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Directed by Tiffany Shlain

Featured on ABC's Good Morning America

 Watch the new 10-minute short film + sign up for free discussion questions



The Teen Brain is available with closed captioned in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. Click the CC icon above (next to the volume button) to access.

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Directed by Emmy-nominated director Tiffany Shlain and executive produced by Goldie Hawn and MindUP, The Teen Brain is a new 10-minute short film that explores what's happening in the teenage brain, illuminating that teenagers are emotionally brilliant super-learners with brains that are undergoing rapid and significant remodeling and development. Based on the latest research on adolescence, and showcasing both teens and doctors and psychologists, The Teen Brain offers tools to stay balanced and navigate the powerful adolescent years.

​To book a talk with Tiffany Shlain about the film, write to

"Twenty years ago, I created the MindUP program to help children in schools self-regulate and learn about their brain to help them with improved mental health and emotional literacy for a better future. We were honored to recently be highlighted by the CDC as one of the programs in schools that is working. I have wanted to create a film on the adolescent brain because it’s important for our teens, parents and educators to understand that being a teen is an extraordinary time to be alive. I asked filmmaker Tiffany Shlain to make this film about The Teen Brain as I loved her other films on neuroscience. Tiffany Shlain has brought this dream to life and I am forever grateful for her brilliance. We are both so excited to get these ideas to teens and all the adults who support them. "- Goldie Hawn



The Center for Parent and Teen Communication helps parents raise teens prepared to thrive. Adolescence is a time of opportunity and parents matter more than ever. We strive to ensure every caring adult has the knowledge and skills to promote positive youth development and foster strong family connections. Sign up for their newsletter to gain practical tips for parenting teens today!


The Digital Wellness Lab is a nonprofit research center seeking to understand and promote positive and healthy digital media experiences for young people, from birth through young adulthood. Our work is focused on developing an evidence base for digital wellness by conducting, translating, and distributing, rigorous research on the positive and negative effects of technology and interactive media use on young people to inform our progress towards positive health and development for every child, teen, and young adult. Find out more.


SWELL ensures that teens thrive as they navigate the swells of adolescence by reimagining wellness at schools. They partner with schools to build Wellness Centers and health initiatives that give every student access to the tools, resources and support they need for healthy development and social emotional wellness.


Untangling 10to20 is Dr. Lisa Damour's digital subscription offering a constantly expanding library of video content and articles for parents, caregivers, and teens. Dr. Damou's goal is to share just-in-time advice and research-backed guidance that addresses the big and small challenges of family life. Browse all sorts of topics and find out more here.


Our core research for The Teen Brain came from Ellen Galinsky's new book The Breakthrough Years, as well as other neuroscientists, psychologists, doctors and researchers all listed below in the credits. Here are some of their books.  



Directed by Tiffany Shlain

Executive Produced by Goldie Hawn and MindUP

Written by Tiffany Shlain, Sawyer Steele, and Jenny Traig


Produced by Sawyer Steele and Tiffany Shlain


Animations by Una Lorenzen

Edited by Arne Johnson and Sawyer Steele

Interviews by Arne Johnson and Tiffany Shlain

Sound Design and Mix: Dave Nelson, Outpost Studios

Dialogue Editing: Miik Dinko


Camera: Shane King

Color Correction: Robert Arnold

Animated Brain Artwork: Norman Galinsky

A huge thank you to the teens who contributed their wisdom and insights:​

Aafiya Shaik
Ahmed Othman
Anna Kornfeld
Blooma Goldberg
Caspar Cheung
Charles Miles
Claire Cameron
Desmond Isaias Bekele
G Gershoni
Gabriel Stern

Haraldur Johnson
Imani Joy Jarldin Hartsough Jacqueline Wong
Jason Tan

Joshua Soriano
Katelyn Wong
Kathy Zhao
Kenneth Hernandez
Kit Kulina
Lucy Bues
Marianne Irving
Maya Windholm
Maya Dostal
Mia Issa
Natalie Martinez
Sanaa Green
Solenne Jackson
Stephanie Sertana

And the adolescent psychologists, doctors, and researchers who contributed their expertise.

Brian Galla, PhD
Associate Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology Research Scientist at
University of Pittsburgh School of Education


Cara Natterrson, MD

Pediatrician, author, founder of Order of Magnitude

Dan Siegel, MD

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and founding co-director of Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA School of Medicine


Ed Harrold

Author, educator specializing in breath work

Ellen Galinsky, MS

Author and President of Families and Work Institute (FWI),
Author of The Breakthrough Years: A New Scientific Framework for Raising Thriving Teens


James Doty, MD

Adjunct Professor, Medicine, Stanford  


Jessica Colvin MSW, MPH, PPSC

Founder, SWELL - Schools Well; TUHSD Wellness Director

Expert leader in developing School Wellness Centers


Ken Ginsburg, MD, MSEd

Founding Director of Center for Parent Teen Communication 
Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Author of Congrats You're Having A Teen!: Strengthen Your Family and Raise a Good Person


Lisa Damour, PhD
Clinical psychologist and author specializing in the development of adolescent girls, Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University

Author of The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

McKenna Becker

Writer, researcher, and consultant for brain injury survivors


Michael Rich MD, MPH

Director & Founder, Digital Wellness Lab and Pediatrician, Adolescent Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital; Author of The Mediatrician's Guide: A Joyful Approach to Raising Healthy, Smart, Kind Kids in a Screen-Saturated World


Rhana Hashemi, PhD Candidate
PhD student in Social Psychology at Stanford University Founder of Know Drugs



Richard J. Davidson, PhD

Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ronald Dahl, MD

Professor in the Community Health Sciences/Joint Medical Program UC Berkeley School of Public Health; Founding Director Center for the Developing Adolescent


Sophia Yen, MD, MPH

Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at  Stanford University


Vanessa Kroll Bennett

Eduacator, Author of This Is So Awkward 


Velma McBride Murry, PhD

University Distinguished Professor of Human and Organizational Development,

Vanderbilt University

A special thank you to

Angela Duckworth
Annie Roney
Bara Blechova
Ben Cleaveland
Blooma Goldberg
Carole Lewis
Carrie Patterson
Cati Johnson
Chris Plutte
Christine Dewey
Devin Steele
Erin Schrode
Iris Renoux
Jackie Bezos
Jenifer Joy Madden
Jeremiah Grant
Jordan Steele
JR Tremlbay
Ken Goldberg

Kristin Cooney
Leonard Shlain
Lisa Cohen
Maizie Hamilton
Marilyn Fabe
Melissa Schlinger
Mike Bezos
M.J. Bogatin
Nicole Lanzotti
Odessa Golberg
Peter Jobst
Rachel Mickey
Richard Lee
Roxann Melville
Sabrina Braham, MD
Sam Mickey
Shane King
Solenne Jackson
Winter Johnson


The Science of Character (8 mins) explores the neuroscience and social science that shows we can develop -- in ourselves and in others -- strengths like grit, gratitude, creativity, optimism, bravery, and self-control.

30,000 Days (11 mins) explores the 3,000 year history of humans across cultures thinking about how to live a meaningful and purposeful life.

The Adaptable Mind (11 mins) explores the skills we need to flourish in today's world.  And that these skills — curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy — happen to be skills that machines don’t have; only humans have. 

Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks (10 mins) illuminates new research on how to best nurture children’s brains, and examines fascinating parallels between a child’s brain development and the development of the global brain of the Internet.

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