In Episode 11, Newton Cheng, Director of Health + Performance at Google, takes us on an emotional journey of his experience with burnout during the pandemic. We get an up close and personal look into how he addressed and transcended depression and ultimately cultivated “Emotional Vibrancy” (i.e., newfound meaning, purpose, and joy in his life and work).

Check it out below or on your favorite podcast channel.

In our discussion, we pulled back the curtain on:

  • Contributing factors to Newton’s burnout and his trepidations in requesting a mental health leave.
  • How he summoned the courage to request a mental health leave.
  • Reducing “mental health stigma” in the workplace.
  • Why some referred to his leave as a “sabbatical.”
  • Wellness and stress mastery practices he now embraces to help prevent a burnout relapse.
  • Impacts (good and bad) of remote and hybrid work on employee mental health, burnout, and performance.
  • The rise and implications of senior leader burnout.
  • How Newton’s “burnout story” has been received at Google and elsewhere.
  • Measures Workplace Wellness leaders might embrace to help prevent and address systemic burnout.
  • What his speaking engagements have revealed about employee mental health and burnout today.

If you are a mid-level or senior leader who could benefit from Executive Wellness and Stress Mastery coaching, explore our coaching program options or contact

[Guest Bio] Newton Cheng

Newton Cheng is a husband and father, a competitive powerlifter, and Director of Health + Performance at Google. He’s spent his 14-year career at Google developing, launching, and scaling global programs aimed at helping Googlers to thrive. Today, he oversees a global portfolio of Google’s physical and digital health & wellbeing amenities. He spends much of his time exploring how Google can leverage spaces and services, community, culture, and technology to support the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of Googlers, their families, and our neighbors.

As a powerlifter, he has set multiple world, US, and California state records and is a world and four-time US national champion.  He takes a special interest in the intersections of human performance and spirituality and is an advocate for speaking vulnerably about mental health.

Connect with Newton Cheng:

[Instagram] newtoncheng
[Recent Talk]

Discover WWCOE Programs & Offerings