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Image by Byron Johnson

Origin Story

At the beginning of 2023, Life and Lingo Founder, Aaron Carey, discovered the New York Times bestselling book, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, written by John Koenig. The book is a compilation of over 400 neologisms (newly crafted words) used to label the strange, unusual, and niche thoughts and emotions that are universal to the human experience. While simultaneously searching for a creative outlet, Aaron began selecting words that resonated with his life and used them as prompts for exploratory writing. A vehicle for self-exploration, the process of writing about feelings that were previously difficult to articulated proved cathartic and in many ways, liberating. An example of one that has recently grown in popularity is sonder:

Sonder: The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own - populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness.

After a few months, it was evident that we all feel a weight off our shoulders when we are able to identify what we feel with precision, and given the space to unpack it. Numerous conversations with friends and family ensued, further demonstrating the power of such a simple model: emotion (and thought) identification, and subsequent exploration - particularly through writing. It serves as practice for thinking about things we don't usually consider, asking productive questions, and becoming more aware of ourselves and of those around us.

Fast forward to today, Life and Lingo is extracting the core elements of this model into a scalable tool and delivering it to the organizations and individuals fully engaged in supporting the wellness of those they serve. We are committed to being both a standalone tool as well as a powerful supplement to programs and clinical services to expand their benefits.

We are continuously guided by scientific evidence, and are eager to partner with mission-aligned organizations. If you're interested in having a conversation, let us know using the form below or reach out to 

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