Learning To BREATHE

a research-based mindfulness program for adolescents

Body ~ Reflections ~ Emotions ~ Attention ~ Tenderness ~ Habits ~ Empowerment




Mindfulness includes qualities of mind and heart, and it provides a strong foundation for other social and emotional skills.

Mindfulness is making inroads into classrooms, as teachers seek ways to center and focus their own attention as well as that of their distracted students. Trish Broderick describes the particular relevance of mindfulness to the teaching of adolescent students, including its potential to alleviate stress, foster motivation, engagement, and compassion—and ultimately, to improve both learning and social relationships. Her book is a guide to applying mindfulness to day-to-day classroom challenges; every chapter contains authentic vignettes of secondary teachers and students, brief practices to try, and a set of takeaway points and reflection questions. This short book can be a helpful choice for teachers’ book clubs to help them develop their own mindfulness skills.

Published as part of Norton’s SEL Series.





About Us

Learning To BREATHE

is a research-based mindfulness curriculum created for classroom or group settings. Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of one’s present-moment experience with compassion and openness as a basis for wise action. L2B is designed to coordinate with curriculum standards for health, developmental guidance or other academic areas in secondary schools. L2B versions exist for younger and older adolescents, as well as for college-age/emerging adults. L2B is being used widely both nationally and internationally and has been published in English (2013, New Harbinger) and Chinese (2016, Acorn Publishers). L2B was researched through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education (Institute of Education Sciences) and has been studied extensively in educational and clinical settings. Currently, ten published, peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated its effectiveness, and several more studies are currently underway. L2B has been recognized as one of only four mindfulness programs in the 2015 CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) Secondary Guide that meet research criteria for effective SEL programs.
“This is a much needed, extremely well thought out, and beautifully constructed curriculum. It is commonsensical, user friendly, and straightforward to implement. Most importantly, it engages you, the teacher, in developing your own mindfulness practice so that you are not asking things of your students that you are not actually exploring and experiencing for yourself. This element of honing your own personal mindfulness practice can provide great benefits in terms of your well-being and sense of ease and presence in your work. Bringing this curriculum to life in a nonmechanical way can have profound effects on your students. It can catalyze the development of embodied self-awareness and, with it, the potential for greater self-understanding, self-confidence, and emotional intelligence. This process is made easier by the inclusion of extremely effective “scripts” for each lesson, offset from the rest of the text, which can support you on the steep slope of your own learning curve. Through the systematic cultivation of attention, awareness, self-compassion, and kindness toward others—all capacities that adolescents already have and that can be strengthened through training—a set of fundamental and highly beneficial life skills are developed. These skills can help teenagers navigate more effectively through a time in life that can be confusing, filled with uncertainties, and exceedingly stressful. These life skills form the basis for building successful relationships, beginning with oneself. They can also contribute to optimizing the classroom environment and learning. Even great musicians have to first tune their instruments. It is the same with learning.”
Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn


What People Are Saying

“Learning to Breathe is truly a gem that fills a critical gap in social and emotional learning programs for adolescents. With a deep commitment to helping young people navigate the social and emotional challenges of this developmental period, Broderick has artfully crafted an outstanding mindfulness-based program supported by rigorous research. The program is unique among its peers. Rather than functioning as an ‘add-on’ that places extra burdens on teachers, it has been successfully integrated into existing curricula and meets standards in the areas of science and health. This program is a proven method for promoting well-being and resilience among young people.”

Patricia A. Jennings, MEd, PhD

research assistant professor in human development and family studies, Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University, PA

“School reform is doomed to failure until it faces the reality of kids as they come: stressed-out, overwrought, and inattentive to school work. This marvelous book fills this gap with a curriculum that helps teenagers reduce stress, handle their emotions, and master their attention. A step-by-step guide for teachers and clinicians, Learning to Breathe is clear, inventive, and practical, and it can be implemented starting tomorrow. This inspiring book is also a timely wake-up call for the nation.”
Jerome Murphy, PH.D.

Dean Emeritus , Harvard Graduate School of Education

“Learning to Breathe offers a time-tested, research-based solution to assist young people in cultivating positive qualities, such as mindful awareness and compassion for oneself and others. [The book will] inspire young people to use these qualities in the service of the greater good in the twenty-first century. I hope we see this curriculum in all of our schools.”
Robert W. Roeser, Ph.D.

professor of psychology and human development in the department of psychology, Portland State University, Portland, OR

Engaging, varied, and user-friendly lessons make this an essential resource for any educator who wishes to bring mindfulness into the curriculum. From theory to practice, this guide provides teachers with the necessary information to make mindfulness come to life in their classrooms and in the lives of their students. A must-have for all those committed to the social and emotional health of adolescents.

Karen Bluth, Ph.D.

research fellow at the Program of Integrative Medicine, School of Medicine at University of North Carolina, NC

“Know thyself. Building not only on the accumulated wisdom of the ages but also on the pioneering work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Broderick has created an extremely well-pitched curriculum for helping teens through what may well be tumultuous years. Practicing mindfulness, a sustained state of nonjudgmental self-awareness, has well-documented salubrious effects. In this well-written and insightful book, Broderick explains clearly what mindfulness is, why it is important, and how to teach it to our youth.”
Philip David Zelazo, PhD

Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

“Even when we have an inside familiarity with the practice of mindfulness it is challenging to make it accessible and meaningful to others. Broderick’s book and program have done just this-translated the practice into a practical, accessible program for both teachers and students. The result is a curriculum that maps beautifully onto both the opportunity and the vulnerability that are inherent in the teenage years.”
Rebecca Crane, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, UK

Our Blog


New Certified Trainers

Please check out the updated trainer's page to learn about the new certified trainers for L2B. Welcome to this group of dedicated teachers!

L2B at Alhambra Unified School District, California

Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are partnering with Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD) Gateway to Success this year to offer the 8-week Learning to Breathe (L2B) mindfulness curriculum to approximately 520...


There are multiple peer-reviewed published research studies that have investigated L2B’s outcomes on youth. L2B has been studied in many settings with diverse groups of students. See the table for a list of intervention studies. The complete list of L2B articles can be viewed by clicking the ‘research’ link.

Ready to Make a Change?

The complete Learning to BREATHE curriculum, including 6 and 18 session versions and free, downloadable supplementary materials, is available from New Harbinger Publications and Amazon. Individual student workbooks for the 6-session version are also available separately. The complete program is also available in Chinese from Big Apple Publishers.

Keep In Touch

We would love to keep you up to date on what's happening with mindfulness for adolescents in schools -- research, trainings, updates from people in the midst, books, videos -- everything!  Please sign up -- we promise to give you relevant info, and we'd like to build a community that you're an important part of.

Thank you -- you have successfully subscribed

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This