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Videos

  • Embracing Hope, Courage, and Compassion in Times of Crisis
    Embracing Hope, Courage, and Compassion in Times of Crisis
  • Dr. Elissa Epel: Control Stress for Healthy Eating, Metabolism & Aging | Huberman Lab Podcast
    Dr. Elissa Epel: Control Stress for Healthy Eating, Metabolism & Aging | Huberman Lab Podcast
  • THE TELOMERE EFFECT: LIVING HEALTHIER, LONGER with Prof Elissa Epel at Happiness & Its Causes 2019
    THE TELOMERE EFFECT: LIVING HEALTHIER, LONGER with Prof Elissa Epel at Happiness & Its Causes 2019
  • Generations Over Dinner (Over Lunch)
    Generations Over Dinner (Over Lunch)
  • Dr. Elissa Epel on Telomeres and the Role of Stress Biology in Cellular Aging
    Dr. Elissa Epel on Telomeres and the Role of Stress Biology in Cellular Aging
  • Conversations on Compassion with Dr. Elissa Epel
    Conversations on Compassion with Dr. Elissa Epel
  • The Telomere Effect
    The Telomere Effect
  • GWS 2017: The Telomere Effect | Elissa Epel
    GWS 2017: The Telomere Effect | Elissa Epel
  • What stress does to your body (it isn’t always bad!)
    What stress does to your body (it isn’t always bad!)
  • Lifespan Expanded: The Scientific Quest For A Fountain Of Youth
    Lifespan Expanded: The Scientific Quest For A Fountain Of Youth
  • Elissa Epel and Rick Hanson: Strengthening Your Body Against Stress
    Elissa Epel and Rick Hanson: Strengthening Your Body Against Stress
  • Food and the Aging Brain: Updates on Nutrition and Cognitive Health in Older Adults
    Food and the Aging Brain: Updates on Nutrition and Cognitive Health in Older Adults

Learn More About Elissa Epel

Everyone experiences stress in one way or another – it’s unavoidable. But there are science-backed strategies to offset how stress impacts performance, mental health, organizational resilience and even physical health. In fact, University of California, San Francisco Vice-Chair for Adult Psychology Elissa Epel, Ph.D. shows that there are positive ways we can experience stress that enhance our performance and health.

Epel studies how self-care practices such as meditation and positive stress can promote psychological and physiological thriving through methods for improving well-being which help people see immediate results. She has served as a consultant to the National Institute of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Facebook, Apple, UnitedHealth Group, business and academic leadership groups, and numerous hospital initiatives on stress and health. Her work provides insights and practices that help individuals improve their mental and physical health and enables leaders to strengthen organizational wellness.

Epel’s 30 years of research into the mechanisms of how biology and the mind interconnect and interact with the social world has led to foundational knowledge about how stress affects behavior and health, including eating, metabolism, and how our cells age

A great synthesizer of knowledge, she has summarized the most effective practical strategies for counteracting the harmful impacts of daily stress in her new book, “The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease” (Penguin Life, December 2022).  This highly acclaimed book provides a simple, actionable framework for learning how to “stress better” by developing positive stress in the body. Readers also learn how to change our relationship with daily stress so that we feel rejuvenated rather than exhausted at the end of a workday. “The Stress Prescription” has been named an Indy Healthy Living Bestseller, as well as an AARP bestseller and is already being translated into over 15 languages.

“Through a deep, science-based understanding of the mechanisms of stress, we can better understand the why of things, and that is powerful,” explains Epel, co-author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer” (Grand Central Publishing, 2017).“These insights enable people to make the shift toward a flexible, beneficial stress response.”  

Build Institutional Resilience to Stave Off Burnout

During times of high work stress, it’s vital for organizations to foster group cohesion and belonging to build robustly resilient teams. Instead of taking a business school organizational leadership view, Epel’s lens is focused on the psychology of social connection, trust, and compassion in the workplace. By building an atmosphere where colleagues feel heard and socially safe, there is more honest and fruitful communication, and leaders can more effectively create a culture of wellbeing and reduce burnout.

