How to Use Dream Up Now.

Students engaged in the arts report significantly higher levels of school attachment than non-arts students, and its well known that music can improve skills in math and reading while also promoting creativity, social development and self-worth.

Dream Up Now gives teens self-directed space to explore the fluctuating emotions of adolescence through creativity, reinforcing a young person’s well-being by providing actionable tasks and creative play to encourage a sense of belonging, acceptance, authenticity, and honoring one’s own voice, unique emotions, and creativity.

Despite being surrounded by peers and family, teens often feel lonely and misunderstood. Many yearn for respite from day-to-day stress, while seeking social acceptance, confidence, and a strong sense of self.
We believe that when a young person is experiencing feelings of happiness, tolerance, and power,
they’re in the perfect state of mind to begin building the life they want to live.
Readers can start anywhere in the journal, beginning with whatever emotion they’re feeling at the moment. Every dark emotion is presented with its opposite, light emotion. Each set of emotions was contributed by recognized, trusted leaders from arts, wellness, and educational communities.

These diverse individuals represent a variety of creative industries. They’ve mined their life experiences to show how they dealt with the same emotions young readers are experiencing today, and how they discovered various artistic means to deal with the struggles common to teen life. They show how pursuing your passion and talent can lead to a fulfilling life and career, and they offer the advice they wish someone had given them.

Dream Up Now also includes bonus activities for self-inventory, reflection, mindfulness, and expressing the hardest struggles of teenage life, as well as pausing to shine a light on all that is wonderful and good.
Engaging with this self-guided journal, a young person builds
resilience and self-sufficiency by learning how to deal with challenging emotions.
Even better, teens learn how to leverage a great day. Dream Up Now offers a blueprint for making the most of positive feelings, offering straightforward advice for finding new friends, interviewing for a job or mentor, getting organized, or trying out for a sports team, school play, or band.

Dream Up Now has resources for finding your passion …and pursuing it. It has tools for setting up a club at school and information from VH1 Save The Music showing how to bring music education to an under-served school district.
There’s this old Mexican saying: “Al que ha de ser charro, del cielo le cae el sombrero.” Literally, “the man born to be a horseman will have his hat fall onto him from the sky.” Some people read that as his fate is inescapable, which is understandable. But personally, I think it can also be that the tools for his destiny will find their way to him and that they will fall onto the top of his head from someone above, or somewhere in the sky. — Antonio Manuel Chavira, author and producer

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.

Start learning now - Courses for Teens and Instructors

“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,

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 simple journal prompts and art project ideas, with plenty of room for writing and reflection, Dream Up Nowis a powerful tool for navigating emotions and self-reflection. It also includes information to help teens advocate for music programs or start a club in their school.