The Anxious Achiever

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425 reviews
This podcast has
91 episodes
Date created
Last published
Average duration
39 min.
Release period
7 days


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.

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Podcast episodes

Check latest episodes from The Anxious Achiever podcast

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 

Podcast Reviews

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4.7 out of 5
425 reviews
Susie Bogg 2022/04/18
Wow I NEEDED this!
As an entrepreneur who experiences depression and anxiety, this podcast feels sent from the heavens. Thank sweet Jesus for this host and the guests. L...
meredithLC12 2021/12/15
So much useful info!
I have listened to TAA since the first episode, and I am continually surprised by how interesting and useful it is. Even the episodes with topics that...
Upstart.Crow 2021/10/13
Handling the “Mental Fire”
This episode was phenomenal. It has joined my list of comfort listens. Thank you both!
PhilosophyKing93 2021/09/23
Thank you for such a great resource!!!!
I’ve dealt with anxiety for years, many of which without thinking or acknowledging it for what it was. It’s been a major comfort and fortifying findin...
Rediseult 2021/08/20
Such an amazing resource!
This podcast was recommended to me by one of my own clients, and I’ve found it to be so helpful, both as a therapist and an overachiever. Each episode...
Dpippen 2021/07/30
I am so thankful to have found this resource. Anxiety has been a constant in my life, but so has the desire to pursue some insane goals. I totally fee...
RealLemonPlease 2021/08/04
Loved the podcast until I heard a guest (Jessi Hempel) say the following about her new hire: “I knew Sarah's anxiety would be her secret weapon, that ...
jbscribe 2021/07/16
Thank you Morra Aarons-Mele for creating this wonderful show—bringing more awareness and compassion to this crucial topic of mental health. We all nee...
oliviabaker13 2021/06/16
Impactful, empowering, and so important ?
Wow, what a great show. It’s so important to address mental health in the workplace, especially as we adapt to a rapidly changing world. The Anxious A...
Delia Folk 2021/06/06
Love this show!
So happy to have found this podcast that discusses such important & relevant topics :)


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