20 Minutes a Week Devoted to Culture Building Can Improve Mental Health for Grocery and Retail Workers

Anthony Sartori knows just how overlooked the mental health of retail workers can be. After finishing college in 2018, and seeing the plight of frontline workers during the beginning of the global pandemic, Sartori started the nonprofit Evolving Minds. He speaks with Morra Aarons-Mele about the goal of the organization and how companies can work to improve the lives of retail employees.
11/10/2336m 17s

Mindfulness to Be A Better Colleague - and Stop Being Passive-Aggressive

We bring ourselves to work - or to our Zoom calls - every day with the desire to be professional and to achieve. That often means trying to put whatever else is going on in our world aside, but it’s a lot easier said than done. Cynthia Kane is a certified meditation and mindfulness instructor who focuses on communication routines. She explains to host Morra Aarons-Mele why it’s so hard to focus sometimes, how that can impact our interpersonal relationships, and what we can do about it. Plus, why we fall back on communication patterns like being passive-aggressive, and how to break those habits. Learn more about Cynthia's work here:
04/10/2353m 47s

“He’s a Jerk Who Got Rich and Now He Hates Everybody”

Gabe Howard had a successful tech career when, at the age of 26, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. To the outside world, many people thought it was merely a case of an inflated ego. After going through a divorce, losing his job, and getting through the scare of losing health insurance, he came out the other side as a speaker and activist. Howard is the host of a number of podcasts including “Inside Mental Health,” and he speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about his 2003 diagnosis, how it impacted his career, and what people still misunderstand both in and outside of the workplace about bipolar disorder. Hear more of Howard's podcasts here:
27/09/2342m 5s

"I Have Everything to Gain and Nothing to Lose, and I Have a Responsibility to Use My Voice"

A huge part of breaking down stigma around mental health challenges at work is about being open and honest about our experiences. Mita Mallick is head of Inclusion, Equity and Impact at Carta and host of the LinkedIn podcast Brown Table Talk, and she speaks publicly about injustices she herself has seen and felt in her career. We speak about becoming a public figure, changing toxic workplace culture, and anxiety around achievement.  Check out Mita’s new book here:
20/09/2341m 28s

“When I Was Diagnosed with PTSD I Was Treated Like Damaged Goods” (Part II)

We continue the conversation with Dean Yates, a Tasmania-based mental health advocate, former journalist, and author of the book Line in the Sand.
15/09/2326m 11s

“I Wanted to Cover War Without Having Any Clue What War Was Like” (Part I)

Dean Yates was a foreign correspondent and worked for Reuters for decades until the traumatic events he witnessed took their toll. Over time, he realized he was struggling with PTSD - while at the same time realized his company was pushing him out. He shares his story of why he began reporting in the first place, the uncomfortable truths about PTSD, and how he wants workplaces to change.
13/09/2327m 28s

“I Didn’t Know What the Word Burnout Meant”: One Teacher’s Mental Health Journey

The public school system in the U.S. lost at least 300,000 public school teachers and administrators between February 2020 and May 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Post-pandemic, some of that strain has abated, but many of the underlying causes for quitting, burnout and other mental health challenges remain. At the start of the school year, we speak to Houston-based middle school teacher Crystal Frommert about the unique challenges and anxieties that teachers face in their profession and what she’s learned about better handling those challenges.  You can check out her book here:'t%20Your%20Calling%20is%20a%20how,night%2C%20conferences%2C%20and%20more
06/09/2335m 37s

Behind the Scenes of Meditation and Mental Health with the CEO of Headspace

The first time that Russell Glass tried meditation, he wasn’t really sure what to make of it. Flash-forward several years and lots of practice later, Glass is now the CEO of Headspace, the mental health and meditation app. He speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about his own experience with anxiety and imposter syndrome as an entrepreneur, why he was drawn to Headspace as a company, and loneliness and the importance of human connection at work. They also talk through the bold policies he has in place to continue to make sure Headspace practices what it preaches as an organization.
30/08/2338m 16s

LinkedIn Live: Weight-Loss Drugs, Food Noise, and Mental Health

Host Morra Aaons-Mele has an informal chat with author and entrepreneur Meredith Arthur about how Wegovy - a drug similar to Ozempic - has changed her life, and reduced what she calls “food noise”.
18/08/2342m 3s

This Leadership Expert’s Experience Managing Autism Can Help Everyone Enjoy Work More

Tara McMullin was diagnosed with autism at the age of 38, and it put her previous struggles with work and the structures we have around work in a new light. Now, she knows how to build her work day and work relationships in a way that’s healthier for how her brain works. The author and business coach shares what work was like for her before and after diagnosis, and what anyone in the work world can learn about controlling how and when they work.  You can listen to Tara’s podcast here:
16/08/2347m 0s

LinkedIn Live: Am I Too Old for This Role?

Do you ever wonder if you are “aging out?” This week, Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with executive coach Nihar Chhaya about the realities of age bias, expectations, and the stress it brings.  Catch more of Morra and Nihar’s LinkedIn Live sessions here:
11/08/2336m 27s

Best of Anxious Achiever: Pressure, Achievement, and Self-Compassion

High achievers and those who struggle with mental health often find it hard to give themselves compassion. We revisit one of our favorite episodes about self-compassion, featuring Mark Goldstein, a lawyer at Reed Smith who speaks about his journey with depression, OCD, and breaking down stigmas; and psychologist and author Dr. Kristin Neff on how people can build more self-compassion to impact their work and lives.  Learn more about Mark Goldstein’s story: Dr. Kristin Neff’s Self-Compassion Exercises:
09/08/2340m 0s

“I Could Work 16 Hours a Day and Not Have It Affect Me… I Thought”

We don’t always immediately see the ways that anxiety, trauma, or institutional inequities show up for us - and our bodies - at work. Deepa Purushothaman began her career as a classic overachiever, until she couldn’t physically do it anymore. She was done “ingesting” toxic work culture and “acting in” her emotions, as she puts it. She came to realize a lot of the ways that corporate America can be toxic for women of color in particular, and she set out to change that. Purushothaman is the cofounder of nFormation, and she wrote the book The First, The Few, The Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America.
02/08/2344m 35s

Real Leaders Get Emotional: Cloudfm CEO Jeff Dewing

Today, Jeff Dewing runs a successful facilities management technology corporation. He’s had a dramatic career. Mark began his career in refrigeration repair but quickly got bit by the entrepreneurship bug. Over his lifetime he’s seen the ups and downs of his industry and the working world, and has learned to embrace vulnerability and mental health concerns on his way to running a better company. That includes a moment during the pandemic where he cried during an all-staff meeting - and had to admit, “I don’t know what to do.” Learn what he’s learned from great successes and great failures, and how he believes leadership today is changing.
26/07/2344m 49s

LinkedIn Live: Is Mental Health at Work a “Gen Z Thing”?

Older generations have heard the stereotypes, and maybe seen anecdotal evidence that supports these biases: Gen Z, newish to the workforce, is a bit too aware of their feelings and their mental health; but sometimes we just need them to do the work. In this LinkedIn Live session, Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with executive coach Nihar Chhaya about ways to reframe intergenerational conflict at the office, especially as it pertains to being open around mental health concerns.
21/07/2335m 26s

How MLMs Hurt Women’s Mental Health

Multi-level marketing businesses, or MLMs, offer people - often women who don’t work outside the home - the chance to be entrepreneurs, face new challenges, and grow their social circles. The reality is a situation that can prey on mental health issues, the emotional strain and isolation of motherhood, and even trigger substance abuse concerns. Sobriety coach, author, and former MLM worker Emily Paulson shares the story of how she came to MLM, the career she hoped she’d have, how stuck she felt, and how she’s now working to help others.  Learn more:
19/07/2349m 56s

The “Goal Conqueror” Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder During the Pandemic

Natasha Bowman always thought of herself as a goal conqueror: someone who could seemingly take on any project, multitask any number of things, and come out on top. It wasn’t until the global pandemic temporarily slammed on the brakes of her career that some of the underlying reasons for this came to the surface. At age 42, the HR executive was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She speaks with Morra Aarons-Mele about the events that led up to her diagnosis, and how she integrates her mental health with her achievement and success today.  Bowman is the author of the book Crazy A.F.: How to go from being burned out, unmotivated & unhappy to reclaiming your mental health at work. A note that this episode includes brief mentions of suicide and self-harm.
12/07/2341m 24s

LinkedIn Live: How to Handle Envy, FOMO, and Jealousy

Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with executive coach Nihar Chhaya about what Morra calls the "triangle of doom" - envy, shame and scarcity - as part of their regular LinkedIn Live series. These concepts are natural feelings that we all deal with at some point in our lives, but that can really hamper our productivity, and our careers. It's time to get honest about them. Nihar and Morra offer their strategies for managing envy, FOMO, and shame.
07/07/2341m 30s

Best of Anxious Achiever: Can Workplaces Help Us Heal?

