7 Podcasts To Listen To If You’re Feeling Burnt Out

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It’s become an all-too-common experience: the daily grind has gotten to you and you’re exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. The signs of burnout vary from overall fatigue to losing interested or straight-up hating the things you once loved. If you’re feeling burnt out, you are—both fortunately and unfortunately—far from alone.

Job burnout, according to Mayo Clinic, is a type of “work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” While burnout doesn’t have to be limited to your job, work it typically the catalyst for this type of exhaustion. A 2018 Gallup survey found that 23% of employees felt burned out at work very often or always, and an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. In other words, more than two-thirds of full-time employees experience some form of at work.

A 2019 survey from the Harvard Business Review found a generational gap when it comes to burnout. Half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Zers had voluntarily left jobs for mental health reasons. This was significantly higher than the 20% of respondents overall.

Like most things related to mental and physical health, there isn’t one cure-all for burnout. However, one easy way to recharge is to find creative outlets that rejuvenate you. Whether you’re looking to learn, laugh, or just find little respite, here are seven podcasts to listen to when you’re feeling burnt out.

1. Planet Money

If you’re looking to learn about burnout in the context of the economy, NPR’s Planet Money is for you. A podcast on the economy may not sound like the best cure for burnout but stick with me here. Planet Money makes hard-to-understand economic concepts more accessible and entertaining. They even have an episode all about burnout.

Episode to start with: the aforementioned burnout episode, which is less than 20 minutes long.

2. Happiness Spells

If you’re looking to find a moment of calm, Happiness Spells is the perfect podcast to intersperse in your stressful day. Each episode runs about five minutes and gives you a list of “happy things” to ruminate on. It’s like a primer to mediation guided by the soft-spoken host Amanda Meyncke.

Episode to start with: I recommend finding a title that piques your interest or trying Episode 104: Give Yourself Room to Breathe.

3. Entry Level

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If you’re looking to commiserate with people talking about the worst and weirdest jobs they’ve had, listen to Entry Level with comedian Brooks Wheelan. Each episode, Brooks talks to a guest, typically an actor or fellow comedian, about work the way you would at happy hour.

Episode to start with: this early episode with Nicole Beyer who is a salve to all things sh*tty work-stress related.

4. Sincerely, X

If you’re looking to get reinspired, Sincerely, X, a TED podcast, is a series of stories told by people changing their lives and, often, the world. Season 2 is hosted by poet, author, and sunbeam of a human person Sarah Kay and each episode features an anonymous storyteller from former cult members to judges to people who have survived honor killings. It’s heavy, in the way you would expect a TED talk to be, but will perhaps provide the inspiration you’re looking for.

Episode to start with: the podcast is only available on Luminary, which is subscription-based. However, you can listen to the first episode of season 2 for free: After The Cult.

5. Safe for Work

If you’re looking for advice, Safe for Work has that and then some. Each episode, hosts Liz Dolan and Rico Gagliano give advice on everything work-related, “from how to avoid burnout on the job to how to fake an illness when you're calling in sick.” It’s like talking to HR but HR is your close, funny friend.

Episode to start with: their most recent episode “Work Smarter, Not Harder” is all about quitting your job or how to make your job more manageable so you don’t feel like quitting.

6. Therapy Chat

If you want to hear how a therapist manages work-life balance, Therapy Chat is exactly that. Baltimore area clinical social worker Laura Reagan, LCSW-C, interviews other professionals and experts in psychology, about their work, their lives, and how they balance the two.

Episode to start with: “Spirituality As Burnout Prevention”

7. The Happiness Lab

If you’re looking to find what makes you happy, The Happiness Lab will guide you on your quest. Hosted by Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos, known for her popular course on happiness, each episode examines a different facet of humanity and the things that impact our happiness.

Episode to start with: “A Silver Lining” where Dr. Santos talks to Michelle Kwan about what happens when life doesn’t go according to plan.