Begley graduated from Yale University in 1977  and then began working at Newsweek, where she has spent most of her career. From 2002 to 2007, she wrote the "Science Journal" column in the Wall Street Journal.  In 2007, Begley's Newsweek cover-story on climate change focused on what she called the "denial machine." Her article received widespread, "sometimes-furious" criticism.  She is the author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves, as well as the co-author of The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, along with psychiatrist Jeffrey M. Schwartz.
- Sharon Begley, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves, New York: Ballantine Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-345-47989-1.
- Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley, The mind and the brain: Neuroplasticity and the power of mental force, New York: Regan Books, 2002. ISBN 0-06-039355-6.
- "Speaker Biographies A to L: The Aspen Institute". Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- Gellman, Lindsay (20 January 2010). "Science Publications Suffer". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- "Sharon Begley-Newsweek". Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- Gellman, Lindsay (1 October 2007). "Newsweek's Hoax Cover Story Raises Ire of Deniers and also Criticism from Within". The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media. Retrieved 9 January 2011.