Think Lovely Thoughts: A Short Review

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Theatrical poster for the film Think Lovely Thoughts

🇺🇸 Think Lovely Thoughts 🇺🇸

Think Lovely Thoughts, a new short film written and directed by Stephen Snavely, is now on its way to film festivals. I feel very privileged to have had a chance to watch this 15-minute exploration of an man’s experience of living with mental health issues. 


“Think Lovely Thoughts follows a young father as he navigates the visceral and often disorienting experience of living with anxiety, depression, and panic, all while trying to maintain a connection with his family and retain some semblance of normalcy. What we soon discover, however, is that John isn’t completely sure what he’s up against. Will he succumb to his demons and face the fate that so many have before him, or will he find a way out of this personal horror story?”


Think Lovely Thoughts opens with a view from a bridge over a freeway. The road beneath is cracked and the vehicles speed away along it. The story then turns to John, who is at home with his young daughter watching an old film of Peter Pan which uses the phrase “Think Lovely Thoughts” allowing the children to fly. All looks “normal” and well in this family so far, except… as soon as the little girl leaves the room the facade drops. 

“It’s scary what a smile can sometimes hide.” 

It is clear from that moment onwards that the one thing John is unable to do right now is to think happy thoughts. We see how his anxiety and depression are affecting his relationship. He is flat and emotionless and disconnected. 

The film continues and explores his visiting the bridge at night while he should be at home asleep. 

“Anxious thoughts, dark places, fear and… shame.” 

There is a horror-like sequence of images and sounds that really helps to convey the plunge from anxiety and fear into sheer terror and John’s loss of grip on reality. 

With encouragement from his wife, John finally seeks the help he so badly needs. 

We see two possible conclusions to this story with the second being far brighter than the first.

The strong narrative of Think Lovely Thoughts is enhanced by great cinematography and sound design, the music and really solid performances from the cast of 4. The visuals range from the every day to the discomforting to the beautiful. There is a wonderful short beach scene at the end which is beautiful and uplifting. 

“Never give up.” 

Think Lovely Thoughts is a well-crafted, powerful and important film. This is a thought-provoking creation. Hopefully, more people will get the opportunity to watch this in the future, discuss the issues that it raises and help destigmatise mental health issues, especially in the BIPOC community. 

“We just need to be brave enough to face it and find a way to access the help that is out there.” (From the Director’s Statement) 

Theatrical poster for the short film Think Lovely Thoughts

The official website for Think Lovely Thoughts:


Find Stephen on:


Stephen’s Website:

Link to Stephen’s Full Interview:

Stephen Snavely: Director

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