Mindfulness for teens

The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time, by Dzung Vo MD (New Harbinger, 2015), is a mindfulness book for teens, with mindfulness instructions, guided meditations, examples, and youth voices.

Here are some more useful resources for mindful teens:

Mobile Apps

Stop, Breathe, and Think: Free web and mobile app for youth, with meditations for mindfulness and compassion

Calm.com: Free website and mobile app with guided meditation and relaxation exercises

Insight Timer: Free mobile app with virtual “bells” to time and support your meditations

MindShift: Free mobile app for teens developed by AnxietyBC, with mindfulness and other coping skills for anxiety

Smiling Mind: Free mobile mindfulness app for young people, from Australia

Headspace: “Meditation made simple.” This app has a free introductory period, after which it requires a paid subscription to continue to use.

Breathr: This mindfulness app for youth is currently in development by the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre ( Columbia, Canada).

Mindfulness Books for Teens

Gina M. Biegel, The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness Skills to Help You Deal with Stress (Instant Help Books, 2009)

Joseph V. Ciarrochi, Louise Hayes, and Ann Bailey, Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens: A Guide to Living an Extraordinary Life (Instant Help, 2012)

Mark C. Purcell and Jason R. Murphy, Mindfulness for Teen Anger: A Workbook to Overcome Anger and Aggression Using MBSR and DBT Skills (Instant Help, 2014)

Christopher Willard, Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety: A Workbook for Overcoming Anxiety at Home, at School, and Everywhere Else (Instant Help, 2014)

Christopher Willard and Mitch Abblett, Growing Mindful: A Deck of Mindfulness Practices for All Ages (Growing Mindful Games, 2015). A deck of cards with short mindfulness practices to “cultivate mindfulness on the go.”

Guided Mindfulness Meditation Recordings

In addition to mindfulnessforteen.com’s free guided meditations, here are a few more recordings:

Amy Saltzman, MD, Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Teens (CD)

Gina Biegel, LMFT, Mindfulness for Teens: Meditation Practices to Reduce Stress and Promote Well-Being (CD, MP3)

Larry Rosen, MD. “The Buddha and the Fig Tree.” (CD, MP3)

Mindful.org’s “Audio Resources for Guided Meditations” collection: Online, free guided meditations.


Meditation Supplies: Meditation Bells, Cushions, and More

Parallax Press:  search for “bell”

Local import stores such as Ten Thousand Villages often carry Asian-style meditation bells, sometimes called “singing bowls.”

Some practitioners and schools prefer to use a musical chime instead of a bell for meditation. Chimes are available at local music stores. The Woodstock Zenergy chime is a popular version, available at www.chimes.com.


Mindfulness Books for Parents, Educators, and Health Care Providers

Patricia C. Broderick, Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance (New Harbinger Publications, 2013)

Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson, The Mindful School Leader: Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014)

Sam Himelstein, A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working with High Risk Adolescents (Routledge, 2013)

Sam Himelstein and Stephen Saul, Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum (Routledge, 2015)

Susan Kaiser Greenland, The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate (Free Press, 2010)

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (rev. and updated ed.) (Bantam Books, 2013)

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—And Your Life (includes audio CD) (Sounds True, 2012)

Amy Saltzman, A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions (New Harbinger Publications, 2014)

Daniel Siegel, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2013)

Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Publications, 2010)

Meena Srinivasan, Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness in and out of the Classroom (Parallax, 2014)

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation (Beacon Press, 1999)

Thich Nhat Hanh, Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices (Parallax Press, 2009)

Christopher Willard, Child’s Mind: Mindfulness Practices to Help Our Children Be More Focused, Calm, and Relaxed (Parallax Press, 2010)

Christopher Willard, Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience (Sounds True, 2016)

Christopher Willard and Amy Saltzman, Eds, Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens (Guilford Press, 2015)

Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Guilford Press, 2007)


Mindfulness Classes and Retreats for Teens and Families in North America

Connecting Adolescents to Learning Mindfulness (CALM): 8-week mindfulness program for teenagers, in Los Angeles, California.

Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme): Teen mindfulness retreats throughout North America.

Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents (MARS-A): 8-week mindfulness program for adolescents age 15 – 19, with psychological distress (depressive and/or anxiety symptoms), with or without co-occurring chronic pain and/or other chronic illness. A joint program between Adolescent Medicine (Pediatrics) and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, Columbia. By provider referral only.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Adolescents with Chronic Anxiety. Outpatient mindfulness training for adolescents coping with anxiety. Offered through the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Child & Youth Mental Health Program at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Vancouver, Columbia. By provider referral only.

