How to deal with mixed emotions

Having mixed emotions is really common. But sitting with ‘opposite’ feelings can be pretty confusing. This lesson encourages students to reflect on what it means to have mixed emotions, and to identify coping strategies and support options for dealing with them.

Year Level




60 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making

Learning Intention

Students will learn what mixed emotions are, strategies they can use to cope with them and support options they can turn to if they need extra help.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand that having mixed emotions is normal and valid
  • identify coping strategies that can help them to manage their mixed emotions
  • identify sources of support when mixed emotions become overwhelming.
activity 01

Class discussion: Understanding mixed emotions 15 min

  1. As a class, watch the ReachOut video Ask a therapist: Dealing with mixed emotions.
  2. After watching the video, discuss the following questions as a class:
    • What does it mean to have mixed emotions?
    • Why do mixed emotions feel challenging for some people?
    • Are mixed emotions okay? Why or why not?
  3. If students are comfortable doing so, ask for volunteers to share times when they’ve felt conflicting emotions or had mixed feelings about a situation.