The Top 5 Books These Mental Health Experts Say Will Help You Combat Burnout At Work And Build Healthy Habits

Fortune Well April 29, 2024


The Top 5 Books These Mental Health Experts Say Will Help You Combat Burnout At Work And Build Healthy Habits

Work stress is a pervasive problem. A 2022 Zippia report found that 83% of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25% saying their job is the top stressor in their lives. Unrelenting stress has mental and physical consequences, raising your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease. 

Whether you’re struggling with the symptoms of burnout, such as fatigue, agitation, and a loss of motivation, are stressed about the dynamic between you and your boss, or are wrestling with a lack purpose, it may be time to do some light reading to build a healthier relationship with work.

Fortune asked a range of mental health and workplace culture experts to recommend their go-to books that can help you reframe work stress, combat burnout, and feel happier. 

Here are their top five.


Connected by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler 

“The authors demonstrate through research results, the broad and lasting impact our friends and family members, both immediate and those more distant from our inner circle, play on our physical and emotional health,” says Dr. Richard Safeer, the chief medical director of employee health and well-being at Johns Hopkins Medicine and author of A Cure for the Common Company. “This book opened my mind to the idea that the stress (and other emotions) of those around me at work was impacting my own stress levels. In part due to this book (and my mindfulness practice), I’m much more acutely aware of how the emotions of others might impact me.  However, now I am much less likely to let the negative emotions cause me to feel the same.” 

The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal

“When we think of stress, we usually think of it as being a negative thing, but Kelly McGongial speaks to the benefits of stress and how we can channel this energy for good,” says Dora Kamau, a psychologist, and mindfulness and meditation instructor at Headspace. 

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski 

“This book gives readers a good sense of how to better mitigate the pervasive experience of stress in our lives,” says Naomi Ben-Ami, a psychologist with the Williamsburg Therapy Group. 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

“Andy Dunn‘s Burn Rate was the most honest, raw depiction of a founder’s journey I’ve read. It put my relationship with work in greater perspective and resulted in me taking my own mental health more seriously,” says Ariela Safira, CEO of Zeera, a workplace mental health platform. “Reading Burn Rate has motivated me, to this day, to pay attention to my own signs of burnout and mental health decline; and it has compelled me to actually make a change when I notice those signs.”

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