June 21, 2024

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – University of Pennsylvania graduate and mental health provider Morgan Reid wanted to create something to help relieve everyday stress and anxiety.

Now with her Black-owned business A Little Mental, she has three varieties of AroDough, short for aromatherapy dough.

“The soft touch of the pastel, the look of the colors, all of that is scientifically proven to help you naturally reduce stress and anxiety,” Reid said.

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Reid created AroDough for adults as a way of dealing with her own stress and anxiety without having to take medication. The dough can be smelled, squeezed, sculpted, or just rolled in your hands. AroDough is “made to go wherever your stress goes.”

“I’ve had folks who’ve used it on airplanes or used it in traffic to calm down, and I personally have used it when I’ve had panic attacks,” Reid said.

Reid is a Philadelphia-based mental health professional and operations specialist. She received her master’s in counseling and mental health services from the University of Pennsylvania and her undergraduate degree from Villanova University.

With the events of 2020, Morgan struggled to cope with the emotional toll of lockdown. 

“I was like, ‘I have a master’s degree and I’m running out of healthy coping mechanisms’ to deal with a lot of the big feelings and emotions I had,” Reid said. “I am a ’90s kid and I love going back to that nostalgic feeling, and I also know how beneficial aromatherapy is. I wondered if I could put these two elements together.” 

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From there, AroDough was born. Marketed as a way to “smell and squeeze your stress away” with comparisons to fidget toys like fidget spinners, AroDough has three different scents, each with unique benefits: lavender, spearmint and creamsicle.

The product was a natural expansion from Reid’s company’s overall mission of mental health support.

With AroDough, “you get to explore your inner child and your imagination… it helps bring you back to the present moment. It’s all subtle ways that you can actually address your mental health, and that’s really the bigger vision of A Little Mental,” Reid said.

Reid started A Little Mental in 2020, in the middle of lockdown when people in her community, especially minorities, were looking for answers about their mental health.

“I wanted to be able to provide the resources because they didn’t know where to go, they didn’t know a safe space to ask certain questions and they didn’t know places where they could find resources that fit their identity,” Reid said.

Without the label or the stigma around mental health, Reid is giving customers an access point to taking care of themselves – via a $10 jar of dough.

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