With all of the issues in corporate America, in startup culture, and in workplaces biases and inequalities, it can be easy to forget the ways in which work can be a positive part of our life. Susan Schmitt Winchester, co-author of Healing at Work: A Guide to Using Career Conflicts to Overcome Your Past and Build the Future You Deserve, argues that the workplace is actually a better place than we think. Host Morra Aarons-Mele revisits this conversation with Schmitt about our working lives, how our childhood trauma might show up, and how to use our workplaces - in person or remote - as settings to change our behavior and our mental health.
05/07/2337m 48s

When High-Powered Careers Come to Define Us

Have you ever daydreamed about quitting your stressful job and hitting the open road? It isn’t something everyone can afford to do with their time and money. But it is something people sometimes do when they face incredible burnout, loss of self, depression, and more.  Daryll Henrich has spent the better part of the year on the road on his motorcycle after leaving his job as a VP at Google last September. He was an early advocate for better mental health at work, and developed strong internal leadership capacity when he became open about his depression. He reflects on how anxiety and depression shaped career decisions and what he wants now.
28/06/2344m 55s

I Get This Question a Lot: Should I Try To Make My Corporate Job Work?

For many people, the choice between a corporate job or entrepreneurship comes down to the freedom and flexibility they might get on their own… versus the stability and paycheck they get at work. But in a time when many feel workplaces are toxic, that calculus is harder than ever. In this LinkedIn Live session, Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with executive coach Nihar Chhaya about how they both made this personal decision, their advice for others trying to decide, and how it relates to mental health.
23/06/2332m 59s

The Relationship between Ambition, OCD, and Culture

Many high achievers have a complicated relationship with their own health, and their own ambition. Things like anxiety can fuel us but also wreak havoc in our lives in ways we don’t always recognize or examine.  Rainesford Stauffer is a writer and author of the new book All the Gold Stars: Reimagining Ambition and the Ways We Strive, and she speaks about her own experience with high achievement, anxiety, and OCD. She also wrote the New York Magazine piece “Could I Still Be Ambitious Without My OCD?” which you can read here:
21/06/2345m 49s

Do Entrepreneurs Need Specialized Mental Healthcare?

Michael Freeman is a psychiatrist and professor looking to better understand and better support the mental health of entrepreneurs. A fourth generation entrepreneur himself, he’s done research that looks at the higher rates of things like ADHD, depression, and substance abuse in this group of people. He looks at the idea of whether these kinds of thinkers are “touched by fire,” and the unique relationship between how our dopamine receptor genes may influence our desire to be entrepreneurs. Freeman is also a founder of the wellness center ECONA.
14/06/2344m 48s

LinkedIn Live: I Get This Question A Lot

In this new series, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with executive coach Nihar Chhaya about some of your most pressing questions around mental health, career, and success in this new LinkedIn Live series.
09/06/2344m 6s

Entrepreneur Dan Mangena on His Adult Autism Diagnosis, and Living in a Place of Abundance

Dan Mangena spent much of his early life and early adulthood struggling with severe social anxiety and insomnia. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with a form of autism as an adult that he was able to start tackling his challenges head on and adjust his work and life - not to mention his mindset. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with the entrepreneur about social anxiety, motivation, and how to create work life that highlights your gifts.
07/06/2344m 28s

Marketing Expert Dorie Clark on Being Yourself and Being Valued For It

Does your career path feel uncertain, or at the very least, unsteady? In a world where jobs aren’t guaranteed, we increasingly need to advocate for ourselves and create a brand around our work. In the process of promoting ourselves, we can also lose sight of our values and the longer term goals. Marketing expert and author Dorie Clark speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about the ups and downs of career and life.
31/05/2349m 48s

A Recent Morehouse College Grad On How He - and Gen X - Handle Mental Health

Anthony Hunter is someone just setting out in what most of us consider to be adulthood: just graduating from college and joining the workforce full-time. But he’s been doing a few things a lot of us didn’t do in our teens and early 20s: working for the family business and as an entrepreneur even while in undergrad, and more importantly, working on his own mental health and increasing mental health awareness for his peers.  He talks about his own journey to self-awareness, the work he’s done on campus and beyond in promoting better mental health, and the misconceptions many people in the workforce have about Gen Z.
24/05/2338m 53s

Rep. Becca Balint Has Struggled with Anxiety and Depression. Now She’s Fighting for Mental Health Support and Policies.

Representative Becca Balint is a new member of Congress, joining this January after several years in the Vermont Senate. She didn’t start her career in politics, but is now working to use her power to fight for those who need better mental health care.  She shares her own story with depression and anxiety with host Morra Aarons-Mele, opens up about the ways she stays grounded in Washington, and why it’s important for more policymakers to be open about - and help create resources for - mental health struggles.
17/05/2347m 20s

Is American Motherhood (and Work) Sustainable?

“I didn’t want to accept myself as someone who had mental health struggles. And having kids made me be like, oh no, this is a health issue that you absolutely need to keep under control because your kids come first,” says New York Times opinion writer Jessica Grose.  Like many things, the pandemic brought to light just how fragile the mental health of parents - and especially mothers - really was in this country. But just because remote schooling has largely faded away and people are back to business as usual, doesn’t mean the ongoing anxiety and depression issues of millions of American parents have gone away. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks to Grose, who also wrote the book Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood.
10/05/2336m 32s

The Ritalin and Adderall Shortage and How It Impacts Work

Millions of Americans depend on prescription medication like Ritalin and Adderall each day to help them accomplish their tasks. Whether taking these prescriptions for ADHD or narcolepsy, people across the country are now facing a shortage, and difficulty getting the medication they need.  In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO of, about what’s behind the shortage and how detrimental its impacts are. We’ll also hear from writer and non profit advisor Lindsay Scola, who takes Ritalin for narcolepsy, about what the shortage has meant for her, and how stimulant medication has changed her life.
03/05/2353m 36s

Hospitality Entrepreneur Chip Conley on Mental Health, Wisdom, and Generation Gaps

Chip Conley is an entrepreneur who has built a number of companies from the ground up, and also served as Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy at AirBnb. He’s also someone who has made it his life’s work to speak out about anxiety and depression issues, and advocate for better mental health. He does that in part by sharing the wisdom he has gained through years of trial and error, and calling out unnecessary generational tensions in the workplace.  He speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about building a high-powered career, facing uncertainty, and the assumptions many of us have about younger generations at work.
26/04/2347m 58s

Do You Have Codependency Issues at Work?

Codependency is the existence of unhealthy relationship where one person fixates on taking care of or even controlling the other, forgetting their own needs and letting boundaries fade away. These relationships might stem from childhood but have impacts in our adult lives, especially at work. In fact, many types of high stress jobs seem to be built for people who struggle with these issues. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks to a leading expert on codependency, Melody Beattie, about her recently re-released classic book Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, and how to learn if you or your boss might have codependent tendencies.
19/04/2340m 49s

What Psychedelic Research Might Mean for Leadership and Work

We’ve seen an increasing number of headlines around the study and use of psychedelics like psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA and LSD. As research continues, many are wondering how these studies can be improved - and how they apply to work and leadership.  In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with clinician Lebert Lester III of the Behavior Wellness Clinic about the application of psychedelics for depression or trauma, and how to increase the number of people of color in clinical trials for these types of medications. Then, she speaks with IMD professor Alyson Meister about her cutting edge research on psychedelics and leadership. For Further Reading: Could Psychedelics Open New Doors for Science and Business?
12/04/2356m 54s

What A Divorce Taught This Leader About Facing His Fears

Those of us who put pressure on ourselves to achieve do it in all aspects of life - from school to work to family. That means that when our sense of self gets shaken by any perceived failure in any of those realms, our anxiety or depression can easily flare up.  Martin Sinozich is an investor, entrepreneur and senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. Like many leaders, despite a very successful career, Sinozich long felt impostor feelings and fears. Now, he aims to now be open and honest with the next generation of business leaders that he teaches; one of his big missions is to increase workplace mental health.
05/04/2336m 11s

