The Anxious Achiever

The Anxious Achiever

hbr.org/podcasts/the-anxious-achiever
From Harvard Business Review


How a Rising Political Star’s PTSD Fueled His Addiction to Work
Jul 6 • 40 min
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…
How the Cult of Sleep-Deprivation Affects Work and Mental Health
Jun 29 • 32 min
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…
How to Stop the Cycle of Overachieving
Jun 22 • 34 min
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…
Facing Reality, Modeling Positivity
Jun 15 • 31 min
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…
Millennials, Gen Z, and Generational Anxiety
Jun 8 • 39 min
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…
Discomfort, Anxiety, and Grief: Confronting Racism with Colleagues
Jun 5 • 48 min
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…
When Leaders Model Openness About Their Mental Health
Jun 1 • 39 min
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…
Managing Mental Health When Working for a Mission
May 25 • 33 min
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…
Substance Abuse, Success, and Self-Realization
May 18 • 47 min
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…
Goop’s Chief Content Officer on Balancing Self-Care at Work
May 11 • 30 min
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…
How Vulnerability Can Be a Leadership Superpower
May 4 • 29 min
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…
Leading Through Grief in Life and Work
Apr 27 • 34 min
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…
Wading Through the Imperfect Mess of Parenthood
Apr 20 • 39 min
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.
Freelancing, Self-Employment, and Mental Health
Apr 13 • 45 min
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…
Gabrielle Union on Toxic Workplaces, PTSD, and Social Anxiety
Apr 6 • 38 min
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…
Managing the Stress and Uncertainty of Coronavirus
Mar 16 • 43 min
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…
Strategies for Managing Day-to-Day Anxiety
Dec 30, 2019 • 43 min
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…
Designing the Mentally Healthy Workplace
Dec 23, 2019 • 49 min
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,…
Mental Health in the Office: Difficult Conversations
Dec 16, 2019 • 44 min
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…
Building Mental Resilience While Building a Business
Dec 9, 2019 • 42 min
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…
Tackling Leadership Struggles, Burnout, and Performance Anxiety
Dec 2, 2019 • 44 min
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…
What No One Tells You: The Emotional Strain of Startup Life
Nov 25, 2019 • 36 min
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…
Battling Depression from the C-Suite
Nov 18, 2019 • 30 min
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…
Managing Career Transitions Part 2: Taking A Break
Nov 11, 2019 • 34 min
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…
Managing Career Transitions Part 1: Facing Childhood Demons
Nov 4, 2019 • 31 min
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…
How We Cope: Food and Eating Disorders at Work
Oct 28, 2019 • 36 min
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…
How the Mental Affects the Physical
Oct 21, 2019 • 41 min
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…
The Anxiety of Being the “Only”
Oct 14, 2019 • 39 min
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…
Social Anxiety and Success
Oct 7, 2019 • 37 min
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…
Your Mental Health and Your Work
Sep 30, 2019 • 32 min
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…
Introducing The Anxious Achiever
Sep 19, 2019 • 3 min
New from the HBR Presents podcast network: 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…