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In order to be healthy, we have to take care of both our physical and mental health. But that isn't always easy. It can be hard to balance school work, activities, hobbies, relationships and our lives at home. With practice and support from friends or family, you can learn how to protect and preserve your own mental health.

On this page, we've gathered some mental health education resources (below). You can find out more about different topics by reading an article, watching a video, listening to a podcast and more.

Videos

We All Have Mental Health: Everything isn't always what it seems, especially on social media. You and your friends, your teachers and family members all have mental health, and that doesn't mean that everyone is always happy. Learn about mental health and how we can understand and look after our mental health in this video.

How We Cope With Anxiety and Stress: Hear from teens about how they deal with anxiety and stress. They describe some of their challenges and how they work through them day-to-day. Watch the video from MTV.

Living With a Mental Disorder: Hear what it's like to live with depression, anxiety or other mental conditions from teens and young adults. Watch the video from BuzzFeed.

You are not your thoughts: Being mindful of your thoughts and sorting through them takes practice and patience. This video explains some of the things you can try when you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts.

An Introduction to Mental Health: This video explains the basics of mental health and support networks you can connect with if you don't feel yourself. Learn more about mental health in this video.

Tales from a teenage mental health advocate: Fifteen-year-old Amanda discusses how her struggle with mental illness and suicidal thoughts inspired her to start coding. She used this outlet as a tool to develop apps designed to help others stop suffering in silence and find the courage to reach out and change their life. But coding helped her change her life, too. Watch the TEDx Talk.

Teen yoga class for beginners: With breathing and stretching and strength at its core, yoga can help you relax and feel connected. Watch and participate in this 15 minute yoga class for teens.

Getting to Know Your Brain - Dealing with Stress: This video describes what stress and anxiety are, where they come from, and different ways of coping with them. It also gives you information about how the brain works and why during your teen years your brain is in the middle of a very important time of development. Watch now.

Articles and Information

"How to Stop Negative Thoughts:" Negative thoughts can creep up on you at any time, making you feel anxious or upset. Challenging and reframing negative thoughts can help you overcome them and move on. Learn about negative thoughts and how to overcome them in this article.

"The Happy Brain Chemicals that Make You Feel Good:" It's common to think that happiness is a destination you find through material items or relationships. Or that happiness is something you have to feel every day. But what if happiness is more of a journey? Learn some interesting truths about happiness in this article.

The difference between worry, stress and anxiety: This New York Times article describes why worry, stress and anxiety are all different feelings. Knowing which one you're experiencing may help you cope with each feeling better. Read more.

Self esteem: How you feel about yourself can have a big impact on how you go about your life day-to-day. Learn more about self esteem and how to boost yours.

Am I in a Healthy Relationship?: This is a simple question that doesn't always seem to have a simple answer. Learn more about mutual respect, trust and support - important parts of a healthy relationship.

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise: Being active is good for your body, but it's also good for your mental health. Regular exercise can improve your sleep, mood and even help you deal with stress or anxiety. Read more.

Drugs: This website has a lot of resources about drugs and drug use, including: information about drugs and how they affect your body, stories of recovery from teens, ways to nurture your mental health, etc. Learn more.

Pregnancy: This website has information related to pregnancy, from telling your parents/caregivers to getting medical attention and support. There are details on finishing your education while pregnant and even parenting classes. Learn more.

Suicide: Learn the warning signs and how you can help. There are many options in your school and community that could help a friend, family member or even yourself. Learn more.

Is it stress or anxiety?: This infographic walks you through the differences and similarities between stress and anxiety and provides some guidance on coping with each. Read more.

More than just moodiness: Teen depression is more than just moodiness. Being a teen is tough at times, but it shouldn't feel hopeless. This infographic explains signs to look out for and ways to get help. Read more.

Activities

Create a calm space: Creating a place that's all yours can help you stay grounded and feel safe. You can pinpoint a corner of your bedroom or a space in the backyard and surround yourself with things that are true to you. Here are instructions to create your own calm space.

Make kindness cards or stones: Spread some happiness, hope and compassion with kindness cards. Try placing them around your school, at the bus stop or even your own home. Consider it an act of kindness! Print these cards and decorate them yourself.