Disrupting Yourself and Your Career

Disruption is the name of the game in so many businesses today, and that’s the case for many high performing individuals as well. But how do we think about drastically changing our life and our career, without letting anxiety and fear take hold? Whitney Johnson is an author who formerly worked with Clayton Christensen, and who has chased her dreams through a winding and unexpected career path. She shares lessons on disrupting yourself while trying to manage the anxiety that might come with that.
29/03/2340m 36s

“I Had All My Money with SVB”: An Entrepreneur on Bank Failure and the Anxious Echo Chamber of Social Media

On March 10th, the FDIC announced the closure of Silicon Valley Bank, marking the second largest bank failure in U.S. history. If you were watching the minute to minute news on social, this development might have felt even bigger - and anxiety inducing.  We live in a time when social media is able to amplify stories and speed up the spread, and it can have a big impact on our mental health. In this episode, Morra speaks with Isa Watson. She’s CEO and Founder of Squad, and one of the entrepreneurs affected by the failure of the place she did all of her business banking. She also wrote the book Life Beyond Likes: Logging Off Your Screen and Into Your Life.
22/03/2333m 56s

How This NBCUniversal Exec Publicly Dealt with Mental Illness (And Teamed Up With A Psychologist to Better His Workplace)

The film and television industry is incredibly pressure-filled, high stakes, and visible. That’s true for the actors and actresses - but there’s often just as much pressure for those behind the scenes.  Jimmy Horowitz is a senior executive at NBCUniversal, and he shares his story of his battle with depression in 2019 - the first time he’s faced a mental health crisis. In this episode, he explains why it wasn’t easy to be transparent, and how he’s working with his organization, and psychologist Dr. Emily Anhalt, to make these conversations easier for others going forward. That includes approaching mental health like an ongoing workout regimen - the idea behind Anhalt’s company, Coa.
15/03/2346m 12s

Are Women Punished For Being Emotional At Work?

The question of how and when to show certain emotions at work is evolving, and it’s subject to a lot of bias. There are still double standards around behavior for many groups of people, and today we’ll talk about the negative -- and positive-- impacts for women who show emotion in and around the workplace.  We’ll learn how far we’ve come - and haven’t - from Stanford sociologist Marianne Cooper, who was also lead researcher for Sheryl Sandberg’s New York Times bestseller Lean In and co-authors the annual Women in the Workplace study with Lean In and McKinsey.
08/03/2343m 25s

Recognizing and Working with Anxiety at the Negotiating Table

Have you ever had to go into conversation where you needed to advocate for yourself and really feel like you weren’t coming from a position of power? Learn how to calm anxiety, and regain your negotiating power. For most people, anxiety is a fear or concern about the future. And having that anxiety going into any negotiation can really feel like a loss of power. But emotions are a normal part of negotiation, and you can use them to your advantage. Moshe Cohen teaches the next generation of business leaders how to engage in effective negotiations as a senior lecturer at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. And he wrote the book “Collywobbles: How to Negotiate When Negotiating Makes You Nervous.” He speaks to Morra Aarons-Mele about how to approach negotiating when you are prone to anxiety - and what to do when you recognize anxiety across the bargaining table.
01/03/2335m 16s

Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health for Men in Business

You know that cliche phrase "leaving to spend more time with my family" that so many people us when they leave a job? For Lenny Mendoca, the phrase didn't have much life. After serving as senior partner at McKinsey, Mendoca went on to work as an advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom. He announced his retirement from Newson's office with the standard phrase. But within a few weeks, after starting to process his clinical depression, he shared it with the public. It's not an easy thing for any successful people, but in some ways even harder for men, to talk about mental health in their careers because of stereotypes and stigma. In this episode, Morra speaks Mendoca, and also listener Darshan Patel, a regional lead at a global company who himself struggles with severe depression and bipolar disorder, and is looking to break the stigma around mental health in India in particular.
23/02/2344m 40s

Your Anxiety Needs a Product Manager

Meredith Arthur is a self-described recovering overthinker. She is chief of staff at TwoTwenty, a in-house incubator for new projects at Pinterest. She’s also a mental health advocate and author of the book Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World. Meredith speaks to host Morra Aarons-Mele about being diagnosed with anxiety at age 40, life as a product manager in the start up world, and how she manages anxiety now.
15/02/2337m 13s

This Father and Son Transformed Their Relationship and Careers After Mental Health Challenges

Craig Kramer was someone with an impressive corporate career. His son, Peter Lee-Kramer, was on a track of academic and athletic success. Then mental health issues surfaced - and sent the father and son to both re-evaluate their priorities and shift their career goals.  Today, Peter is in a graduate program to become a licensed therapist, while Craig serves as a mental health ambassador for Johnson and Johnson. In this episode, they share their story of how they grew together as a family and shifted their lives in the wake of a tough mental health period.
08/02/2349m 3s

Here’s How to Plan for Difficult Conversations

It might be a confrontation with a colleague who is constantly late to meetings. You might need to finally ask for that raise. Or it could be approaching a coworker to disclose a mental health issue you’ve been struggling with.  We all face difficult conversations - and difficult people - in our careers. Amy Gallo is a conflict expert, a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, and author of the book Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People). She speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about how to keep perspective and prepare for difficult conversations at work.
01/02/2338m 54s

What Athletes Teach Us About Mental Health

Most offices are rife with sports metaphors, from hitting the target to being a team player. There’s a lot we can learn from athletes and those who train them about performance and mental health. And high-profile athletes from Michael Phelps to Simone Biles have contributed to the broader conversation around mental health in recent years due to their openness about their struggles.  In this episode, we speak with performance psychologist Alex Auerbach, who works with the Toronto Raptors, about how he helps athletes work through their mental challenges and keeps them performing at a high level.  Plus, we hear from former NFL star Ryan Mundy about why he started Alkeme Health, a startup focusing on eliminating health disparities for the black community.
25/01/231h 1m

Facing Loss Amid the Tyranny of Positivity

There are a lot of challenges in our lives that can help us achieve. And then there is the reality that there ARE going to be times that are traumatic, tragic, sad. We face depression, death, and grief - because we are human.  Today we have two guests who face those things boldly. First, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Susan David talks about the tyranny of positivity and how it seeps into the workplace. Then, listener Jessie Lytton speaks with Morra about her journey as a caretaker for a terminally-ill partner and what that’s meant for her career.
18/01/2356m 49s

What Mental Health Leave Taught One Google Executive

People who end up in leadership positions at huge companies are usually overachievers: they’ve succeeded in school, internships, early career jobs, and as managers and leaders. But all that success can also hide a whole lot of feelings that we push aside.  Newton Cheng, Director of Health and Performance at Google, spent a year facing those challenges head on. The world champion powerlifter took mental health leave from the company, a phrase he feels strongly about. And it let him interrogate all the ways his mind pushes him, tricks him, and tells him he’s not good enough.  He shares his story about what he learned on leave, and how he’s working to quiet those critical voices in his head.
11/01/2343m 30s

Shopify’s Harley Finkelstein is an Anxious Achiever

Harley Finkelstein is president of Shopify, the e-commerce platform that has processed over 1 billion orders. For years, Harley’s anxiety troubled him but also gave him tremendous drive and energy. He realized that anxiety could actually be an advantage, and today he manages his anxiety through therapy, daily meditation, exercise, breathwork, and scheduling that protects his personal time. His deep self-awareness has enabled him to identify the tools he needs to be an effective leader and to keep his anxiety in check when it begins to escalate.  We will be back next week with a new season of The Anxious Achiever.
04/01/2337m 0s

CVS Health’s Cara McNulty on Fighting Mental Health Stigma

Much about mental health care in this country is pretty broken. In her role at President of Behavioral Health and Executive Vice President at CVS Health, Cara McNulty is working to help fix that broken system.  At America’s fourth largest company, Cara has a platform to implement new policy and change minds. She also brings her own personal story that impacts her daily work, sharing her journey with post-partum anxiety with host Morra Aarons-Mele. The Anxious Achiever returns in January with more new episodes.
21/12/2243m 52s

How to Channel Anxiety Into Positive Work Outcomes, According to Research

Work can be stressful and downright anxiety-inducing; but we also know that bit of anxiety that comes from bumping up against a deadline or having to give a big presentation to the board can spark positive energy and creativity. Bonnie Hayden Cheng, associate professor at HKU Business School, looks at the ways in which our jobs can create anxiety, and shares science-backed guidance on how to get the best out of your anxiety. The Anxious Achiever is nominated for a Signal Award. Head to their website to vote for The Anxious Achiever as Best Commute Podcast:
14/12/2240m 36s

