Dr. Kelli Harding – The Rabbit Effect (Event Recap)


We kicked off our full schedule of Fall/Winter book events on Thursday with Dr. Kelli Harding and her new book The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness. Before coming to ModernWell, Dr. Harding was featured with our friends at Twin Cities Live where she chatted about the connection of kindness and health. 

Dr. Helen Kim, co-founder and director of the Hennepin Healthcare Mother-Baby Program and Redleaf Center for Family Healing, joined Dr. Harding to continue the conversation of her research and new book at ModernWell Thursday evening in front of family, friends and ModernWellers. Their conversation captivated the audience as they discussed how Dr. Harding discovered the research behind the true power of kindness by stumbling upon a study of—you guessed it—RABBITS. Kelli talked about how taken aback she was with the fact that during a health study conducted on rabbits, a certain researcher treated his furry subjects with kindness, and that the particular rabbits under his care fared considerably better health-wise than his furry counterparts that were not petted or talked to in a kind and caring tone throughout the study. 

She was so inspired by this revelation that she knew she needed to dive into the connection between kindness and health even further and share her findings with as many people as possible in the form of a book. Dr. Harding and Dr. Kim, both practicing psychiatrists, compared notes on the good and the ugly of the healthcare system as a whole, and how much work there is to be done around the way patients with physical and mental illnesses are treated. They also talked about how important it is for our mental and physical health to have strong, caring relationships and to feel a sense of belonging in our families, communities, and society as a whole. 

The two doctors gave us all so much to think about as we look at our own health not only in terms of what we eat and drink and how much we exercise, but how we treat one another–both friends and strangers. If we are all even a bit kinder to and thoughtful of one another, our society could be a much healthier and happier place.

If you missed this event, but want to learn more, please purchase Dr. Harding’s book at your local bookstore (support local!) and make sure to check out Dr. Kim’s incredible new initiative in Minneapolis—Hennepin Healthcare Mother-Baby Program and Redleaf Center for Family Healing—Minnesota’s first intensive mental health program for pregnant and postpartum mothers that aims to bring the best comprehensive mental health and relationship support for families, particularly in communities that need it the most.

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