The Anxious Achiever

By Morra Aarons-Mele

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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.

Episode Date
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.
Jun 22, 2022
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.
Jun 15, 2022
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.
Jun 10, 2022
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.
Jun 08, 2022
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.
Jun 01, 2022
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.
May 25, 2022
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.
May 18, 2022
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.
May 11, 2022
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.
May 04, 2022
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.
Apr 27, 2022
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.
Apr 20, 2022
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. 
Apr 13, 2022
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.
Apr 06, 2022
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.
Mar 30, 2022
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.
Mar 23, 2022
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:
Mar 16, 2022
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.
Mar 11, 2022
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.
Mar 09, 2022
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.
Mar 02, 2022
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.
Feb 23, 2022
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.
Dec 20, 2021
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.
Dec 13, 2021
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.
Dec 06, 2021
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.
Nov 24, 2021
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.
Nov 22, 2021
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.
Nov 15, 2021
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.
Nov 08, 2021
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.
Nov 01, 2021
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.
Oct 25, 2021
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.
Oct 18, 2021
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.
Oct 11, 2021
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.
Oct 04, 2021
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.
Sep 13, 2021
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.
Jul 19, 2021
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.
Jul 12, 2021
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.
Jul 05, 2021
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.
Jun 28, 2021
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.
Jun 21, 2021
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.
Jun 14, 2021
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.
Jun 07, 2021
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.
Jun 01, 2021
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.
May 24, 2021
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.
May 17, 2021
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.
May 10, 2021
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.
May 03, 2021
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.
Apr 19, 2021
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.
Feb 01, 2021
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.
Jan 04, 2021
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.
Dec 21, 2020
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.
Dec 14, 2020
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.
Dec 07, 2020
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.
Nov 30, 2020
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.
Nov 23, 2020
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.
Nov 16, 2020
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.
Nov 09, 2020
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.
Nov 02, 2020
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.
Oct 26, 2020
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.
Oct 19, 2020
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.
Oct 12, 2020
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.
Oct 05, 2020
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.
Jul 06, 2020
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.
Jun 29, 2020
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.
Jun 22, 2020
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.
Jun 15, 2020
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.
Jun 08, 2020
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.
Jun 05, 2020
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.
Jun 01, 2020
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.
May 25, 2020
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.
May 18, 2020
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.
May 11, 2020
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.
May 04, 2020
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.
Apr 27, 2020
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.
Apr 20, 2020
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.
Apr 13, 2020
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.
Apr 06, 2020
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.
Mar 16, 2020
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.
Dec 30, 2019
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.
Dec 23, 2019
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.
Dec 16, 2019
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.
Dec 09, 2019
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.
Dec 02, 2019
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.
Nov 25, 2019
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.
Nov 18, 2019
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.
Nov 11, 2019
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.
Nov 04, 2019
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.
Oct 28, 2019
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.
Oct 21, 2019
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.”
Oct 14, 2019
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.
Oct 07, 2019
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.
Sep 30, 2019
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.
Sep 19, 2019