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Dread Without Words – Gallery

Ten Percent Happier
November 15, 2022
Podcast Transcript

Yesterday we journaled about our dread. Today we’re going to see what happens when we express the overwhelming feeling of dread without words. It’s Day Two of The Dread Project Challenge, a five-day series that investigates an emotion so many of us are struggling with lately – from our dread of the next Zoom meeting to worries that have life-and-death stakes. Each day of the challenge, we tackle dread in a different way, and offer you a fun exercise for feeling a little better, even when you’re anticipating the worst. 

In this episode, we’ll talk with Clinical Art Therapist Naomi Cohen-Thompson and Meditation Teacher & Writer Jeff Warren about how visualizing, and sometimes even drawing, can help us accept the stuff that scares us. 

Today’s Challenge - Estimated Time 5 minutes:

Grab a piece of paper and whatever drawing implement you have handy - pen, pencil, Sharpie, crayon, magic marker - and let your hand start moving as you draw. Ask yourself: What does my dread look like? And then let the pen do the rest. 

You might already have a picture of dread in your mind, or you might not know how it looks until you start letting your hand move across the page. You can make this drawing as simple or as complex as you want - scribbles, doodles, and stick figures are very welcome. This exercise is not about thinking too much. It’s just about the process of expressing your dread without needing to put words to it. When you’re done, take note of how you feel when you look at your drawing. If it amuses you, you could even try sticking it up on the wall near your work space, or by the bathroom mirror, to help it feel welcome, instead of like an enemy you want to reject, resist, or hide from.

Please share how this Dread Project Challenge, “Dread Without Words,” went for you by sending us a voice memo at You can find instructions in our FAQ about how to record one. Don’t forget to say your name and where you’re from. You may hear yourself on an episode! Please send us some photos of your dread drawings, too. We’d love to see them!

And be sure to follow More Than A Feeling on Twitter at @podfeelings.

Explore some examples below of our attempts to draw our own dread here at More Than A Feeling.

Where to Find Today’s Guests:

Naomi Cohen-Thompson:

Jeff Warren:

Additional Resources:

If digging into dread is very difficult or intense for you, some additional resources that could help are listed below.

Search for a therapist: 

Mental Health Resources:


If you are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, please click here, text 741741, or call 988.