Need a Pep Talk? Advice? A Laugh? These Kids Have You Covered.

By Christina Lorey

November 7, 2022

The story behind the free national hotline created by elementary school students.

Dial 707-873-7862 and you’ll hear a cheerful voice listing your options:

“If you’re feeling mad, frustrated, or nervous, press one.
If you need words of encouragement and life advice, press two. 
If you need a pep talk from kindergarteners, press three.
If you need to hear kids laughing with delight, press four.”

This isn’t your average answering service: it’s a motivational, inspirational, free hotline created by students at West Side Union Elementary in Healdsburg, California.

Need a Pep Talk? Advice? A Laugh? These Kids Have You Covered.
Courtesy: West Side Union Elementary School

Anyone, anywhere can call the number anytime for free. We don’t want to give everything away (trust us– you’ll want to experience this yourself), but here are a few things we learned:

  • If you’re nervous, get your wallet and spend it on ice cream and shoes.
  • If you’re frustrated, go to your bedroom and punch a pillow or scream outside.
  • If you’re mad, you can do flips on the trampoline.
  • If you’re sad, go get a cookie, a smoothie, or ice cream.

Food, as it turns out, is the answer to a lot of problems!

We also collected a few reminders:

  • You are okay.
  • Don’t give up.
  • The world is a better with you in it.
  • Choose weird.

And last but not least: If you’re feeling up high and unbalanced, think of groundhogs.

Thanks for putting things into perspective, kids! 


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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