Better Life Lab

The Problem With Work Stress

Workers at every level have more job stress—and less job control.


Episode Notes

In Japan, generations of workers have given their all to the code of karoshi. It’s a word that literally means, Work till you die.

Few Americans know the word karoshi. We don’t think it happens here. But the workplace now ranks as the fifth leading cause of death in America.

To help us understand work stress better, we’re joined by the co-directors of the Healthy Work Campaign, Marnie Dobson, and Peter Schnall. How do we shift from work being something that can make your life miserable to something that can enhance the quality of your life? It comes down to how much power, control, and autonomy you have at work.


Cate Lindemann, a lawyer in Illinois who suffered a stress-induced heart attack
Cherri Murphy, a pastor and former Lyft driver in California
Marnie Dobson and Peter Schnall, co-directors of the Healthy Work Campaign


About the Show

Economists say the way we work has become so stressful it’s now the fifth leading cause of death. Our mission is to find a better way. Explore the art and science of living a full and healthy life with behavioral and social science researchers who can help us better understand what drives our human experiences, and how to change. Better Life Lab is a co-production from New America and Slate. All episodes