The Kevin Rose Show

Join entrepreneur, technology investor, and self-experimenter Kevin Rose as he explores new ways to reach peak personal and professional performance. In this "podcast for the curious," Kevin interviews technologists, scientists, meditators, self-experimenters, and productivity hackers to discover insights that you can incorporate into daily life. Time Magazine calls him one of the "Top 25 Most Influential People on the Web," and Bloomberg lists him as a "Top 25 Angel Investor." Kevin has appeared on the Jimmy Fallon Show, Charlie Rose Show, as well as the covers of Businessweek and Inc. Magazine.


episode 47: Kelly McGonigal - Author of The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage

"You can think of exercise as an intravenous dose of hope." ~Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal (@kellymcgonigal) is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who specializes in understanding the mind-body connection. 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.

She is the best-selling author of The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress.

Through the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism, she helped create Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training, a program now taught around the world that helps individuals strengthen their empathy, compassion, and self-compassion.

You might know her from her TED talk, "How to Make Stress Your Friend," which is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time, with over 20 million views.

Her new book, The Joy of Movement, explores why physical exercise is a powerful antidote to the modern epidemics of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

In this episode, we talk about everything from tai chi to ultra-marathons to dance, and we really get into the science around how these different movements produce chemical changes in our brains that lift our mood and reduce anxiety and depression. Here, Kelly gives us the scoop about something called "hope molecules" and the minimum effective dose of movement required to produce them.

Connect with Kelly: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Links from this episode:

  • The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage by Kelly McGonigal
  • The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It by Kelly McGonigal
  • Other Books by Kelly McGonigal
  • The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism
  • How to Make Stress Your Friend by Kelly McGonigal, TEDGlobal 2013
  • StudioNia, Portland
  • Tai Chi: A Gentle Way to Fight Stress, The Mayo Clinic
  • A History and Style Guide of Tae Kwon Do, LiveAbout
  • Yoga for Everyone, The New York Times
  • Ultra-Endurance Athletics, The Why? Files
  • Latest Research News Related to Physical Exercise, ScienceDaily
  • Endorphins: Effects and How to Increase Levels, Medical News Today
  • The Endocrine System, Hormone Health Network
  • A Special Regenerative Rehabilitation and Genomics Letter: Is There a "Hope" Molecule?, Physical Therapy
  • Role of Myokines in Regulating Skeletal Muscle Mass and Function, Frontiers in Physiology
  • Irisin: A Hope in Understanding and Managing Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Lactate Is an Antidepressant That Mediates Resilience to Stress by Modulating the Hippocampal Levels and Activity of Histone Deacetylases, Neuropsychopharmacology
  • 'Wired To Run': Runner's High May Have Been Evolutionary Advantage, Morning Edition, NPR
  • Endocannabinoid System: A Simple Guide to How It Works, Healthline
  • Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Control of Social Behavior, Trends in Neurosciences
  • How to Get the Most Out of Your Exercise Time, according to Science: A Simple Guide to High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, the Fitness Trend Du Jour, Vox
  • 12 Benefits Of Taking Cold Showers Every Day, MSN
  • Wim Hof Says He Holds the Key to a Healthy Life -- But Will Anyone Listen?, Rolling Stone
  • Grit Strength HIIT Workout, Les Mills
  • Even a Tiny Bit of Exercise Will Help You Not Die, Study Says, Vice
  • Mood Map: How Do You Feel?, Emotional Competency
  • Adrenaline, Hormone Health Network
  • 10 Best Ways to Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally, Healthline
  • Why You Hate Exercise, Psychology Today
  • The Benefits of Forest Bathing, Time
  • Peloton
  • The Cold, Hard Reality of Racing the Yukon Arctic Ultra, Outside
  • DPI Adaptive Fitness, Fairfax
  • How to Throw an Axe with World Axe Throwing League Competitor, Grateful
  • Highland Games Traditions,
  • CrossFit
  • 10 Years of Tough, Tough Mudder
  • Combating Disease with Dance: A New Approach to Parkinson's, CNN
  • Parkinson's Disease Symptoms and Causes, Mayo Clinic
  • Sweating out the Sadness: Can Exercise Help You Grieve?, HuffPost
  • Core Affect and the Psychological Construction of Emotion, Psychological Review
  • Are You Suffering From Existential Dread? by Tyler Elliot Bettilyon, Medium
  • Anger Is an Energy: My Life Uncensored by John Lydon
  • Default Mode Network, Wikipedia
  • There's a Good Kind of Distraction and a Bad Kind. Here's How to Tell the Difference between Them, Quartz
  • How to Meditate, The New York Times
  • A Meditation on Lovingkindness by Jack Kornfield
  • 7 Scientific Benefits of Helping Others, Mental Floss
  • The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Project Gutenberg
  • AcroYoga International
  • How to Start Powerlifting as a Woman: Staci's Story, Nerd Fitness
  • Why Does Boxing Make You Happy?, Elle
  • What is Stress?, The American Institute of Stress
  • How the Fight or Flight Response Works, The American Institute of Stress
  • What Is ‘Tend-and-Befriend' and Why Is It So Important?, Better Help
  • Change Your Mindset, Change the Game by Dr. Alia Crum, TEDxTraverseCity 2014
  • The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life's Perfection by Michael A. Singer
  • Yoga for Pain Relief: Simple Practices to Calm Your Mind and Heal Your Chronic Pain by Kelly McGonigal
  • Traumatic Immobility: Depression as a Stress Response, Mad in America
  • A Herd of Fainting Goats, Outrageous Acts of Science
  • How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
  • Ayahuasca-Assisted Treatment, MAPS


