A Better High: The Science of Natural Highs
Featured expert: Matt Bellace
This powerful and entertaining presentation focuses on natural highs, emotional resilience and mental health. It has been described as the perfect combination of stand-up comedy, interactive demonstrations and inspirational stories. Matt empowers students to be leaders in their lives and make changes in their environment. During the program, he also shares his own story of student prevention leadership, as the founder of a nationally recognized student group at Bucknell University.
- Understand some basic science behind natural highs, such as running, laughing and helping others.
- Be able to identify their own natural highs and the value of using them to cope with stress.
- Understand the importance of having friends who are alcohol, tobacco and drug free.
- Be able to discuss the effects of vaping, binge drinking and marijuana use on the developing brain.
- Have fun and associate having fun with prevention in high school.
Since 1995, Matt Bellace, Ph.D., has been a professional speaker and stand-up comedian. His programs encourage over a hundred thousand students and adults each year to pursue natural highs (e.g. laughter, meditation) and be resilient in the face of stress.
Dr. Bellace has a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology, which is the study of the brain and behavior. He worked at the National Institutes of Mental Health, and completed his internship at the traumatic brain and spinal cord units at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. His dissertation focused on the neurological underpinnings of emotional memory and published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.
He’s the author of the best-selling book, A Better High: Laugh, Help, Run, Love and Other Ways to Get Naturally High. His most recent book is focused on healthy ways to cope with pain, loss and failure, titled Life Is Disappointing and Other Inspiring Thoughts.
He’s a contributing author for the National Geographic Kids and was featured in the documentary Voices of Hope and Recovery. He was also a recurring comedian on truTV’s “World’s Dumbest.” For seven years, he regularly performed stand-up comedy in clubs and colleges across the country, including appearances at Gotham Comedy Club and Caroline’s on Broadway in New York City and the famed Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.
As an undergraduate at Bucknell University, Matt founded a student prevention organization named C.a.l.v.i.n. & H.o.b.b.e.s. Over 25 years later, it is the oldest student group on campus, providing substance-free events every weekend of the school year. In 1995, the trustees of Bucknell approved funding to refurbish a former fraternity house for the group to reside. U.S. News and World Report heralded the move, noting, “How times have changed.” Bucknell President, William “Bro” Adams referred to the group as “revolutionary.”
He currently lives in Princeton, NJ and enjoys pursuing natural highs with his wife and two children.
Email Founder & CEO, Laura Stack, at [email protected].