top of page

Burned Out? There’s one simple thing you can do for more energy, right now.

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

You've got way more energy and power inside you than you're accessing at the moment.

And you know it.

You're burned out, on edge, and likely not living the life you dreamed.

What I know to be true is this: heart-centered high achievers like you are different. Most people want to shuffle things off their plate, get the bare minimum done, and rinse and repeat the next day (yeah, I don't get it either).

But you're not like most people. You don't want "more off your plate" want to accomplish more of the right things. Things that bring you joy, excitement, and make a difference in this world (now that I get).

You've got it in you. You know it. And I know it too.

I'm going to teach you one simple technique to free you from the sludge and drudge that's weighing you down - and can do so permanently. It's not a magic elixir, it's a spiritual practice and a spiritual promise: you have way more inside of you than you're currently accessing - more energy, more freedom, more power.

You just need some help getting to those resources within.

So let's get started.

Freedom from burn out.

Today, I'm going show you how to take the internet sensation “The Feeling Wheel” and turn it into a tool you can use anywhere, anytime to boost your energy, here I...

  1. Show you what it is

  2. Tell you why it works

  3. Show you how to actually use it (others just give it to you)

  4. Tell you WHEN to use it (others don’t do this)

  5. Give you 1 super easy trick on how to incorporate it into your daily routine

When you're finished, you'll have a tool you can use forever.

You'll have more control over your reactions and your circumstances, fostering better relationships and better results at work and home.

Sound good? Cool.

Let's start with what The Feeling Wheel is.

1. What The Feeling Wheel Is

The Feeling Wheel, a now internet sensation, has been around since the 1980s. First created by therapist Dr. Gloria Willcox in 1982, she designed it as a visual tool to help couples in her counseling sessions. She wanted a way to help them identify and express their feelings to result in better therapeutic outcomes. This was it.

I'll tell you now that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations of The Feeling Wheel. This is because the wheel has had wild popularity in settings both inside and outside of therapy (places like schools, individual therapy, behavioral cognitive therapy, schools and parenting) - everyone with their own spin. Don't be distracted by that! We're working with the ever-effective classic version.

This version is the place to start. It's simple, symmetrical and most importantly can get you results right away.

Whoa, I know it's a lot - don't get overwhelmed! This is going to help you work magic. I'll show you how. Keep going!

The Feeling Wheel
The Feeling Wheel (Dr. Willcox)

How it's constructed.

Let's first look at how The Feeling Wheel is constructed. I'll break it down:

In the center of the wheel are 6 core emotions:

Joyful, Mad, Peaceful, Powerful, Sad, Scared

Don't worry if you think there should be more than 6. Ignore the thought if you're thinking "Oh, I would have added a different emotion". Focus on the fact that the center emotions represent 6 core emotions you can likely relate to without having to give it much thought.

This is the exact place you need to be.

Moving out into the middle band, you'll find more nuanced emotions. Here in this middle band, you see 36 more emotions to describe those 6 core.

Examples on that middle band include: Angry, Helpful, Energetic, Respected, Loving, Depressed.

Again, do not worry if those are not the exact emotions you'd choose or if you'd add more. Instead, focus on the fact that that middle band has 36 more emotions that are arguably more nuanced than the core 6.

You might think of this as "drilling down" from the original core.

Lastly, moving to the outer band there are even more emotions listed. 36 more, to be exact. Again, do not worry if these aren't the exact emotions you'd write. Do not worry if you think some are missing. Instead, take away that you now have 36 more emotions than you did before.

You now have a total of 73 emotions to play with.


You've completed how The Feeling Wheel is constructed.

You learned there are 6 core emotions.

36 more in the middle band.

36 more in the outer band.

You have a total of 73 emotions to play with.

Below, you'll discover the science behind why these nuances matter.

You'll learn why recognizing and naming these nuances can help you feel more in control, relaxed, and in better relationships at work and home.

You're doing great. Let's move on to what the wedges of The Feeling Wheel are all about.

What the wedges in The Feeling Wheel mean.

The wheel is broken into 6 wedges. Think of it like your favorite pie cut into six equal slices (YUM!).