Managing With Intention Can Help Us Fight Toxic Work Environments, Burnout, and Anxiety

Being intentional about how we spend our time and how we treat others is sometimes easier said than done. But it’s an essential piece of how we keep workers and workplaces mentally healthy in today’s increasingly chaotic and stressful environment.  In this episode, we speak with Jacqui Brassey, a Director of Research Science at McKinsey, on what she’s discovered about toxic workplaces, anxiety, and how to combat both. Plus, we check in with Vivek Bapat of SAP about what he’s learned as a leader about how to communicate intentionally and effectively in the world of hybrid work.
07/12/221h 1m

The Anxiety of Money, University, and Raising Mentally Healthy Kids

It’s the time of year when so many young adults and their parents are thinking about a major achievement in young life - getting into college. It’s easy for overachieving parents to put that stress on their kids to go to the perfect school. But the process comes with such a roller coaster of emotions, not just about self-worth but also the value of education and the cost of that education today. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with New York Times Money Columnist Ron Lieber about the mental health issues around parenting, college, and our definition of success.
30/11/2245m 1s

Finding the Right Work Fit When You’re Neurodivergent

For all the negative stuff that social media and our online world can put out there - a lot of which we talk about in this show - there are also some pretty wonderful things. Being online can help us build community, which is something Amanda Morin spends a lot of time and energy on. She’s a mission-driven author, speaker, and advocate for issues around neurodiversity. She speaks with Morra Aarons-Mele about her own anxiety, struggles, and decision to try entrepreneurism.
23/11/2241m 31s

Digging Deeper on Perfectionism

Many high performers go through their working lives struggling with perfectionism and not even realizing it - or not understanding why they have such a need to achieve. In this episode, we continue the conversation around the roots of perfectionism, how to know if it is a problem, and what we can do about it.  Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with licensed psychologist Thomas Greenspon about the research around perfectionism and how it starts when we are young.  Then we hear from Eleanor Beaton, an author, leadership expert, and founder of SafiMedia, who shares her own story of perfectionism, deeply rooted in her childhood, and her relationship with her parents and her own identity.
16/11/2254m 42s

Using Achievement - and Exercise - to Cope

Emi Nietfeld is one of those people who looks great on paper. Raised in tumultuous circumstances and facing mental health challenges in her early teens, she went on to get into Harvard and work at Google. Now as an adult, she’s an author and has faced the unhealthy reasons behind her perfectionism. She shares her story about overachievement, overexercise, and overwork as a method of control and emotional survival, and what she hopes our society can learn about relying too much on personal excellence. A note that this episode includes discussion of sensitive topics like eating disorders and self-harm. Read her op-ed here:
09/11/2240m 44s

Dealing with Grief While Dealing with Work

Grief is something we’ll all experience in our adult lives, and we all experience it differently. But it’s not something the modern workplace is really built to deal with well. How do we move beyond our current system -- which often involves clear cut bereavement days but not much else?  Rebecca Soffer is the author of The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience. She talks about how to use storytelling and helpful conversations as a way for workers, colleagues, and managers to manage through loss and the feeling of grief and build healthier organizations.
02/11/2241m 33s

Why Giving Up Control at Work Can Improve Your Emotional Health

Aaron Dignan is founder of The Ready - an organizational transformation and coaching practice. He focuses on how to prioritize adaptivity and autonomy over efficiency and control - which you can pretty quickly extrapolate into upsides for mental health of workers and leaders. He’s also the author of the book Brave New Work - and cohost of the podcast of the same name.  Host Morra Aarons Mele speaks with him about he helps organizations and individuals realize they need to change, and how he guides them through that transformation.  Learn more about Aaron Dignan here:
26/10/2244m 34s

Surgeon General Announces Framework on Mental Health and Work

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has never shied away from talking about emotions, and their impact on our health. On his own podcast he brings forth topics like loneliness, the pressure of achievement, meditation and stress reduction, facing crisis when everyone wants you to stay positive, and the big questions like, what is happiness. And as mental health has come into the foreground… regulators and health leaders are also thinking about the best practices to recommend.  That includes the Surgeon General’s office - which today released a new framework around mental health and work, to help leaders and workplaces become healthier. We speak about what they see as five essential building blocks to better mentally healthy workplaces: social connection, meaning at work, opportunity for growth, work life integration, and protection from harm. Learn more about the framework here:
20/10/2230m 58s

Scary Mommy’s Founder on When Life Throws Curveballs

We’re told again and again in the business world that the way to be successful is to follow your passion and to be authentic. Jill Smokler, the founder of the infamous mom blog Scary Mommy, achieved entrepreneurial success doing just that. But she has also faced some darker times, especially after selling her company. She speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about how your mental health can suffer when you achieve your dreams, and where she is today.
12/10/2238m 6s

Why Difference is a Superpower with Christopher Lochhead

Many people who are neurodivergent have to figure out a way to succeed outside the rules and regulations of traditional institutions.  Christopher Lochhead, startup advisor, podcast host, and author, is one such person. Growing up with dyslexia, he found his way in the world and now encourages others to find their different, as the way to find their superpower.
05/10/2241m 18s

Burnout and Mental Health: Perspectives from Human Resources

Every wonder what your manager or HR leader is really thinking?  In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Vice Media’s Chief People Officer Daisy Auger-Dominquez about mental health, the great resignation, burnout and more.  We’ll hear what worries her most right now for workers, managers, and HR leaders, and what she hopes for the future.
28/09/2242m 43s

Gretchen Rubin on Expectations, Pillars of Habits, and Understanding Why You React the Way You Do

Before many others, podcast host and author Gretchen Rubin found a way to create her own brand, run a remote company, and think carefully about mental health and work. She shares a helpful framework for understanding how expectations shape your actions and reactions, whether you suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition or not. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks to Rubin about her writing, her career, and more.
21/09/2246m 33s

A CEO on Strengthening Leadership and Facing Childhood Trauma

Adam Baruh is CEO and founder of the consulting agency SuiteCentric. But he’s also on a mission to talk with servant leaders and normalize conversations around mental health. That mission is partly inspired by his decision to face abuse and trauma in his past. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with him about his journey.
14/09/2238m 19s

Your Questions, Answered: How to Get What You Need at Work

We set out in every episode to share a story, reframe a perception, or even change your mind about mental health. But listeners are always writing in with questions. You asked, so we answered. In this episode kicking off the season, Morra Aarons-Mele brings listener questions about remote work, the changing workforce, and mental health to two top experts: Amelia Ransom, VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Smartsheet, and Cali Yost, CEO and Founder of the Flex + Strategy Group.
07/09/2252m 24s

Questioning and Understanding Our Need to Achieve

One of the core tenets of this show is about examining our motivations to achieve (and even overachieve), especially because those needs can contribute to mental health issues. As the school year starts and work pressure ramps up, we revisit our conversation with Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of the New York Times bestselling book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. She also served as Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University for more than a decade. In this conversation we talk about the roots of why we feel the need to overachieve, how pressures from childhood continue into the workplace, and what that awareness can do with us.
24/08/2238m 45s

The Hidden Mental Anguish of a Successful Tech Investor

Andy Johns has had a nearly two decade career as an investor - working on companies like Facebook and Twitter when they were in their early stages. Today, he’s working as a mental health advocate. Andy is reflecting on how childhood trauma and pressure to succeed impacted both his extreme success, and his mental health struggles. He speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about some of his darkest moments, and how he’s trying to change the space for the better.
22/06/2243m 52s

Lori Gottlieb on Writing as Therapy, the Mind-Body Connection, and What to Do When You Need Help

Lori Gottlieb found her life’s work later in life, but she then built her career around therapy and writing - helping herself and countless others along the way. She wrote about her own journey through therapy in her bestselling book “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.” She’s also a passionate advocate for those suffering with autoimmune conditions like Graves disease and thyroid eye disease. Gottlieb speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about how to believe yourself, how to change (even when its hard), and when you might want to seek out a therapist.
15/06/2241m 29s

Changing Your Relationship With Email and Phones

Sometimes you just need a little extra inspiration to remind you how to draw the right boundaries and make sure you relationship with work remains healthy. In this bonus episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with speaker, entrepreneur, and digital communications expert Erica Dhawan about the mistakes she’s made along the way, and how she works everyday towards a mentally healthy career.
10/06/2228m 28s

