How to Use Emotional Words

Research shows that strong emotions, like anger, anxiety, and awe drive learners to engage with content.  

Emotional words are mostly used in headlines, in self-help and parenting niches, but there’s no reason you can’t use them in your training narratives, headlines, too.  

Note that sensory words are often good alternatives to emotional words.  

Headline examples:

  • How to get toddlers to listen without Yelling, Bribing, or Threats
  • This is the way to a Happy, Healthy, Long life  

I’ve divided emotional words into two groups:

  • Positive, emotional words are related to joy, trust, excitement, anticipation, serenity, and hope
  • Negative emotional words are related to anger, fear, disgust, sadness and envy.
  • Verbs:  To astonish, to admire, to amaze, to arouse, to bless, to energise, to praise, to enjoy, to galvanise.  See how many you can write down.  
  • Adjectives (and adverbs):  Absolutely, blissful, fool-proof, faithful, generous, lucky, happy, saintly, mind-blowing gracious, nurturing, proud, reliable etc.  
  • Nouns: Abuse, agony, fear, fright, crap, envy, temper, threat, fury, gloominess, guilt, hatred, regret, loathing, hysterics, horror, etc.  
  • Verbs: To abuse, to anger, to disgust, to blubber, to burn out, to mourn, to pussyfoot, to rage, to scream, to shout, to sigh, etc.

A writer I know has all her different types of words arranged on a spread sheet that she can bring up whenever she feels she needs something special in the way of emotional, sensory or power words.