Study Finds Just How Much Work Stress Is Impacting Breakups and Divorces


Anyone who has ever held a particularly stressful position likely knows all too well the toll that it can take on your mental health. However, a new study found that, quite overwhelmingly, employees are finding work stress is spilling over into their personal lives and even impacting relationships.

The findings were part of the sixth annual workplace mental health trends report published by the meditation and mindfulness app Headspace. The company partnered with Dimensional Research to survey over 2,000 employees in the United States and U.K., as well as over 200 CEOs and 245 Human Resources leaders, to ask about their experiences with mental health and employee benefits.

Of those surveyed, nearly half of employees (47 percent) and two-thirds of CEOs (66 percent) said that the majority of the stress they experience comes from work, not their personal lives.

However, this stress is leading to an abnormally high rate of breakups and divorces, with 71 percent of respondents reporting that work stress caused a personal relationship to end. Another 39 percent say their ability to care for their family or children’s mental health had been negatively impacted; while 37 percent say that the stress contributed to serious mental health issues, such as substance abuse or suicidal thoughts.

More than three-quarters of respondents likewise say that work stress has had a negatively impact their physical health. And 75 percent have attributed weight gain to the stress they’ve experience.

But the findings weren’t all doom and gloom. Work was also found to have a positive effect on employee wellbeing, with 53 percent saying their job helps them find a community of people with similar lived experiences and 48 percent reporting that work improves their confidence or all-around sense of self. “These positive impacts can drive deeper engagement at work and foster healthier workplace environments,” the study writes.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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