Kelly McGonigal translates academic research into practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success.

Why you should listen

Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal is a leader in the growing field of “science-help.” Through books, articles, courses and workshops, McGonigal works to help us understand and implement the latest scientific findings in psychology, neuroscience and medicine.

Straddling the worlds of research and practice, McGonigal holds positions in both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the School of Medicine. Her most recent book, The Willpower Instinct, explores the latest research on motivation, temptation and procrastination, as well as what it takes to transform habits, persevere at challenges and make a successful change.

She is now researching a new book about the "upside of stress," which will look at both why stress is good for us, and what makes us good at stress. In her words: "The old understanding of stress as a unhelpful relic of our animal instincts is being replaced by the understanding that stress actually makes us socially smart -- it's what allows us to be fully human."

What others say

“She is a leader driven by compassion and pragmatism.” — Forbes.com

Kelly McGonigal’s TED talks

Kelly McGonigal on the TED Blog
See all
Culture

Kelly McGonigal gives the gift of TED

December 17, 2013

Great gifts aren’t always tangible. Just think back to the last time someone made your holiday season by gifting you an experience, or by writing you a card that got you just a little choked up. And so we ask: why not give the gift of an idea? This week, we’ve asked some of our […]

Continue reading
Health

Stress as a positive: Recent research that suggests it has benefits

September 4, 2013

Aerialist Nik Wallenda looks down and sees the 1,500-foot drop to the bottom of the Grand Canyon below him. All that stands between him and a lethal landing is the 2-inch tightrope that he has decided to traverse on camera, the moment being broadcast around the world on live television. If most people were to […]

Continue reading