If you're feeling even more creative, you can do the same with some smooth stones. Scatter them wherever you'd like. Here are video instructions.

Make a soothing mantra bracelet: At times when you feel worries or anxious (or just plain fidgety), having something tactile in your hands can help. Gather some supplies - beads, charms and string (plus more items if you have them handy) - and make a soothing bracelet to help you stay present. You can even include a powerful mantra or crystal. Find instructions here.

Friendly reminders: There are plenty of different ways to remind yourself to be mindful, to be grateful and to stress less. You can put together a mood board or poster that reminds you to stress less. You can use a gratitude calendar to stay mindful of the positive aspects of your life. Sometimes just keeping dibs on your mood with a mood tracking tool can help.

Books

"Skinny" by Ibi Kaslik: Giselle is 22, a top medical student and a functioning anorexic. Except now, driven by the pressures of school and her late father’s rejection, Giselle is no longer functioning. Her sister Holly, a 14-year-old track star, can see that Giselle is going to have to confront a few things if she wants to get better. It seems easier for the athletic Holly - she sweats through life’s problems - but now even she feels burdened by the past. Find the book.

"Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson: "Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. Find the book.

"I, Girl X" by Annalise Grey: Carleigh is a 14 year-old girl trying to carve her own place in this world. Her younger brother's mental illness is slowly invading every aspect of her life. Her family is troubled. Friendships are unbearable. And just when calm begins to seem possible, one night will change Carleigh, and her family, forever. Find the book.

"Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets" by Evan Roskkos: Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant. Find the book.

"Willow" by Julia Hoban: Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow’s parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it. Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down. Find the book.

"That Night" by Cecily Wolfe: When high school seniors Cassidy and Sarah, along with Kayla's boyfriend Paul, discover their best friend Kayla unconscious at a party, the idea that they have lost her to a heroin overdose is unbelievable. The month that follows her death is filled with anxiety, sadness, frustration, and questions. Answers won't bring Kayla back, however, so as Cass and Sarah struggle with the insensitive but predictable behavior of parents, classmates, and teachers, Paul falls into a depression that leads him down a dangerous path. With Kayla's younger sister Mia in mind, the three of them work towards forging ahead without the girl who has held them together since elementary school. Find the book.

Apps

Breathr: This app was developed with young people. It provides opportunities to try a variety of mindfulness practices, from guided meditations to simple practices that can be used anywhere. It also teaches interesting facts about the brain science behind those practices. [Free] More info.

Headspace: This app features a lot of different resources, like guided meditations, destressing exercises and even music or stories to help you fall asleep. Headspace has a variety of mindfulness practices, exercises and more to help you stay in tune with your mental health. [Free to start with in-app purchases] More info.

MyLife: Stop. Breathe. Think. MyLife offers a meditation or mindfulness activity based on how your feeling right now. Activities include breathing exercises, yoga, journaling and more. [Free to start with in-app purchases] More info.

Liberate: This app was created for the Black community to develop a daily meditation habit. A safe space, the app also offers ways to reduce anxiety, stress less and sleep better. [Free to start with in-app purchases] More info.

Calm: This app was designed to help you improve your health and happiness through improving sleep quality, reducing stress, improving focus and more. [Free to start with in-app purchases] More info.

Mood Meter: This app lets you track how you feel, expand your emotional vocabulary, and hopefully begin to understand your moods better. It can serve as a helpful check in and tracker. [$0.99] More info.

Podcasts

On Our Minds: On Our Minds is a student-led and student-produced podcast about the biggest mental health challenges young people face. In each episode, two teen reporters guide you through stories by high schoolers from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs about the teenage experience that will connect, educate and inspire listeners of all ages. Learn more and listen to the On Our Minds podcast.

SpeakOnIt!: The SpeakOnIt! podcast brings together students and professionals to discuss topics relating to mental health and the challenges that Black, Indigenous and other people of color may face during their academic and professional careers. Listen now.

Learn more about mental health resources and services near you at Network of Care Massachusetts, which also features a resource library. For immediate assistance, dial 211.