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2.2 STRUCTURE | 8-Minute Break (Optional) 

Time for a break!

Go for a walk, go outside, or go to the bathroom. But before you do, take a quick look at the clock. 

See the time? Now add eight minutes. That’s when to come back for the next exercise.

See you in eight minutes.

1. Why a break right here? The Feelings and Needs Exercise can bring up a lot for students, and many will appreciate the opportunity to take a breath and step away for a moment.

Having said that, this is optional, and if you feel like pushing forward (or are running out of time), you may choose to skip the break.

2. Why eight minutes? I find that eight minutes becomes a ten-minute break, but a ten-minute break becomes a 15-minute break. Also, “eight minute break” sounds weird, so students are more likely to remember it. Also:

3. I like to play music during the break, and I think it’s important for this music to be different from the music used during the Feelings and Needs Exercise (assuming you played music then). Here are some eight-minute-long songs you might play, inspired by Rolling Stone Magazine’s List of 50 Best Songs Over 7 Minutes Long:

  • New Order - Blue Monday (7:23)
  • The Cure - Pictures Of You (8:15)
  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message (7:11)
    • Heads-up that the song “The Message” has terms like “fag hag” and “reefer,” which may catch students’ attention and provoke conversation. If you feel that might be distracting, don’t use this song. If you feel that might be productive, here’s more on the song.

  • Why eight-minute songs? So when the song is over... the break is over. Or you can, of course, play two shorter songs. Either way, I recommend something for the break that’s upbeat.