Kevin Love introduces the curriculum and describes the first lesson.
Lin-Manuel Miranda explains that his mom taught him that in his saddest times he can observe how he is feeling and draw on those emotions to inspire his writing.
Cathyana Marcel shares a letter to her brother who was incarcerated.
Charles Benitez shares a letter to his dad expressing anger and beginning to work on forgiving him.
Bryanna Daniel shares a letter to her brother who passed away suddenly several years ago.
May Kim shares a letter that she wrote to her past/teenage self, offering herself hope and courage to get through a dark time.
Kevin and Leon describe the way gender rules and roles have impacted their ability to express emotion.
Hussain Manawer reads a poem about his mom and offers advice to students on how to write their own “I Could Tell You” poems.
Jacquay reads her poem about struggling with mental health challenges since she was young.
Lizardo Reyes Jr. reads a poem about his late father who struggled with alcoholism.
Kennedy shares her poem about ‘the weight’ she has carried in her life including the anxiety she experienced during the pandemic and how much it helps her to know she isn’t alone in this experience.
Jaslene shares a poem she wrote to honor her mom’s memory after her mom passed away.
Adam shares his poem about the experience of being vulnerable in his poetry and reflects on the way reading poetry helps him feel less alone.
Charles Benitez shares a poem he wrote about his connection with his mom who passed away after her battle with cancer.
Peyton shares a poem she wrote about the way a mass shooting impacted her life, and how difficult it was to support others when she was feeling so much fear.
Dr. Gowri Aragam offers students a method for “riding the wave” of difficult emotions rather than avoiding those feelings with temporary fixes.
Cathyana Marcel shares the collage she made about her mom’s experience with HIV and her brother’s incarceration. She explains that her collage illustrates that “the hard story is not the whole story”.
Sienna describes the way making a collage allowed her to express her insecurities about her appearance and also helped her realize how special she is.
Ana shares the collage she made to illustrate the difficult transition to college including the experience of culture shock, merging her identities and feeling overwhelmed.
Matt Hill explains that making a collage about the loss of his uncle helped him learn how to sit in the sadness and be ok with how he was feeling.
Olivia describes a collage she made to tell the story of the challenging relationship she had with her father.
Meaghan Birnie and Clare Kehoe – founders of Morgan’s Message – share the story of the loss of their friend Morgan to suicide. The life-saving message of their organization is that anyone struggling with mental health should share how they are feeling and reach out for support.
Daylon describes the collage he made to describe the experience of finding out that the father who raised him was not his biological father.
Gabby Romero describes the collage she made to tell the story of her experience with rheumatoid arthritis.
Sabrina Ward Harrison explains that the process of making art is much more important than the final product, and that her artistic process helps her release emotions.
Dr. Paty Abril Gonzalez describes her experience as a Mexican American Spanish speaking student, and the way she learned how to honor her emotion of anger when she experienced racism in school.
Dr. Neha Chaudhary explains that emotions are complex, that they can transcend labels and that it is possible to feel more than one emotion at the same time. She shares the way photography helps her represent complex emotions.
Courtney Payton describes the way photography allows him to express emotions.
Jazzell describes the way photography helped her express the emotions she doesn’t know how to put into words.
Ian explains how photography helped him express the mixed emotions he was feeling when he transitioned to high school.
Yikia Xu describes his experience with loneliness as an immigrant in the United States and offers that taking photographs allows him to acknowledge and accept these emotions.
Simone Lawrence describes the way she creates street art murals in order to make a statement about racism and inequality.
Paige explains the way the protest art project helped her speak about the anxiety and fear she feels about gun violence and her desire for change.
Dr. Ofelia Schepers shares her experience as a child being placed in an English as a second language class, though she was bilingual, and the way her emotions of anger and rejection drove her to become a teacher and education researcher. She explains that her work is her way of protesting the racism she experienced as a child.
Cordelia Zars explains that she channeled anger into writing a musical about the way boys are raised to ignore their emotions and this can lead to unhealthy relationships with women when they are older.
Stamy Paul explains why she founded Graffiti Heart, a nonprofit in Cleveland that supports the creation of street art and provides scholarships to student-artists.
Emily Balsley describes the way drawing supported her when she felt overwhelmed.
Dr. Arjune Rama describes how important it is to reach out for support, and he shares a story about how and when he decided to see a therapist to help him with his own challenges.
Jaden shares a letter from his papa that helped him change his perspective and describes the way writing letters to his papa helped him throughout his life whenever he needed wisdom and advice.
Milja describes the way drawing and writing helps her with issues like self-harm, PTSD, OCD and with the process of returning to school during the pandemic.
Peyton describes the pressures to fit a certain beauty standard in high school, and the way her drawing helped her realize that she wants to resist these pressures.
