Episode 90

The Science of Movement: How to Use Exercise to Defeat Depression, Anxiety, and Loneliness

With Dr. Kelly McGonigal

The most common explanation for why exercise makes us happy is far too simplistic. The psychological effects of movement cannot be reduced to an endorphin rush. Physical activity influences many other brain chemicals, including those that give you energy, alleviate worry, and help you bond with others. It reduces inflammation in the brain, which over time can protect against depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Regular exercise also remodels the

physical structure of your brain to make you more receptive to joy and social connection. These neurological changes rival those observed in the most cutting-edge treatments for both depression and addiction. 

Today on The Broken Brain Podcast, I’m joined by my good friend Dr. Kelly McGonigal to talk about how exercise can improve the treatment outcomes for depression, anxiety, and addiction. We discuss the science of why people who are regularly active have a stronger sense of purpose, experience more gratitude, love and hope, feel more connected to their communities, and are less likely to suffer from loneliness or become depressed. We also talk about how during physical activity, muscles secrete hormones into our bloodstream that make our brain more resilient to stress, which scientists call “hope molecules.” 

For more on Dr. Kelly McGonigal, be sure to follow her on Instagram @kellymariemcgonigal, and on Facebook @kellymcgonigalauthor. You can find her music playlists on Spotify by searching her name: Kelly McGonigal. Check out her website http://kellymcgonigal.com. You can find her book, The Joy of Movement, right here.

Interested in joining Dhru’s Broken Brain Podcast Facebook Community? Submit your join request here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2819627591487473/
For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here https://my.community.com/dhrupurohit

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did.
Wishing you health and happiness.
Dhru Purohit

In this Episode, you will learn

  1. The moment that changed Kelly’s life
  2. The connection between joy and movement
  3. How exercise can help with mental health
  4. How to get past the mental barriers when it comes to movement and exercise
  5. The role movement plays when it comes to loneliness
  6. Why the so-called “Runner’s High” is more than just an endorphin rush, and how it helps to reduce inflammation in the brain
  7. How exercise teaches us to be better at stress
  8. Why you should set a goal that involves movement, not just weight loss
  9. How exercise enhances healing
  10. Where to learn more about Dr. Kelly McGonigal


Dhru Purohit

Dhru is the host of the Dhru Purohit Podcast, a top 30 health podcast with over 30 million downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Dhru Purohit is also a serial entrepreneur and investor in the health and wellness industry.

Dr. Kelly McGonigal

Dr. Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist who specializes in understanding the mind-body connection. She is the best-selling author of The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress. Her latest book, The Joy of Movement, explores why physical exercise is a powerful antidote to the modern epidemics of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

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