Lessons in Mental Health and Leadership from History

Mental health seems to be all the rage in the corporate world today. But the reality is that great leaders, great creatives, and great innovators throughout time have also been likely to suffer from bouts of mental strain and illness - even if it was called something else. Historian Nancy Koehn has long studied leaders from Abraham Lincoln to Oprah Winfrey, and she shares lessons from them on how to get through depressive or anxious times - lessons she’s even applied in her own life.
08/06/2244m 13s

Why We Need to Understand Our Emotions Around Money

Even if you don’t suffer from more generalized anxiety, money is something that causes almost everyone some stress and strain. Buffie Purselle, an entrepreneur and personal finance expert, says understanding our emotions around our finances is the first step to achieving better financial health. She speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about some of the most common issues around money she sees, and offers up some tips on how to combat our financially-related trauma. Purselle is the author of the new book Crawl Before You Ball: Breaking the Cycle of Generational Poverty.
01/06/2244m 28s

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (And Work)

A lot of us still think of mental struggles as something to push through. Or we think we need to “cure” ourselves from anxiety and that will be that.  But licensed clinical psychologist and author Dr. Carissa Gustafson says there are real steps you can take to “unhook” us from anxiety. The first step for many people is accepting that distressing feelings and thoughts are part of life, which is part of the basis for acceptance and commitment therapy - or ACT. In this episode, we speak to Gustafson about some tactical approaches to accepting the discomfort, and then taking action.
25/05/2238m 35s

Why Managing Is the Hardest Job She’s Ever Had

Building a positive, mentally healthy workplace isn’t a one-time feat. It requires work day in and day out - which makes managing an even harder job than it used to be. In this episode, journalist Priska Neely returns to talk about how her leadership role has been going, how she’s creating positive structures for her team, the real roadblocks she still faces, and how she takes care of herself while working to take care of others.
18/05/2236m 21s

Bonobos Cofounder on the Highs of Success and Lows of Mental Struggle

Andy Dunn is the cofounder of Bonobos, a innovative retail company he helped start out of business school in 2007. And while the company reached incredible success, eventually being bought by Walmart, Dunn faced intense mental health struggles behind the scenes.  Struggles that came to a head when he woke up in a psychiatric emergency room in New York City. He’s the author of a new book, and shares his story with host Morra Aarons-Mele.
11/05/2246m 5s

Managing Anxiety When the World Feels like a Scary Place

For many of us, anxiety is about the day to day - whether that’s from social interaction, managing all of our work, or a more serious disorder we might be struggling with. But what about what the problem is big - like, really big? In today’s episode, we speak to Kyle Empringham, co-founder of The Starfish Canada, about his own journey to his non-profit work, which celebrates and supports youth activists. And also about climate anxiety - the feeling that more and more individuals are struggling with when faced with existential threats.
04/05/2236m 7s

Imposter Syndrome, Work, and Mental Health

So many of us experience imposter syndrome - the idea that you feel like a fraud in your job; that you’re faking it until you make it and that any minute now, people will be able to see through it. The problem can be especially hard for high achievers. In this episode, psychologist Lisa Orbe-Austin explains what her research has shown about what we can do to eradicate these kinds of feelings.
27/04/2230m 8s

Miss America on the Suffering We Can’t Always See

So many people struggle with mental health issues in part because, unlike many physical ailments, you can’t always know that someone is suffering, or just how badly. In this episode we dive in with reigning Miss America Emma Broyles, the first Korean-American and first Alaskan to win the crown. While many people assume winning the crown comes with a certain amount of perfection, Broyles is breaking down those barriers by speaking openly about her ADHD and a rare obsessive compulsive disorder she battles.
20/04/2234m 23s

Racial Trauma and Work: “I Hear From Broken-Hearted Women Several Times a Day”

Today’s guest is someone who experienced the racism in the corporate world. After years of constantly being triggered at work, she had enough, and walked away. She discusses how to heal after work breaks your heart. Minda Harts is an author, an equity advocate, and the CEO of The Memo LLC, a career development platform for women of color. And she speaks to host Morra Aarons-Mele about the kind of experiences she had at work, and how she now spends her days helping others.
13/04/2239m 0s

Understanding “Good” Anxiety

Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a neuroscientist at NYU who studies neuroplasticity. She’s the author of “Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion,” and she talks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about why anxiety can actually be a good thing. Plus, we hear from listener Andrea Parra, who has experienced “good” anxiety in her own life and career.
06/04/2243m 9s

Does Negotiation Give You Anxiety? Here’s How To Approach It.

Preparing for and managing a negotiation can be hard for anyone, but for people who suffer from anxiety and tend toward rumination, it can feel near impossible. In this episode, Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with negotiation expert Christoper Voss about how to handle negotiations when you suffer from anxiety, or just if negotiations cause your anxiety to peak. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator and co-author of Never Split the Difference.
30/03/2242m 28s

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms On Mental Health In And Out of Office

A career in the public eye is not for the faint of heart. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms didn’t start out knowing she would enter a career in politics, but she followed a drive deep inside of her to serve the public. She took over as mayor of Atlanta in 2018, and faced the dual challenges of a global pandemic and increasing tensions over race and policing systems. After one term, Mayor Bottoms decided to step away and not run for re-election. We talk about how mental health impacted her decision and what she hopes for the future.
23/03/2241m 13s

Learning Compassion for Your High-Achieving Self

What if we all were a little nicer to ourselves? In this episode, we hear from lawyer Mark Goldstein about his own journey with depression, OCD, and breaking down stigmas. He's an example of someone who learned to practice self-compassion, a concept that psychologist and author Dr. Kristin Neff says more people could benefit from in their careers, and in their lives.  Learn more about Mark Goldstein’s story: Dr. Kristin Neff’s Self-Compassion Exercises:
16/03/2243m 57s

A Mini Meditation When You Need It

Hear mindfulness leader Sharon Salzberg walk you through a short meditation you can use at work or any time you feel anxious.
11/03/225m 44s

A Career in Mindfulness, Mindfulness for Your Career

Meditation and mindfulness have become household concepts, especially in the wake of the global pandemic. But it wasn’t always that way. In this episode, we speak to meditation and mindfulness leader Sharon Salzberg about how she began her journey, how much it has surprised her that corporate America has embraced mindfulness, and an exercise that we can all do when we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
09/03/2241m 57s

Why Ambition Can Make You a “Terror” - And How to Fix It

When we get jobs that seem impressive to the outside world - and get sucked into a corporate, competitive culture - we don’t always end up displaying the best leadership traits. Danny Bernstein spent nearly a decade at Google, but it wasn’t until he faced his own relationship with mental health that he was really able to improve as a manager and leader. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Bernstein about his father’s struggle with bipolar disorder, imposter syndrome, bad managers, and his goals for the future. Reach out at or on Linked In.
02/03/2238m 40s

On Being CEO - and Living with Bipolar Disorder

Many leaders succeed and thrive not just in spite of anxiety, depression, or other mental health struggles - but because of them. They make leaders more aware of themselves, and more empathetic to those around them. Gillian Stein is one such leader. She’s the CEO of Henry’s, a family-run business that’s the largest specialty photo retailer in Canada. She recently announced publicly that she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she speaks with Morra Aarons-Mele about her family history, how her mental health affects her business, and what the pandemic was like for her and her company.
23/02/2235m 36s

Psychological Safety in Theory and In Practice

What does psychological safety at work mean for people with anxiety and other mental health challenges? Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Amy Edmondson, a Harvard Business School professor, who has long studied psychological safety, and Christopher Yates, Ford Motor Company’s chief talent officer, about how to build a culture of psychological safety at work.
20/12/2158m 21s

Why the Workplace is Actually a Good Place to Heal

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Susan Schmitt, co-author of Healing at Work: A Guide to Using Career Conflicts to Overcome Your Past and Build the Future You Deserve, about how we can face childhood trauma, understand how it impacts our work, and use the office as a lab for changing our behavior.
13/12/2141m 30s

Anxiety Is a Habit

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Dr. Judson Brewer, author of “Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind,” about how we can experiment with different behavior patterns. Then, she speaks with journalist Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” about anxiety, habits, and ADHD.
06/12/2158m 50s

Huma Abedin on Private Pain and Public Struggle

As a political staffer for Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin was under immense pressure to achieve, while staying out of the public eye. That all changed when her husband Anthony Weiner resigned from Congress, following a sex scandal. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks to Abedin about private pain, public struggle, and what we can learn from her about managing the anxiety of a high-profile career.
24/11/2143m 4s