Jay describes a difficult time in his life when an injury prevented him from playing soccer, and shares the way his emotions helped him reflect on changes he could make in his life to manage that challenging time.
Paty Abril Gonzalez describes the way her unaddressed traumas from her childhood led her to unhealthy behaviors as an adult, such as insomnia and drinking alcohol. She explains that her artwork helped her see that she needed to make changes in her life.
Dr. Gowri Aragam describes several key ideas that offer students more information about the way identity develops over time. She shares that music often supports her in pausing to reflect on her identity and determine who she wants to be.
Lin-Manuel Miranda explains that writing music is a wonderful way of working through difficult times and a rewarding form of expression.
Cordelia Zars describes her experience with an eating disorder as a teenager and explains that writing her own music supported her in expressing the feelings that felt locked inside of her.
DJ Osh Kosh explains that she creates music playlists as a form of emotional expression and that she can always find a song for every feeling.
Meaghan Birnie and Clare Kehoe – founders of Morgan’s Message – share the way music was one support that helped them get through the loss of their friend Morgan to suicide. They also share their friend Morgan’s connection to music.
Ashton and Carter Ryan describe how writing, playing, and listening to music have been tools to help them through difficult times.
George Lopez shares the way music has helped him learn how to navigate life’s difficult moments while also offering him a sense of identity and self-confidence.
Bryan Cranston shares the way he learned to reframe negative self-critical thoughts when he was auditioning for roles at the start of his career.
Dr. Nina Vasan describes the relationship between emotions, thoughts and behaviors. She uses the example of feeling insecure about her body to illustrate this idea.
Dani Silva describes her life-long struggle with feeling insecure about her body and the way writing poetry finally allowed her to feel heard and understood for the first time.
Paige shares a found poem she created that reframes catastrophizing thoughts about not doing well in school.
Eliza shares a found poem she wrote about the thought that she is a burden to her friends, and the transformation of that thought into an understanding that her friends genuinely care about her.
Dr. Robin Berman offers several methods for resolving conflicts: standing in someone else’s shoes, validating others’ feelings, staying present in a conversation, and avoiding exaggerated language.
Lin-Manuel Miranda explains that developing empathy and considering where someone else is coming from is an important part of writing, art, and life.
Melanie explains the way she used the phrase ‘the story I’m telling myself’ to see her friend”s struggles though a more compassionate lens.
Dr. Robin Berman describes the importance of self-compassion, especially when we’ve made a mistake and feel shame or embarrassment.
Preston Pollard explains that he learned to think affirming thoughts as he pursued his dream of becoming a professional skateboarder. He interviews Danai Gurira, an actress from the movie Avengers, and she shares that it is crucial not to look to others for our own feeling of self-acceptance.
Nalan explains that he tries to approach his mistakes with self-compassion and empathetic self-talk.
Kevin Love explains that helping others can be beneficial to the recipient and also to the person who is offering help. He shares that he felt inspired to give a donation to the people who work at the Cleveland Cavaliers stadium after games were canceled at the start of the pandemic.
Chris Paul shares the story of his late grandfather who modeled kindness and generosity in the way he treated the people who came to his store, often allowing them a reduced price for fuel or the ability to delay their payment.
Aditya describes the way helping people in his community with their taxes made him feel empowered and uplifted.
Shreya and Saffron Patel describe the inspiration behind the organization they created called Letters Against Isolation, which uses letter writing to help ease loneliness in senior citizens.
Dr. Nina Vasan describes the research behind the benefit of gratitude, and shares her own personal daily gratitude practice.
Paige shares how practicing gratitude helps her to slow down and appreciate things during stressful times, and she describes her gratitude practice of art and collage-making.
Mia describes writing a letter of gratitude to an important person in her life, and the joy she experienced when her mentor responded to the letter.
Dr. Neha Chaudhary offers several practices for managing and “reeling in” very intense emotions when they are overwhelming: breathing, listening to music, moving the body, writing, drawing, and finding a healthy distraction.
Peiman Raf and Mason Spector describe tools that support them with their mental health. Peiman describes the way journaling helped him after a skiing accident, and Mason explains the way therapy supported him after his parents’ divorce.
Emily describes the mental health tools that helped her with body image issues and anxiety during the pandemic.
Nathalie shares the way writing and basketball supported her when her moms were going through a divorce, and during the pandemic.
Kevin Love shares his message for his life – that he will leave a legacy that future generations can build upon.
Students share the message of their life in this compilation video.
Meaghan Birnie and Clare Kehoe – founders of Morgan’s Message – describe the way they channeled the pain from the loss of their friend Morgan into an organization that focuses on the importance of mental health.
Fiona shares a personal mission statement about courage that was inspired by a community service trip.
Ashton and Carter Ryan share their messages that describe how they hope to positively impact others in their lives.