This May, write your way to wellness with us and find connection and support in the Girls Write Now community.
Write through your emotions with these wellness-inspired prompts from past Friday Night Salons.
- Speaking the Unspeakable: Writing Yourself into Poems with Diana Whitney and Lynn Melnick. Write a poem rooted in a taboo emotion. EX: SADNESS, RAGE, LONGING, DESIRE, SHAME, ETC.
- Speak Your Truth: Finding Honesty Through Writing Poetry with Jasmin Kaur. I am free when… Finish this sentence. Write whatever comes to your brain, in prose or poetry, like a stream of consciousness. Try to incorporate metaphor and simile.
- Memory, Metaphor, & Magic: Writing Poetic Memoir with Arisa White. Bring attention to someone whose absence has affected you. Where do you feel it in your body? Write down the part of your body where you feel the absence. Describe the feeling as a series of colors and objects. Ask your absence a question. Write this question down. Turn it into a poem.
- Telling Your Story Through Podcasts with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford. I find myself comparing myself to others most often when _______.
- Making Art Out of Heartache: Songwriting with Anna Witiuk. Write a letter addressed to a person who “broke your heart,” hurt your feelings or lied to you in some way. Circle the keywords (words that stand out and/or are important to you) in your letter. Can you find a theme? These keywords are a great way to find a hook or repeated chorus for your song.
- Belonging: From Refugee to Hollywood with Sepideh Moafi. What does it mean to belong? What gives you a sense of belonging? Do you think we as humans need to have a sense of belonging? Why/why not? When was the last time you felt a sense of belonging? Describe this memory.
- Writing About Identity with Zaina Arafat. Continue this prompt: “I am both…” In doing so, think of a contradiction that exists within you (I am both extroverted and introverted, I am both messy and clean, I am both American and Arab), and show us how you embody that contradiction, what being “both” looks like for you.
Watch & Listen
‘Begin at the Beginning’ by Mentee Margareta Stern
I decided to focus on bringing awareness to mental health, which is a topic that means a lot to me. I want to bring voice to those who have felt silenced. My work is titled “Begin at the Beginning” because sometimes that is what we have to do. It was also the title of a favorite childhood book of mine. Mental health has always been very important to me as somebody who has struggled with it and has seen others struggle. When I finished this project, I felt relieved and proud of the work that I had created, and I can’t wait to present something that means so much to me.
‘anxiety’ by Mentee Faith Destiny Cummings
At one time or another, we’ve all experienced loneliness and/or anxiety. Now more than ever, teenagers are constantly being mentally attacked and feel like there is no way out. I want to show that although times get rough and people leave, you will always be permanent in your own life and battles against anxiety, loneliness and any other mental disease. The only way out is through. Fight for your happiness because you deserve it. Before now, I had never thought about combining both of the things I loved doing—poetry and dance—in this way. Concluding the final minutes of an anxiety attack, the idea of the poem dawned on me.
‘See the Sun’ by Mentee Grace Yu
“See the Sun” is an original song about friendship, and how the people who love you can lift you up out of the darkness. This work is my tribute to all of my friends, as well as a reminder to anyone who is struggling that they are loved and valued by everyone around them. Through this composition, I hope to raise awareness about mental health, especially anxiety and depression. Recently, I have seen some of my friends struggling with their own self-worth. I want them to know that they mean so much to me, and I love them.
‘mental illness teenage talk’ by Mentee Shyanne Spencer
My project about teenage depression is meant to let other teens know they are not alone. I suffered from it myself, so I can relate to other teens who are struggling. I want to bring this subject out in the open so other teens can be aware that this is a serious topic to deal with, but they can talk about it. This is my first time doing a project like this, and I want to continue my podcast in an effort to reach out to other teens to begin the conversation in a safe space.
- NYC Well: NYC Well is a connection to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7.
- Phone: 1-888-692-9355
- Text: Text “WELL” to 65173
- Headspace: In partnership with Governor Cuomo, Headspace is offering free access to a special NY collection of meditation, sleep, and movement exercises are here to support New Yorkers through stressful and challenging times.
- Insight Timer Guided Meditations: Insight Timer offers 30,000 free audio guided meditations.
- Therapy for Black Girls Providers: Find therapists specifically for Black girls in your area.
- Directory of Mental Health Service Providers for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (by state)
- Girls Write Now Teen Health Resources: Other mental health and wellness resources we’ve compiled for teens that list specific resources for LGBTQ+ youth, substance abuse, sexual health, etc.
Some of our favorite Instagram accounts for mental wellness and self-care are: