Feel Good Fridays

Taking time out to engage with coworkers every Friday can create joy, connection, motivation, feelings of gratitude, as well as reduce stress. Join us each Friday between March 23 and April 27 to celebrate Feel Good Fridays! Feel Good Friday activities include:

  • Journaling: The simple act of writing a few words, sentences, or paragraphs everyday can have a profound and instant effect on your life for the better. Journaling can change your life and make you more interested and interesting through the years. (*Please note: each journaling session is the same, please select which one fits your schedule best.)
  • ZUMBA®: A fusion of Latin and International music / dance themes that create a dynamic and exciting workout, with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body.  Zumba is a “feel-happy” workout that is great for both the body and the mind.
  • Guided meditation: Meditation can remove stress and replace it with a dose of inner peace. It’s one of the best tools we have to balance our emotions, deal with physical and psychological distress, and promote the peace of the present moment.
  • Yoga: Focus on the breath in combination with various poses to help strengthen your body and your mind. Whether you are an experienced yogi or new to the mat, this class is perfect for all looking to improve their strength and decrease their stress. All fitness levels welcome as modifications can be made to accommodate all.
  • Crochet, knit and conversation: De-stress, have meaningful conversations, and make new friends– all while learning how to crochet or knit. No experience is necessary and everyone is welcome to join in! There will be a crochet and knitting instructor on hand to help and all materials are provided.
  • Yoga dance: Come move, dance, and experience the joy of being playful and connected in your body. Done with music from all around the world, we will bring fun and healing to body, mind and spirit. No experience necessary — all bodies welcome. Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Feel Good Friday Book Club: Reading can be a great way to relax. Simply lose yourself in the pages of a book and for a few minutes feel your mind and body releasing stress. Learn more about the book club and register

Check out the schedules below:

 South Campus Schedule 
DateFeel Good Activity (Time)Location
March 23Zumba (12:15-12:45 p.m.)Skybarn
March 30Zumba (12:15-12:45 p.m.)Skybarn
April 6Guided meditation (12:15-12:45 p.m.) - Registration required
Skytop Office Building
Large Conference Room (2nd floor)
April 13Yoga (12:15-12:45 p.m.) Skybarn
April 20Yoga (12:15-12:45 p.m.)
Journaling with Marcelle Haddix (12:15-1 p.m.)- Registration required
Skytop Office Building
Large Conference Room (2nd floor)
April 27Zumba (12:15-12:45 p.m.)
Book club discussion group (12:15-1 p.m.)
Skytop Office Building
Large Conference Room (2nd floor)

 Main Campus Schedule 
DateFeel Good Activity (Time)Location
March 23Yoga (12:15-12:45 p.m.)
Crochet, knit and conversation (noon-1:30 p.m.)
Hall of Languages, Room 500
Hendricks Chapel, Chaplain's Lounge
March 30Yoga dance (12:15-12:45 p.m.)
Guided meditation (12:15-12:45 p.m.) - Registration required
Hall of Languages, Room 500
Bird Library, Hillyer Room (606)
April 6Zumba (Noon-12:30 p.m.)
Zumba (12:30- 1 p.m.)
Journaling with Marcelle Haddix (12:15-1 p.m.)- Registration required
Schine 228B
Schine 228B
Bird Library, Spector Room (608)
April 13Crochet, knit and conversation (noon- 1:30 p.m.)
Guided meditation (12:15-12:45 p.m.) - Registration required
Hendricks Chapel, Chaplain's Lounge
Bird Library, Hillyer Room (606)
April 20Zumba (Noon-12:30 p.m.)
Zumba (12:30- 1 p.m.)
Book club discussion: group 1 (12:15-1 p.m.)
Book club discussion: group 2 (12:15-1 p.m.)
Schine 228B
Schine 228B
Bird Library, Hillyer Room (606)
Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, (114)
April 27Yoga (12:15-12:45 p.m.)
Journaling with Marcelle Haddix (12:15-1 p.m.)- Registration required
Hall of Languages, Room 500
Bird Library, Spector Room (608)

Feel Good Friday Book Club

Photo: the cover of the book Grayson by Lynne Cox
Click for more details about Grayson

Reading can be a great way to relax. Simply lose yourself in the pages of a book and for a few minutes feel your mind and body releasing stress.

Faculty and staff are invited to register for the Feel Good Friday Book Club. The featured book is Grayson by Lynne Cox. 

Register now!

About the book

  • Grayson is the true story of long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox’s ocean encounter with an 18-foot baby whale and her efforts to reunite “Grayson” with his mother—part mystery, part magical tale.
  • Grayson, a book that is full of life, with a feel good tone, was selected with the assistance of SU Libraries staff members, led by Wellness Champion, Nicolette A. Dobrowolski, Assistant Director of Collections and Access Services and Janet Pease, Head of Collections, SU Libraries.

How to get the book

  • Conveniently available for purchase at the SU Bookstore in the Biography section
  • Print, Kindle and Audio versions available for purchase on Amazon.com 
  • iBooks are available through the apple store
  • Paperback and Nook versions available for purchase at Barnes and Noble
  • Borrow from Bird Library, first floor circulation desk: 11 copies are on reserve (Available on first come, first served basis).
    • You will need to have your SUID
    • Ask for your Book Club book
    • Book has a seven day loan period, but can be renewed
  • Borrow from Onondaga County Public Libraries (you can use your Interlibrary loan option if needed)

About the book club

  • This book club is designed to connect readers with each other and to promote pleasure reading on campus. If you like reading good books, this club might be for you. If you also like talking about good books, this club might be for you.
  • The idea is to read the book at your own pace at the start of Feel Food Fridays (March 23) and have the book completed by the discussion day (Friday, April 20).
  • The Book Club Group will send weekly emails to everyone between March 23 and April 20 to check in and offer points to ponder.
  • The book club discussion will be on Friday, April 20. A meeting invite will be sent to each member

Book club discussion

  • Syracuse University faculty and staff are welcome to join us for a lively, enlightening and enriching conversation, led by Bird Library staff members. The book discussion session is an opportunity for faculty and staff to get to know one another and learn from each other. We hope that you will leave the session feeling just a little better and more relaxed than you were when you came.
  • Book club discussion groups:
    • Friday, April 20 from 12:15-1 p.m. on main campus
      • Bird Library, Hillyer Room (room 606)
      • Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (room 114)
    • Friday, April 27 from 12:15-1 p.m. on south campus
      • Skytop Office Building, 2nd floor large conference room

Yoga Practice with Dara Harper

Photo: yoga student stretching on matThis alignment-based class welcomes beginners and challenges advanced students. By aligning digits and joints, directing energy, and creating depth with the breath, students will create an expanded sense of their yoga practice. This intentional and nourishing class will help you integrate your yoga with your life.

Faculty and staff are invited to join us for this free one-hour yoga practice.

Mondays, February 12-April 30 (no class March 12)
5:15-6:15 p.m.
Newhouse 1, Miron Special Events Room 303

Registration not required. Wear comfortable clothing and if you are able bring a yoga mat or towel.


  • “The toughest yoga class you’ll ever love.” Jeanne Chu, Syracuse Abroad
  • “Now I know what integrity feels like.” Maureen Breed, Office of Associate Provost Academic Programs
  • “Dara is a joy to learn from.” Brit Cashatt, LGBT Resource Center
Dara Harper, a yoga teacher with 22 years experience, has taught every level of yoga from beginner to absurd. She has taught athletes, pre-natal yoga, therapeutic yoga, students who have been dancers, and students who can barely move. For Dara, the physical practice of yoga is about coming into balance. Some students are too flexible and work their way toward strength. Other students are inflexible and work their way toward mobility. Dara combines her concise alignment-based instruction with subtle adjustments to create a greater understanding for each individual student. Every class is infused with juicy poses, breath work, and philosophy to bend your brain. Dara has studied with many great teachers including John Friend (the founder of Anusara Yoga), Douglas Brooks, Desiree Rumbaugh, Sianna Sherman, Doug Keller, and Tom Myers, a Rolfer and author of the book Anatomy Trains. Originally from Louisville, KY, Dara moved with her family from Denver, CO to Syracuse in 2008.

Infuse Laughter and Humor Into Your Life!

Sure, it’s fun to share a good laugh. But did you know it can actually improve your health? It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.

Research has shown that laughter has several important stress relieving benefits. Laughter can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view stressful difficulties as challenges. In addition:

  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

Infuse Laughter and Humor Into Your Life! (Click each item to find out how)

Going to a movie or a comedy club with friend, family or coworkers is a great way to get more laughter in your life. The contagious effects of laughter may mean you will laugh more than you otherwise would have during the show, and you will have jokes to reference later.

Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humor and laughter.

Try to laugh about some of life’s frustrations. If something is so frustrating or depressing it’s ridiculous, realize that you could ‘look back on it and laugh.’ Think of how it will sound as a story you could tell to your friends, and then see if you can laugh about it now. With this attitude, you may also find yourself being more lighthearted and silly, giving yourself and those around you more to laugh about.

Smiling is the beginning of laughter and like laughter, it’s contagious. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling. Instead of looking down at your phone, look up and smile at people you pass in the street, the person serving you a morning coffee, or the co-workers you share an elevator with. Notice the effect this has on others.


