Books, movies, songs – stories told in any artistic medium can give you an empathy workout. To grow stronger, find stories that are unfamiliar. If you read, watch, or hear only things you know well, you’re looking for validation, not an expansion of empathy. There’s nothing wrong with that, but to achieve high levels of fitness, focus once a week on the story of someone who seems utterly different from you.
I love the sound advice above. I have expanded my music, and art beyond my scope thanks to clients, family, and friends. Not to mention, my local farmer’s market always keeps me wanting to try something new. I love to read because it allows me to continue learning, now that my formal education is behind me.