Or if you're familiar with the game of Trivial Pursuit, think of The Feeling Wheel sections like the iconic game piece - a round plastic object with colored wedges inside.

The Center

The six big wedges (or pie slices) all hold one category of emotion. One wedge is Sad, one is Peaceful and so on.

Using our pie analogy, we have one pie with 6 different flavors. One slice, for example, is the flavor Mad. And if you take a bite of it, you may taste the nuanced flavors of jealousy or anger.

Another slice is the Joy slice - where upon experiencing joy, you may notice some notes of cheerfulness or fascination.

And so it goes around the wheel for all 6 wedges.

Awesome work!

You completed learning about the wedges (or "slices").

There are 6 slices.

Each slice has one emotion or "flavor" associated with it.

The slice has all the feelings for that core feeling.

So when you take a bite of that Mad slice, you might find you actually got a bite of jealousy!

Let's take a look at those colors and how they can help.

What the colors on The Feeling Wheel mean

- and most importantly -

what they do for you.

Here's how the colors benefit you:

The colors buy you time between your instinct to REACT and your choice to ACT. Stick with me.

At the end of the day, you're reacting to what you're feeling - not what another person is doing.

When you give yourself the gift of space between your feeling and your REACTION, magic happens. You get to choose. YOU get to decide how to behave next.

I'll show you how this works:

Each wedge - or pie piece - has one color.

In our wheel, the Sad wedge, for example, is colored entirely blue.

Mad is colored entirely reddish.

Powerful = yellow

Peaceful = green

Scared = brown

Joyful = pink

One set of emotions is equal to one color set.

When you're feeling big emotions, but don't have the words for the feeling yet, the coloring helps you quickly recognize a feeling at a glance.

In some cultures "Seeing Red" is another way of saying "Mad" or "Feeling blue" is another way of saying "Sad". Colors can help you identify the set of feelings without having to read the words.

It's a simple shortcut.

And one that buys you time.

When you buy yourself time, you buy a choice instead of settling for a reaction.

Simply put, you're way more free.

Yes you did!

You learned about the colors on the wheel, specifically...

Each wedge has one color associated with it.

The colors are a short cut into recognizing feelings quickly.

The colors can buy you time to act instead of react.

Now, let's me show you what the color saturation is all about:

What the color saturation on The Feeling Wheel means - and how to use it.

You already know that each wedge has a color assigned to it.

Within that wedge, the saturation - or the shades - of the colors vary. The saturation:

  • Of the core color in the center is the darkest.

  • In the middle band is lighter than the core.

  • In the outer band is the lightest.

A simple and quick way to use this is to think of the core feeling - the most saturated one - as the most intense. It is raw. It is core. For example, Mad is a deep reddish color.

Continuing with Mad as our example, hostile is a feeling in the next band. The feeling of hostile may be harder to pinpoint than Mad - it may even be less "intense feeling" than Mad. The associated color is lighter than Mad.

Going even further to the last band, the feeling of sarcastic is perhaps an even more nuanced description of the core feeling Mad. Its reddish color is even lighter.

The saturation of the colors can help you identify feelings that are more tricky to pinpoint. The deeply saturated ones in the center are likely more recognizable. I'll show you specific techniques on using these to your advantage.


You learned about the saturation of the colors.

The core feelings have the deepest colors - the most saturated. These feelings are often the most intense.

The center band is comprised of a lighter shade. These feelings may be more tricky to pinpoint. The lighter color helps you notice the feelings that are more elusive.

The last band is the lightest. Those emotions may be even more elusive. The light saturation points you to where the nuanced emotions are.

Awesome work! Let's go to some science behind why The Feeling Wheel works in helping you feel more fee.

2. The Reason The Feeling Wheel Works

As humans, we all feel and experience a wide range of emotions. You know this. But you - you really know this.

As a heart-centered high achiever, you feel deeply...I mean DEEPLY.

Your emotions are in your whole body, surface to core, head to toe.

You know deep within that feeling this intensely is not wrong and you are not alone. Yet, it feels like you are.

Of course it does.

The world tells you, time and time again, (these are both lies by the way) that "you are wrong" and "you are alone" - messages like...

