At The Height Of Burnout, Joanna Gaines Was ‘Full, But Running On Empty’

In a personal essay, Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines discussed her burnout in the winter issue of Magnolia Journal, available November 11 on newsstands and online. As she began her essay, she expressed gratitude for the successful life she had created.

She wrote, “I looked around at what I’d built with equal gratitude and exhaustion. I love my life, and I love my family deeply,” adding that she is still counting the costs associated with her career successes and family relationships.


In addition to the success-driven highs, Gaines admitted that she felt burned out from this hyper-productivity.

She wrote, “I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past 20 years. It’s hard to describe how I felt. Despite my busy schedule, I could still feel my life’s wheels turning. I was having difficulty determining where they should head.”

She said that writing her memoir, The Stories We Tell: Every Piece of Your Story Matters, has allowed her to reflect on how much of the last 44 years, apart from significant life events, have become a part of her brain.

It has been a blessing for her to contemplate past events and present feelings through writing, even though she cannot describe them fully.


She said, “Motherhood is an ever-evolving experience, and I can’t look back, but it’s essential to find moments that remind me of those early days, and I’ll let them take my breath away.” While writing, Gaines lost track of forgotten parts of herself and rediscovered some of her happiest moments.

She said, “My story led me to discover a lot: clarity, healing, deeper truths I hadn’t realized I had. I thought I’d lost those tender little moments, but these pages brought me back to myself.”

To ensure she can reflect fondly and accurately in the future, Gaines now intentionally records the moments and feelings of the present. Next time I look back, I hope I won’t see a kind of kaleidoscope life whose moments I vowed never to forget are no longer discernible amid the chaos of thoughts and unresolved memories.