A Meta-analysis of Loving-Kindness Meditations on Self-Compassion

Emily B. Reilly, Corri L. Stuyvenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: Accumulating evidence from the last two decades suggests self-compassion is central to psychological well-being and reduced psychopathology symptoms. Loving-kindness meditations (LKMs), a mindfulness practice that involves sending feelings of kindness to oneself, loved ones, and all beings, may increase feelings of self-compassion. The aim of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the effect of LKMs on self-compassion in adults. Methods: Peer-reviewed journal articles and dissertations written in English with adult samples, quantitative analysis of a LKM, and measured self-compassion using the Self-Compassion Scale were included in the meta-analysis. Seven articles met inclusion criteria following a systematic search. Results: We found a moderate overall effect of LKMs on self-compassion (g = 0.44, p < 0.0001), indicating LKMs are effective at increasing self-compassion in adults. Conclusions: Self-compassion can be increased in adults using LKMs. Given the role of self-compassion in well-being, future research should test increasing self-compassion as a mechanism of the effect of LKMs on psychological health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2299-2310
Number of pages12
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Intervention
  • Loving-kindness meditation
  • Meta-analysis
  • Self-compassion


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