Dream Up Now:

by Rayne Lacko with community outreach advisor Lesley Holmes

Now available from Free Spirit Publishing, a leader in academic resources since 1983. Teens feel a wide range of sometimes-overwhelming, often-fluctuating, intense emotions. To help teens understand, manage, and channel their emotions into passion for the life they want to live, this guided journal includes 36 creative activities. Crafted by community leaders across North America, these activities encourage teens to create, draw, listen to music, and put pen to paper as they process emotions, discover more about themselves, and pursue what they want out of life.

Dream Up Now offers a safe space for creative self-expression
of all emotions, both positive and negative.

Every emotion is valid in this journal, and teens are encouraged
to move from dark (negative) to light (positive) emotions. For example:

Using creative journal prompts and art project ideas, with plenty of room for writing and reflection, Dream Up Now is a powerful tool for navigating emotions and self-reflection. 

Why Dream Up Now… now?

It’s a phenomenon cutting across suburban, urban and rural demographics.

  • In a recent study, about 3 million American teens ages 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode. (Dept. of Health and Human Services.)
  • 30% of girls and 20% of boys totalling 6.3 million teens had an anxiety disorder. (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • In 2015, more than 2 million teens reported experiencing depression that impaired their day function. (Dept. of Health and Human Services.)

With these staggering statistics, the idea for helping young people move from darkness into light formed the foundation of Dream Up Now.

The  guided journal offers a fun and cost-effective solution to managing fluctuating teen emotions, while supporting positive mental health.

Increasingly, schools are turning to counseling and outreach to alleviate the epidemic of anxiety and depression affecting adolescents nationwide. Community support raises awareness and helps educate teens about the importance of self-care.

However, there’s an engaging and effective solution to managing fluctuating teen emotions and mental health that is proven in countless studies, and is relatively easy for budget-minded libraries, schools, and parents to implement: the arts.

Start learning now

“Dream Up Now is a great tool for encouraging teens to really think through their emotions, breaking down their responses to a wide variety of emotions and processing them creatively – through writing, drawing, music, reflection, planning and more.”

– Christie Burnett, Childhood101.com


Each person has an individual approach to self-expression. Dream Up Now offers a mix of creative opportunities.

Programs - Live Training & Online Courses

The Leader’s Guide to Dream Up Now online course

In 6 easy steps, learn to support young people in using Dream Up Now: The Teen Journal for Creative Self-Discovery as a tool to work through fluctuating emotions, know themselves better, and create healthy and meaningful lives. 

Your choice: Live, online training; OR live, in-person training; OR asynchronous online course.

This presentation will be of interest to educators of students in grades 6 through 12, school and district leaders, librarians, counselors and coaches, and curriculum directors. *Contents have been approved for PD in many schools, districts, and states and will provide a CE certificate. Length: 50 minutes.

Learning to take control of your emotions starts today. 

In each chapter, you’ll find creative and artistic ways to solve real problems, deal with your feelings, and transform dark emotions into the kinds of feelings you’d like to have more often.

This is YOUR time to share your artistic side, sort out what’s on your mind, and make plans for the future you want to create.

FREE online mini-course! Learn to meditate

Meditation will help teens:

  • Increase self-confidence 
  • Ease anxiety
  • Greater self-awareness 
  • Foster kindness to self 
  • Improved brain function 
  • How to Bring Music Education to Your School District
  • How to Start a Club at Your School
  • How to Find Your Passion

Start learning now

“Throughout the course, Rayne demonstrated diligence, professionalism, sensitivity to diversity, critical and creative thinking, and increased skill in writing for young audiences.”
– Dr. Latonya Evans, Clinical Psychologist