The Science of Compassion

A Modern Approach for Cultivating Empathy, Love, and Connection
Streaming Audio (Immediate Access)
A leading mind-body expert offers neuroscience-based practices for kindness, forgiveness, and connection
Full Description

Breakthrough Science and Practical Tools for Cultivating Compassion 

Why is compassion so powerful? Like many forms of spirituality and meditation, compassion practice has been shown by research to enhance your health, psychological well-being, relationships, and sense of purpose. “The unique quality of compassion,” teaches Dr. Kelly McGonigal, “is that its benefits extend to the one who offers it, the one who receives it, and all those who witness compassion in action.” With The Science of Compassion, this acclaimed researcher presents a practical workshop to help you understand what makes compassion work—and how you can cultivate it in your life.

The Power of Choosing Compassion

Compassion can be a difficult choice to make—after all, why would we deliberately choose to add another person’s pain to our own? “Not only does our compassion ease the suffering of others,” teaches Dr. McGonigal, “Our brain, heart, and entire physiology are tuned to support us when we make the courageous decision to be compassionate.” In this seven-hour training intensive, she provides invaluable tools and guidance for overcoming emotional fatigue, empathic distress, self-judgment, and other obstacles that can keep us closed down and afraid to reach out.

“Compassion is an embodied state that prepares us to take positive action,” says Dr. McGonigal. Here is an audio course filled with cutting-edge science, inspirational stories, and research-based practices to help you build your capacity for generosity, empathy, and kindness—and become a compassionate force in the world.


  • The Biology of Compassion—empowering findings from the latest compassion research
  • The Upward Spiral of Compassion—the power of witnessing and sharing stories of kindness
  • The Unique Challenge of Self-Compassion—three keys for offering loving support to ourselves
  • Compassionate Presence—when simply being with another without trying to change anything is the best choice
  • Empathic Distress—how to keep from being overwhelmed by another’s suffering
  • Receiving Compassion—guidance for allowing help to come when we need it
  • Difficult Compassion—practices for broadening your ability to offer forgiveness and generosity towards those who cause you pain
  • Healing with Compassion—the positive effects of compassion on stress, loneliness, and social anxiety
  • Beyond the Self—how we can connect to a source of compassion that surpasses our normal human limits
  • Sustaining Openheartedness—how to overcome the common challenges of “compassion fatigue” and “compassion collapse”
  • Meditation and Mindfulness—potent tools for cultivating compassion, including guided practices
  • Eleven sessions of breakthrough research, heart-opening stories, and transformative practices from renowned health psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal
    Format Details
    CD Audio
    Contents 6 CDs (6 hours, 46 minutes) Digital Audio (6 hours, 46 minutes)
    Dimensions 6 7/8 x 6 5/8 inches
    Product Code AF04851D AF04851W
    ISBN Number 978-1-62203-779-7 978-1-62203-780-3
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    Kelly McGonigal

    About Kelly McGonigal

    Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a health psychologist and award-winning lecturer at Stanford University. A leading expert on the mind-body relationship, her work integrates the latest findings of psychology, neuroscience, and medicine with contemplative practices of mindfulness and compassion from the traditions of Buddhism and yoga. She is the author of The Willpower Instinct and Yoga for Pain Relief.

    Author photo © Mark Bennington

    Listen to Tami Simon's interview with Kelly McGonigal: The Neuroscience of Change