James W. Pennebaker - Opening Up


Anyone who has ever entrusted a troubling secret to a journal, or mourned a broken heart with a friend, knows the feeling of relief that expressing painful emotions can bring. This book presents astonishing evidence that personal self-disclosure is not only good for our emotional health, but boosts our physical health as well.

Psychologist James W. Pennebaker has conducted controlled clinical research that sheds new light on the powerful mind body connection. This book interweaves his findings with insightful case studies on secret-keeping, confession, and the hidden price of silence. Filled with information and encouragement, Opening Up explains:

  • Why suppressing inner problems takes a devastating toll on health
  • How long-buried trauma affects the immune system
  • How writing about your problems can improve your health
  • Why it's never too late to heal old emotional wounds
  • When self-disclosure may be risky--and how to know whom to trust

Written for a general audience, Opening Up is also widely used as a text in undergraduate-level courses in general psychology, social psychology, the psychology of emotions, and/or the connections between writing and healing.