Neurodiversity at Work

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Danny Lakes, a Procter & Gamble employee who is on the autism spectrum, as well as Todd Ballish, a neurotypical manager at P&G, about why having a program for neurodiverse workers is a strength for the company. Then, we’ll hear from Emily Kircher-Morris, host of The Neurodiversity Podcast.
22/11/2156m 1s

What You Want Matters

Anxious achievers are often hyper-attuned to other people and how to please them. New York Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims argues that many of us need to learn how to tune out that noise and focus on ourselves, our dreams, and our goals.
15/11/2141m 53s

How Family Dynamics Play Out at Work

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Kathleen Smith, an associate faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, about how family systems theory can help us better understand leadership and relationships with coworkers.
08/11/2143m 17s

Even Public Figures Have Social Anxiety

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with New York Times bestselling author Lindsey Pollak about how she maintains a public speaking career while dealing with anxiety, and why she’s finally opening up about it.
01/11/2140m 55s

Understanding Our Roots to Find the Path Forward

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Anu Gupta, founder and CEO of educational tech company BE MORE with Anu, about immigrating to the U.S. with his family, why he stayed in the closet so long, how he realized he needed therapy to address his anxiety and depression, and how unraveling the threads of his life helped him begin to heal.
25/10/2151m 7s

Why Conflict Is Necessary and How to Manage It (with Amy Gallo)

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks to HBR contributing editor and podcast host Amy Gallo about why conflict is so hard and how to make conflict a force for good in your work relationships. Amy is also the author of "The HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict," and she shares her four-step process for doing conflict better.
18/10/2142m 45s

Handling the “Mental Fire”

For many of us, the world can feel like too much right now – a never ending cascade of anxiety-inducing news. It’s something that Christina Blacken, founder and chief narrative strategist at The New Quo, calls the “mental fire.” As we struggle to handle the pressure that we feel in society right now, our own anxieties can fuel narratives and actions that are harmful to others – especially others different than ourselves. Blacken speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about how we can move away from rigid perfectionism, toxic competition, and conformity and toward a culture of curiosity and acceptance.
11/10/2141m 51s

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the Anxiety of Unfulfilled Dreams

Welcome to Season 5! Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with the actor, writer, and director about media and film portrayals of people with mental health issues, and the role mindfulness plays in how he approaches his art and leads his team.
04/10/2138m 52s

Bonus: Talking about Self-Awareness and Anxiety (with Hello Monday’s Jessi Hempel)

There’s another podcast we love: "Hello Monday with Jessi Hempel." The show explores how to make work happier, healthier, and more human. In this special bonus episode, Hempel interviews host Morra Aarons-Mele about her own journey with work and mental health, and how her experiences with depression and anxiety influence her leadership. Check out the new season of "Hello Monday with Jessi Hempel" wherever you get your podcasts.
13/09/2127m 33s

The Great Re-Norming

Jessi Hempel is constantly thinking about the state of work. She’s senior editor at large at LinkedIn and host of the podcast Hello Monday. In the final episode of Season 4, she speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about the way work is shifting – not just in terms of where and how we work, but how it interacts with our identities, motivations, and mental health.
19/07/2139m 35s

ADHD, Neurodiversity, and Bias

There’s a stereotype that most people who struggle with ADHD are white, male, and often young. In this episode host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks to Stephanie Ozuo, a career advisor in the UK, about her experience being diagnosed with ADHD as a 25-year-old Black woman.
12/07/2135m 54s

Anna Sale on Money, Shame, and Tough Work Conversations

Podcast host and author Anna Sale has built her career on difficult conversations. On her podcast, she focuses on the hardest topics we deal with as humans: death, sex, and money. And her new book, “Let’s Talk About Hard Things,” continues pushing that conversation forward. Sale speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about why, even in a world where people are encouraged to be more open, mental health remains one of the last things people disclose at work. They also discuss other taboo work issues that cause anxiety.
05/07/2139m 24s

Mental Health and Media

Chris McCarthy, president of MTV Entertainment Group, speaks with host Morra Aarons Mele about the role TV shows can play in changing how people view mental health and what he and others are doing to make the industry more mentally healthy for entertainment professionals. Plus, later in the episode, makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor discusses how his work on TV shows like Saturday Night Live and Pose intersects with his depression and anxiety.
28/06/2149m 3s

Creating Boundaries in Our Everyday Work (with Roxane Gay)

When you’re struggling with mental health, the day-to-day routines of a work environment can be a lot – even for a famous author and academic, like Roxane Gay. Gay speaks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about how recognizing and enforcing boundaries helps her navigate work and stress. Later in the episode, former financial executive Bob Pozen discusses his experiences with productivity and mental health.
21/06/2148m 8s

How Kayak Co-Founder Paul English Manages and Thrives Through His Bipolar Disorder

Paul English is an entrepreneur, founder, and philanthropist. But throughout his many career successes, he’s battled internally with his mental health. And along the way, he learned to be more open and honest about his struggles, even when it felt risky. His bipolar disorder creates strengths and weaknesses for him professionally, but today he works hard to find balance in his own life, embrace vulnerability, and create healthier environments for his coworkers.
14/06/2137m 57s

Why Therapy Can Make You Better at Your Job

Investor and philanthropist Vikas Shah has been an entrepreneur since he was a young teenager. And throughout much of his career, he struggled with anxiety and depression. But for a long time, he didn’t have the words to identify how he was feeling, let alone address it. Shah shares his mental health journey, and how it has changed the way he approaches leadership and entrepreneurship today.
07/06/2137m 30s

Social Anxiety and Work

How do we listen to ourselves and know when to address our social anxiety, especially when it comes into play with colleagues? Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Stefan Hofmann, a clinical psychologist at Boston University about social anxiety’s deep roots in natural human behavior – and how we can address it in the aftermath of the pandemic.
01/06/2138m 26s

Back to Work: Post-Covid Social Anxiety

As offices in the U.S. begin reopening after more than a year, many people – especially those of us with social anxiety – are feeling uneasy about the return to so-called normal. Certified therapist Dr. Jenny Taitz explains how to reframe these anxieties and continue succeeding at work.
24/05/2136m 19s

Shopify President Harley Finkelstein on Anxiety and Entrepreneurship

For Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, anxiety has always been his super power – even when he didn’t know how to put a label on it. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Finkelstein about the generational trauma of his grandparents, who survived the Holocaust, the anxiety of starting a business at age 17 to support his family, and how to channel anxiety into action.
17/05/2136m 50s

The Power and Peril of Working on a Video Screen

The nature of work is changing, and more and more of us have been working behind screens even before the pandemic. That brings both downsides – and some upsides – for mental health. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with SheSnaps, a Twitch streamer with a huge online following, about how she manages her screen time and why she opened up about her own depression. Plus, Jackson Jeyanayagam, a vice president at The Clorox Company, explains why he advocates for turning video off in online calls.
10/05/2141m 34s

Back to Work: Calm Body, Calm Mind

This last year has been rough on everyone, in so many different ways. But as we look toward recovery and adjust to life after the pandemic, it’s important to recognize the direct connections among physical behaviors, mental health, and performance at work. Dr. Christine Runyan, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and co-founder of Tend Health, discusses the ways we can calm our fight or flight response to anxiety, and why self-care really does matter.
03/05/2136m 35s

Bonus: Finding a New Balance with Esther Perel

After a year of collective trauma and private losses, stress, and heartbreaks, how do we even start to think about returning to a more normal working environment? Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with famed therapist Esther Perel about how workers and leaders can rebound after the Covid-19 pandemic and take away lessons that we never forget.
19/04/2135m 29s

Bonus: How to Stop Remote Work Burnout

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with the TED Business podcast about how she protects her energy and boundaries while working remotely.
01/02/2113m 43s

Succeeding with ADHD

A military pilot, an entrepreneur, and a business professor discuss how they cope with their ADHD, how it’s helped them be successful in their careers, and what they’ve learned about managing neurodiverse people.
04/01/2146m 7s

Understanding Envy Part 2: Facing Professional Envy

Tanya Menon, a professor at Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, says envy comes up a lot in the workplace – though it’s often misunderstood. But she says we can learn to draw good boundaries to better handle competition, fear, and jealousy in our careers. It’s the second episode in our two-part mini-series on envy at work.
21/12/2036m 32s

