Happy Mind, Happy Life

Happy Mind, Happy Life: 10 Simple Ways to Feel Great Every Day. A science-backed guide to a calmer, happier you.

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The Healing Power of Compassion with Dr Julian Abel

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  December 9, 2020

Today conversation is about one of my favourite topics – compassion. Compassion doesn’t just make us feel good but it can have powerful effects on our health and longevity. That’s something today’s guest has proved to great effect. Dr Julian Abel is a recently retired consultant in palliative (end of life) care and joint leader of the Frome Project, which aimed to end loneliness and improve health in a town in Somerset, by building community connections. In providing compassionate alternatives to medical intervention, Frome saw emergency hospital admissions drop by 30 per cent along with improved quality of life scores, health outcomes and costs.

In this conversation Julian shares the evidence behind using compassion as a therapeutic tool, explaining that good social relationships are more powerful than pretty much any other intervention we have, including giving up smoking, drinking, diet, or exercise in helping us live longer. Compassion is far from the soft approach, it is in fact more powerful than many of the medicines we have.

Julian also talks about his own experience as a palliative care doctor and the lessons he learned from people at the end of their lives. He shares many uplifting and empowering stories that will convince even the biggest skeptic that compassion and connection should be at the centre of everything we do – after all, it is what makes us uniquely human.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of this interview – click below.

'If you want to be healthy and happy, be compassionate.”' Click To Tweet

Connect with Julian:

Website     Twitter      

TED talk: Why Compassion Matters | Dr Julian Abel

Julian’s Podcast: Survival of the Kindest

Julian’s book: The Compassion Project: A case for hope and human kindness from the town that beat loneliness

Further Learning:

Related Feel Better Live More podcasts:

#104 How Being Kind Helps Your Immune System, Reduces Stress and Changes Lives with Dr David Hamilton
#114 The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World with Dr Vivek Murthy

Dr Chatterjee’s books and resources:


*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP