Matt Bellace

TOPICS: Self-Help / Anxiety / Depression / Resiliency / Distracted Driving / Impaired Driving / Speed & Reckless Driving 

AUDIENCES: High School / College / Educators / Administrators / Parents / Corporate / Prevention Stakeholders

Delivering better highs and healthier lows

An insightful, science-based and seriously funny approach to substance abuse prevention and mental health awareness

Since 1995, Dr. Matt Bellace has uniquely blended the worlds of stand-up comedy and professional speaking. Each year, he captivates and inspires over a hundred thousand individuals, advocating for the pursuit of natural highs and resilience against stress.

With a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology and deep understanding of the intricate dance between the brain and behavior, Matt polished his expertise at renowned institutions such as the National Institutes of Mental Health and The Mount Sinai Medical Center in the heart of New York City.

He penned the acclaimed book, A Better High: Laugh, Help, Run, Love and Other Ways to Experience Natural Euphoria. His latest work, Life Is Disappointing and Other Inspiring Thoughts, navigates the rough terrains of life, offering insights on grappling with disappointment and mastering the art of coping with pain, loss and setbacks.



This powerful and entertaining presentation focuses on natural highs, emotional resilience and mental health. It has been described as the perfect combination of stand-up comedy, interactive demonstrations and inspirational stories. Matt empowers students to be leaders in their lives and make changes in their environment. During the program, he also shares his own story of student prevention leadership, as the founder of a nationally recognized student group at Bucknell University.

This dynamic presentation combines Matt’s signature style of mixing stand-up comedy, audience interaction and psychological research on building resilience in teens.  The program includes a discussion on stress management (e.g. meditation, reframing emotional pain) and seeking out an empathetic support network. In addition, it focuses on inspirational stories of people who have faced disappointment and found inspiration through the pain. 

Perfect for student leaders and prevention groups, Matt’s workshops include “The Brain, Behavior and Vaping,” “The Brain, Behavior and Alcohol,” “The Brain, Behavior and Weed” and “Youth Advocacy Workshop,” which empowers students to make change in their communities.

I was blown away. Matt was phenomenal. The way that the Uppers fed off of his energy was unlike anything that I’ve seen so far. He had such good ideas, and his presentation was so balanced with facts, but also comedy, laughter and meditation. It was really the perfect presentation.
Jamie Phinney
Assistant Director of Admissions, Phillips Andover Academy
Marianne BautistaStudent, Phillips Andover Academy
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In addition to having a Ph.D., Matt is also a standup comedian. His whole presentation was very funny and interactive, and it appealed to my peers and people my age. He included statistics and personal experiences that really helped us get to know him better, and also knew how to speak using our language and things we understood.
Lily BarberLeadership Student
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He used a lot of funny anecdotes in his speech, which were effective because they were relatable so it got everybody’s attention. They also had a lot of meaning to them. A lot of times in high school people are like ‘let’s just drink anyways’ but I feel like Matt actually did persuade a few people to change their ways.
Pamela E. GellertMunicipal Alliance Coordinator, Cherry Hill Township
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I just wanted to thank you again for some great presentations during Red Ribbon Week. I’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from teachers, administrators and parents. A parent personally emailed me to say, "It was excellent. Matt is a gifted speaker."
Kathy KetofskyAssociation of Student Assistance Professionals Conference
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As the Keynote presenter for the 34th Annual Association of Student Assistance Professionals Conference, Matt was highly inspirational in motivating attendees to look at how stress plays a role in their lives and of those they are assisting. His use of humor, experiential activities, and recent research kept the audience laughing and engaged. Matt was an outstanding presenter, making an exciting start to our conference!
Lacey LanePresident, Kentucky Speech-Hearing-Language Association
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Matt Bellace’s presentation brought enthusiasm and energy to our convention. He provided such thought-provoking material in a fun way. His keynote had us dancing, laughing, and learning, it was fantastic!



Matt Bellace, PhD: Supporting Teens in Reducing Their Stress (and Ours)

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Seawolves find ‘A Better High’ with Matt Bellace

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Dr Matt Bellace talks to students and parents about the teenage brain, risk-taking and natural highs.  ISZL was delighted to welcome Dr Matt Bellace to ...
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