Mindful Youth. Mindful Youth’s mission is “To assist youth, especially at-risk youth, to improve the quality of their lives by teaching them mindfulness and related life skills.” Based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tools For Peace. In-school, after-school, and summer camp programs for teens. From the makers of the “Stop, Breathe and Think” app.

University of California, San Diego, Center for Mindfulness, Stress Reduction Program for Teens & Pre-Teens.

UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, San Francisco. Mindfulness for Urban Youth program.


Retreats and Days of Mindfulness, in the Buddhist tradition:

WakeUp MovementMindfulness retreats and communities for youth and young adults, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh

Deer Park Monastery: Escondido, California, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh

Blue Cliff Monastery: Pine Bush, New York, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh

Magnolia Grove Monastery: Batesville, Mississippi, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh

Spirit Rock Meditation Center: Woodacre, California. Family/Teen Program, in the Insight Meditation tradition

Insight Meditation Center: Redwood City, California. Youth and Family Programs, in the Insight Meditation tradition.


Social Networking

Facebook: Like “The Mindful Teen” on Facebook to receive regular inspirational quotes, poems, and articles to help you keep your mindfulness practice fresh and alive.

Twitter: Follow The Mindful Teen (@TheMindfulTeen) for mindful tweets.

Other mindfulness and positive teen Twitter feeds: See the feeds that The Mindful Teen (@TheMindfulTeen) is following, and follow some of those. The more mindful feeds you have on Twitter, the more opportunities you’ll have to practice mindfulness!


Websites and Organizations

Association for Mindfulness in Education


“A collaborative association of organizations and individuals working together to provide support for mindfulness training as a component of K-12 education.”

Center for Adolescent Studies


Founded by Sam Himelstein. Offers trainings for professionals in all disciplines, in mindfulness and building authentic relationships with adolescents.

Center for Mindful Learning


Based in Vermont, CML’s vision is “To build a mindfulness-based educational system that produces powerful, just, selfless leaders.”

Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society

http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/Stress-Reduction Navigate to: The Stress Reduction Program > Find MBSR Programs Worldwide.

Based at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, this center is dedicated to integrating mindfulness-based approaches in mainstream medicine and health care. Provides a variety of educational opportunities in the United States and Canada.

Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education


Inspired by the Dalai Lama, and operating in a non-sectarian framework, this center (based in Vancouver, Columbia) has as its mission “to educate the hearts of children by informing, inspiring and engaging the communities around them.”

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, Healthy Living Toolkit


Toolkit for youth and families, with practical information on healthy sleeping, eating, exercise, and stress management.

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, mindfulness page


Check out the three-minute “Mindfulness: Youth Voices” video to learn more about mindfulness for youths, from youths themselves.

Also contains more information and resources on mindfulness for youths.

Learning 2 Breathe


Resources related to Patricia Broderick’s Learning to Breathe mindfulness curriculum and book (see also “Books” section, above)

The Still Quiet Place


Mindfulness resources from Dr. Amy Saltzman for parents, teens, teachers, and service providers.

Mind and Life Institute, Call to Care (C2C)


“Call to Care aims to address the limited attention in our educational systems for cultivating care and compassion—what we might call the forgotten heart of education. Operating at the intersections of education, developmental science, and contemplative scholarship, the project incorporates a distinctive hybrid approach focusing on both students and educators through a joint program operating within a common framework.”

 Mindful Magazine


A bimonthly magazine available in print and digital editions. The website features many informative articles and videos.

Mindful Schools


This organization (based in Oakland, California) has as its mission to “lead the integration of mindfulness into education,” through training courses and research.

 Mindfulness in Education Network


A network whose purpose is to “facilitate communication among all educators, parents, students and any others interested in promoting contemplative practice (mindfulness) in educational settings.” Dr. Vo is a member of the Board of Directors for this organization.

 Mindfulness Without Borders


This organization, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, provides “educational programs in mindfulness-based social and emotional learning that help individuals to flourish socially, emotionally, academically and professionally.”



A school-based curriculum that teaches social-emotional and mindfulness-based learning skills in the classroom.

Niroga Institute


A non-profit organization based in Oakland, California, Niroga offers mindful yoga for youth in community, school, and juvenile justice settings.

Palouse Mindfulness


Free online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course.

Stressed Teens


Online trainings and resources for parents, professionals, and teens.

Wake Up Schools


Cultivating Mindfulness in Education. “A global vision to walk the path of compassion, peace and joy in education through the practice of mindfulness.” Inspired by the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Watch the film, “Happy Teachers Will Change the World,” about “teachers learning mindfulness, true transformation and happiness.”