Read (and listen) up on thoughts and feelings
Take a pause to engage in thoughtful content for the good of your mental health.
The Happiness Lab by Dr. Laurie Santos
A psychology professor at Yale, Dr. Laurie Santos has researched and taught the cognitive science of happiness. Now, in her podcast, The Happiness Lab, she’s taking her findings and advice beyond the lecture hall and straight to listeners’ ears. Featuring Dr. Santos’ discussions with guests around topics like burnout, how to find connection through community, and how to analyze your emotions, The Happiness Lab has something for everyone (not least industrious founders!).
Self Care IRL by Ty Alexander
There’s a lot of wishy-washy advice out there on how to go about self-care. But Ty Alexander, wellness blogger, speaker, and author of Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died, is somebody whose knowledge on wellness and well-being should certainly be heeded. In Self Care IRL, Ty goes deep into knotty, difficult subjects — from the personal to the political (and how they overlap) — and provides applicable strategies and ideas for truly caring for yourself.
Accurately pinpointing and then communicating feelings can be tough. But identifying your emotions and reflecting on the root causes to be able to work through the underlying issues can benefit your life as a founder and a human. Enter Cove: an emotions-focused music-making app, funded by England’s National Health Service, which enables you to express yourself through sound. It’s wildly creative, not to mention free and easy to use.
Designed by Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC) for BIWOC, Exhale is a well-being app that reminds and helps you to invest in yourself — and your soul. Through breath work, meditations, affirmations, and coaching talks, Exhale provides a way for BIWOC to ensure they’re prioritizing their mental health and emotional well-being throughout the day, each and every day.
Five Minute Therapy by Sarah Crosby
If it’s feasible, therapy — online or remote, one-on-one or group — is usually the most direct way of tackling mental and emotional difficulties. But when that’s not possible (or when you’re just in a pinch!) Five Minute Therapy by psychotherapist Sarah Crosby is your pocket therapist. The book is informative, compact, and immensely practical — everything you’d hope your pocket therapist would be. Take that, ruminating brain.
From The School of Life — a company with a mission to help folks lead fuller, more meaningful lives (other books of theirs include What Do I Really Want to Achieve? and The Emotionally Intelligent Office) — comes On Mental Illness. This book is an essayistic exploration of mental illness, looking at areas like awareness, acceptance, living with mental illness, and even art. Want to gain a more holistic understanding of mental illness? This one’s for you.
Every time we talk about mental health — you, us, everybody — we’re helping the subject matter to become less stigmatized. That’s why, here at In the Works, we’re big fans of Shopify’s series of recent interviews for Mental Health Awareness Month with founders and makers who’ve faced their own difficulties. The inspiring story above is one of six — if you have time, check them all out!
“Knowing you shouldn’t freak out is easy enough, but actually preventing your emotions from taking over when you get a letter from the IRS can feel like another challenge entirely,” noted Harvard professor, social scientist, and The Atlantic columnist Arthur C. Brooks in this practical (and funny!) piece. For those stressful moments in founders’ days where it feels like nothing’s going according to plan, Brooks’ article on how to best “emotional flooding” is a must-read.