Learning To BREATHE

a research-based mindfulness program for adolescents

coming soon

This book is part of Norton’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Solutions Series which is forthcoming in the spring of 2019.

The book is structured to present, chapter by chapter, important aspects related to mindfulness and discuss their relevance to secondary school classrooms. Since mindfulness is for students and teachers alike, many of the examples used throughout refer to both youth and adults. Chapter 2 summarizes how our stress system operates and how we react to stressors in our lives. It makes a case for why we would want to practice mindfulness ourselves and teach it to adolescents. Chapters 3 through 7 describe features of mindful attention and offer ways to introduce, utilize and practice these competencies. Each chapter includes two vignettes that illustrate how the main themes of the chapter apply to actual teachers and classrooms. The final sections of each chapter contain reflection questions, one or two formal practices related to chapter content, and a set of main points to take away. Chapters 2 through 6 also include boxes entitled “Moving from Theory to Practice” that present practical tips about choosing programs, teacher training, ethical obligations and whole-school implementation. These sections offer key points that teachers might wish to consider as they evaluate the possibility of introducing mindfulness to their students and their schools in a systematic way. Finally, a way to increase the positive emotion of gratitude is offered as the concluding practice at the end of the book.

For more information, see http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294998280

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


Student Resilience and L2B

Announcing a new study by Joshua Felver, Adam Clawson, Melissa Morton, Erica Brier-Kennedy, Pamela Janack & Robert DiFlorio in the International Journal of School and Educational Psychology. This research evaluated the effects of a seven-session...

Summary Table of L2B Outcome Research

Learning to BREATHE (L2B) is a sequenced mindfulness program that can be used to introduce adolescents to mindfulness and its practice. L2B is appropriate for many settings (e.g. schools, universities, clinical settings, after-school programs, residential facilities, etc.). CASEL includes Learning to BREATHE as 1 out of only 4 programs in the mindfulness category that meets their standards for evidence-based programs.

More detail about all the publications, including full text copies, is available by clicking the Short Research Summaries link.

Another link, “What consumers should know about  choosing a mindfulness program explains the importance of research  in program selection for schools, clinical practices or other institutions and workplaces. L2B’s Facebook Page is the place for most current updates about L2B.

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.

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