The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

Publishing February 2023

The Emotional Lives of Teenagers is written as clearly, usefully, and warmly as anything I’ve read about the psychology of adolescence. Lisa Damour explains why intense feelings—including negative ones—are a key part of teenage development, and how we can help young people understand, and most importantly, embrace the full spectrum of human emotion. I give it my highest recommendation!”

– Angela Duckworth, author of Grit and Co-Founder of Character Lab

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The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

Lisa's latest book is an urgently needed guide to help parents understand their teenagers’ intense and often fraught emotional lives—and how to support them through this critical developmental stage. Pre-order gift is for U.S. residents, 18+.

Under Pressure

Under Pressure

Lisa’s second New York Times best seller is a celebrated, urgently needed guide to addressing the alarming increase in anxiety and stress in girls from elementary school through college.

Untangled

Untangled

Lisa’s award-winning New York Times best seller–now available in nineteen languages–is a sane, informed, and engaging guide for parents of teenage girls.

The Emotional Lives of Teenagers Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents

Lisa's latest book is an urgently needed guide to help parents understand their teenagers’ intense and often fraught emotional lives—and how to support them through this critical developmental stage. Pre-order gift is for U.S. residents, 18+.

Pre-order

"Damour’s down-to-earth tone gives this the feel of a conversation with a friend, while the psychology offers valuable perspective into the scientific underpinnings of adolescence. Parents of teens will want to check this out."

- Publishers Weekly | read the full review

“A calm, wise, and empathetic guide to a difficult period for both adolescents and parents.”

- Kirkus | read the full review

"Comprehensive and encompassing of the many struggles teens face today, this book is a must for libraries looking for mental health resources for parents of teens."

- Library Journal, starred review | read the full review

“The Emotional Lives of Teenagers is written as clearly, usefully, and warmly as anything I’ve read about the psychology of adolescence. Lisa Damour explains why intense feelings—including negative ones—are a key part of teenage development, and how we can help young people understand, and most importantly, embrace the full spectrum of human emotion. I give it my highest recommendation!"

- Angela Duckworth, author of Grit and Co-Founder of Character Lab

“Lisa Damour applies her decades of clinical experience to one of the most essential questions of our time: How can adults best support adolescent mental health? She hands parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors the playbook they need to help teenagers feel heard, healthy, and whole."

- Jewel, singer/songwriter and mental health advocate

“This book offers a crucial reframing that helps us understand teens, their emotions, and their behavior. I couldn’t love it more. Damour gifts parents the knowledge, words, and practical advice to reach our teens so that we can be the parents they need us to be as they become fully themselves.”

- Tina Payne Bryson, co-author of The Whole-Brain Child

“In her latest book, and her first for parents of all genders, Dr. Damour dispels harmful but pervasive myths about teen mental health. If, like most parents, you find yourself alienated or confused by your teen’s unpredictable feelings, add this book to the top of your reading pile immediately.”

- Michelle Icard, author of Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen

“I can’t recommend this book enough. Damour delivers on her promise to give parents practical and actionable research-backed advice that will ensure their children develop the emotion skills they need to thrive.”

- Marc Brackett, director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and author of Permission to Feel.

“Lisa Damour is a wonderful, rigorous thinker who draws beautifully from both research and clinical practice to help adults understand teenagers. Damour's striking clarity and insight make her the perfect guide for those looking to make sense of teens' emotional lives.”

- Richard Weissbourd, author of The Parents We Mean to Be

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Free gifts with pre-order

As a thank you for pre-ordering my new book, you’ll receive access to my virtual workshop “A Conversation with Dr. Lisa Damour.” I’ll also send you my free bookmark “How to Manage a Meltdown” with real-world strategies to help you untangle family life, and a free autographed bookplate to place inside your new book!

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In teenagers, powerful emotions come with the territory. And with so many of today’s teens contending with academic pressure, social media stress, worries about the future, and concerns about their own mental health, it’s easy for them—and their parents—to feel anxious and overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Parents who read this book will learn:

  • what to expect in the normal course of adolescent emotional development and when it’s time to worry
  • why teens (and adults) need to understand that mental health isn’t about “feeling good” but about having feelings that fit the moment, even if those feelings are unwanted or painful
  • strategies for supporting teens who feel at the mercy of their emotions so they can become psychologically aware and skilled at managing their feelings
  • how to approach common challenges that come with adolescence, such as friction at home, spiking anxiety, risky behavior, navigating friendships and romances, the pull of social media, and many more
  • the best ways to stay connected to their teens and how to provide the kind of relationship that adolescents need and want

With clear, research-informed explanations alongside illuminating, real-life examples, The Emotional Lives of Teenagers gives parents the concrete, practical information they need to steady their teens through the bumpy yet transformational journey into adulthood.

Book Excerpt About Mental Health

What about emotional expression that causes harm either to your teenager or to someone else? Sometimes a teen comes home from school in a rotten mood and takes out his frustration—either physically or verbally—on an unsuspecting younger sibling who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes angry teenagers will say hurtful things to people they care about. When anything like this happens, it should always be taken seriously. The teenager’s emotions may be entirely justified, but the way those emotions are being expressed is a problem. As the adults on the scene, we’ll want to help teens learn to see this critical distinction. “I get it that you had a hard day,” you can say, “but attacking your sister isn’t how to deal with it. You can tell me what’s wrong, go for a run, or find some other way to feel better. Just leave your sister out of it.” Or: “It’s okay to be pissed, but you can’t speak to me like that. Let’s talk when you’ve had a chance to calm down.”...

Book Excerpt About Family Relationships

When our children are young, they almost invariably look up to us. But as they age into adolescence, aided by their new neurological power, they start to catch on to our shortcomings. On top of that, teens’ normal drive to become separate from us compels them to see us from a new and removed perspective. Whereas they used to accept us without question, now they give us feedback. This has certainly played out in my own home. It has long been true that I lay down household policies that I believe in, but don’t always follow, such as not bringing a cellphone to the dinner table. Nor am I above resorting to guilt to get my way. But not until my daughters were teenagers did they begin to comment that I am “a total hypocrite” or, when I drop a passive-aggressive comment, to playfully retort “Get out the luggage—we’re going on a guilt trip!”...
The Emotional Lives of Teenagers Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents