Heading into a yoga class in Miami last week, I met a woman who was also from New York. Like most of us, she walked fast and talked fast. But even for a New Yorker she seemed a little…on edge.

She worried aloud about whether she was experienced enough for the class, worried about where she was going to go next, worried about the apartment she’d bought in a neighborhood she didn’t like.

During our conversation it emerged that she’d lost her job a couple of years ago and was still unemployed. I sensed that her jobless state didn’t cause her sprawling anxiety, but it did seem possible that it was part of a dreadful spiral—unemployment feeding unhappiness, making it harder to find a job, which caused more unhappiness…