The 9 Best Books on Burnout Prevention and Recovery

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Are you exhausted from work? What are the best books on burnout to read?

Working hard is one thing, but overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion is another. When you do the latter, you experience burnout, which is physical and emotional tiredness that can leave you feeling frustrated over your imbalanced life.

Below we’ve compiled a list of the best books on burnout to keep you out of a sluggish state.

Fight and Recover From Burnout With These Books

To fight burnout, you need a good work-life balance. It also helps to practice some calming exercises to help you stay relaxed. With these books on burnout, you can release the pressure that’s been making you feel slumped throughout the day.


Women have it rough. Our patriarchal society has a million expectations for how they should act, look, feel, and speak in any situation. And failure to meet these expectations equates to feeling like they aren’t “enough”—humble enough, generous enough, pretty enough, strong enough, and so on. The result? Physical, mental, and emotional burnout. 

In Burnout, Amelia and Emily Nagoski explain how women can handle these stressors to avoid burnout and thrive. This book exposes the patriarchal standards that cause female stress, explores how the body responds to this stress, and explains how you can handle stress before it leads to burnout.

The 5 AM Club

You have a unique talent you were born to master, but knowing how to reach your creative and professional goals is not always easy. In The 5 AM Club, Robin Sharma explains how to discover your inner genius and maximize your abilities by adopting an early morning routine that activates your creative and productive potential that will keep you energized throughout the day. Your daily “Victory Hour” will enable you to narrow down your goals and reach them like a master. With this powerful tool, you can become influential in your field and create a lasting impact on the world. 

The 4-Hour Workweek

Many people want to retire as millionaires, but they don’t actually crave a million dollars; what they want is the millionaire lifestyle. They want to be able to travel, learn new skills, and spend their time doing whatever they want instead of working. 

The 4-Hour Workweek teaches you how to live a “retired” lifestyle where you can alternate periods of work and fun, spending as little effort and time to make as much money as possible. The 4-hour workweek (4HWW) lifestyle is a specific version of the New Rich lifestyle in which you create a business called a “muse” that makes you money while not taking up a lot of time. 

The 10X Rule

In The 10X Rule, entrepreneur and motivational speaker Grant Cardone argues that the key to success is scaling up your thinking and actions by a factor of 10. Under the 10X Rule, set goals 10 times bigger than the average, and then work 10 times harder than average to achieve them while not overcommitting yourself until you break down. It takes extraordinary thinking and effort to achieve extraordinary success. The 10X Rule can be applied to any personal or professional goal, whether it’s having an extraordinary marriage, starting a hugely successful business, or making $10 million.

The Buddha and the Badass

Most people push themselves to work long, grueling hours, thinking this is what’s needed to achieve professional success. In The Buddha and the Badass, entrepreneur Vishen Lakhiani sets the record straight: “Hustling” won’t make you or your business successful. Instead, you need to be both spiritually enlightened (like a Buddha) and disruptive (like a badass). When you merge these qualities as a leader, you create an environment in which everyone learns, grows, and gets along, and—most importantly—where work becomes play. 

The Buddha and the Badass teaches you how to get in touch with your true identity to live an enlightened life according to your values. You’ll also learn how to disruptively transform your workplace from mundane and unexceptional to growth- and connection-oriented. 


As we try to lead healthier and less stressful lives, one thing we rarely consider is being mindful of how we breathe. Science journalist James Nestor argues that, while the power of the breath is central to many Eastern traditions, it’s been largely ignored in the Western world. Modern medicine treats chronic congestion, sinus infections, and lung disease but puts little emphasis on teaching people how to breathe correctly. However, Nestor asserts that, by learning how to breathe well, we’ll improve our well-being, balance our emotions, and find more energy to live the lives we want.

Nester has much to say about how we’re breathing wrong, how we can do it better, and what amazing power the breath can have over the body. With these breathing exercises, you can prevent and recover from burnout easily.

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

Do you feel overworked, exhausted, and constantly stressed? If so, you’re not alone. 

In Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, biologist and neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky argues that people today are more stressed than ever before, and it’s causing major physical and mental harm. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce stress in your life and curb the damage caused by chronic stress. 

This book examines the evolution and biology of stress and describes why chronic stress is so harmful physically and psychologically. Then, Sapolsky looks at what you can do to keep stress from causing you too much bodily and mental harm. 

The 80/20 Principle

If you’re resigned to working long hours for mediocre income, you need to read The 80/20 Principle. Entrepreneur Richard Koch reveals how you can work less, earn more, and multiply your happiness. How? Focus on the few things in your life that truly matter.

As Koch explains, 80% of results flow from 20% of inputs. According to this 80/20 Principle, only a fraction of the actions you take and the people you interact with contribute to your joy and success. Therefore, Koch says you must spend more time on what matters and less time on what doesn’t—for example, by finding work you enjoy, spending less time on things you’re not good at, and avoiding people who drain your energy. 

The Energy Bus

Most people experience times when life seems to be falling apart. How you respond when you encounter adversity and challenges defines you. Author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon maintains that, when you respond with positive energy, challenges become opportunities and you create success and happiness. 

The Energy Bus illustrates how this works through the fictional story of George, a depressed middle manager at a lightbulb manufacturing company, whose negativity is ruining his career and marriage. When George encounters an ebullient bus driver, things begin turning around.

While this fable has a business setting, it’s written for everyone—the story’s 10 simple rules show you how to create positive energy and enjoy “the ride of your life.”

Final Words

With many people working remotely these days, and hustle culture becoming normalized in the workplace, it can be hard to avoid burnout. Exhausting yourself is reinforced because you’re encouraged to work endless hours to prove yourself. But, with these books on burnout, you can make positive changes in your life without giving in to this toxic mindset.

Did we miss any other must-read books on burnout? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below!

The 9 Best Books on Burnout Prevention and Recovery

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Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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