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The CEO of a mental health startup, who has spent 9,000 hours meditating, shares other ways he de-stresses

October 7, 2022, 7:30 PM UTC

Today’s CEOs are facing innumerable challenges: a global pandemic and a sea change in how and where employees want to show up for work, just to name a few. For leaders, the pressure has never been higher. How do they mitigate it? In our new series, we ask executives about their day-to-day wellness habits to gain insight into the tactics they use to minimize stress and maintain their well-being.


James Edward Murray is co-founder and CEO of Therify, an inclusive mental health benefit that matches employees with licensed therapists who have similar backgrounds and shared experiences. Therify’s mission is to put mental well-being within reach of marginalized and historically underrepresented communities around the world. Prior to Therify, James worked at Facebook and led the company’s partnerships with digital news organizations in the US. He’s a proud graduate of Howard University—a historically Black college in Washington, DC. 

Coffee or tea? And what do you put in it?
Coffee. Always coffee, with whole milk and raw sugar.

What is your go-to breakfast?
Two eggs and an english muffin. Occasionally, I’ll throw some smoked salmon on there.

Tell us about your workout routine.
I try to move my body every day. If I can make it to the gym, I’ll do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weights. If the gym isn’t an option, I’ll typically resort to burpees. It’s absolute hell, but an effective full-body workout.

How many hours do you sleep on a typical night?
In a perfect world, 7 to 8 hours. In reality, 5 to 6. 

How do you de-stress?
Meditation is my go-to practice for de-stressing. I’ve completed over 9,000 minutes of meditation over the past few years.

According to your phone, what’s your daily average screen time from last week?
5 hours and 18 minutes. Yikes. 

What app do you use the most?
Instagram. The algo knows me pretty well.

When’s the last time you took a day off? What did you do?
Last week. I attended a wedding in Temecula, CA with my girlfriend. It’s a beautiful place. 

What’s one thing your company is doing to prioritize employee wellness?
We provide a monthly wellness reimbursement to employees. They can use it on any expense that helps maintain their mental or physical well-being.

What’s your favorite treat?
I’m a sucker for Insomnia Cookies. If you don’t know about them, you should.

Show us a photo of your happy place.

This is a small, secluded park on the north shore of Massachusetts, where I grew up. I love the ocean, and love sitting out here to reflect and relax whenever I go home to see my mother. The ocean is definitely my happy place.
Courtesy of James Edward Murray

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