  • I'm rebooting the Foundation podcast (past guests include Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams)! More information here: [00:03]
  • Who is Kelly McGonigal, how has she helped me, and how will her message here help you? [01:16]
  • What is Nia, and what does it aim to convey through music and movement? [02:43]
  • How did Kelly get into using movement as a way to facilitate mental well-being, and what compelled her to delve into the science behind it that she shares in The Joy of Movement? [05:25]
  • Two revelations about the direct connection between muscle movement and mental health that blew Kelly's mind when she started digging into this research. [07:05]
  • What's the anthropological take on why we experience a high after exercise (particularly running)? [11:03]
  • What does Kelly recommend as the minimum effective dose of exercise for us to really enjoy its mental benefits? Should it be enough to scare up a heartbeat that replicates fear and the courage by which it can be overcome? [14:40]
  • Good news regarding the minimum dose if all you want to do is feel better. [18:32]
  • The science we have so far suggests these two reasons we feel better with even a tiny dose of physical activity. [19:28]
  • What have scientists discovered by trying to take the joy out of movement? [22:06]
  • Pairing movement with nature (e.g., forest bathing). [24:20]
  • Pairing movement with music. [25:27]
  • How Kelly learned to love indoor cycling (after hating it at first). [26:04]
  • Pairing movement with teamwork/competition. [26:34]
  • Pairing movement with animal companionship. [26:59]
  • Can't dance. Won't dance. [27:17]
  • Kelly's impressions of the ultra-endurance world. [27:54]
  • Proof you don't have to conform to a certain body type or be impervious to fear in order to experience the joy of movement. [28:44]
  • Misery loves company -- but so does joy. [31:21]
  • Fighting Parkinson's disease with dance at Juilliard. [33:45]
  • How depression and grief work to demobilize and demotivate us by mechanisms eerily similar to Parkinson's disease. [38:19]
  • What's your emotional temperature? Understanding the factors that contribute to your core affect. [39:16]
  • Kelly's take on the modern need for constant stimulation via devices and how it relates to the brain's default state in contrast to different methods like meditation. [42:27]
  • Outside of movement, what other ingredients does Kelly find important for holistic mental self-care? [46:21]
  • What does Kelly hope are the chief takeaways people will remember after reading The Joy of Movement? [48:39]
  • As someone who's spent the majority of her life moving, did Kelly discover and experiment with any movement forms that were new to her during the course of doing research for The Joy of Movement? How does she feel about exercise that takes place outside of her comfort zone? [52:03]
  • Kelly gives us a brief history of the science behind her earlier work,, and how research has changed what we know about stress in recent years.
  • A brief history of the science of stress, why our initial impression of it as a purely negative force has been so hard to shake in spite of being disproven by decades of research, and what Kelly did to set the record straight by writing The Upside of Stress. [53:40]
  • Kelly's thoughts on how I've been coping with stress for the past six months or so, and why society's need to blame every bad thing that happens to us on "stress" hurts more than it helps. [59:25]
  • As a psychiatrist, what does Kelly think of psychedelics as a potential course of treatment? [1:03:05]
  • Parting thoughts, and how to best connect with Kelly. [1:07:18]


  • Darya Rose
  • Tim Ferriss
  • Hans Selye
  • Alia J. Crum



 2020-02-07  1h8m