books & games
All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
Two high school seniors embark on a school project, leading them to visit unusual sights and they develop a close relationship. Violet is struggling with the recent death of her sister and Theodore is depressed and bipolar. Their story is sad but beautiful and sends a message that there are always bright places in dark times.
Incorrigible, by Wendy Adamson
Adamson's memoir recounts a girl's spiral of self-destruction in the throes of unspoken grief after her mother's suicide. Depressed and constantly at odds with an overwhelmed father, she runs away until she's arrested by the police. At fourteen years old she finds herself plucked from a privileged life and forced to navigate the criminal justice system of probation officers, juvenile halls and foster homes.
Incorrigible is a raw, gripping, coming-of-age story of teenage struggle with familial dysfunction, addiction, and incarceration, until finally, against nearly insurmountable odds, the author survives, later finding empowering new purpose in her life.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky;
This one is very popular, it's about a high school freshman suffering from PTSD and anxiety after his friend commits suicide. He struggles to make friends until a group of seniors take him under their wings and it's a cute coming of age story.
A Better High: laugh, help, run, love...and other ways to get naturally high, by Matt Bellace
Young people need to feel empowered in their schools and communities-it's not enough to ask them to stay away from drugs and alcohol, we need to show them positive things they can do instead, both for themselves and others! A BETTER HIGH is a powerful tool for everyone, especially students, teachers and parents.
Life is Disappointing and other Inspiring Thoughts, by Matt Bellace
Life is Disappointing and other Inspiring Thoughts’ is an important (and yes, sometimes funny) look into how challenges and pain are opportunities for personal growth, even an essential part of a full and meaningful life.
Living, Loving and Learning, by Leo Buscaglia
This is a delightful collection of Dr. Buscaglia's informative and amusing lectures, which were delivered worldwide between 1970 and 1981. This inspirational treasure is for all those eager to accept the challenge of life and to profit from the wonder of love.
Yes, Your Parents Are Crazy, by Michael Bradley
In this new companion book to Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy!, teen psychologist Michael Bradley turns the tables, talking to teens about parents―why adults behave the way they do, how to handle their parents and other adults in life's confusing and difficult situations.
Spoiler Alert: She was Right, by Lisa Snow
The journey to self-acceptance is not always easy and uniform. We don’t ever know what to expect, and when I was coming out, I often times found myself saying, “I wish there was a book about this.” I would read great books that were coming from the lives of people like Ellen DeGeneres’ mom or watch TV shows that showed LGBTQ representation, but they didn’t often talk about the little things that go on in your mind when coming out.
The Upside to Your Darkside, by Todd Kashdan & Robert Biswas-Diener
Happiness experts have long told us to tune out our negative emotions and focus instead on mindfulness, positivity, and optimism. Researchers Todd Kashdan, Ph.D., and Robert Biswas-Diener, Dr. Philos., disagree. Positive emotions alone are not enough. Anger makes us creative, selfishness makes us brave, and guilt is a powerful motivator. The real key to success lies in emotional agility. Drawing upon extensive scientific research and a wide array of real-life examples, The Upside of Your Dark Side will be embraced by business leaders, parents, and everyone else who’s ready to put their entire psychological tool kit to work.
Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, A young Teenager’s Perspective, by Christine Frye
This is the personal, unashamed, and brave story of Christine Frey. In her own teenage writing style, Christine describes her struggle with early onset psychosis. Christine embraces the challenge to educate and lead others to understanding and confronting the brain disorder called "mental illness". Rather than hide, isolate, and feel embarrassed, she tackles stigma head on.
Unlock your best self with this deck of 50 cards
Questions for deeper discussion
Self Improvement board game