The Culture of Burnout

Coming in October 2023 ...

our new book on the uniquely American culture of burnout.

“The American culture of burnout is the worst it has ever been. We have never been more stressed, anxious, depressed, and generally unhappy as a society than we are now. 

Since we aren’t addressing the cultural reasons for our burnout, we continue to jump from quick fix to quick fix, hoping that the right combination of candles, enemas, pills, and shots will solve the problem we’ve never been able to crack.”

as featured in ...

The Culture of Burnout is the first book that truly looks deep into the heart of burnout and isn't afraid to call it what it is –– a societal issue that we're going to have to face by shifting our collective relationship with work, success, and -– each other.

cait donovan

Host, FRIED: The Burnout Podcast

Burnout is as American as apple pie, baseball, and the 4th of July.

Its foundations go all the way back to the first White folks who permanently settled in North America: the Puritans.

Basically, way back in the 17th century, they helped create the American culture of overwork that keeps so many of us caught in today's work-till-you-drop, never-ask-for-help hamster wheel of exhaustion.

But, the good news is that we don't have to be. 

Culture is made through the decisions and actions of everyone who lives in that culture. So if we all want to be less burned out and more balanced, we can be. 

It’s difficult, but not impossible -— and most importantly, it’s doable. 

Inside this book is a breakdown of why your exhaustion and your burnout are not your fault. Finally, pragmatic to its core, it also starts every reader on their own path to dismantle the culture of burnout and start working toward a culture of balance.

What Does The Book Cover?

what is burnout?

Firstly, we'll tell you what burnout is and what it looks like.

the soup we swim in

Secondly, we'll tell you how we got to our particular American culture of burnout. 

our culture of burnout

Thirdly, we'll tell you what it looks like now, and why Americans are so burned out. 


Lastly, we'll tell you what you can do to change it. 

the state of american burnout

Quick stats that showcase the scope of our culture of overwork and exhaustion. 

In 2021, almost half of Americans took a sick day because of stress or anxiety.


Globally, 75% of unpaid work is done by women.


Men are 40% less likely than women to seek counseling for any reason.


what folks are saying about the book

Kelly Meerbott
CBTI Award-winning Leadership Coach + TedxUCO Speaker

Erin and Kristen's book is a powerful testament to our society's urgent need for change. Their words resonate deeply, shedding light on the toxic culture of burnout that plagues us. Acknowledging the impact of our environment and culture, they challenge us to reimagine wellness, balance, and compassion. This thought-provoking read is a wake-up call, urging us to break free from the cycle of quick fixes and embrace a culture that values growth, comfort, and community. With well-researched insights and honest discussions, this book is a transformative journey toward understanding and healing. A must-read for anyone seeking true well-being in an era dominated by pursuing success at the cost of our mental and emotional health.

Carol M.Pate, Ed.D., FCPP
Educator, Writer, Creator

Drs. Kristen and Erin have traversed the roads to burnout and returned (not totally unscathed) to share their journey on how to human better. Thoughtful and hopeful, the Good Doctors offer their wealth of experience and understanding for us to cultivate a culture of balance. It's worth your read.

Audrey Holst
Founder of Fortitude & Flow®

We can't talk about burnout without talking about context and the waters we swim in. The Culture of Burnout presents the bigger conversations we need to have as a society and presents practical solutions.

Carrie Sharpe
Communication Consultant

The Culture of Burnout: Why Your Exhaustion is Not Your Fault is not a typical self-help book. Erin and Kristen take a deep dive into the history of burnout itself before offering solutions. This book should serve as a guide for Human Resource professionals, CEOs, business owners, and anyone wanting to improve their work environment.

Bri Seeley
Entrepreneurial Success Designer

I recently learned that over 750,000 people die each year from overworking. The idea that burnout is not the only option is unfortunately a radical idea in Western culture. I, for one, am excited that Kristen and Erin are shining a light on the opportunity to evolve into a culture that prioritizes our well-being.

Michael Roderick
CEO Small Pond Enterprises

The Good Doctors have created a must-read for understanding burnout. Loaded with fascinating stories, insights, and research this book will not only help you understand why we get burned out but the cultural context behind it. If you are feeling overwhelmed or wondering why your team isn't performing, this is the book you need.

I find so many self-improvement books to be exhausting and defeatist.  I will read the first two or three chapters and internally scream “YES, that’s ME!”, and then I skip to the answers at the end, looking for a quick fix, which of course doesn’t exist. 

Not this book. Kristen and Erin lay out their case methodically, as The Good Doctors do, about so many dimensions of burnout - historical, religious, cultural, gender, caregiving.  Chiefly, they do it in a way that’s engaging, entertaining, educational, insightful, and not at all a chore to read (because the LAST thing a burned out human needs is another chore). Every time I said to myself, “good point, but what about?”, the next section covered my question. 

Finally, I came away with a new perspective on what balance can really look like -- not for everybody, but for me. I plan to read it again, and I’ve already made a list of exhausted friends, colleagues and clients who will be getting a copy. 

What do the puritans, true crime, and essential oils have to do with burnout?

We believe context is key to understanding America's obsession with work and wellness.

So, this book will give you all the context you need to understand your stress, exhaustion, and burnout. 

Meet The Good Doctors

Dr. Kristen Donnelly and Dr. Erin Hinson are The Good Doctors of Abbey Research. They are researchers and educators with social science PhDs, who also happen to be best friends. Kristen and Erin have a long history of being obnoxiously curious, which means they have always been interested in how and why people do what they do. Their passion for understanding, research, and writing –– as well as their fascination with the origins of burnout culture –– are the foundations of this book.

Kristen lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, where they are surrounded by piles of books and several video game consoles. Erin lives in Pittsburgh with her mother, cat, and international gin collection. 

We are beyond honored to be included in Kardia Writing & Publishing's list of authors! 

They are changing the world of publishing!

Check out all their fabulous authors!

“Burnout occurs when a person’s environment locks them in a stress cycle from which they can’t escape.” 

Obviously, no one wants to be locked in a stress cycle, doomed to repeat their exhaustion until they break. It is possible to break this cycle and find balance, and we deeply hope our book can be your first step.