• To identify coping skills to use when stressed
  • To practice a couple coping skills
  • To learn the impact that various genres of music have on their mood

visual prompt journaling [10-15 min]

Project the Visual Prompt Writing Journal slide on the screen. Leader should tell students to read the prompts and pick one to write about. Students will then have about 5 minutes to write about anything they’d like related to that prompt. They will NOT be asked to share, so write freely. The leader may decide to play music during this time period if they’d like.

  1. Did writing help you relax or express how you were feeling?

2. Does visual prompt writing work as an effective coping skill for you?

Brainstorming 15 min]

Each student should generate a list of coping strategies (ways they manage stress) that they currently use. List the strategies on a whiteboard or large Post-It sheet paper. Once all strategies have been listed, have the club leaders instruct the club to create coping cards. Coping cards are index cards that have several types of coping techniques for people to use in times of need. Each card is decorated and has a coping strategy. Some things club members can include on their cards are positive coaching statements (ex: “I can boss back anxiety”) and reminders to self (ex: “take deep breaths”). Remind students that their coping cards can include strategies they currently use and strategies they want to try. After the students have created their coping cards, proceed to the discussion questions.

If the students get stuck or need more direction, feel free to use this link for coping card examples.


  1. What are your favorite coping strategies? Do you have a go-to strategy or do you use multiple strategies?
  2. How often do you use a coping strategy?
  3. Are there pros and cons to using a specific strategy? For example, if you use distraction, how do you make sure you are not avoiding your problem/stress or making your problem worse?

“whistle while you work” [10-15 min]

Activity Set Up: Leader should have songs prepped before the beginning of this activity, so they can change them without disruption.

The next activity is for everyone to actually participate in a coping strategy. Everyone has the option of creating either a Mandala or a Zentangle while they listen to a variety of different music genre’s. There are no rules on how they draw in their mandala or Zentangle. Examples of both are provided in the “Pattern Examples” Slideshow. Provide everyone with a Mandala or Zentangle template (you should have a mandala coloring book in your supply box). Project Pattern Examples PowerPoint for those who are completing a Zentangle. Play approximately two minutes segments of four different genres of music. Before starting the activity, have the students pause for a minute, and instruct them to note how they feel.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Did you notice your artistic expression change with the different styles of music? What about your mood? Did it change with the music as well?
  2. Think about your mood prior to starting the activity and think of your mood now. Did your mood change?
  3. Was there a style of music that had a positive impact on your mood? Was there a style that provided you more motivation or focus?
  4. Was there a style of music that had a negative impact on your mood? For example, did a certain song make you feel more alone or angry?