2 min read

The wellness industry is making us unwell

How to step outside the messaging of the wellness industry and create a simplified wellbeing system that works for you
The wellness industry is making us unwell
Photo by Jake Hills / Unsplash

Sustain issue #6 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)

Technology was supposed to make life simpler. Then why are we busier and more stressed than ever?

The simple fact is we have more decisions to make than ever before.

How should I manage productivity at work? Should I use the pomodoro method? Should I shoot for inbox zero?

Which of the never-ending fad diets is for me? I’ve really gotta start juicing!!

What fitness craze should I latch onto?

And how do I make time for the wellness and meditation apps that surely will help me feel more calm? Right? Right?!?!

I’d go so far as to say that wellness and productivity – the industries designed to keep us well – are leading us to burnout.

Think about this vicious cycle:

  1. They feed into Shiny Object Syndrome by constantly releasing products to ‘help’ us. The fix to finally get you over the hump.
  2. This creates an ever growing image of what we believe a lifestyle centered around wellness should look like, but it’s a vision we can never seem to attain.
  3. But don’t worry, there’s an app to help you track and manage habits. However, you’ll be too overwhelmed to use it and it will feel like yet another failure.

On my road back from burnout, tuning out the noise of the wellness industry was the single greatest driver for finding equilibrium in my work. I spent less time with wellness activities that created more stress in my life and led me to feel inferior. Instead, I spent more time actually restoring myself in ways people have done for centuries: Walking, gardening, kayaking, and biking.

Technology was supposed to make life simpler. But I’d challenge you to see where you can toss away an app or life hack in favor of just going outside without a plan or your phone. Take the decision-making and lifestyle design out of treating yourself well.

You’ll come back restored and in doing so you’ll build the momentum to do your work without burning out.

At a sustainable pace,


Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

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