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Why only 8 choices for feelings? 

There is no definitive list of emotions or feelings.  Researchers and experts have proposed different lists and all can be informative and helpful.  The 8 emotions on the Feelings Board are basic emotions and are given in Chip Dodd's book Voice of the Heart.  Many times one of the 8 listed is not what comes to mind when trying to identify an emotion.  There's a chart on the back of the Feelings Board to help hone in on what basic or core emotion is present. 

Why is every feeling except Glad so negative?

Can we say that every feeling except Glad is uncomfortable rather than negative? 


Emotions are informative.  Our physical senses (sight, smell, hearing, etc.) give us information about our physical world and keep us safe and well if we pay attention to what they're telling us..  Sometimes they're uncomfortable.


Feelings are the same - they give us information (that's often uncomfortable) about our emotional world.  We are safe and well emotionally to the extent we're aware of our feelings and respond to what they're telling us.

On the chart - Anger and Numb are options for

What Comes to Mind for everything except Glad.

Anger can be an "umbrella emotion" - it's the feeling that's most visible and probably protective of other emotions that are actually under the anger.  If Anger is what comes to mind quickly, it's worth taking the time to consider if other feelings are present as well underneath that protective, energizing anger.

Feeling Numb or nothing is also a protective mechanism.  Perhaps emotions were banned or dangerous in your family growing up so they were pushed way, way down.  It's likely they're oozing out in other ways now, though, so it would probably be helpful to start learning to identify them.  Your emotional safety and wellbeing depend on it. - just as you'd be in physical danger if you pushed down and disregarded your physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, etc.


Who can have a Feelings Board?

Anyone!  Counselors, individuals, families, teachers, anyone interested in getting to the heart of what's going on emotionally.

Need more info?

Email me!  I really love this tool and have lots of experience using it with my clients and family.  I'd love to share info and ideas.



  • Email me through the tab at the top of the page. 

  • Feelings Board, 1 set of magnets, explanatory chart - $30

  • Extra set of magnets - $10 for set

  • Laminated explanatory chart - $10

  • Credit card or Venmo payment

  • Delivery - pick up at my Brentwood office or I can ship and add shipping fee to the total.


The Feelings Board is a tool I created which is immensely helpful in cutting through strong or high emotions and truly getting to the heart of the matter.   I made one several years ago to teach my children about emotions and how to use them in life.  I developed the one pictured above to use with clients and it has helped us quickly identify what's actually going on and find a path forward.  I'm glad to offer them for sale to other therapists as well as to individuals and families. 

The Feelings Board is a magnetic dry erase board with a magnet for each of 8 core emotions.  The picture above shows a space drawn for 1 person (our feelings are our own and others can know what they are but they are contained within 1 person).  For a couple or family I'd erase the 1 space and draw however many spaces are needed for who is using the board. 

Each person considers which of these 8 emotions are present and puts as many magnets in the space as needed.  There's a chart on the back that helps hone in on these 8 if something comes to mind that doesn't have a magnet. 

The point of identifying what emotions are present is to learn what's happening in someone's emotional world and respond accordingly.  Just as our physical senses (sight, smell, hearing, etc.) give us information about our physical world, these "emotional senses" give us information about our emotional world.  We are physically safe and healthy to the extent we're aware of and responsive to our physical senses.  The same is true of our emotions - we are emotionally safe and healthy to the extent we are aware of and responsive to our feelings. 

Each feeling points to something present in our emotional worlds (for example, sad tells us we're experiencing a loss).  The chart on the back of the Feelings Board also shows what each feeling might be telling is needed. 


Feelings Boards

Frequently Asked Questions

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