5 books about work life balance

For too many of us, work-life balance feels like a mirage on the horizon—something we can see, but never quite reach. Fortunately, however, a few brilliant thinkers have done much of the hard work for us, figuring out why work keeps us so ensnared, and how we can reclaim more of our personal time. Check out the five excellent books below to get started.

Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone by Sarah Jaffe

A preeminent voice on labor, inequality, and social movements examines the “labor of love” myth—the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore should be done out of passion instead of pay. In this way, she reveals how all of us have been tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work. View Our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Sarah Jaffe, in the Next Big Idea app.


Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the techniques shared by an influential therapist help us identify and express our needs clearly—and resolve a key issue behind codependency, power struggles, anxiety, depression, burnout, and more. Listen to our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Nedra Glover Tawwab, in the Next Big Idea app.


Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price

For too many of us, our self-worth has become a function of our productivity. In other words, we only feel good about ourselves by working harder and harder. But in this book, a social psychologist argues that what we call “laziness” isn’t just natural—it’s something we should all strive to embrace. Listen to our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Devon Price, in the Next Big Idea app.


No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

A hilarious guide to effectively expressing your emotions at the office, finding fulfillment, and defining work-life balance on your own terms. Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy draw on behavioral economics, psychology, and their own experiences at various organizations to explain how to bring your best self (and your whole self) to work every day. View an excerpt from our E-Course.


Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving by Celeste Headlee

While work tries to worm its way into every waking moment, an award-winning journalist reminds us that we can and should set some time aside for ourselves. In other words, it really is okay to sit back and do nothing. Listen to our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Celeste Headlee, in the Next Big Idea app.

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