Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.50

Buy for $24.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of The Willpower Instinct introduces a surprising science-based audiobook that doesn't tell us why we should exercise but instead shows us how to fall in love with movement.

Exercise is health-enhancing and life-extending, yet many of us feel it's a chore. But as Kelly McGonigal reveals, it doesn't have to be. Movement can and should be a source of joy.

Through her trademark blend of science and storytelling, McGonigal draws on insights from neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology, as well as memoirs, ethnographies, and philosophers. She shows how movement is intertwined with some of the most basic human joys, including self-expression, social connection, and mastery - and why it is a powerful antidote to the modern epidemics of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

McGonigal tells the stories of people who have found fulfillment and belonging through running, walking, dancing, swimming, weightlifting, and more, with examples that span the globe, from Tanzania, where one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes on the planet live, to a dance class at Juilliard for people with Parkinson's disease, to the streets of London, where volunteers combine fitness and community service, to races in the remote wilderness, where athletes push the limits of what a human can endure. Along the way, McGonigal paints a portrait of human nature that highlights our capacity for hope, cooperation, and self-transcendence.

The result is a revolutionary narrative that goes beyond familiar arguments in favor of exercise, to illustrate why movement is integral to both our happiness and our humanity. Listeners will learn what they can do in their own lives and communities to harness the power of movement to create happiness, meaning, and connection.

©2019 Kelly McGonigal (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Part scientific exploration, part inspirational story, part intimate love letter to physical activity, The Joy of Movement reveals how what many consider as just 'exercise' is actually so much more - a pathway to not only physical and mental health, but also love, connection, and community. Kelly has written a fascinating book that is a must-read for everyone, really." (Brad Stulberg, best-selling author of Peak Performance and The Passion Paradox; columnist at Outside Magazine)

"As someone who has long believed that we were born to run, I was fascinated by Kelly McGonigal’s account of a much broader truth: We were born to move. Threading together unexpected insights from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, philosophy, and more, The Joy of Movement makes a compelling scientific case for the role of exercise in promoting pleasure, social connection, and hope." (Alex Hutchinson, New York Times best-selling author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance)

"I love this book. Kelly McGonigal brings us to the cutting edge of exercise neuroscience that greatly expands our understanding." (John J. Ratey, MD, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School)

"This book reminded me that no matter what injuries or obstacles I have to overcome, I can always find joy in movement, and I am stronger than I realize!" (Jessie Graff, American Ninja Warrior competitor and Action Icon Award Stuntwoman of the Year)

What listeners say about The Joy of Movement

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    227
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    212
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    191
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Academic - Not a Self-Help Book

First, I am a huge fan of Kelly McGonical and her book, the Willpower Instinct, is a must read/listen. However, I thought this was going to be a guidebook or motivational book for someone wanting to develop a real exercise habit. It is not - at least not up to the to 3 1/2 hours point when I reached my limit. The book is an academic discussion of the physical exercise, especially group exercise and exercise at high intensity. I am a nerd so it is not that the content is not understandable, but at least for me, it is essentially irrelevant. My recommendation is to know what you are buying and if you are not sure, go to Google Books and read a little of this book before purchasing so you are not disappointed.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very motivating

I have not been very active in a long time. While I knew most of the benefits she listed, listening certainly has made me want to get up and run. There are very inspiring stories in here.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good but could have been 2/3 shorter

Lots of short stories but I was looking more of a guide to methodology etc.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great at first

The beginning of the book reeled me in hard. I loved all the studies and data. The anecdotes complimented the message. The first half, at least, is five stars for me. It started to drag however. For me it got too sentimental and there were fewer and fewer studies cited. The anecdotes stopped having their power that they did at the start. If I didn’t so badly want to finish just because I started I would have stopped a few chapters in.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect for fitness instructors and regular people

The content of this book struck deep chords within me as a human being and a person who enjoys exercise. The author/ narrator has a smooth and soothing voice that inspires the listener to get up and get moving with their fellow man just for the joy of it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

I’m happy to say this book inspired me and encouraged me to get some kind of movement in my life as many days as I can! So many moving stories too! Thanks for this book!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan. This does not disappoint

I’m such a fan of Ms McGonigal, and this book does not disappoint. Her research is impeccable, and brought to life by stories from others, and her own heartfelt examples. This book helped me finally understand why I am drawn to outdoors exercise but not group classes. Highly recommend it! Do check out her brilliant book on willpower, too, which is a great companion to this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Joy of listening.

First of all, in my opinion, no one reads a book quite like the author. Kelly does a great job at pausing and empathetically reflecting is a non forced way. Takes abstracts in science and pairs them with real life stories in this science blended sociology kind of way. Think of a really good lecture with all the best parts. Read this while working out, and listening to in the car, and in the early morning with my coffee. truly a great read/listen

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

New Perspectives Ahead

Exercise is good for our health is not news to anyone. Now, we learn how it’s good for our mind as well, and can cultivate friendships, bonds, communities, resilience, & joy. It was easy to listen to and understand and has given me some motivation to move more and with intention. Definitely recommend this audiobook.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Stories of happiness and resilience very well told by the author, along with the studies and science that explain support why we enjoy movement.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A Customer
  • A Customer
  • 05-22-20

Not much science here

Possibly because of the description this title was a total disappointment. Not much science just anecdote after anecdote about how much people enjoy exercise. The title of the book then is reasonably accurate but the description might lead to unfulfilled expectations. Unlike exercise, which I enjoy and commit to, I gave up on the book halfway through.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-20

A book to fill your heart and ignite your hope.

What a wonderful book to help get you excited about getting back in to exercise. I cant wait to start running again and this really resounded with me in terms of how exercise can help ignite hope.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Crispy
  • Crispy
  • 11-04-20

Super listen

Lovely stories and really simple and effective guide to why we should be active. Feeling a bit blue, move, it doesn’t matter what you do or who you do it with; just move :)

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for rosemary Richards
  • rosemary Richards
  • 11-10-20

Triple A for boosting mental wellbeing

Kelly has been my constant morning companion (through audible) over the past few weeks. I head out the door to see the sunrise and listen to Kelly as I go. I’m amazed at how I’ve been so inspired by Kelly as I walk, climb the steep stairs and run around the coast. My efforts prior to Kelly were lacking direction and motivation. I walked, but slowly. I was saying to myself, “oh that’s ok for today”. Now I go a little further inspired by hearing of others who’ve done the same and the benefits they’ve gained. I’ve lifted out of the depression I was experiencing and I’m enjoying days filled with a joy and calm I haven’t experienced for sometime. I just finished listening to the book today but will start it all again from the beginning tomorrow. It’s full of excellent scientific research and anecdotal stories that have me thinking about movement in a whole new way. It is accessible to me! I can do it! A wonderful surprise to be increasing my activity and movement at 61 rather than slowing down. I want to get stronger and I believe I can. No other book or gym or coach has inspired me so much to move. And I can tell you I’ve tried a few! I hope you enjoy this book and Kelly as much as I have and you join me on the merry road of moving more and increased mental wellbeing Thank you Kelly, what a magnificent effort you gone to for us all!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-22-20

so inspiring!

I absolutely loved this book! It's been so fascinating to read and learn and be inspired! I've been telling everyone about it!