Betsy Hanger

“Release” Original Film on Middle School Anxiety

Watch the whirlwind lives of middle school students as they describe their everyday pressures. In this poignant, tender film, they learn the gentle skills of mindful attention and begin to release the grip of stress and anxiety. “Release” was created by one of our graduates, Julie Bayer Salzman. Please watch and share — the world needs to see it.

Message from the Filmmaker:

“Release” is the 2nd in our series of Mindful Shorts, and it focuses on stress and anxiety as experienced by middle school kids. 70% of middle school students today report feeling “stressed out” — an alarming figure, and a sign that something must be done to help kids manage the sense of overwhelm and frustration they experience so that they can blossom into young adults who are equipped to navigate their way through life’s challenges in a positive, productive way. We hope this film in some small way helps not just kids, but everyone who suffers from the toxic effects of stress and anxiety.

A very different approach than its predecessor “Just Breathe” (which focused on anger in elementary school kids), “Release” was designed to be more visceral/experiential. We wanted to visually communicate the differences between calm and anxious states of mind/body, so that viewers could truly relate to those experiences while simultaneously benefiting from a basic lesson in mindful awareness.

Our intention is to continue this series of short films, climbing up through the ages and the corresponding mental/habitual states of mind that commonly arise in each stage of life (i.e. Depression in High School, Trauma in College, Addiction in Mid-Life, Grief in Later Years), with each film probing deeper and deeper into Mindfulness.

If you share our passion, please share this film. And please also consider donating to the film series, as we cannot continue to make these films without financial support. For more information, please visit Wavecrest Films or email Julie directly at julie@wavecrestfilms.com.

Many thanks for reading and watching, and above all, for your support!

Julie completed Mindful Schools’ 6-week Mindfulness Fundamentals course. She was inspired by her practice to create this series of short films.


Founded in 2007, Mindful Schools trains educators to integrate mindfulness into their work with children. Educators trained by Mindful Schools have impacted over 750,000 students worldwide. You can learn more about our online course offerings, Mindfulness Fundamentals and Mindful Educator Essentials, and our Year-Long Certification at mindfulschools.org.

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