Brain-Based Secret to Mental Wellbeing for Teens

Amen University
Brain-Based Secret to Mental Wellbeing for Teens

Help Your Brain Thrive by 25 With Dr. Amen’s Digital Course

It’s no secret that teens and young adults are facing multiple crises right now. Some of these include academic pressures, career decisions, skyrocketing mental health problems, relationship dynamics, global concerns about the climate, divisive political discourse….the list goes on. Lacking focus, being stressed and anxious, or feeling mentally foggy doesn’t help.

In fact, it can be overwhelming to navigate what feels like a minefield of obstacles. With all of these things going on, prioritizing your mental health and achieving peak performance can feel impossible.

But it’s not impossible.

You can improve your outlook and supercharge your performance. The secret lies in enhancing your brain health. That’s because your brain is involved in everything you think, feel, and do.

You can discover how to pump up your brain power using practical strategies and science-based techniques in Brain Thrive by 25, one of Amen University’s digital courses. Developed by Dr. Daniel Amen, a renowned psychiatrist and bestselling author, and Dr. Jesse Payne, this on-demand course unveils the secrets of brain science to empower teens and young adults. 

This exploration into how the brain develops helps you learn how to navigate the tumultuous seas of young adulthood while providing clarity, resilience, and purpose. Let’s dive into some areas of the course that can help you leverage brain science to equip young adults with the tools they need to thrive.



In the first lessons of this course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of the brain, including: 

  • 8 essential brain facts about the brain
  • Demystifying the brain’s complexities 
  • Laying the groundwork for deeper understanding of the brain

Moreover, young people will learn how to translate this newfound knowledge into practical applications to build brain-healthy daily habits. Dr. Amen’s course has engaging exercises to help you distinguish between healthy and unhealthy brain patterns. 

You’ll learn about the remarkable changes that happen in your brain before the age of 25. This period is known as the “critical window” characterized by rapid development and heightened neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to change and rewire itself in response to experience and learning. 

During this time, the brain is particularly sensitive to its environment. The habits you adopt as a teen and young adult have a lasting impact—either positive or negative—on your developing brain. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize brain healthy habits and mental wellness.

Brain Thrive by 25 recognizes the unique need for cognitive abilities, emotional regulation, and decision-making skills in young adults. 


To help teens and young adults assimilate the material, this Dr. Amen course offers a suite of helpful tools, including:

  • Downloadable guided notes to help you remember each lesson
  • Brain in the News downloads that encourage you to find news articles related to the brain
  • Targeted strategies and activities to put the lesson material into action
  • Videos of a teen panel of young people who discuss each lesson and what they learned from it
  • A quiz for each lesson to make sure you’ve grasped the information

These resources make it easier to learn the material and incorporate it into your daily life. 


Youth mental wellness and peak performance starts with understanding your brain systems. Lessons 3 through 5 of the Brain Thrive by 25 course explore the intricate systems of the brain and how they influence behavior, emotions, and cognitive function. 

By getting to know the underlying neurobiology, you can gain valuable insights into your thought processes and learn practical techniques to enhance brain health. The brain systems you’ll dive into include:

  • Prefrontal cortex (the CEO)—responsible for executive functions like planning, decision-making, and impulse control 
  • Anterior cingulate gyrus (the Gearshifter)—involved in cognitive flexibility that allows you to go from one thought to another and seamlessly switch between tasks 
  • Basal ganglia (the Autopilot)—involved in habit formation and setting the body’s anxiety level
  • Deep limbic system (the Emotional brain)—regulates emotions and mood

With a simple-to-remember breakdown of each section, this course offers a comprehensive look at the brain's inner workings in an easy-to-understand way. You’ll learn the problems that can arise when brain activity levels are too low or too high, including mental health problems, such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety and depression, and OCD.

Dr. Amen's course empowers you to create better habits for your lifestyle to support cognitive resilience and better emotional balance.


Substance abuse and exposure to toxins can profoundly impact brain health, especially during the formative years as teens and young adults. In Lesson 6, Dr. Amen shares how alcohol, drugs, and environmental toxins impact the development and function of the brain. 

He also provides a few reasons why young people may use substances, such as: 

  • Having experienced a head injury (even a mild one that didn’t cause you to black out)
  • Genetic vulnerability 
  • To decrease social anxiety
  • Generational/parental behaviors
  • Self-medicating undiagnosed mental health issues like depression and anxiety

Brain Thrive by 25 sheds light on how to spot the damaging effects of these substances and provides evidence-based strategies to mitigate the risks. By raising awareness of why young people use drugs and alcohol, you can help yourself or loved ones make more informed choices moving forward.


Whether you’re struggling in school, at work, or in building a social life, it all depends on your brain. Your thoughts determine your behavior, which leads to how well you perform in those areas of your life. When it comes to youth mental wellness, it can be difficult to identify what areas are opportunities for growth or obstacles that hinder you. 

In Brain Thrive By 25, Dr. Amen and Dr. Payne share practical ways young people can excel in these areas by improving focus and concentration to foster healthy communication, strengthening interpersonal skills, and optimizing cognitive function.



You’ll find out about the key role that proper nutrition and stress management play in your brain health in Lesson 11. You’ll get science-backed recommendations for food and supplements that help manage stress and support a better mood. 

There are three key areas to balancing a healthy lifestyle: 

  • A balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress-reduction techniques, such as mindfulness meditation

If you’re already eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, it may seem like a no-brainer. Additionally, regular exercise releases endorphins to boost your mood and reduce stress levels. 

Once these things become a habit, stress-reduction techniques can help quiet the mind and promote relaxation. From brain-boosting foods to relaxation techniques, there are so many natural ways to nourish your brain to promote better youth mental wellness and success in every aspect of life.

With all the information and tools in this course, teens and young adults will be on the path to a better brain and a better life.

If you’re a teen or young adult or have one in your life who could use this digital course, it’s time to sign up! Brain Thrive by 25 is an on-demand course taught by Dr. Daniel Amen, a board-certified psychiatrist and founder of Amen Clinics, and professor Dr. Jesse Payne.