• The Grieving Brain

  • The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss
  • By: Mary-Frances O'Connor
  • Narrated by: Callie Beaulieu
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (248 ratings)

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The Grieving Brain  By  cover art

The Grieving Brain

By: Mary-Frances O'Connor
Narrated by: Callie Beaulieu
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Publisher's summary

NPR SciFri Book Club Pick

Next Big Idea Club's "Top 21 Psychology Books of 2022"

Behavioral Scientist Notable Books of 2022

A renowned grief expert and neuroscientist shares groundbreaking discoveries about what happens in our brain when we grieve, providing a new paradigm for understanding love, loss, and learning.

In The Grieving Brain, neuroscientist and psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor, PhD, gives us a fascinating new window into one of the hallmark experiences of being human. O’Connor has devoted decades to researching the effects of grief on the brain, and in this book, she makes cutting-edge neuroscience accessible through her contagious enthusiasm, and guides us through how we encode love and grief. With love, our neurons help us form attachments to others; but, with loss, our brain must come to terms with where our loved ones went, or how to imagine a future without them.

The Grieving Brain addresses:

  • Why it’s so hard to understand that a loved one has died and is gone forever
  • Why grief causes so many emotions—sadness, anger, blame, guilt, and yearning
  • Why grieving takes so long
  • The distinction between grief and prolonged grief
  • Why we ruminate so much after we lose a loved one
  • How we go about restoring a meaningful life while grieving

Based on O’Connor’s own trailblazing neuroimaging work, research in the field, and her real-life stories, The Grieving Brain combines storytelling, accessible science, and practical knowledge that will help us better understand what happens when we grieve and how to navigate loss with more ease and grace.

©2022 by O’Connor Productions, Inc. (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers