Book Clüb: Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey

This event is no longer on sale.

Monday May 15

6:00 PM  –  7:30 PM



Join us in our newly renovated Norris reading room in our Historical Medical Library for our Mütter Museum Book Clüb featuring Florence Williams's Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey!


Register now to learn the science behind loneliness, health, and what it means to fall in and out of love. The conversation will be lead by Julia Jordan, Director of Retail Operations & Visitor Engagement. This is an informal discussion among book lovers - conversation is encouraged!


Book club attendees receive 15% off of Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey when they purchase through the Mütter Museum Store! Check your confirmation email for a link to the online Museum Store and the 15% off promo code. 


About Book Clüb

Book Clüb is a staff-lead book discussion for book enthusiasts and Mütter Museum fans. Highlighting newer books that focus on subjects relating to history, medicine, or science, Book Clüb is an opportunity to bring together people for conversation, debate, and camaraderie within the extended Mütter community.


About the Book

When her twenty-five-year marriage suddenly falls apart, journalist Florence Williams expects the loss to hurt. But when she starts feeling physically sick, losing weight and sleep, she sets out in pursuit of rational explanation. She travels to the frontiers of the science of “social pain” to learn why heartbreak hurts so much—and why so much of the conventional wisdom about it is wrong.

Soon Williams finds herself on a surprising path that leads her from neurogenomic research laboratories to trying MDMA in a Portland therapist’s living room, from divorce workshops to the mountains and rivers that restore her. She tests her blood for genetic markers of grief, undergoes electrical shocks while looking at pictures of her ex, and discovers that our immune cells listen to loneliness. Searching for insight as well as personal strategies to game her way back to health, she seeks out new relationships and ventures into the wilderness in search of an extraordinary antidote: awe.


About the Author

Florence Williams is a journalist, author, and podcaster. She was the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in science and technology in 2013. Her most recent book, The Nature Fix, was an Audible bestseller and was named a top summer read by J.P Morgan. She is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, Slate, Mother Jones and numerous other publications. She is also the writer and host of two Gracie-Award-winning Audible Original series, Breasts Unbound and The Three-Day Effect, as well as Outside Magazine’s Double-X Factor podcast. A fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, her work focuses on the environment, health and science.