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Hope box/Happy box

A hope box (or a whatever-you’d-like-to-call-it box) is a place to put special memory items or little trinkets, such as photos of an important day, concert or train tickets, gifts or notes that friends or family have given, or even receipts for things you’d like to remember enjoying. You could put in letters from your friends with words of encouragement, or birthday cards from loved ones. Some people might like to include smells that make them happy, such as a perfume tester or some dried lavender.

Whether it’s a stress toy that calms you down or an emergency chocolate bar, anything that helps you feel better in a moment of need can go inside. You can find guidance on how to create a hope box online from organisations such as Papyrus UK and Box of Hope and there are also virtual hope box apps available.


There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.

Did this activity help your mental wellbeing?

If yes, why do you think it helped?

What would you say to other young people who are thinking of trying this?