Understanding Envy Part 1: How Envy Impacts Anxiety and Leadership

Executive coach Nihar Chhaya explains how envy, FOMO, and the illusion of scarcity can contribute to anxiety and depression, and how leaders can cope. It’s part one of our two-part mini-series on envy at work.
14/12/2038m 44s

Lessons in Uncertainty, Anxiety, and Resilience

Journalist and author Aarti Shahani tells host Morra Aarons-Mele how she managed overwhelming uncertainty during her father’s 14-year legal battle and channeled her anxiety into productive work. Later, her anxiety also fueled her voracious drive for career success.
07/12/2039m 35s

Anxiety, Depression, and Working Moms in a Pandemic

Sociologist Jessica Calarco has been studying women struggling to balance work and parenting during the Covid-19 pandemic – and how workplaces can help. She says societal pressures, ideas about motherhood, and systemic failures are causing working mothers to suffer greater anxiety and depression than before the pandemic.
30/11/2038m 13s

Why Start-Up Culture Still Hides Mental Health Struggles

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with veteran tech journalist Catherine Shu, of TechCrunch, about improving mental health culture in Silicon Valley. And Shu shares her own journey with depression, including the time she spent in a psychiatric ward as a teenager, and how she found her way from there into tech journalism.
23/11/2037m 38s

Kevin Love on Trying to Achieve His Way Out of Depression

For a long time, the NBA star hid his battle with mental health. But after a very public panic attack in 2017, he started speaking out. Love talks with host Morra Aarons-Mele about role modeling openness about mental health, how he manages his social anxiety as a celebrity, and why basketball both aggravates and relieves his depression.
16/11/2039m 10s

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the Stress of Creativity

Aaron Harvey is a successful advertising industry executive – but for many years of his life, he struggled with a form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) that involves repetitive mental compulsions.
09/11/2036m 8s

Finding the Funny – and Embracing the Pain – of Depression

John Moe took a bold step when he decided to start a podcast featuring frank, but funny, conversations about depression. Moe was recently laid off, and his show was cancelled. He tells us how he approaches ups and downs in his career, when he seeks help, and what he does to keep everything in perspective.
02/11/2039m 16s

Success, Stress, and Money: Lessons from a Financial Therapist

Amanda Clayman, a psychotherapist specializing in financial wellness, helps her clients uncover the motivations and roots underlying their money anxieties, so they can make better financial decisions. It’s a problem she understands intimately, as an entrepreneur who struggles with financial anxiety.
26/10/2038m 41s

Why Learning to Label Your Feelings Makes You a Better Leader

Many managers and leaders misunderstand what emotional intelligence really means, despite the trendiness of the phrase. Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, urges leaders to learn to understand themselves and their teams using a Mood Meter, a tool he developed to help people explain their emotions.
19/10/2040m 40s

Notes to My Future Manager Self

Priska Neely, the new Managing Editor of NPR’s Gulf States newsroom, has always wanted to manage people, and she’s long thought about the best way to communicate and lead. As a Black woman, she’s also been writing about organizations and race throughout the past year. Neely joins host Morra Aarons-Mele to talk about how anxiety makes her a better manager and how she injects empathy into hard conversations at work.
12/10/2040m 27s

Art Critic Jerry Saltz’s Reckoning with Trauma and Anxiety

Early on in the pandemic, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz wrote a piece about his unusual eating habits that grabbed the attention of many with anxiety, depression, or just Covid-related sadness. In the essay, Saltz recounts a lifetime of using food to cope with trauma and anxiety – until art helped him find a new path forward. In this conversation, he tells host Morra Aarons-Mele how his pursuit of work and paring life down to basics helped him manage trauma and anxiety and find a life he loves.
05/10/2040m 19s

How a Rising Political Star’s PTSD Fueled His Addiction to Work

Jason Kander was on track to be a major force in American politics. But for him, working – and succeeding – was a way to escape the pain of PTSD and depression, after his military service in Afghanistan. Kander had to step away from his career to focus on therapy and healing.
06/07/2044m 16s

How the Cult of Sleep-Deprivation Affects Work and Mental Health

Many high-powered jobs require people to work long hours and give up sleep. But for people who suffer from anxiety and depression, lack of sleep can also create downward spirals that make those issues worse. Sleep researcher Christopher Barnes, an associate professor of management at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, explains how sleep deprivation can affect your mental health – and your career.
29/06/2036m 13s

How to Stop the Cycle of Overachieving

Many people who end up in prestigious careers choose their professions, consciously or subconsciously, in order to seek the approval of others. But that can create depression and anxiety. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with author Julie Lythcott-Haims about her journey from a childhood filled with pressure to succeed, to becoming a corporate lawyer, to becoming a dean at Stanford, where she tried to guide young people into paths that truly fit them.
22/06/2038m 43s

Facing Reality, Modeling Positivity

For managers struggling with anxiety and stress right now -- or worrying about their employees feeling that strain -- it can be hard to find the right mix of transparency and positivity. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Acceleration Partners CEO Robert Glazer, host of The Elevate Podcast, about how he tries to model both a positive outlook and honesty to those on his team.
15/06/2035m 31s

Millennials, Gen Z, and Generational Anxiety

In this episode, we hear from two young professionals. Both of them have worked hard and carefully planned their careers, but now they’re confronting the anxiety and uncertainty of economic forces beyond their control. Then host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with The Atlantic’s Annie Lowrey about the collective psychological and financial impacts economic crises can have on entire generations.
08/06/2043m 22s

Discomfort, Anxiety, and Grief: Confronting Racism with Colleagues

Amelia Ransom, Senior Director of Engagement and Diversity at Avalara, offers advice for how people of color can get what they need from their employers to help protect their mental health. Later in the episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Benish Shah, Chief Growth Officer at Loop & Tie, about how white people can support their colleagues of color in a meaningful way.
05/06/2052m 57s

When Leaders Model Openness About Their Mental Health

Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who used meditation to address the trauma and anxiety he experienced while working as a New York City cop. Later in the show, tech CEO Joel Gascoigne explains why he was transparent with his employees at Buffer, when he had to take time off to recover from his own burnout.
01/06/2043m 8s

Managing Mental Health When Working for a Mission

Poppy Jaman OBE struggled with postpartum depression after the births of her children. Now she’s on a mission to promote mental health awareness to the financial and professional services industries, as the CEO of City Mental Health Alliance. She discusses the difference between empathetic and compassionate leadership, the therapeutic joy of being silly, and what it’s like to devote your career to mission-driven work, while caring for your mental health.
25/05/2037m 19s

Substance Abuse, Success, and Self-Realization

We speak with MIT’s Seth Mnookin, a writer and ex-addict who has been clean for 20 years, about the connection between substance abuse and underlying mental health issues, and how addiction can affect creativity and career. And we explore the hard lessons addicts can learn in recovery about their own limitations and definitions of success with CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion's Dr. Zev Schuman-Olivier, an addiction psychiatrist who focuses on mindfulness as a path to healing.
18/05/2051m 0s

Goop’s Chief Content Officer on Balancing Self-Care at Work

What’s it like to lead a team when optimizing self-care and emotional wellness is the point of their work? Goop, a company founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, explores all aspects of mental and physical health and advocates for a rarefied and often controversial brand of self-care. Elise Loehnen, Chief Content Officer at Goop, discusses her own experiences with anxiety at work, how she manages employees and their mental health, and what self-care really means.
11/05/2033m 55s

How Vulnerability Can Be a Leadership Superpower

Jason Rosario discusses his own journey with depression and anxiety, and the lessons he’s learned about vulnerability, masculinity, and leadership. Rosario left a career in finance to found The Lives of Men, a social impact and creative agency focused on decoding masculine psychology and challenging false concepts of masculinity.
04/05/2033m 37s

Leading Through Grief in Life and Work

Throughout our lives, we will all experience grief in one form or another. It can also translate into depression, anxiety, and other emotional strain. But as we grieve, we often have to keep working or growing our businesses. And that is true even in a time of mass grief, like a pandemic. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with chef Jody Adams about the period in 2016 when her long-time restaurant, Rialto, closed. At the same time, her sister was dying of cancer. Now Adams is helping the staff at her current Boston-area restaurants grieve for their struggling industry, amid the coronavirus lockdown.
27/04/2038m 11s

Wading Through the Imperfect Mess of Parenthood

In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with organizational psychologist Stew Friedman and tech entrepreneur Sehreen Noor Ali about the ways parenting children with specific needs changed them and their career paths.
20/04/2043m 39s

