Chicken Soup for the Soul and Harvard Health serve up inspiration, information

Julie Silver, M.D.

Chief Editor of Books, Harvard Health Publishing

Sipping a steaming bowl of chicken soup is good for body and soul. Words from chicken soup—specifically Chicken Soup for the Soul books—can also be good for your health. That’s why I’m excited to announce a new series of books from Harvard Medical School, published in collaboration with Chicken Soup for the Soul Health.

Stories are a terrific way to motivate and educate people. The books in this series combine real stories from real people with the latest medical advice from top doctors at Harvard Medical School. The combination of stories providing hope, inspiration, and great person-to-person advice plus straight talk and life-changing medical information from Harvard Medical School will help readers live healthier, more satisfying lives.

Each book focuses on a single topic. The first four will be available beginning May 22, 2012. They are:

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Boost Your Brain Power! by top neurologist Dr. Marie Pasinski, with Liz Neporent (ISBN 978-1-935096-86-3)
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain! by leading physical medicine expert Dr. Julie Silver, who is also Harvard Health Publishing Chief Editor of Books (ISBN 978-1-935096-87-0)
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress! by noted psychologist Dr. Jeff Brown, with Liz Neporent (ISBN 978-1-935096-88-7)
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body! by respected internist Dr. Suzanne Koven (ISBN 978-1-935096-89-4)

Here’s an excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress!

So here we were, Dad going through his chemotherapy and me recovering from surgery and then beginning chemotherapy, too… It was the radiation nurse who gave me a solution, not for changing things, but for dealing with it all. “Spend time every day in music therapy,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be relaxation music. Just go to a quiet place, all alone, and listen to anything you want.”… I played Billy Joel and Paul Simon over and over, until I eventually felt strong enough to get up and face life again with a smile.–Teena Maenza (an award-winning journalist and freelance writer living in West Columbia, TX)

Different things cause different levels of stress. As described in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress! you can gauge your stress level with the Holmes and Rahe Stress Inventory. It was developed to investigate the relationship between events which can happen to us, stress, and susceptibility to illness. Look over the events listed below. Mark the item if it has happened to you within the last twelve months. (You can multiply by the number of times if you want to really check!)

Event Points Yes/No Score
Death of a spouse 100
Divorce 72
Marital separation 65
Death of a close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Marital reconciliation 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Gain of new family member 39
Job change 38
Change in financial status 37
Death of a close friend 36
Increase in arguments with significant other 35
Mortgage or loan of major purchase (home, etc) 31
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at your job 29
Son or daughter leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse begins or stops work outside the home 26
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in work hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violations of the law 11


  1. tararadam

    Anti-stress Soup: Gazpacho may fight Oxidation, Stress and Inflammation. The research suggests that gazpacho /cold veggie soup/ can help you chill out in more ways than one this summer. Consumption of the vegetable soup decreases the stress.

  2. Bergen County Divorce Attorney

    Chicken soup can certainly help you in calming down and dealing with life changes. Honestly I use lavender oil in a diffuser in the kitchen while I am cooking. This seems to help me deal with life changes. Let’s be honest, these types of changes in our lives are difficult to say the least.

  3. lee jenny harder

    Harvard Medical plus Chicken Soup for the Soul, wow truly this is an inspiration specially those who are going under difficult times. I’m excited to check the book out. I have been searching for blogs to help people who are having anxiety or stress disorder

  4. Joan Whitman

    Harvard Medical plus Chicken Soup for the Soul: that’s certainly an interesting collaboration! Can’t wait to pick this up, I usually enjoy the stories in these series and like to read it while working on my sales associate resume on a rainy day.

  5. Mary

    I truly believe inspiration can come from the most difficult of situations. It can be hard to try to find the positive in most situations when you are going through a hard time. I have found that whenever you are going through a rough time to focus on the people around you that need help, this makes it easier to forget about your own problems. I like to focus on my son who is the most amazing person in my life.

  6. itslip

    can you tell me how to decrease out body fat with these types of sop

  7. Abdul

    I won’t be able to thank you fully for the information on your article.
    more like chicken soup.


  8. Mary

    When I lost my sister unexpectedly it sent me into an emotional and physical tailspin, and I couldn’t understand how my body was reacting and why it was beyond my control. As you will read in “In Cuffs” in the Chicken Soup Say Goodbye to Stress book, I sought wise counsel through my nurse practioner, and began the healing process. I hope my story gives you insight…and a few chuckles as well!

    • Jill Thornton

      Looking forward to reading your story Mary. I know you will be an inspiration to many, as you have to me. Can’t wait to get the book:) I know there will be some laughter through it all:)

  9. Jacqueline Seewald

    I am delighted to have my article “Staying Sharp at 95” included in BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER! My mother-in-law, Lillian Seewald, was a unique woman and had much insight and wisdom to offer regarding staying mentally fit. I am glad for the opportunity to share that with others. It actually thrilled me even more than receiving good reviews on my latest novel.

  10. Connie Pombo

    I feel honored to have my story, “Just Breathe” in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress.” When we moved to Cuenca, Ecuador I had to do a lot of breathing to make it through the final weeks before our departure. This is a great book which combines great medical advice backed up with real-life stories!

  11. Linda C. Defew

    I was so honored to have my story, “My Husbands Motto,” included in “Say Goodbye to Back Pain.” Besides the other inspiring stories, the information Dr. Silver added makes this book on back pain very unique. Everyone who finds themselves looking for options on how it should be treated needs this book. Thanks Chicken Soup and Dr. Silver!

  12. Annette Langer

    I’m so proud to be one of the contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain. I hope this very enlightening issue is a great help to others.

    Annette Langer
    Say Goodbye to Back Pain: A Long and Bumpy Road to Relief

  13. sergio, chile

    i love chiken soup, poor chiken,when i am thik i only eat it and i am seventy three.

  14. Carisa J. Burrows

    As a contributor to the book, with my true life story, The Real Deal, I hope you find it equally as informative and inspirational as I do.

  15. Darrel Fredrick

    I usually like to have chicken soup when I’m sick but I find the information really interesting anyhow.

    Darrel Fredrick

  16. Scars

    Thanks for posting a very sweet article. So much needed data i’ll get and keep in my file.Thank u so much.

    • Vhyy

      Yay for beans and rice! Last night I made some tasty grub here’s the recipe:1 med onion, cepophd4 cloves garlic, minced2 T olive oil2 cups black beans (soaked, cooked, ready to go or 1 can)1 can stewed tomatoes2 cups hot cooked brown riceSaute onion and garlic til tender. Add drained beans, undrained tomatoes (and if you want some spice, some ground red pepper). Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 15 mins.Serve on top of rice. I also recommend adding some corn, salsa, and maybe some sour cream. Delish, easy, cheap, easy to double.

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  18. Brian Zack, M.D.

    Wow, that’s hilarious! You guys are hysterical! I feel better already!…Wait, you’re kidding, right???

  19. Nana

    The “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain!” sounds interesting. It will definitely be a good motivational in my course of work for treating people with back pain. Please let me know where I can get a copy of it.


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