A Healthy State of Panic

Follow Your Fears to Build Wealth, Crush Your Career, and Win at Life


Named a Newsweek Best Book of 2023

From the creator of the popular finance podcast So Money, this accessible and clever guide to leaning into your fear to maximize your financial success and beyond “is a game-changer” (Kelly Ripa), perfect for fans of Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies and You Are a Badass at Making Money.

Farnoosh Torabi is familiar with fear. Growing up in the 1980s as the daughter of Iranian immigrants, she was warned to always play it safe. She spent her childhood immersed in fear—of rejection, loneliness, missed opportunities, and falling short of her potential. Of course, now her mother says, “It all worked out, didn’t it?” Funnily enough, it did. Farnoosh came to the realization that fear never limited her. Instead, it has become a friend, opening her world and equipping her with the tools and street smarts to navigate life’s trials and thrive on her own terms.

Now, Farnoosh pairs stories from her immigrant upbringing with hard-won industry knowledge and data to show how leaning into your fears can help you take control of your financial future. With clear-eyed advice and an engaging, heartfelt voice, she lays out the nine most common fears that hold us back—both personally and in our financial decisions—and shows how these fears can be pivoted into strengths and mined for wisdom to help us achieve richer, more meaningful lives:

1. The Fear of Rejection and how it leads to self-discovery and where we are loved.
2. The Fear of Loneliness and how it promotes strength, resilience, and empathy.
3. The Fear of Missing Out and how it begs for self-reflection and promotes individuality and boundaries.
4. The Fear of Being Exposed and how it heightens awareness and draws comedy and connection.
5. The Fear of Uncertainty and how it accelerates our goals and finds order in the disorder.
6. The Fear of Money and how it encourages landing on your (true) money story and pursuing financial freedom.
7. The Fear of Failure and how it helps us to embrace red flags and the next right thing.
8. The Fear of Endings and how it sparks action, deepens an appreciation for what endures and unveils the beauty in regret.
9. The Fear of Losing Your Freedom and how it fuels self-advocacy and inspires a legacy.

Discover how you can become more self-reliant and financially resilient, invite calm and control into your daily routine, and how fear can serve you with this “wise, witty, and illustrative guide” (Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author) to building your best life.

About the author(s)

Farnoosh Torabi is an Iranian American journalist and one of the country’s leading and most trusted personal finance experts. For more than twenty years, she’s dedicated her career to helping people become financially empowered and lead richer lives. She’s written multiple books, hosted a CNBC program, and served as the resident money columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. Today she hosts the long-running, Webby-honored podcast So Money, which has earned over twenty-five million downloads. Farnoosh holds a degree in finance from Penn State and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University. She lives on the East Coast with her family.


“In her insightful and humorous way, Farnoosh gives fear a much-needed rebrand. As someone who's no stranger to anxiety, this book is a game-changer. Who knew fear could be this entertaining?”

Kelly Ripa, New York Times bestselling author of Live Wire

“Farnoosh unveils the surprising truths about why we should be more patient with fear and honor its many unsung giftsI’ll never experience fear the same way again — and thankfully so.

Tiffany Aliche, New York Times bestselling author of Get Good With Money

“How do you know whether quitting your job will save you or sink you? Is your fear of investing ever worth listening to? When does sharing controversial opinions on social media actually help or hurt? Dwelling over decisions like these can threaten your health and livelihood. That’s what makes Farnoosh’s advice so special. She is an expert who will actually acknowledge the gray areas of life and help you figure out what matters -- with precision.”

Rachel Rodgers, author of We Should All Be Millionaires

“From grappling with FOMO in your career to navigating and affording life’s shitstorms, Farnoosh has been there and done that, and gives us the levity, wisdom, and advice we need.”

Tori Dunlap, New York Times bestselling author of Financial Feminist

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