A mother and her daughters sitting together using a mobile phone and tablet

Mood battery

Designed by Clair Atherton and used by young volunteers at HeadStart Hull, the mood battery provides a practical way to express how the day is going.

The mood battery is a great resource to help young people express how their day is going.

You can either work with the young person to guide them through how they found their day, or share the mood battery with them to complete in their own time.

By completing the mood battery, a young person can better understand what might be making them feel stressed, upset or angry, and how to balance that with things that make them feel relaxed and supported.

You can use the mood battery one-to-one or with your groups.

Download the mood battery (pdf)
“What really strikes me is how this opens up conversations that you wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Clair Atherton - HeadStart Hull

Around the country there are inspiring adults and young people who have developed great resources to help talk about mental health and spot early signs of mental ill health. We want to highlight some of this great work, and put the same tools in your hands.

girl writing on mood battery resource with youth worker outside

How was the mood battery developed?

Case Study: Clair Atherton at HeadStart Hull

Clair has been the Young People’s Participation and Co-Production Officer at HeadStart Hull for 6 years and her role is to ensure young people are active partners in helping to shape and evaluate services that affect young people in the city. Like many of us Clair’s office moved home during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

During this time, Clair found it challenging to manage her ADHD and express what she was feeling with her partner. To help with this, she developed the mood battery. 

The mood battery is made up of red (symbolising stressors) and green (de-stressors). Using this tool Clair was able to write down all the good and bad things that influenced her day, and then order them to create a visual representation of how her day had gone.

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The battery hung outside her office door and became a sign of how Clair was doing during the day, helping her better communicate her  mental wellbeing with her partner.

Clair found herself using the tool in a conversation with one of her young volunteers, who then asked if he could share it with their virtual ‘Self-Love’ group which had been set up for lockdown. From there the mood battery was quickly picked up by other young people in the group and now it is regularly used on a one-to-one basis, or at the beginning of group sessions to open up conversations about mental health.

More resources for you

We have created resources for people just like you who are working in the community. Take a look at our resources to help you feel equipped when a young person turns to you for support.

Supporting young people in your community

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Whether you work at a youth club, coach a sports team, or run extra-curricular activities outside of school, we know the positive and crucial role you play in the lives of young people but understand you may often feel under-equipped to support them.

We have lots of new information, tips, and advice to help you feel prepared to support young people in your community.

Find out more

Mental health training

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Our training courses are designed to build your understanding of key mental health issues and give you the confidence to make a difference in young people's lives.

Take a look at our courses and see how our expert trainers can give you the practical skills to support young people in the community.

Mental health training