Curious About Forgiveness Science

Forgiveness is a process. It’s a journey. These resources can help you with yours.

If you are new to the science of forgiveness you might be wondering how to get started. Below are answers to some of the questions that may be top of mind.

Twenty-five years ago, we knew virtually nothing about how forgiveness might be related to your overall mental health, happiness, and physical well-being. Today, through forgiveness research, we can quantify, with accuracy, that forgiveness has tangible, positive benefits.
Dr. Loren Toussaint, professor of psychology at Luther College
Discover forgiveness advisory council chair

What is forgiveness?

Scholars have debated the meaning of forgiveness for centuries, and the quest for answers continues.

Forgiveness, including self-forgiveness, is a complex and nuanced topic, but at its core, it is the process of letting go of anger and resentment towards someone who has wronged you. It does not mean forgetting what happened, condoning or excusing the behavior, or reconciling with the person who hurt you. Rather, it means choosing to release the negative emotions associated with the experience and move forward in your life with a sense of peace and freedom.

What is the science of forgiveness?

Forgiveness has measurable, quantifiable benefits.

Research supports that forgiveness is not only possible but also an essential component of achieving true happiness, well-being, and flourishing. The scientific research and evidence showcased on this site supports the effectiveness of forgiveness in improving physical health, mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Who is this site for?

Forgiveness is for everyone.

The science of forgiveness and its practical applications can help anyone, anywhere. There is a particularly strong interest and adoption from practitioners like educators, faith leaders, and mental health professionals who are well situated to counsel their communities on using forgiveness. The tools, resources, and dialogues on this site can empower and educate you as you take your first steps, or support others, on the journey to forgiveness.

Featured Resources for Getting Started