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Free Printable Feelings Chart for Adults PDF Download

Dec 06, 2023
printable feelings chart for adults

I'm a walking cliche here, a therapist who is seriously into feelings and helping people express them! Gah - and now a blog post containing a free emotions chart, I see your shocked facial expressions in my head already!

In my opinion, we are living in a culture that prioritizes success, opinions, and achievement over introspection and emotional awareness. Feelings are a royal pain in the ass, so I can totally understand this tendency, but they also are there for a reason.

Our curiosity about this very human condition goes back as far as our history does. Hippocrates, a Greek physician in the 4th century BCE, believed that different feelings were linked to bodily fluids or "humors." Later on, Aristotle, in his work "Rhetoric," analyzed various emotions as they relate to persuasion and communication, suggesting that understanding emotions was crucial for effective interaction. At least he saw the benefit of them.

We started turning against feelings in the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, when the church spearheaded the opinion that emotions are linked to lust and debauchery and would inevitably lead to us being morally corrupt. The persecution of women Witches is perhaps symbolic of this. Women are naturally more intuitive and social and would like to connect with each other in a feelings circle and talk about things that men don't tend to do so easily. This is, of course was horribly threatening to the patriarchy who tried hard to put an end to that. So, we have some historical influences telling us to ignore our feelings, and although we're getting better at it, it's not like we have Emotional Intelligence 101 in high school. Often as adults, there's a lot more to learn about our own feelings and a need to develop and grow our emotional vocabulary.


free printable feelings wheel

What is a Feelings Chart?

An emotion chart is a visual tool designed to help individuals identify and articulate their emotions by providing a visual aid to display a list of emotions. The modern form of the feelings chart first gained popularity in the field of psychology and counseling in the late 20th century, but now more than ever I think we need a handy list of feelings to help us communicate and connect.

To this day, many people find it to be a difficult task to identify and communicate their feelings accurately. Most often, this wasn't modeled to us very well while we were young children; it's not like our grandparents or parents had Oprah or therapists on hand. Perhaps at a young age, we were shamed, told off or scolded for certain emotional responses, and our past experiences with them have made it challenging to revisit them as adults.

There are significant societal and other external factors that influence what human emotions we can or should express. Do you remember hearing 'boys don't cry'? or 'nice girls don't get angry?'. These are all ways we learned to repress feelings; our personal history makes it hard to express complex emotions and sometimes even basic feelings.

This is where a feelings chart comes in quite handy once in a while, by providing a range of emotions or descriptive words, a feelings chart can help individuals recognize, help us identify, name, and better understand their own emotions, even if it's only by a process of elimination.

In today's fast-paced and often stressful world, the need for emotional literacy and understanding is more important than ever because emotional literacy helps us communicate and connect with the people we care about the most.

With the help of a feelings chart, individuals of all ages can develop the skills necessary to navigate and communicate their emotions effectively, leading to healthier relationships and improved mental well-being. My People Patterns loves to give away a free PDF here and there and we have a growing stash of free resources for you to download, and this printable feeling charts the latest one.

Benefits of Using the Feelings Chart for Adults

I can't tell you enough how much I use a feelings wheel and the benefits my clients get, here's why you need to love this chart of emotions!


Firstly, it helps with the effective communication of our needs and wants. It's an essential part of our communication skills (remember those "I feel...." statements?). By understanding and expressing our emotions, we can better convey what we desire or require from others in a clear and constructive manner. This is a great place to be in a relationship, we have to be able to share what's going on with us with our partners inorder to get help and feel close. Feelings often have needs attached to them: if you feel lonely, there might be a need to connect or call someone... if you feel hurt, you might need an apology or amends.

Utilizing a feelings chart allows us to gain a deeper understanding of our own emotional state to get clarity on complex feelings, particularly as it relate to the events happening around us. I always tell my clients in private practice that our feelings are a source of data, and the more information we have, the better we are to make informed decisions. enables us to manage and express them rather than acting out in unhealthy ways.

Obviously, this is a cliche, but knowing and expressing our feelings by using a chart like this can help to alleviate strain on our mental health. We've known for over 100 years that suppressing emotions takes a toll on our well-being, leading to addiction, low self-esteem, lack of assertiveness and drive - the list goes on. By acknowledging and expressing our emotions, h elps us grow a more positive self-image, and it can prevent a lot of mental health and psychological issues. Remember 'naming it is taming it'? Mental health professionals like myself love this one: One of the key coping mechanisms we have in emotional regulation is to find different ways to name and label our core feelings. Just naming a feeling helps lower its intensity.

Phsyical and Mental Health

There are even studies that link emotional expression to our physical health. Check out the work of Dr Sarna for example. Some common physical health issues stem from bottling up emotions, such as increased stress on the body, diabetes, heart disease risks, gastrointestinal symptoms and even memory difficulties. We know there is a link between our feelings and our body intuitively because we say things all the time like 'it was like a punch in the guy' or 'the hairs on the back of my neck stood up' when discussing events that caused us to have feelings.

Utilizing a feelings chart can ultimately facilitate better connections in our relationships, which is most important for me as a couples therapist. Expressing affect allows us to express ourselves to be vulnerable, and that results in more meaningful and healthier social connections.

How to Use Our Free Printable Feelings Chart for Adults PDF Download!

If you're looking for a more traditional feelings wheel pdf - check out this one, it's also free

This mood chart is a little unusual, and I was quite excited to discover it and to be able to share it with you.

How To Use This Feelings Chart

The feelings chart you can download below helps people identify their feelings by asking us to pay attention to two things happening inside when we’re wondering what we are feeling. The first is the amount of energy we have - how alert, excited or tired, and sedentary do we feel?

It also asks us to qualify our feelings by asking, ‘Does it feel good, or does it feel bad?’.

Axis One: Energy:

We are usually quite aware of how much energy we have inside of us, how tired we feel, or how excited and vibrant we feel. This scale asks us to pay attention to how much energy the feeling we are trying to identify has. Is it vibrating through us, or is it more sedating, subtle, or sneaky?

Axie Two: Yucky Or Yummy?

As children, we learn about our feelings by identifying if we are feeling “mad, sad, or glad’’. These are the foundations of our emotional life. As adults, we still all know generally if a feeling we’re trying to identify has a positive quality or a negative quality to it; this just takes it one step further.

​You can guestimate on a scale of one to ten where you are on each, and then you plot the position of your feeling. Granted, this is entirely subjective; there's no actual way to know if you're exactly a 7 or an 8 on any scale, but surprisingly enough, every time I've used it, it's pointed me in the right direction to what I'm feeling.

I really hope that you have the same experience and love it as much as I do!

Download the free therapy worksheets here

 printable feelings chart for adults



best printable feelings chart for adults  emotions chat and feelings chart free download

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