Freelancing, Self-Employment, and Mental Health

Working for yourself – and working outside an office – can have a lot of benefits for people struggling with mental health issues, including flexibility when you need to take a breather. But freelancing and the gig economy can also trigger stresses that impact mental health, including isolation, lack of career trajectory, and perhaps most importantly, financial instability. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with author and entrepreneur Chris Brogan, who is diagnosed with clinical depression, and journalist Ada Calhoun, the author of “Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis,” about how to adapt work and personal life to self-employment and freelancing.
13/04/2048m 56s

Gabrielle Union on Toxic Workplaces, PTSD, and Social Anxiety

With great success can come even greater stress and anxiety. But Gabrielle Union is using her success to stand up for her truth. A sexual assault survivor, Union suffers from PTSD and social anxiety. Now the actress uses her energy and influence to speak up against sexism and racism in Hollywood. She tells Morra Aarons-Mele about how she balances self-care and being a voice for others who struggle to be heard.
06/04/2042m 7s

Managing the Stress and Uncertainty of Coronavirus

The rapid onset of the coronavirus is changing our work – and our lives. For those who own businesses or work in the gig economy, the stress and financial uncertainty is even greater. When we don’t know what the future will hold, or are working in isolation, what can we do? Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Jerry Colonna, CEO of, about how he is leading his team through such a stressful time. And later in the episode, business psychologist Camille Preston explains how we all can cope with uncertainty by taking on a growth mindset.
16/03/2047m 0s

Strategies for Managing Day-to-Day Anxiety

Anxiety can affect so many aspects of our work – from how we make decisions to how we receive feedback and behave in meetings. In the final episode of Season 1, host Morra Aarons-Mele and former clinical psychologist Alice Boyes discuss the daily strategies and habits that can help to manage your anxiety at work.
30/12/1947m 24s

Designing the Mentally Healthy Workplace

In earlier episodes of this show, we’ve talked about how to open a dialogue about mental health and work, and how both employees and leaders can navigate a mental health issue at work. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Kelly Greenwood, founder and CEO of Mind Share Partners, and Alison Nasisi, former director of compensation, benefits and work life at The Broad Institute, about what companies can do to truly create mentally healthy workplaces.
23/12/1953m 48s

Mental Health in the Office: Difficult Conversations

How should you approach difficult conversations about mental health with your colleagues and boss? In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Amy Gallo, author of “HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict,” about when and how to disclose a mental health issue to your company. Plus, Dr. Rebecca Harley, a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, discusses the connection between mental health and recognizing boundaries at work.
16/12/1948m 50s

Building Mental Resilience While Building a Business

Anxiety shows up in all kinds of business situations — especially when you’re starting your own company. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Cheryl Contee, CEO of Do Big Things, and Jeannette Kaplun, founder of Hispana Global, about how to work through anxiety and build resilience.
09/12/1946m 35s

Tackling Leadership Struggles, Burnout, and Performance Anxiety

Leading a group of people can produce chronic anxiety, but many leaders who suffer from anxiety don’t even realize it. In today's episode we explore anxiety related to leadership and how performance anxiety can hold us back at work. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Steve Cuss, a leadership consultant and the lead pastor of Discovery Christian Church in Broomfield, Colorado, about leadership anxiety and burnout. Then Present Voices founder Leah Bonvissuto offers Morra practical tips for conquering performance anxiety.
02/12/1948m 6s

What No One Tells You: The Emotional Strain of Startup Life

We hear the stories of successful Silicon Valley startups all the time. But entrepreneurship can also have a dark side, especially when it involves going broke, losing sleep, and working 100-hour weeks. This week, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Emma Mcilroy, CEO of Wildfang International, who has been outspoken about the emotional strain of startup life.
25/11/1940m 39s

Battling Depression from the C-Suite

For most of his life, Paul Greenberg suffered from severe depression -- depression so bad that he had near constant thoughts of suicide from the age of 13. But you'd never know it if you met him. And he has built a successful media career, including stints at MTV and Time, and eventually becoming the CEO of CollegeHumor. To battle the depression, he tried some 75 different medications before his medical team suggested electroshock therapy, which he says has saved his life. And it wasn't until the deaths of public figures like Robin Williams, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain that Greenberg went public with an op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter. This week, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Paul Greenberg, now CEO of Butter Works, a media company, about his long, painful journey, and how he views depression at the workplace today. The number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline in the U.S. is 1-800-273-8255.
18/11/1934m 4s

Managing Career Transitions Part 2: Taking A Break

Many people in the business world find their success by always being “on.” They wake up at 4 a.m., answer emails 24 hours a day, and don't take vacations. Sometimes they’re so high functioning that they don't even realize they have symptoms of anxiety until they take time away from the office. This week, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House deputy chief of staff and former chief operating officer of Vice Media. They talk about running on all cylinders, realizing you need time away from the office, and dealing with the depression that can come from needing to redefine who you are outside the office.
11/11/1938m 5s

Managing Career Transitions Part 1: Facing Childhood Demons

Whether you’re getting fired, taking a promotion, or leaving a job you love, career transitions are a time of anxiety. In the next two episodes, we’ll be focusing on how to manage anxiety associated with big changes at work. This week, we focus on the tough work you should do before a big transition to understand your feelings. Our guest is career coach Jerry Colonna, author of "Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up." He argues that a lot of the adult problems we face can spring from fundamental childhood experiences. We act out childhood hurts in our leadership and interactions at work, from the people we hire to the way we think about money. Therefore, understanding how your childhood has shaped you and facing your demons is vital for anyone who truly wants to thrive in their career.
04/11/1935m 44s

How We Cope: Food and Eating Disorders at Work

Work is a part of our daily lives — as is food. Disordered eating and diagnosed eating disorders can be tricky to deal with at the office, but they can be common in high achievers and are closely tied to anxiety and mental health. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Melissa Gerson, director and founder of the Columbus Park treatment center for eating disorders, about the relationship between anxiety and eating, and how it can play out at work.
28/10/1940m 19s

How the Mental Affects the Physical

Anxiety and stress can have detrimental effects on your physical health — which can affect your job and your career path. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Jason Miller, the director of the Leadership Academy at OhioHealth. Miller, whose work specializes in awakening joy, purpose, and meaning in work, had always driven himself very hard. He was the first in his family to go to college, followed by becoming a senior executive at a global company. But then Miller found himself in the ER, convinced he was having a heart attack and realized he needed to make some major changes (and no, he didn't Eat, Pray, Love). Morra also shares her own story of a recent panic attack that left her hospitalized. Plus, Dr. David Barlow, a pioneer in the field of treating stress, discusses strategies for coping with anxiety, stress, and phobias, and how to "right size" your problems — while admitting anxiety isn't necessarily a bad thing.
21/10/1945m 15s

The Anxiety of Being the “Only”

Being the "only" in the workplace -- the only woman, the only person of color, the only one openly suffering from a mental or physical illness -- can contribute to existing mental health issues. At the same time, bringing your whole self to work -- even when you are an "only" and might be the only person struggling with clinical depression or anxiety -- can be a huge strength in the business world. In this episode, we'll look at anxiety and depression through the lens of being an “only” or a “first” at work. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with two experts on the topic: Angela Neal-Barnett, an award-winning psychologist and expert on anxiety among African-Americans, and author of “Soothe Your Nerves,” and Nilofer Merchant, the author of “The Power of Onlyness.”
14/10/1943m 14s

Social Anxiety and Success

We're often told that to succeed in the workplace, you need to bring your A game, play office politics, and network nonstop. But how do you do that when you suffer from social anxiety? Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Ellen Hendriksen, a clinical psychologist, and Arvind Rajan, the CEO of Cricket Health and a former executive at LinkedIn, to discuss his journey with anxiety.
07/10/1941m 19s

Your Mental Health and Your Work

At a time when we bring so much of ourselves to work, mental health is still something we don’t like talking about at the office. But so many high-achieving people have suffered — or are currently suffering — from anxiety, depression, or other mental and emotional issues. Our guest, Scott Stossel, national editor of the Atlantic and author of “My Age of Anxiety,” explains where anxiety comes from and how it affects us in our work — for better or worse. We look at why it is so important to align mental health and leadership, and to better understand how anxiety impacts our working lives.
30/09/1936m 4s

Introducing The Anxious Achiever

Now from LinkedIn Presents: a show about mental health in the workplace. We explore the ways anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues affect people at work, for better and for worse. We’ll hear from leaders who have succeeded in spite of their mental health struggles, and from experts who offer advice on how to reach your professional goals.
19/09/193m 57s
Heart UK