How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal

A book event for The Upside of Stress

  • Venue: International House, UC Berkeley campus
  • Date: May 20, 2015
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Price: $10/Free for students (students, please RSVP to not use registration link)


The impulse to connect with others is both a natural response to stress and a source of resilience.

When we help others, or ​focus on our bigger-than-self goals, it changes our neurochemistry and physical stress response from one of fear and overwhelm to the biology of hope and courage.

McGonigal will explore new scientific insights into both why compassion is an instinct that helps us thrive in the face of adversity, and how social connection can reduce burnout, increase our well-being, and support meaning and growth during times of stress and change.

Her talk will draw from her latest book, The Upside of Stress, a controversial and groundbreaking new book that overturns long-held beliefs about stress. It's the first book to bring together cutting-edge discoveries on the correlation between resilience—the human capacity for stress-related growth—and mindset, the power of beliefs to shape reality. 

McGonigal’s TED talk on the subject has already received more than 6 million views. Her message resonates with people who know they can’t eliminate the stress in their lives and want to learn to take advantage of it.

This talk will be followed by audience Q&A and a book signing.

FREE for current UC Berkeley students. Please email, with "KELLY MCGONIGAL RSVP" as your subject line and indicate the names of the students planning to attend. You'll be asked to present a student ID at the door.






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    Kelly McGonigal

    Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., is a health psychologist and and a leading expert on the mind-body relationship. She is a lecturer at Stanford University, for the Graduate School of Business's MBA and executive education programs, and for the School of Medicine's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, where she helped develop the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training. She is the author of several books, including the The Upside of Stress, the international bestseller The Willpower Instinct, and The Neuroscience of Change. She has consulted for a wide range of organizations and industries ranging from healthcare and higher education to technology and finance, helping to bring evidence-based strategies for resilience and well-being into the workplace.

International House is on the University of California, Berkeley campus at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Bancroft Way, adjacent to the stadium. Address: 2299 Piedmont Avenue Berkeley, CA 94720. 

By Car

Parking around the International House (I-House) and the UC Berkeley campus can be difficult. In non-metered areas, parking is free for two hours and unregulated after 7 pm. Meters are free with a California disabled placard. If you do drive, here are several public parking lots within a few blocks of the I-House.


Parking on the UC Berkeley campus is challenging. Street parking at meters is free after 6 pm. In non-metered areas, parking is free for two hours and unregulated after 7 pm. Meters are free with a California disabled placard.

1. UNDERHILL LOT: Located at the corner of Channing and College, this lot is a 5-10 minute walk from I-House.

2. TELEGRAPH CHANNING GARAGE: One-half block west of Telegraph Avenue, with entrances on both Durant Avenue and Channing Way. A 15-minute walk to I-House uphill.

3. BOALT LAW SCHOOL LOT: The closest public parking to I-House. From Hearst Ave., turn right on Gayley. Immediately past the Haas Business School, turn right and then left into the lot.

4. KROEBER LOT (Tennis Courts)
This is also close to I-House but more expensive. Located on Bancroft, west of College Ave

5. LOWER HEARST STRUCTURE LOT: Located at the corner of Hearst and Euclid. A 15-20 minute walk to I-House.

6. UNIVERSITY HALL WEST LOT: Located on Addison between Oxford and Shattuck. A 20-25 minute walk to I-House uphill. 

There is also on-street parking on Piedmont Avenue and the other streets around the I-House, some with blue disabled zones, meters and some non-metered. In non-metered areas, parking is free for two hours. (There will be breaks in the program every 60-90 minutes, during which time attendees can even exchange parking spots with one another.) If you plan to look for on-street parking, you may want to add a few minutes to your estimated travel time.

For UC Berkeley parking Information, call (510) 642-4283 or visit

Public Transit

Parking around the International House can be difficult, so we encourage you to take public transportation whenever possible to avoid parking fines and ease traffic congestion. Some services require exact fare only (e.g., AC Transit Buses and Campus Shuttle Service). BART and AC Transit buses are used jointly by commuters to come to campus.


BART trains operate from Fremont, Richmond, Pittsburg and Millbrae. A map indicating the route and stops of each train is located at each station. The Berkeley BART station is just 1-1/2 blocks from the Berkeley campus. There are shuttles that run from the BART to the International House. Click here for more information on taking public transportation to the I-House. (Please note that the shuttle pick-up near BART is on Shattuck Ave, between Center and Addison Streets.)

Get off at the "Downtown Berkeley" station.

The campus shuttle from Downtown Berkeley is located across from BART at Center & Shattuck, in front of Bank of America. The bus stops in front of the I-House.

Note: walking from the Berkeley BART station to I-House will take 20-25 minutes up a moderate hill. 

AC Transit

AC Transit  bus service provides transportation for commuters to and from San Francisco and throughout Alameda and Western Contra Costa County. There are several AC bus lines that come near the campus area.


The Oakland Airport is approximately 15 miles from UC Berkeley. A new BART train links the airport to the Coliseum BART station.

San Francisco Airport: Check the ground transport section of the SF airport homepage for directions to Berkeley. Also, see the convenient BART line to the airport.

Other Transit Links (Traffic conditions and regional transportation options)
Bayporter Express (airport shuttle service)
SF MTA (San Francisco Buses)
Caltrain (Commuter train service from San Francisco and San Jose)