• The Grieving Brain

  • The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss
  • By: Mary-Frances O'Connor
  • Narrated by: Callie Beaulieu
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (95 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.51

Buy for $28.51

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

A renowned grief expert and neuroscientist shares groundbreaking discoveries about what happens in our brain when we grieve, providing a new paradigm for understanding love, loss, and learning.

For as long as humans have existed, we have struggled when a loved one dies. Poets and playwrights have written about the dark cloak of grief, the deep yearning, how devastating heartache feels. But until now, we have had little scientific perspective on this universal experience. 

In The Grieving Brain, neuroscientist and psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor, PhD, gives us a fascinating new window into one of the hallmark experiences of being human. O’Connor has devoted decades to researching the effects of grief on the brain, and in this book, she makes cutting-edge neuroscience accessible through her contagious enthusiasm, and guides us through how we encode love and grief. With love, our neurons help us form attachments to others; but, with loss, our brain must come to terms with where our loved ones went, or how to imagine a future that encompasses their absence. 

Based on O’Connor’s own trailblazing neuroimaging work, research in the field, and her real-life stories, The Grieving Brain does what the best popular science books do, combining storytelling, accessible science, and practical knowledge that will help us better understand what happens when we grieve and how to navigate loss with more ease and grace. 

©2022 by O’Connor Productions, Inc. (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Grieving Brain

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

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

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

Interesting thoughts

I was very interested in learning about my grieving brain.. I have lost a brother to suicide, both my parents and both my sons, only children. I also had another loss, of a marriage after 20 years. So a long life of grieving since I was 10. I was sad that Dr. O'Connor, as a grief specialist, hardly touched on child loss. Although they were both in their late 30's, they were my children, my only ones. I can say even after my other losses, the losses of my children was the most devastating. Even after 9 and a half years, I still feel devastated. Complicated grief for sure. I would have been interested in how I go on with this loss. I'm 71. So if you lost a parent or both, or a spouse, I think this book would be of help. Child loss is so different, especially when it was one's only child or only children.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JB
  • 02-16-22

Compelling and full of interesting perspectives

This is a really enjoyable read for a very broad audience. It's science forward without being inaccessible. The book and ideas are very approachable because of the effortless involvement of humor and personal vignettes. A surprising amount of areas are covered and woven into the narrative, which all seem well integrated and add to a nice comprehensive picture. I was deeply touched at times, and that worked extremely well in combination with being challenged in my understanding. It leaves enough room to ask a lot of important questions. thanks for writing this!

3 people found this helpful

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

Absolutely awesome

This is not a self help book, not an entertaining story . This book is awesome if you know grief personally but you want to understand what’s happening to you: I absolutely loved this book. It gave me understanding and hope.

2 people found this helpful

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

Boring!

Nothing helpful. Very acedemic, Nothing surprising at all either. Such an important subject, too bad this was so disapointing.

2 people found this helpful

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

Open to Hope Foundation

We have been in the grief and loss business for over 30 years. It’s seldom that We Find such a wealth of information in one place in the area of a grief, loss and recovery. This book is filled with new information and ideas on the grieving brain. We have learned things that we have never thought possible to learn in a new venue. We have lost a child/siblings and a spouse/dad and thank you so much for the new ideas and information in this book and in this area. You’ve done a wonderful job of bringing scientific knowledge to the lay reader and listener. Congratulations on this great accomplishment. Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley

2 people found this helpful

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

very thoughtful

very insightful and well thought-out. the last few paragraphs about her mother brought me right back to my mom's death. 😭 touching and relatable way to end the book. Definitely a good read.

1 person found this helpful

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

I liked the informative views she took

However I wish she would have delved into
More of the actual studies she did on people bereaved.

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

Just what I needed to know.

Thank you Audible for featuring this book. It has helped me to bridge the gaps between love and loss. I've gained so much. Every chapter was like a jewel unto itself.

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

Makes sense of Grieving!

We all grieve but do we know how? This was so helpful in understanding why we feel the way we do and how are brain must readjust. Thank you for bringing comfort in this difficult process we all go through.

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

Excellent

A different perspective on grief and loss that is up-to-date and scientific. It improves upon (and discredits) past models on grief.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs A.J Gaze
  • Mrs A.J Gaze
  • 02-13-22

Great

brilliantly explored pushing into the latest understandings about grief and the meaning it has for us all

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-01-22

Great books and lots of new learning

After loosing my grandmother who brought me up and was a mother to me I have ready many books on grief however this book made a lot of practical sense and easy to understand. I would highly recommend for those who want to understand their grief much better. All the best and hope you all find strength