Luke Perry, Alex Trebek, J-Lo, and the Jonas Bros…

Category : Uncategorized

Celebrities… Why do we Care?

This past week we mourned the loss of Luke Perry following his death caused by a stroke a few days prior. Toward the end of the week, we had feels for Alex Trebek who announced a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) and Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) got engaged over the weekend. And, if you haven’t already heard, the Jonas brothers are back together and released a catchy single.

According to PsychologyToday (2015), our ancestors had to cooperate with in-group members for survival and success. At the same time, in-group members were also their competition when it came to sharing of resources. Knowing who to trust and how to manage relationships helped with success. Modern media presents celebrities to us often and we (not all, but most) know a lot about the affairs of in-group members. This makes these celebrities present to us as being socially important. The celebrities we see frequently become as familiar to us, if not more so, than our neighbors. PsychologyToday (2015) notes that when we know intimate details about someone’s life, that person becomes important to us. Celebrities become the “friends” we have in common with others.

Nostalgia can also play a role as we mourn the loss of a celebrity. Thinking about the celebrity brings back memories of songs, movies, and other emotional experiences that involved that individual (PsychologyToday, 2016). Celebrity deaths also build empathy and provide opportunities for education and understanding related to addiction, depression, and other health issues.

We get exposed to celebrities on a frequent basis, whether we want to or not. Spending time on social media provides this exposure. At the same time, if celebrity gossip is an interest of yours or a conversation “go-to” when with others, you know even more about celebrities. This is why we mourn losses, have complicated emotional reactions to celebrity news, get excited to gossip about the next big celebrity wedding, and bounce along to the latest single on the radio following excitement that a family has recovered and moved on from in-family drama and relationship difficulties.

Know that it is ok to feel sad following a loss or other upsetting news about a celebrity. It is ok to experience a perk of excitement or interest in positive news from celebrities. As long as it’s not taking away from our social interactions with others, it can be healthy to enjoy celebrity gossip. If you’re spending hours mourning and/or turning away social interactions to spend more time online, then it is likely that there are other contributing factors and it will be helpful to seek medical help.

References (2015). Why Caring About Celebrities can be Good for You. Retrieved from: (2016). 3 Reasons We Mourn Celebrity Deaths. Retrieved from:


Category : Uncategorized


There are many reasons that can help explain why someone of any age is forgetful. I wish I could pin point it exactly and say “this is why,” but the truth is it is a little different for each person. There are some common difficulties that can contribute to forgetting things. These include symptoms of ADHD, depression, anxiety, trauma, bereavement… the list goes on.

Working Memory is also known as short-term memory. These are things you hold in memory to complete a task. For example, you are packing up your child for school and need to send them with snowpants, boots, hat, gloves, and a lunch and mid-way through your list, your child reminds you that it is their snack day. They end up going to school with the snack, but you forgot to pack their gloves. Or you’re on the way out the door and you cannot recall where you left your keys. After all, they were right here, right? says that research demonstrates that young children can only hold one or two items in memory. Working memory continues to develop until around age 15, but not everyone develops this skill at the same pace or has the same working memory capacity. Some people can simply store more information than others. We use working memory daily. It is used to read, write, plan, organize, follow conversations, perform mental math, and to follow multi-step directions. It also helps with focus and attention on a task. shares a study that was conducted in the United Kingdom, looking at 3,000 elementary school and junior high school students. The researchers found that weak working memory indicated more struggles in school when compared with low cognitive ability. According to this particular study, almost all of the children with weak working memory scored low on reading comprehension and math tests.

What does this look like during adulthood? Missed work deadlines, half-completed projects, losing keys/phone/wallet, forgetting what you want to say in conversations…

So what can you do?

Develop a routine. Always setting your keys, for example, in the same spot makes it easier to find them the next time because it increases predictability. Follow a sequence related to whatever it is you typically lose/forget.

Reduce multi-tasking. Focus on one task at a time. Break it down into smaller chunks. “Chunk” items together, similar to re-calling a phone number. We recall phone numbers in 3 chunks of numbers versus remembering the whole number.

Take breaks. Exercise. Move your body, even if just a little. Drink water. Make sure you’re not hungry. How much sleep have you gotten recently? Take care of your basic needs.

Practice. The more you train your working memory, the stronger it gets. Flashcards, puzzles, making lists of words/numbers and trying to recall them…


Difficulties with working memory can be caused by many different things. Above are some mentioned strategies to try at home, but working with a professional to assist with building skills and to reduce symptoms is recommended if your memory is impacting your daily life. Therapy and/or assessment can assist with getting to the root of the problem and addressing it to increase success.


References Say Goodbye to “Oh, I forgot!”.