Healthy Mind, Healthy Life: 7 famous people that have overcome burnout

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There has never been a time when mental health was in sharper focus than at this time of social distancing and enforced new ways of working.  Physicians and commentators warn of a looming mental health crisis.  But there are glimmers of hope even in the darkest times: these 7 famous people demonstrate how to recover from mental fatigue and burnout.

#1. Arianna Huffington

Founder of the Huff Post

The strains of juggling her own writing career with managing the rapidly growing online media outlet she founded caused Arianna Huffington to collapse at her desk from exhaustion in 2007. She’s since talked passionately about how the experience inspired her to rethink the way she was working and living. Read more

#2. Rihanna


In 2011, Rihanna was hospitalised right after completing album Talk That Talk.  She’s since opened up about the experience, explaining how overwhelmed she felt by all the demands on her time and the difficulty she faced prioritising tasks.  “One morning I woke up and started crying so hard,” she said in an interview for video hosting channel Vevo.

#3. Queen Latifa

Actress & singer

Queen Latifah is another celebrity who has spoken out about her feelings of burnout and exhaustion.  She says, first and foremost, she helps to stave off burn out by “checking in with herself” and talking with friends.  “my friends are a good support system—my family, but if I need to speak to somebody professionally, I have no problem doing that, as well.”

#4. António Horta Osório

Banking Group boss

In 2011, Osório’s announced a two-month recovery break from leading the Lloyds Banking Group after collapsing from work-related exhaustion.  It took a week’s stay at the Priory to reset his sleeping habits to a healthy eight hours a day and Lloyds agreed to his return and supported him through the recovery to work process.  The announcement of his return a few months later met a positive reception in the stock market. Read more

#5. Rita Ora


In 2016 at the age of 25, Rita Ora was hospitalised due to exhaustion. She posted a picture of herself in a hospital bed on her social media, warning her followers that “Exhaustion is real”.  She has since recovered but says her experience is proof that it is possible to run yourself into the ground if you don’t take time for rest and self-care. Read more

#6. Tina Martini

Partner at DLA Piper

The partner at the top UK law firm has spoken out about the difficulty of achieving work-life balance, admitting she finds it hard to say “no” to work – no matter what she already has on her plate.  In 2009, she began noticing signs of burnout and hired an executive coach to help her recover.  “It really helped me take a step back and understand that with every opportunity, there’s an opportunity cost,” she said. Read more

#7. Matt Haig


Novelist Matt Haig’s breakdown was bought on by a hectic summer working on the party island of Ibiza, eventually leading to suicidal thoughts – something he has talked about powerfully in his book Reasons to Stay Alive.  He’s since recovered and carved out a career as best-selling novelist and is a vocal advocate for mental health causes and the need to look after each other.  His latest book is the Midnight Library, a story about regret and doing things differently. Read more

Want more burnout tips?

Read how sleep deprivation can affect productivity.

Plus, read how to achieve work-life balance when you work from home.