The Food and Feelings Workbook

A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health

by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed

Emotional Do and Don't Lists

Excerpt from The Food and Feelings Workbook


  • allow myself to be vulnerable with people I trust
  • fully experience every emotion
  • be open and accepting of all my emotions
  • be curious rather than judgmental about my emotions
  • use people to comfort me when I feel badly, instead of focusing on food
  • let my emotions come and go as they please without fear
  • populate my inner circle with intimates who are emotionally mature and healthy
  • take my time and figure out exactly what I'm feeling
  • use my feelings along with my judgment to help me reach my goals, eating and otherwise


  • pretend I don't feel anything when I do
  • ignore or minimize painful feelings
  • believe that anyone knows better than I do what I'm feeling
  • let people shame or humiliate me for having or expressing feelings
  • avoid feelings because they make me uncomfortable
  • worry about my feelings making me fall apart
  • be so concerned about hurting other people's feelings
  • focus on food when I'm experiencing a painful emotion
  • be hard on myself if I take a while to get the hang of this emotions thing
  • dwell on my feelings after they've given me the information I need to make changes in my life

Imagine if you could succeed in doing everything on this Do list and avoid doing everything on this Don't list. You can!