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I am a writer and a burnout and executive coach. I am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), and I hold qualifications in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and mBIT coaching. I am also an Insights Discovery Profile practitioner, and part of the amazing Performance Catalyst core team of coaches and facilitators. 

In my previous life, I used to be a Professor of Cultural History at the University of Kent, but I am feeling much better now. The truth is that I suffered a burnout in academia, and that I didn’t thrive in my job for a very long time. It nevertheless took me many years to dare to leave the university and to become a full-time coach and writer. I couldn’t be happier now, doing what I truly love, and helping others to make courageous changes in their lives. 

I am the author of Exhaustion: A History (Columbia University Press, 2016) and The Art of Self-Improvement: Ten Timeless Truths (Yale University Press, 2021). I have also written a novel, academic works and journalism. 

I am an introvert who loves people. In my spare time, I play the piano and do kick-boxing. I live with my daughter, partner and two Siberian cats in a quaint English cathedral town.


My writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, Psychology Today, PositivePsychology, AEON and PSYCHE. My research has been discussed in national and international media, including on BBC Radio 4 and WBUR, as well as in Vogue, the Atlantic, National Geographic, Philosophie Magazine, the TLS and New Republic.

My new book, Exhausted: An A-Z for the Weary (Profile) will come out in January 2024 –

watch this space!

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