Ep 60: Fight Depression with Creation, Founder/CEO of Melissa & Doug Toy Company, Melissa Bernstein, Part II 

Melissa Bernstein is a wildly successful entrepreneur. Along with her husband, she founded the incredibly prolific toy company, Melissa & Doug, which now has over 1,000 employees and has reposted double digit growth every year.  She has been featured Good Morning America among other impressive media outlets and yet, our conversation was about so much more than success and toys.  In this second installment of our two-part interview, Melissa continues to be raw and honest about the dark thoughts that have haunted her since childhood... Part II begins with Melissa's brave decision to go public with her most intimate thoughts on a popular podcast.  She shares the response to her bold leap and how it changed the course of her life. If you have ever thought that life was too overwhelming for you to go on, Melissa's words of wisdom will be the wind at your back.  She will help you realize that you are not alone and that it's possible to overcome feelings of depression.


Existential angst/depression, (3:30).  The scary choice to go public about depression, (5:00). Discovering how many others were going through similar feelings by receiving hundreds of letters of gratitude for having the courage to speak honestly, (9:15). Poem: “I’ve been searching for my people…”, (11:37). Bold choice leads to conversations with people all over the world, (13:00). Juxtaposition between day job creating toys and conversing with suicidal people, (14:07). The thing you fear the most, is the thing you need to do, (15:30). Too many expectations are placed upon children to live a “perfect” life, (22:31). Collaborating with husband building Melissa & Doug, (27:15). Structure vs. Intuition, (30:05). Pros show up even when instinct doesn’t strike, (34:00). Become as knowledgeable as you can about whatever it is you’re doing, (37:35). Society drowns out our answers, (41:15). Write down your thoughts immediately before they evaporate, (44:24). Thoughts can be like “incessant gnats” until we harness them, (45:10). Rejection Story: University intellectual called Melissa's writing “sophomoric, moronic and half-witted" which led her to stop writing for 20 years, (46:48). It is not the critic who counts…", (49:55). Focus on your audience, (54:56). We are our own worst critics, (56:35). Nothing is out of reach, (1:00:10). Act on what is eating at you, (1:00:47). Follow your own intuition (1:01:13). 


Company Website:




Good Life Project Podcast with Jonathan Fields (Melissa's episode):


If you like what you hear, please pass on the word. You can also Subscribe through the iTunes Podcast App or Spotify to have new episodes automatically downloaded to your devices as they are released. 

Matthew Del Negro