"Get over it."

"Move on."

"You need thick skin"

"Man up"

"Stop being a sissy"

Or they always-direct, always soul-crushing: "What is WRONG with you?"

Spoiler. Nothing is wrong with you.

Instead of shoving all those feelings down (and why wouldn't you, you're conditioned to), we're going to do this differently.

You don't need to change anyone else. You don't even need to change YOU. Using The Feeling Wheel to name your emotions can work miracles. It can help you be less reactive, be more in control, and act instead of react.

Here's science to prove it:

This study looked at people who were able to differentiate their emotions with a high level of specificity (remember those 73 emotions we can now use?!?) had positive outcomes:

...people high in emotion differentiation have been found less likely to drink excessively when stressed immediately prior to an upcoming drinking episode (Kashdan, Ferssizidis, Collins, & Muraven, 2010; Kashdan, Barrett, & McKnight, 2015)


...are less likely to react aggressively against someone who has hurt them (Pond et al., 2012).


Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that training individuals to expand their emotion vocabulary and use it in a flexible way can help to them to regulate their emotions more effectively (Kircanski, Lieberman, & Craske, 2012).

And lastly...

"The ability to identify one’s own emotions and those of others is a skill that is related to emotional intelligence (Salovey & Mayer, 1990)."

Enough proof? Awesome. Let's get to using it.

3. HOW To Use The Feeling Wheel (others just give it to you)

My favorite way to use the wheel is by starting in the center.

I call it the Inside Out method.

This is a method that you can come back to time and time again, it is not just for beginners, but this is where beginners should start.

Ashley' Favorite
My Inside Out Method

Step 1:

Open up The Feeling Wheel

Step 2:

Take a breath. Move your body just a little bit if you're able. A gentle shift of the shoulders. A little wobble of the hips (I do love my wobble cushion*)

Step 3:

Start in the center...

If you're working with a digital copy, literally zoom the image into the core 6 feelings.

If you're working with a paper copy, focus on the 6 feelings in the middle.

Step 4:

Answer for yourself: does one emotion resonate most with me at this moment?

If you're not accustomed to tuning into your body or emotions quickly, pick one emotion and ask yourself "Do I feel _______?"

It may seem ridiculous to ask yourself a question. It may seem absurd that you NEED to ask yourself if you're feeling something so basic.

Stick with it.

Visit each of the 6 core emotions until you find one that resonates most with how you're feeling.

Using our pie analogy, choose the slice that's right for you!

Step 5:

Read the words in the middle band of that core emotion. Using our Mad example, ask yourself:

Do I feel Hurt? Hostile? Angry? Selfish? Hateful? Critical?

Which one most accurately describes your feeling?

Don't get caught in your head.

Don't argue that you feel all of it (feeling more than one thing at a time IS a thing! Just don't focus on that at the moment)

Can you simply pick one that feels like it resonates most?

Take a pause here.

Check in with yourself.

Take a breath.

If you're ready to keep going, move to 6.

If not, breathe again.

Wait until you are ready.

Then on to six!

Step 6:

Move out to the last band (the crust of the pie wedge)

Ask yourself:

Do I feel Distant? Sarcastic? Frustrated? Jealous? Irritated? Skeptical?

If you're ready to name your next emotion - do it.

If you're not ready, notice how you're responding:

Are you arguing with the wheel? Overthinking? Deflecting?

That's all okay - those can be ways to avoid feelings.

Most of us are so practiced at avoiding.

Simply take a breath. Name the feeling and move to step 7.

Step 7

I call this catch and release.

Now that you named your core feelings, this practice will help them move through you, not stay with you.


Breathe in through your nose for a count of 3.

Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 6.

Repeat this 3 times.

Your in-breath length can vary each time, just make sure your out-breath is 2x as long as your in-breath.

You don't need to imagine anything while you do this. You don't need to breathe anything specific in our out.

Just breathe.

Next up - last step.

Step 8:

Take action

Now that you named your feelings (BRAVO YOU), you've prepared your body to move them through you (not stick with you) - I want you to write down one tiny action you will take. Here are some great examples:

- Identify if you want MORE or LESS of that emotion (simply choose "more" or "less")

- Notice in your body how the emotion you identified feels in your body - does your jaw tighten? Does your face smile?