Epel explains that work should foster well-being, not drain it. “The work for group wellness requires inner work, strong relationships, and a healthy culture that all members contribute to,” she says. “Managers influence the culture through their values and role modeling. They must foster their own inner wellness and vitality.” 

Epel further points out that relationships at work are one of the most powerful levers for reducing excess stress. “Through compassionate leadership, managers at all levels can better listen and help people align with deeper purpose and meaning in what they do,” she explains.

Connecting Mind and Body to Fulfill Purpose

A truly unique presenter, Epel brings compassionate, memorable and actionable guidance to all of her engagements, including science-based meditation retreats and workshops. Epel’s goal is for attendees to walk away with a deeper understanding of their own mind, how to use the mind-body connection to stay resilient and energized in the face of challenges, and how to develop the habit of releasing mental stress to restore during downtime.

“By sharing critical research insights, I want audiences to feel empowered, to see they have more control than they think over their wellbeing, and to walk away with specific strategies they can use immediately,” explains Epel. “I want people to leave with more clarity and passion to fulfill their purpose.” 

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An international expert on stress, well-being, and optimal aging, Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at University of California, San Francisco where she is Vice Chair of Psychology and directs the Aging Metabolism Emotions Center. She is co-author of The New York Times bestseller, “The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer,” (2017) with Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, which has been translated into 30 languages, and is author of “The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease (2022).

Epel enjoys leading science-based meditation retreats at venues such as WEF/Davos, Esalen, Blue Spirit Costa Rica, Spirit Rock Meditation Center and 1440 Multiversity.  She studies the environmental, psychological, behavioral and social factors that impact cellular aging. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, past President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and co-chair of the Mind & Life Institute Steering Council. Epel’s research has been featured in documentaries and media outlets such as TEDMED, Wisdom 2.0, NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Morning Show, 60 Minutes, National Public Radio, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Elissa Epel is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Elissa Epel was last modified: June 21st, 2024 by Whitney Jennings

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Elissa Epel offers keynote presentations, interactive virtual experiences, workshops and panel discussions on a number of topics, including but not limited to the following:

  • The Stress Prescription: Seven Practices You Can Do Anywhere
  • Building Institutional and Personal Stress Resilience
  • Uncovering True Happiness
  • Understanding the Levers that Slow Biological Aging

Contact us to learn more about these topics or other topics Dr. Epel can customize to your organization’s needs.

Elissa Epel offers keynote presentations, interactive virtual experiences, workshops and panel discussions on a number of topics, including but not limited to the following:

  • The Stress Prescription: Seven Practices You Can Do Anywhere
  • Building Institutional and Personal Stress Resilience
  • Uncovering True Happiness
  • Understanding the Levers that Slow Biological Aging

Contact us to learn more about these topics or other topics Dr. Epel can customize to your organization’s needs.

“Our event was incredible. Thank you so, so much for all of your help throughout the entire process. Dr. Epel is such a special individual, and she gave an incredible speech. We feel very grateful to have her join us.”

Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine

“I want to thank you for sharing some of the most well prepared, thorough and thoughtful content that I have ever heard shared by a 90 minute keynote speaker, it was excellent. I also particularly enjoyed your book, it was very well done and provided lots of practical ideas for the reader. You have a confident, yet zen-like presentation style, very calm, curious and open. Your encouragement to allow others to be open and to be vulnerable was impactful. You gave me a lot to think about and for others as well. I do hope that we can stay in touch. You have a powerful message that I think resonates with many people, so thank you for sharing it with all of us.”

TransAlta Corporation

Advance Praise for "The Stress Prescription"

“The scientific background and anecdotes from those who have gotten a handle on their stress enrich the advice. This is just what the doctor ordered.”

Publisher's Weekly

“'The Stress Prescription' is an incredibly wise guide with simple, powerful advice. If you incorporate even one of these daily practices it will lower your stress and boost your emotional well-being and health.”

Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO , Thrive Global

“A preeminent expert sheds light on how to handle the daily hassles of life. It’s not just a manual for managing stress—it’s a toolkit for preventing it.”

Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of "Think Again"

“Epel’s decision to make this invaluable material available in such an accessible, practical, and impactful way for the public is a gift to us all. In 'The Stress Prescription', she reveals the often-invisible forces that affect all of our lives, and guides us towards a healthier, happier, and longer life. This is a must-read for our new era of challenges.”

Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, 17th Surgeon General of the United States

“The compassionate and insightful writing in this book, combined with its highly accessible and practical guidance, make it a very valuable resource that will be used and appreciated by many in these uncertain times.”

Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, Nobel Laureate and New York Times bestselling coauthor of "The Telomere Effect"

“'In The Stress Prescription', Dr. Elissa Epel explores the deep science of how we create biological stress in our bodies by our beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, which often unwittingly make us sick, anxious, and depressed. And she provides the antidote in a clear, step-by-step, day-by-day set of practices that will rewire your brain and body to become happier, healthier, and more stress resilient. A critical book for us all in an ever more stressful world.”

Mark Hyman, MD, Senior Advisor to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and Author of "Young Forever"

“'The Stress Prescription' beautifully combines the rigor of science with the wisdom of reflection, to offer a powerful and transformational roadmap for how to live a happier, healthier life. The wealth of ideas and practices presented in this illuminating work has the power to transform our individual and collective lives.”

Shauna Shapiro, PhD, Author of "Good Morning, I Love You"

Praise for "The Telomere Effect"

"Blackburn and Epel demonstrate that how we live each day has a profound effect not just on our health and well-being, but how we age, as well. It's a manual for how to live younger and longer."

Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global

"A classic. One of the most exciting health books to emerge in the last decade. It explains how we can slow the way we age at a fundamental level."

Eric Kandel, Nobel Laureate and Author of "In Search of Memory"

"'The Telomere Effect' explains the often-invisible things that affect all of our lives, helping us make better choices individually and socially for greater health and longevity. It will change the way we think of aging and disease."

David Kessler, MD, JD, Former FDA Commissioner and New York Times Bestselling Author of "The End of Overeating"

"A revolutionary set of findings-with a wealth of science-based suggestions-that can transform the way we live our lives, shaping the very health of our cells by how we use our minds."

Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times Bestselling Author of "Brainstorm"

"This book is revolutionary, transforming the way our world thinks about health and living well, disease, and death. It reveals a stunning picture of healthy aging-it's not simply about individuals, it's about how we are connected to each other, today and through future generations. It is hard to overstate this book's importance."

Dean Ornish, MD, Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, and New York Times Bestselling Author of "The Spectrum"

"Grounded in cutting-edge science, this is the best book on how to have long-term health that I have read in a very long time. Written with clarity, verve, and heart, it is chock-full of practical suggestions based on fascinating research on our own DNA. Tremendous."

Rick Hanson, PhD, Author of "Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom"

"An extraordinary, illuminating synthesis of biological and psychosocial factors that enhance healthful longevity by their effects on telomeres. These new advances in knowledge enable people to attain longer, healthier lives."

Albert Bandura, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, United States National Medal of Science Awardee

"'The Telomere Effect' gives us, in high relief and with exactly the practical level of detail we need, the long and the short of a new science revealing that how we live our lives, both inwardly and outwardly, individually and collectively, impinges significantly on our health, our well-being, and even our longevity. Mindfulness is a key ingredient, and importantly, issues of poverty and social justice are shown to clearly come into play as well. This book is an invaluable, rigorously authentic, and at its core, exceedingly compassionate and wise contribution to our understanding of health and well-being."

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author of "Full Catastrophe Living"

"From basic science to practical lifestyle advice, 'The Telomere Effect' is an extraordinary compendium of wisdom from a remarkable collaboration between a molecular biologist and a health psychologist. It is the supreme user-friendly guide to scientific research on telomeres and why knowing about them is important for your everyday life. This book is a must read for anyone who wishes to live with optimal health."

Richard J. Davidson, New York Times Bestselling Author of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" and Co-Author of "Altered Traits"