The Wellbeing Series

Since 2012, the University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing has hosted wellbeing thought-leaders to inspire and educate the community, organizations, and life-long learners through the Wellbeing Lecture Series.

Past speakers like Brené Brown, Atul Gawande, Dessa, Celeste Headlee, Rhonda Magee, and Jon Kabat-Zinn have explored a range of topics including purpose, vulnerability, food and wellbeing, gratitude, technology, and mindfulness, among others.

Discover more about your own wellbeing with us through the Wellbeing Series, an opportunity to engage, learn, and experience what wellbeing means to you.

To make disability-related accommodations, please contact the Bakken Center's community relations office ([email protected], 612-625-8164).

2023 Wellbeing Series Speakers

The Science of Social Justice: An Interdisciplinary Approach Towards Healing Intergenerational Trauma with Dr. Sará King

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 

12 to 1:30 p.m. Central | Online via Zoom

Register Here

The Science of Social Justice is an interdisciplinary theoretical framework developed by Dr. Sará King that uses the biopsychosocial model of health as well as interpersonal neurobiology and contemplative practices to study the impact of systemic oppression on marginalized communities, as well as it proposes a framework towards healing intergenerational trauma. This talk will explore several topics including the research trajectory that informed the development of this framework; the relationship between chronic pain and chronic stress as they relate to identity and health outcomes; and the relationship between mindfulness and art as healing practices. Dr. King will propose a new way of defining social justice that is oriented around healing, as well as a new technological framework that is fundamentally grounded in an inclusive and empowering vision of individual and collective health and wellbeing.

About The Speaker

Dr. Sara King standing with her hands on her hips in a brown dress

Sará Yafah King M.A., Ph.D. is a mother, a neuroscientist, medical anthropologist, political and learning scientist, education philosopher, social-entrepreneur, and certified yoga and mindfulness meditation instructor. She specializes in the study of the relationship between mindfulness, art, complementary alternative medicine, community health and social justice. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow in Neurology at Oregon Health Science University in the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders, a Garrison Institute Fellow, and a core member of Google’s well-being think tank “Vitality Lab”. In 2021, she made the November cover of Yoga Journal Magazine as a “Game Changer” for her award-winning work bridging neuroscience, social justice and contemplative practices. In 2022, she was also named one of the "10 Most Powerful Women in Mindfulness" by Mindful Magazine.

More Than a Body: Building Your Body Image
Resilience with Dr. Lexie and Dr. Lindsay Kite

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

12 to 1:30 p.m. Central | Online via Zoom

Register Here

In this visual presentation, Drs. Lexie and Lindsay Kite will walk the audience through the life-changing pathway to body image resilience, where people can learn to not only identify the objectifying ideals that surround us and the pain and shame that accompanies those ideals, but learn to use that pain as a catalyst to be more -- more than a body, more than a collection of parts to be fixed and flaunted, more of what can bring you and the world joy and purpose.

About the Speakers

Dr's Lexie and Lindsay Kite standing with their hands on their hips

Dr. Lindsay Kite and Dr. Lexie Kite are identical twins and co-authors of the book More Than a Body: Your Body Is an Instrument, Not an Ornament (2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and co-directors of the nonprofit Beauty Redefined. They both received PhDs from the University of Utah studying female body image and are leading experts in body image resilience and media literacy. Authors of numerous studies and books have cited Lindsay and Lexie’s original research and they have been featured in a variety of national media outlets, including The New York Times, CNBC, the Boston Globe, Slate, Shape, Glamour, The Dr. Phil Show, and more. Lindsay and Lexie help girls and women recognize and reject the harmful effects of objectification in their lives through their significant social media reach, online Body Image Resilience course and facilitator program for dieticians and therapists, their popular book, and regular speaking engagements for thousands of people of all ages.

Music and Wellbeing: with Andrew Schulman

Andrew Schulman holding a guitar and smiling

Thursday, September 28, 2023

12 to 1:30 p.m. Central | Online via Zoom

Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Andrew Schulman is a professional guitarist based in New York City, with multiple appearances at famous concert halls around the world. Lying in a coma in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City in 2009, Mr. Schulman’s life was saved by the music of J.S. Bach played via his iPod. Once recovered he returned to that same ICU as a musician, where he collaborated with doctors and nurses to develop the specialty called medical musician. In 2017 he became a professional member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the first musician to do so. In May 2019 he began serving as a consultant to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center-Therapeutic Music in the ICU project for hospitalized patients, and in February 2020 he was appointed as Visiting Artist/Medical Musician with the Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.


Andrew and his wife Wendy Sayvetz are the subjects of the documentary film Andrew & Wendy, about his journey as a medical musician, which has been presented at international film festivals and aired multiple times on PBS-TV. He is the author of Waking The Spirit: A Musician’s Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul (Macmillan:Picador, 2016), a world-wide release.