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Teenager produces ‘Mood Diary’

Ashanti Marshall, dealt with a longstanding quarrel with a group of friends by writing and doodling about her pain. The therapy she got from doing so made her realize that, if it was therapeutic to her, what she was doing could be therapeutic to others as well. That resulted in the 10th grade student producing a “Mood Diary”— a journal through which others can express how they feel during a particular time, just as she did.

At its most basic, a mood diary is a tool people can use every day that can help them track medications and important events, help them to understand themselves, notice what affects them and plan their daily activities better.

Marshall’s illustrated mood diary aims to help people to identify and acknowledge their feelings. The 10th grade student’s diary also showcases her original poetry. It is split into multiple sections headed by an original art piece to represent each of the moods. Readers are encouraged to turn to the mood they’re feeling at the time, and fill the space with either words or art as the pages in her mood diary have no lines.

“This is a great way to manage and express your feelings. When you are in a certain mood, turn to the section and write down your feelings. Use this diary as a tool to express and sort your moods,” said Marshall.

She decided to write and produce the mood diary after her classmates pushed her to show a teacher her sketchbook, which she did. The English teacher sparked the idea of her putting her work together into a book.

In producing the book, which has been for sale on Amazon since December 20, 2018, Marshall said she followed the format she uses when she draws in her sketchbook.

Marshall’s mood diary is mainly geared toward teenagers who struggle to contain their thoughts and emotions, but she said it can also be beneficial to adults.

A customer review on Amazon.com reads, “My nine-year-old daughter loves it. She has already started to more clearly identify her feelings. The poems and illustrations are an added plus.”

Through the use of her mood diary, Marshall encourages people to find a way to get their feelings out – whether verbally, or by writing them down. She wants her customers to get to the point where they feel comfortable enough to get their anger, sadness and happiness into the open.

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