Self-love for Skeptics

Dan learned that the key to improving his relationships with everyone was to start with himself. He had long dismissed self-love as the ultimate platitude, the stuff of throw pillows and hashtags. But then he discovered the science that shows self-love can reduce anxiety, boost resiliency, and make you more available for other people. On this page, we offer you meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks to help you practice this skill.

Haven't had a chance to check out the talk?

Watch Dan's TED Talk


Train yourself to give high fives to your demons.


Sharon Salzberg

Science has shown that loving-kindness can reduce negative emotions, develop positive mindstates, and improve life satisfaction – learn how.

Dismantling Perfectionism, Accepting Yourself

La Sarmiento

Nourish yourself with some kindness and shift away from self-criticism towards accepting yourself fully, even your hardest parts.

The Inner Critic

Jeff Warren

Dan likes to say there's a voice in your head. Learn how to listen to this voice with openness and curiosity.

Want more meditations like these? Check out the Ten Percent Happier app.

Podcast Episodes

Learn more about self-love from scientists, experts, and other smart folks.

Kryptonite for the Inner Critic


There’s a notion that is deeply ingrained in our culture that the only way to succeed -- or even to survive -- is to liberally apply an internal cattle prod. But there is research that strongly suggests that this approach simply leads to extra anxiety, and that there is a more successful approach, called self-compassion. My guest has been at the very forefront of this research. Kristin Neff has empirically demonstrated the value of self-compassion; she has shown that it doesn’t have to lead to passivity, self-absorption, or cheesiness; and, as you will hear, she has practiced what she preaches in extremely difficult circumstances in her own life.

How to Actually Do Self-Love


We talk with Karamo about how to practice self-love--and why doing so is the opposite of selfish. Karamo was the first out gay Black man on reality TV when he appeared on MTV’s The Real World: Philadelphia in 2004. But then he left TV and found out he was a father. He got custody of his son, adopted his son’s half-brother, and worked for a decade as a social worker before returning to the media world. He’s now the Culture expert on Netflix’s blockbuster reboot of Queer Eye. We talk about why, for Karamo, learning to love himself started with learning to love his first name; how he overcame negative messages inside his abusive childhood home; why men struggle so much with the concept of self-love; and the areas in his own life where he struggles the most to practice what he preaches.

We release podcast episodes every week. All of our podcast episodes are always free. Click here for more:


Liked Dan’s Talk? Check out these short micro-talks by meditation teachers and other experts who share mindfulness-based tools for self-love.

You Can't Beat The Critic

Jay Michaelson

The better you know your inner critics, the more you disarm them.

Whose Inner Critic Is This, Anyway?

Sebene Selassie

All of us carry judgments shaped by the prejudices of our society. Seeing them is the first step toward being free of them.


Dr. Susan Pollak

You can't win a fight with your inner critic. But you can win a game.

To hear more talks like these, check out the Ten Percent Happier App:


The Weekly is Ten Percent Happier’s newsletter featuring original essays from our teachers on happiness, meditation, and staying mindful.

Three Steps Toward Self-Compassion

Diana Winston

It is possible, however, to cultivate more kindness for yourself, accepting yourself no matter what—even if you mess up, even if you're imperfect.

Read more.

Next-Level Loving-Kindness

Matthew HepburN

Loving-kindness meditation is deceptively simple: you focus on a person in your life and wish them well.  But it can actually be a complicated meditation to integrate into your life. Read more.

The Power of Self-Compassion

Emma Seppälä

As the Science Director of Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, I know all too well that the term “self-compassion” can, at first impression, sound “soft” or idealistic. But self-compassion is anything but—it’s smart. Read more.

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