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Moving Towards Joy

Kelly McGonigal jumping for joy

Ben Krantz Studio

Kelly McGonigal says to use the latest research on movement to bring more delight into your life.

How do you find a path out of depression, an antidote for anxiety, and a solution for social isolation? If any drug company or supplement manufacturer claimed to have the answers, you would roll your eyes. However, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal says digging out of a variety of physical, emotional, and social ailments is possible with just a little extra effort—or a little extra movement, to be more exact. In her new book, The Joy of Movement, McGonigal explores from a scientific perspective how movement creates profound positive changes in the brain. “When I think about the science of exercise, I always think about the immediate effects on your mood, mindset, and your brain—your biochemistry,” she says. “But I also think about how regular exercise changes the structure and function of your brain in the long-term.” While the short-term effects provides good news, the long-term effects may be even more beneficial, according to McGonigal. She says movement is intertwined with our humanity; our evolution has relied on movement to influence how we interact with each other and wit …

About the Author

Kalia Kelmenson

Kalia Kelmenson is the editorial director at Spirituality & Health. She founded Maui Mind and Body to support women’s health, and is the creator of Mind Body Booty Camp. Kalia loves to explore the fascinating intersection of fitness and mind-body health, and to share inspiration for your movement practice from the research emerging from this intriguing field.


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