Brain Tools for Teens by Malin Gutestam

Thank you to Love Reading for the opportunity to read and review Brain Tools for Teens. I am the mother of two teenagers and I also work for a social mobility charity working to encourage students to aim high for their futures, so I was keen to read this. This was published by Hjärnskap last month.


Brain Tools for Teens – a Practical Actionable Guide to Improve Your Mental Wellbeing and Learning.

Have you ever thought about …?

  • Why nothing seems to stick in your memory when you study?
  • Why you feel unfocused and stressed?
  • Why it is hard to balance school work and spare time?

Brain Tools for Teens is written in a warm and engaging manner, speaking directly to teenagers, using a combination of personal stories, evidence to aid understanding of the issues, and includes more than 160 practical and realistic tips for implementation of strategies.

You may find brain Tools for Teens helpful if you are;

  • a teen in need of tools to feel more in control of your health and learning
  • a parent looking for new tools to support teens in challenging times
  • an educator looking for a resource to promote teen mental wellbeing and reduce stress
  • someone working with teens in search of new tools to help teens navigate this changing world

 Here is exactly what you will get in Brain Tools for Teens;

  1. The Teenage Brain:  How your brain works and how to take care of it.
  2. Focus:   Attention, multitasking and how to focus.
  3. Sleep:   Why sleep is a vital tool for learning and mental health.
  4. Physical Activity:   The benefits of movement for performance and creativity.
  5. Down Time:   Different breaks and how breaks can increase performance.
  6. Connection:  How positive connection promotes health and learning.
  7. Play:   How play creates inner motivation and is beneficial to learning.
  8. Time-in:   Simple and accessible tools to manage stress and feel calm.
  9. The Learning Brain:   How learning works and how to boost your learning.
  10. Stress:   What stress is and how some reactions to stress are beneficial.
  11. Where do you go from here?   A simple strategy to keep checking in.
  12. To Parents and guardians:   How we support and encourage teens.

Brain Tools for Teens is colorful, has a structured layout, lots of constructive illustrations and simple summaries. It also contains inspiring stories of teens and young adults who have created new well-functioning habits in their lives. You can choose to read just the chapter that feels most pertinent to you or read the book cover to cover. It is a practical actionable guide you can come back to when you need to.

Create and add to your own toolbox for mental wellbeing and learning. Buy the book and start reading today!

My thoughts:

I have only seen a PDF copy but I was very impressed by the content, layout and ideas. The book is written for teenagers, to explain how important it is that they mix up their studies with exercise, socialising, sleep, etc. The book explains all the science behind the suggestions and features reports from students about how they discovered they needed to make changes. Lots of common sense ideas, especially about the impact of mobile phones on sleep and studying.

There is a section at the end with advice for parents and teachers. This appears to be a useful book for all ages.

Author Bio:

Malin Gutestam is passionate about providing science-based tools that optimize brain health and learning for teens and young adults. Her interest in the brain and learning has also led her to become speaker, coach and author. 

A secondary school teacher in Sweden for the past 20 years, she has been teaching Physical Education, Entrepreneurship, Ways of Working and Learning, Pedagogical Leadership and Health Pedagogics to16-19-year-olds. Malin´s curiosity led her to become a tutor in PBL (Problem Based Learning). She has also co-founded a health project with focus on physical activity and learning for teens, developed a course for learning to learn strategies as well as the course Young Brains which was run as a pilot study. Malin has run many workshops for teachers on the connection of physical activity and learning and co-created learning materials for brain breaks and values.

Malin loves to give talks and run workshops about how brain science can be applied to create better conditions for learning, better brain health and more creative processes and share them with high school students, college students, parents, teachers or business professionals.

In 2016, Malin Gutestam was awarded The Helge Prize, a Swedish scholarship for teachers, which led to the publication of the Swedish version of Brain Tools for Teens. 

She holds an MA from Örebro University and a postgraduate certificate in Neuroscience in Leadership from Middlesex University (focusing on the next generation of leaders) as well as a Brain Based Coaching Certificate from the Neuroleadership Institute.

Malin’s greater mission is to contribute to an education where students can learn, grow, thrive and pursue their passions. She believes that now more than ever do we need the creativity, compassion, skills and knowledge of today´s teens to find new ways of solving the problems of today.

Visit Malin’s website for free learning resources. Malin also shares research, tips and ideas about brain health and learning for teens and young adults on Instagram @braintoolsforteens. 

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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