Avril Macdonald - Creator of 'Feel  Brave'


I am thrilled to have been invited to be a ‘New Generation Thinker’ with ThoughtBox. The Feel Brave work is grounded in helping children understand the brains they come into this world with, to self regulate their emotions, and to build empathy and a growth mindset so our values are totally aligned with ThoughtBox.  I look forward to the positive impact our relationship will have on the world and particularly how we can help reverse the current alarming trends in mental health and help children not just survive but thrive in the world they live in!


"I am the author of the ‘Feel Brave' series of books (little stories about big feelings for 4-7 year olds) and founder of www.feelbrave.com  I am passionate about giving all children access to tools to help them manage tough emotions and reach their potential.

When I had my first panic attack at eight years old, no one really spoke about anxiety disorders (or mental health for that matter!)  It wasn’t until years later when my sister (who was training to be a nurse), brought home some photocopied material she had come across which explained everything I had experienced that I felt so relieved that I wasn’t alone.

This new information gave me insatiable curiosity about the mind/body connection and I found techniques such as Neuro Lingusitc Programming (NLP), and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which really helped.  I also found the world famous coach Tony Robbins (whose work uses many similar sorts of techniques), and was astounded by the impact that his books and exercises had on not only my ability to manage my anxiety, but in helping me to reach my own creative potential.   I wondered why a lot of the techniques that I’d learnt were not being taught to children.  I also felt curious about how we might be able to create something that really speaks to children and gives them strategies to help them cope in life just as Tony Robbins has managed to do (and still does) for so many adults.

When my daughter had her first nightmare, managing it came very easily to me from all the techniques that I had learnt herself in managing my own anxiety.  I realised then that I might be able to help other children by sharing these sorts of techniques and others using characters, poems and stories.  We have such big problems with children’s mental health and wellbeing right now so I decided to try and bring simple strategies and techniques into the mainstream using stories and characters (think ‘Peppa Pig meets Tony Robbins’) and Feel Brave was born!"