Physiology First is a maine-based nonprofit organization with a global mission. Our mission is redefine how we approach youth mental health for the 21st century. Through a blend of leading edge education and innovative outreach we work to empower the leaders of tomorrow will the skills they need today. 

What is the Greatest opportunity of our time?

We asked ourselves this question in 2019. What is the one problem that exponentially impacts all others? What is the force multiplier that volunteer hours, philanthropic donations, and sweat equity should be aimed at if we want to see a brighter future? Our answer: The mental health of the next generation of problem solvers. Currently, youth mental health is on a devastating decline. In 2022 the U.S Surgeon General declared youth mental health a national emergency. Yet, there is no standardized curriculum that teaches youth to proactively improve their mental and physical health by leveraging the latest science of the mind, body, and brain. Until now…

Physiology First takes a 3 step approach to improving youth mental health at scale. 

 1.) Leading edge research in science and medicine. 

 2.) Partnerships with schools, organization, and allied health professionals. 

3.) The Physiology First University platform and campus that provide leading edge education to equip, engage, inspire, and empower.

 Join the movement to support a revolution in health education for youth by donating, volunteering, or joining Physiology First University today!


“Since learning the breathing exercises from physiology first i feel so much calmer-and so much more confident.”-Daisy Brewer, 16

Your support enables us to offer presentaions, seminars, and online resources to schools, keep our Physiology First University platform free for youth across the globe, and train the next generation of leading edge health educators. Donate here to support a new approach to improving youth mental health at scale.

Make a Change

Youth Mental Health education that empowers

Mental health is a term from 1908. It stems from an era long before the latest science of the brain and body revealed a roadmap to proactively improving how our body and brain performs. A 21st century conversation on mental health and fitness should be one of the most engaging, empowering, and inspiring narratives of our time. Here’s what students are saying about Physiology First. 

“I used to get really anxious. Now, through the exercises that I learned from Physiology First, I’ve learned to use my breathing to calm my body when I’m anxious. I’ve even shared these exercises with other students at my job when they get stresses, anxious, and overwhelmed.”

Daisy Brewer

“I used a technique that I learned at Physiology First called Box Breathing before a major exam. Within seconds I felt calm, focused, and ready to crush the test. I feel that all students should have access to the skills and tools that Physiology First provides.”

Ethan Smith

“I’m so fortunate that I’ve come across the curriculum at Physiology First University.  Every time that I come to Physiology First I learn something new-but it all stems from learning how to slow down, breathe, and focus on the moment.”

Jacob Thich

What exactly does my donation support?

Your tax-deductible donation or Physiology First University memberships supports a.) a free health and fitness education learning platform for students across the globe b.) partnerships with schools and community organizations c.) the first physiology based educational campus, Physiology First University, in the United States d.) outreach to students and parents e.) training the next generation of science based community health educators through our Physiology First University Ambassador Academy. 

How can I get trained to teach physiology based education?

Our Ambassador Academy will prepare you to speak at local schools and bring our Physiology First University curriculum to your community. Our Performance Physiology Certification will train you to become a professional coach and community health educator. 

Is there research that supports your approach?

Yes. The body of research in neuroscience and stress physiology overwhelmingly supports the connection between improved physical health and improved mental health. We are in the process of building an extensive research database with links to hundreds of studies supporting a Physiology First approach. We encourage you to research the relationship between improved sleep, nutrition, and exercise and positive outcomes in mental health in the meantime. It is an inspiring time in health sciences and we know you’ll be equally optimistic that a physiology first approach can reshape the landscape of youth mental health! 

How do you partner with schools?

We offer speaking events, workshops, and professional development resources for schools across the globe. Our Art and Science of Learning Professional Development program shares the latest science of the mind, body, and brain with leading districts seeking to unlock the power of their teachers and students through our year long program! 

Do you have volunteer opportunities available?

Absolutely! We are always looking for volunteers to grow out impact for youth. Please, contact us and let us know a bit about yourself and your area of expertise. We’ll respond with a list of volunteer opportunities that might prove to be a great fit! 

How can my students work with physiology first?

Students can always access our Physiology First University platform and connect with our coaches through Live Learning Labs as well as our online course catalog and resource library.  If you are in the Freeport, Maine area or in a city with a PFU Ambassador contact us and we’ll set up an introductory meeting to discuss the goals of your student. If you are a student, reach out and let us know how we can be a resource!

What is the long term vision of the organization?

Our vision it to build global educational infrastructure (online, in person, and within existing schools and education technology) that teaches youth about the power of their mind, body, and brain while connecting them to one another on a global scale. 


the future of learning is learning about ourselves

Join the revolution

make a tax deductible donation to physiology first to support a new approach to youth mental health that begins with teaching students about their physiology, first. click here to donate-and thank you for joining the fight!