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Take action to manage stress

Photo: Some dominoes falling over and a hand stopping them, with standing dominoes behind the hand

Not all stress is bad. But chronic (ongoing) stress can lead to health problems. Being prepared and feeling in control of your situation might help lower your stress. Set goals that are reasonable to achieve.

You can help manage stress by:

  • Planning ahead
  • Deciding which tasks need to be done first
  • Taking time to relax
  • Getting active and eating healthy
  • Talking to friends and family

Take action! (Click on each item to find out how)

Relaxation is more than sitting in your favorite chair watching TV. To relieve stress, relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body. Some good forms of relaxation are yoga, tai chi (a series of slow, graceful movements), deep breathing and meditation.

Like most skills, relaxation takes practice. Many people join a class to learn and practice relaxation skills. (stay tuned for upcoming guided meditation and yoga opportunities offered in March and April!)

Develop a “stress relief toolbox”: Come up with a list of healthy ways to relax and recharge. Try to implement one or more of these ideas each day, even if you’re feeling good.

  • Go for a walk
  • Spend time in nature
  • Call a good friend
  • Sweat out tension with a workout
  • Write in your journal
  • Take a long bath
  • Light scented candles
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea
  • Play with a pet
  • Work in your garden
  • Get a massage
  • Curl up with a good book
  • Listen to music
  • Watch a comedy

There are many stressful situations — at work, at home, on the road and in public places. We may feel stress because of poor communication, too much work and everyday hassles like standing in line and traffic. Emergency stress stoppers help you deal with stress on the spot.

Try these emergency stress stoppers. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations and sometimes it helps to combine them.

  1. Count to 10 before you speak.
  2. Take three to five deep breaths.
  3. Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you will handle it later.
  4. Go for a walk.
  5. Do not be afraid to say, “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.
  6. Set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late.
  7. Break down big problems into smaller parts and prioritize the smaller parts in order of urgency or importance.
  8. Drive in the slow lane or avoid busy roads to help you stay calm while driving.
  9. Smell a rose, hug a loved one or smile at your neighbor.

Self-talk is one way to deal with stress. We all talk to ourselves; sometimes we talk out loud but usually we keep self-talk in our heads. Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “Things will work out”) or negative (“I’ll never get well” or “I’m so stupid”). Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk helps you relax and manage stress. With practice, you can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

  1. Listen to what you’re saying to yourself: We don’t always consciously take note of what we’re saying in our minds. The first step in improving your self-talk is to notice what your inner voice is saying. Is your self-talk mostly positive or mostly negative? Take some time each day to listen to, and even write down, what you’re thinking.
  2. Put negative stuff into a box: When we’re beating ourselves up, the tiniest mishap can turn into the largest disappointment. So the next time a negative thought comes to mind, take a few deep breaths and quickly put that thought into a tiny box in your head-this will help you see the actual size of the problem and make you feel more confident to take it on.
  3. There’s no place you can’t practice it: To help you feel better, practice positive self-talk every day — in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts.
  4. Put a better spin on it: Positive self-talk makes you feel good about yourself and the things that are going on in your life. A simple semantic tweak can actually change your outlook.
  5. Remember: Positive self-talk helps you relieve stress and deal with the situations that cause you stress. Turn the negative into a positive!
"I can't do this.""I'll do the best I can."
"Everything is going wrong.""I'm human, and we all make mistakes.”
"I hate it when this happens.""I know how to deal with this; I've done it before."
“I am so overwhelmed, there is just too much to do.”"I can handle things if I take one step at a time."

One of the biggest stressors for many people is lack of time. Their to-do list expands, while time flies. We all have the same 168 hours in a week, let’s use them the best way possible!

  1. Keep a to-do list: keep track of your daily list of tasks that need to be done, refer to it and update it regularly. Write down deadlines, emphasize key points.
  2. Prioritize: think ahead about how you are going to use your time. Figure out what’s most important – then do that thing first. Be realistic and set achievable goals.
  3. Break down tasks: if a task has multiple parts, break it down into those so you can accomplish them one step at a time.
  4. Develop a routine: try to do the same daily tasks at the same time each day, it will then become a regularly “scheduled” habit.
  5. Take regular breaks: get up and move around for a little bit every hour or so just to refresh you mind!
  6. Ask for help: Contact Carebridge WorkLife specialists, they can assist with more time management guidance/assistance.


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Stress is a normal part of life. But if your stress doesn’t go away or keeps getting worse, you may need help.

If you need help, please call Carebridge at 800-437-0911. Carebridge counselors may be reached 24/7 for confidential consultation, assessment, referrals, and counseling. If you are in crisis, please call Carebridge now. If you have immediate safety concerns, please call 911 or go to your closest hospital emergency room.