Discover an eye-opening and provocative new way to look at our health based on the latest groundbreaking discoveries in the science of compassion, kindness, and human connection.

For all of its rigor and science, medicine is full of stories—mysteries—that doctors and research cannot explain. Patients who are biologically healthy, but feel ill. Patients who are biologically ill, but feel healthy. What if these health mysteries could teach us something about what really makes us sick—and how to be healthy?

When Columbia University doctor Kelli Harding began her clinical practice, she never intended to explore the invisible factors behind our health. But then there were the rabbits. In 1978, a seemingly straightforward experiment designed to establish the relationship between high blood cholesterol and heart health in rabbits discovered that kindness—in the form of a particularly nurturing post-doc who pet and spoke to the lab rabbits as she fed them—made the difference between a heart attack and a healthy heart.

As Dr. Kelli Harding reveals in this eye-opening book, the rabbits were just the beginning of a much larger story. Groundbreaking new research shows that love, friendship, community, life’s purpose, and our environment can have a greater impact on our health than anything that happens in the doctor’s office. For instance, chronic loneliness can be as unhealthy as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day; napping regularly can decrease one’s risk of heart disease; and people with purpose are less likely to get sick. Through provocative storytelling and compelling research, Harding presents a new model for you to take charge of your health.

At once paradigm-shifting and empowering, The Rabbit Effect shares a radical new way to think about health, wellness, and how we live.

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About the Author

Dr. Kelli Harding is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine. Dr. Harding attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where she graduated with honors. She then trained in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. At Columbia, Dr. Harding also completed an NIMH research fellowship focused on unexplained symptoms and earned a Masters in Public Health. Nationally, she served on the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Board of Directors, which leads the academic medical community to improve the health of all.