The Joy of Movement with Kelly McGonigal

The Joy of Movement with Kelly McGonigal



If you’re in a workout rut, our guest today has the answer — and motivation — you need!

Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist, author, and lecturer at Stanford University who specializes in understanding the mind-body connection — and her TED Talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” has over 21 million views! As a pioneer in the field of "science-help," her mission is to translate insights from psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies that support personal well-being and strengthen communities.

Her bestselling books are based on classes at Stanford, all backed by research. The Willpower Instinct is based on her popular psychology course The Science of Willpower and The Upside of Stress began as Living Well With Stress.

Her latest book, The Joy of Movement, explores how physical exercise can be a powerful antidote to the modern epidemics of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Kelly describes the book as “at once a love letter to movement and to human nature, including our remarkable abilities to persist, cooperate, and experience transcendence,” and you’re going to learn all about it in today’s episode.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of this inspirational read, and I can assure you that this is one book you will want in your collection. Not only is Kelly herself incredibly relatable but the science in her book and this episode is incredibly motivational!

You will learn about...

  • The gifts that movement give to us (1:30)

  • How you can use exercise to prepare yourself for whatever it is you want to do (3:00)

  • The power of music and its role in the psychology of exercise (6:00)

  • The science behind group flow yoga experiences (9:00)

  • How exercise can make us happier and more resilient (13:00)

  • Why exercise is a powerful antidepressant (16:00)

  • Hope molecules and how Kelly learned to love her muscles (21:30)

  • How different forms of exercise mimic different kinds of mind-altering drugs + why you don’t need to run to get a runner’s high (24:45)

  • What happens when you exercise outdoors (34:40)

  • How physical activity helps you think differently about yourself and what you’re capable of doing (41:00)

  • How writing The Joy of Movement changed how Kelly teaches (52:20)

  • Two things you can do every day to nourish your body, nourish your brain, and increase your connection to others (57:00)


Be Well By Kelly Podcast is a production of Crate Media