- Tick off on a sheet of paper how many times in a day you feel that emotion

You're not trying to fix or change anything (you don't actually need fixing or changing). What you're doing is identifying the emotion, being open to being with it and then let it flow, and being willing to take action.

More advanced methods - such as the Outside In Method and Find a Friend methods will be in separate posts.

4. WHEN To Use The Feeling Wheel (others don’t do this)

You want choice. You want to reduce your reactivity. You want better relationships.

These are 3 requisite scenarios for using The Feeling Wheel. In other words, when these scenarios happen, get The Feeling Wheel out - stat!

1. When you are in a do-loop with your partner, children, or coworker.

In other words, you find yourself having THAT conversation all over again.

You know the conversation. The one that starts with your saying:

"I've asked you 100 times to..." "You never listen to me..." "Why can't you..."

If you're reading this, you have awareness that you want to behave differently.

That is HUGE!

Celebrate that.

Now, instead of going on autopilot and playing the same scene over and over, you have a choice.

This time, take a breath.

Say "Give me just a minute"

"Give me just a minute to get centered" "I need a moment" "I need to use the bathroom"

Give yourself space and do the Inside Out method above.

2. When you're biting your tongue.

You know what I mean - your body is experiencing all sorts of emotions. Yet for whatever reasons, you keep your mouth shut. Maybe it's to keep the peace. Maybe it's to avoid hurting someone. Maybe you don't have the words at the ready. It doesn't matter why you bit your tongue. What matters is this: when you find yourself holding back, for whatever reason…

Now is the time to pull out The Feeling Wheel!

If you're on a Zoom meeting, pull out your phone with The Feeling Wheel on it, keep the phone hidden where no one can see it.

If you're in person or in a crowd, step away and pull it out.

If you're in a 1:1 situation, excuse your self to the bathroom or say you need to address something quickly, you'll be right back.

Give yourself space and do the Inside Out method above.

3. When your feelings are BIG

You just feel something rumbling.

You feel something big.

Maybe you want to cry and are used to suppressing it.

Maybe you want to avoid the feeling at all costs.

See if you can just breathe and turn to the Inside Out method above.

5. One Super Easy Trick To Incorporate It Into Your Daily Routine

This is the super simplest trick. I swear by it.

To achieve better results at work and home.

More freedom, more choice, and more control over your circumstances.

It is so simple do not let this fool you or pass you by.

Have The Feeling Wheel on you at all times.

I'll say it again:

Have The Feeling Wheel on you at all times.

Have The Feeling Wheel on you at all times.

Have The Feeling Wheel on you at all times.

Your turn, "I am to __________________" (yep, have The Feeling Wheel on me at all times!").

I know it sounds so utterly silly, but it really really works.

Here's how to get that done:

1. Ask yourself, what item do I have on me at ALL times? Get creative, maybe it is your:

- Phone

- Wallet

- Keys in your pocket

- Work badge

Yes, you can choose your computer if that's where you spend all your time. But see my caveat below.

2. Choose the item that you are willing to put The Feeling Wheel on. I know it sounds silly, just choose!

3. Print or download The Feeling Wheel.

4. Place it in an accessible spot on your chosen item. Maybe you...

- Take a screen shot and save to your favorite photos for easy access

- Print it out (yes, it will be small!) and stick to your work badge

- Print it out on a 1/4 sheet of paper. Fold it up and place in your wallet

- Download it and put it on your desktop

This doesn't have to be difficult. You just need to do it. The magic comes from doing.

6. Final words

You are a beautiful, cherished soul. Wherever you have been through, whatever you have done, you have a light of love so bright, so beautiful inside of you. You are not alone.

Harness the power of The Feeling Wheel to help bring out that original goodness. It is in you. I promise. This is one simple tool to put you back into the driver's seat. Reduce your reactivity and come from a place of calm and equanimity. Because from their, you can do anything..

All my love for you,


*If you buy this product from this link, I may receive a small commission. I only recommend products I have personally tired and seen results from.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page