On Tuesday, January 9, Dr. Matt Bellace visited Choate for a morning of comedy, science, and positivity. Dr. Bellace, a psychologist, motivational speaker and comedian with a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology, is the author of A Better High which encourages young people to get high in natural, safe, and positive ways. He takes a refreshing new approach by focusing on finding ways to feel good without turning to drug or alcohol abuse, all while keeping a positive, humorous outlook.
Introduced by Dean of Students James Stanley, Bellace deftly used a combination of science and comedy in his presentation, explaining the science behind a natural high. He demonstrated some of his theories through fun and engaging group interactions, ranging from guessing students' favorite hobbies to inviting students to discuss the emotions behind popular songs.
Bellace chooses not to use fear tactics in his presentations, he says, "because they don't work." Rather than lecturing about the dangers and consequences of using drugs and alcohol, he spoke about finding better ways to feel good. He emphasized that young people, who often feel more stressed, should learn to lean on healthy people for support and to find healthy emotional outlets. Rather than shying away from pain, he said students should find productive outlets for their stress and frustration, stating that "the most beautiful waves come from the biggest storms."