The best books about managing stress and beating burnout

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional keynote speaker and author that has long been fascinated with tenants of high performance. When I began, I was curious about how high performance could lead to increased achievement and accomplishment. Now, I am fascinated by how high performance can lead to heightened happiness and fulfillment. Thus, I love reading, watching, and listening to any resource that can help improve the quality of my life… so that I can pay that forward and improve the quality of life for those I serve. I believe a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. 


I wrote...

Sustain Your Game: High Performance Keys to Manage Stress, Avoid Stagnation, and Beat Burnout

By Alan Stein Jr., Jon Sternfeld,

Book cover of Sustain Your Game: High Performance Keys to Manage Stress, Avoid Stagnation, and Beat Burnout

What is my book about?

Sustain Your Game is for anyone who is looking to improve their performance consistently year after year without feeling burned out, hyper-stressed, or overwhelmed. It is for high performers who want to learn practical strategies and actionable steps on how to maintain a high standard of excellence… while enjoying the journey!  

It examines how the highest performers across a plethora of industries have been able to create long-term success while simultaneously managing unparalleled pressure and stress.  It unpacks their standards, systems, and strategies and provides proven principles that can be implemented immediately to create unparalleled achievement… and sustainable fulfillment…  in every area of life.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Alan Stein Jr. Why did I love this book?

I have read hundreds of books in the personal development space over the past 25 years… and I easily put Atomic Habits in my Top 5 of all time. In fact, I’ve read it twice! It is equal parts fascinating and practical… which makes it an incredibly helpful resource. It blends quality research with entertaining stories. Bottom line is this – if you want to improve your life, you need to improve your habits. 

By James Clear,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Atomic Habits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 4 million copies sold!

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the…


Book cover of Shift Your Mind: 9 Mental Shifts to Thrive in Preparation and Performance

Alan Stein Jr. Why did I love this book?

Your mindset may be the most important factor in not only your performance, but in your happiness and fulfillment as well. It creates the foundation for your attitude and your philosophy on life. Shift Your Mind is a brilliantly written, practical guide full of useful constructs to help you heighten your current perspective and greatly enhance the quality of your life, your relationships, and your performance.

By Brian Levenson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shift Your Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Greatness is a matter of timing.

Executive and mental performance coach Brian Levenson has spent years working with high performers in sports, business, and culture. And from the field to the boardroom, he noticed something surprising. Talented people were failing to reach their goals, not because they lacked the necessary skills, but because they didn't understand the mental processes that fueled them.

When it comes to high performance, talent isn't enough.

He began interviewing former CIA agents, world-class chefs, astronauts, athletes, CEOs, and more to find a solution, and soon realized that elite performers have one thing in common. They…


Book cover of Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success

Alan Stein Jr. Why did I love this book?

I am confident I can make a very compelling argument that the most important skill set we need to develop as human beings is our Emotional Intelligence. Our EQ lays the foundation for both our personal and professional success… as well as heavily influences our happiness and fulfillment. Twelve and a Half uses humor and practical stories/examples to break down a dozen of the most important traits we need to develop to become our best selves (traits like empathy, compassion, curiosity, ambition, and gratitude). I read this book cover to cover in less than 24 hours… it’s that good!

By Gary Vaynerchuk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twelve and a Half as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

USA Today Bestseller

In his sixth business book, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and investor Gary Vaynerchuk explores the twelve essential emotional skills that are integral to his life-and business-success and provides today's (and tomorrow's) leaders with critical tools to acquire and develop these traits.

For decades, leaders have relied on "hard" skills to make smart decisions, while dismissing the importance of emotional intelligence. Soft skills like self-awareness and curiosity aren't quantifiable; they can't be measured on a spreadsheet and aren't taught in B-schools or emphasized in institutions. We've been taught that emotional intelligence is a "nice to have" in business, not…


Book cover of The Compound Effect:  Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

Alan Stein Jr. Why did I love this book?

I’m a believer that ‘how you do anything is how you do everything.’ The Compound Effect shares how all of the little things we do on a daily basis compound like interest in a bank account… and either enhance or erode our ability to become the best version of ourselves. It illustrates how the decisions we make, both small and large, shape who we are and what we become. This is one of a handful of books I have read multiple times! 

By Darren Hardy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Compound Effect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you want success? More success than you have now? And even more success than you ever imagined possible? That is what this book is about. Achieving it.   No gimmicks. No hyperbole. Finally, just the truth on what it takes to earn success   As the central curator of the success media industry for over 25 years, author Darren Hardy has heard it all, seen it all, and tried most of it. This book reveals the core principles that drive success. The Compound Effect contains the essence of what every superachiever needs to know, practice, and master to obtain extraordinary success.…


Book cover of The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

Alan Stein Jr. Why did I love this book?

The brilliance of The Coaching Habit lies in its simplicity – it provides seven effective questions leaders can utilize to improve their impact and influence. It is full of practical, actionable tools that can be implemented immediately to deepen connections and empower others to do their best work. While this book is a quick, easy, and enjoyable read – it is incredibly profound and powerful. 

By Michael Bungay Stanier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Coaching Habit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Look for Michael's new book, The Advice Trap, which focuses on taming your Advice Monster so you can stay curious a little longer and change the way you lead forever.

In Michael Bungay Stanier's The Coaching Habit, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can work less hard and have more impact.

Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples' potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how-by saying less and…


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Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

By Edward Benzel,

Book cover of Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

Edward Benzel Author Of Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming from the perspective of a neurosurgeon, I have witnessed many successes and failures over more than four decades. I recognized decades ago that communication with patients at a level that involves emotions is a necessary part of being a complete physician. This involves being empathetic and, henceforth, digging deep to find the strength to be transparent, vulnerable, compassionate, understanding, and, when needed, forceful (some would call this paternalism). Although the five books I have chosen to highlight vary widely in content, they have one common theme – finding within us the will and wherewithal to succeed.

Edward's book list on awakening of the strengths that are hidden deep inside each of us

What is my book about?

My book is a collection of monthly Editor-in-Chief letters to the readership of World Neurosurgery, a journal that I edit. Each essay is short and sweet. The letters were written for neurosurgeons but have been re-edited so that they apply to all human beings. They cover topics such as leadership, empathy, vulnerability, stress, burnout, and on and on…. These essays are relevant for all who strive to craft a better version of themselves.

Life lessons learned by the author during his 40+ year neurosurgery career are shared and translated into real-life scenarios. Between the covers are many lessons that are derived from the experiences of the author and then applied to all humans. The mastering of these lessons should translate into a sense of pride and satisfaction. In keeping with the theme of the book, this process should culminate in the feeling at the end of the day that ‘Today was, indeed, a good day.’

Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

By Edward Benzel,

What is this book about?

About the Book
Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon features many topics that pertain to how neurosurgeons interact with others and how each of us can use introspection to modify how we are using tools and strategies such as empathy, respect, stress management, and much more.
This book provides some insights into leadership, effective communication, and fulfillment from the perspective of a neurosurgeon, and it causes the reader to think about and consider many, many attributes of a leader.
We all want to have a good day. This book provides strategies…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in success in life, burnout, and change?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about success in life, burnout, and change.

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