Lillian Wilson

The Well-Lived Life by Gladys McGarey

The Well-Lived Life by Dr. Gladys McGarey offers profound insights and practical wisdom for health and happiness at any age.

The Well-Lived Life

The book has received 4.39 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

In the pursuit of health and happiness across the span of a lifetime, there’s a quest to unearth the secrets that can make it possible. From youth’s energy to the wisdom of old age, the desire for a fulfilling, vital life is a universal aspiration that transcends generations.

The Well-Lived Life: A 102-Year-Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age by Dr. Gladys McGarey takes a deep dive into this timeless quest. In this review, we will delve into the book’s pages to discover the profound wisdom it contains. Dr. Gladys shares her secrets to a life filled with health, happiness, and purpose, making them accessible to individuals of all ages.

Author’s background

Dr. Gladys McGarey, MD, MD(H), born in 1920, holds a prominent place in the field of holistic medicine as the Mother of Holistic Medicine.

Dr. Gladys McGarey

With a career spanning over seventy years, she has dedicated herself to promoting holistic healthcare, natural birthing, and fostering the physician-patient partnership. As a founding diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine and co-founder of organisations like the American Holistic Medical Association and the Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine, Dr. Gladys has been instrumental in shaping the integration of alternative and holistic medical approaches into mainstream healthcare. She was also an early pioneer in the use of acupuncture in the United States and advocated for home births through innovative programs like the Baby Buggy. Her dedication to holistic principles continues through the Foundation for Living Medicine, a non-profit dedicated to advancing holistic healthcare through research and education.

What is the book about?

The Well-Lived Life by Gladys McGarey offers readers a profound and deeply personal journey towards healing, learning, and living life to the fullest. Dr. McGarey shares her wisdom through a series of six secrets to a better and happier life. Dr. McGarey encourages readers to embrace science as a means of understanding the world while acknowledging that many questions remain unanswered. Each secret is accompanied by simple contemplative practices that can be easily incorporated into daily life, helping readers embody and practice these principles.

Furthermore, Dr. McGarey draws from her extensive life experiences, which have taken her around the world and allowed her to interact with extraordinary people. Her upbringing in India as the child of pioneering osteopath parents, her family members’ inspiring life journeys, and her encounters with notable public figures all contribute to the tapestry of wisdom woven throughout the book.

The book concludes with a powerful reminder that life’s profound questions – such as one’s true identity, purpose, and the significance of their actions – are worth engaging with slowly and authentically. Dr. McGarey encourages readers to tap into their inner wisdom and connect with their truth, emphasising that they are capable of directing their own health, healing, and life journey.

Three key takeaways from The Well-Lived Life

In this review, we will have a look at three of the six secrets to health and happiness presented in the book. If you find this information useful, the remaining three await your discovery within the pages of the book.

1Discover your purpose

In The Well-Lived Life, Dr. Gladys McGarey’s initial revelation revolves around the notion that every individual has a distinct purpose. This insight, drawn from her personal experiences such as overcoming dyslexia and her time caring for an elephant in India, underscores the importance of recognising our unique talents and embracing a genuine zest for life. Dr. Gladys emphasises that a purpose-driven existence not only enhances personal fulfilment but also correlates with improved longevity and a diminished risk of Alzheimer’s disease among individuals aged 50 and above. Additionally, she highlights how engaging in volunteer work can significantly contribute to a heightened sense of well-being and a deeper connection with one’s life purpose.

2Embrace movement

The second core lesson from The Well-Lived Life centres on the fundamental significance of movement for all living beings. Dr. Gladys stresses that our bodies are naturally designed for mobility and underscores how our thoughts and emotions can influence physical well-being, including the digestive process. She underscores the psychological repercussions of trauma and advocates for the integration of even a brief 10-minute walk into daily routines, as it has been linked to improved mood, cognitive function, and increased longevity. Dr. Gladys highlights the importance of weaving movement seamlessly into our lives and cautions against the detrimental effects of prolonged sedentary behaviour, which can lead to tension and compromise the lymphatic system.

3Harness the power of love

Dr. Gladys emphasises love as a powerful healing force in The Well-Lived Life. She emphasises that understanding one’s worthiness of self-love is foundational for all other forms of love. Dr. Gladys shares her personal experiences with breast cancer, detailing two distinct approaches: holistic methods and conventional Western medicine. In both instances, she highlights the importance of infusing her healing process with self-love, vividly describing a visualisation technique where she personified her tumour. This narrative showcases the profound connection between self-love and the mind-body healing process, reinforcing the idea that love is a potent healing tool, accessible to everyone.

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • Provides a unique perspective from a 102-year-old doctor who combines her medical training from the 1940s with holistic practices centred on love and emotional healing.

  • Offers valuable insights and guidance for individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, trauma, and emotional challenges.

  • Dr. Gladys presents her perspective and experiences with thoughtfulness, straightforwardness, and honesty, allowing readers to connect with her on a personal level.


  • The self-help aspects of the book are relatively basic and may not offer profound insights for some readers.

Best quotes from The Well-Lived Life

“To be truly alive, we must find the life force within ourselves and direct our energy toward it.”

“To turn toward life, we have to understand that we can always choose, in every moment. Each second of our lives provides an opportunity. When we truly accept that, we can access the love that is waiting for us. That’s why choice is our very first act of self-love. And all love is based on self-love.”

“Susan realized that her strange obsession was actually a visualization. She increased her practice, understanding that the “city” she was building in her mind was in fact the bony tissue in her spine. She watched as the workers built buildings and bridges – her osteoblasts. She oversaw wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of debris removed – her osteoclasts. Over time, her medical team removed the cast. She was able to sit up, then move to a wheelchair.”

Final takeaway

In The Well-Lived Life by Dr. Gladys McGarey, readers embark on a profound journey towards healing, learning, and embracing life to the fullest. Dr. McGare shares six secrets for a richer life, offering a unique perspective drawn from her decades of experience. Dr. Gladys inspires readers to discover their life purpose, embrace movement, and harness the healing power of love.

This book blends medical knowledge with holistic practices, making it a valuable resource for those seeking guidance on anxiety, depression, chronic pain, trauma, and emotional challenges. It serves as a timeless source of inspiration and practical wisdom for all, encouraging a deliberate exploration of life’s deep questions.

Where to buy

You may purchase The Well-Lived Life on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.

Healthypedia FAQ

The Well-Lived Life takes a holistic approach, addressing both physical and mental well-being, emphasising the importance of love and emotional healing.

Absolutely. Dr. Gladys McGarey presents her insights in an accessible and reader-friendly manner, making it suitable for a broad audience.

Anyone seeking guidance on anxiety, depression, chronic pain, trauma, and emotional challenges, regardless of age.

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