The Secret to Creating Viral Content? Knowing the 5 ‘A’ Emotions

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I'm Rachel!

Marketing strategist. Former Ayurveda Health Coach, Yoga Instructor & Holistic Nutritionist. Avid reader. Pitta. 4/6 Manifesting Generator. Obsessed with my Golden.

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Today at the park, I met a guy whom we’ll call “Manila’s Dad’. This is how I know and remember all of the dog park parents.

As we were leaving, the dogs refused to walk their separate ways. Manila wanted to play with Theo, and Theo (being a true retriever) wanted to play with Manila’s ball.

Her dad realized this and threw it our way, shrugging and saying, “We have hundreds at home. We definitely don’t need it.”

On my way home, that sentence repeated itself in my mind.

It reminded me of what it’s like trying to create viral content as a Health Coach. Hundreds of pieces of content, and most of them are tossed away like this old tennis ball ?.

I used to be 100% convinced that going viral was up to the algorithm Goddesses…

But then I started reading the book Contagious, which is all about what we share and – more importantly – WHY we share with others.

So I decided to go through the last 5 things I’ve texted my sister (we almost exclusively communicate through shared videos) and ask myself why I shared each thing.

Holy Moly…my personal research validated what Contagious Author, Jonah Berger, has spent years teaching.

The 5 most powerful emotions that cause people to share are:

  1. Awe
  2. Anger
  3. Amazement
  4. Anxiety
  5. Amusement

And when you’re growing your coaching offering, it helps to have an audience to talk to! Sharing can happen in IG stories, through word-of-mouth, or even a simple FWD.

The secret to getting these shares? Create content that stirs up an emotional response.

All of these emotions have something in common.

They create physiological arousal (and no, I’m not talking about getting sexy). I’m talking about elevated heart rate, muscle tension, and activation of the autonomic nervous system.

But the million dollar question is…how do you actually DO this? Let’s play with some examples!

These are subjective, and I firmly believe that the magic is in finding and sharing what speaks to you. (Like how the corn kid, Tariq, speaks to me)

Tariq, the corn kid, meme
Tariq, the corn kid!


Awe is the feeling we get in the presence of something vast that challenges our understanding of the world, like looking up at millions of stars in the night sky or marveling at the birth of a child. It is a sense of wonder, and it even surprises us.

Think about what you can share that your audience doesn’t see everywhere else – like your unique perspective on something, the growth cycle of an herb, or having a session that’s so powerful they can’t help but share.


Anger is a fiery emotion, and it’s a great way to drive change.

Mad that public health doesn’t seem to care about a treatment unless it turns a buck? Upset that you spent years intermittent fasting before you found out it was wreaking havoc on your hormones?

You’re busting your ass as an entrepreneur because you care and because you wanted to be the change you hoped to see. Don’t be afraid to share it!


Similar to awe, amazement is something that makes us feel shook. It’s something that surprises us and feels new. Sometimes these things are so obvious to us that we forget to share.

Go back to the first time you discovered a health secret – what was it? How did you start implementing it?


I don’t want to get cancer, have a heart attack, or ruin my chances of getting pregnant someday. So when content creators talk about things I do that cause those…I pay attention.

What are things your audience cares about? Now, what do YOU know that can help them?


This is my favorite. Who doesn’t love sharing a hilarious video and watching other people laugh. Take your same content ideas, and find a way to see humor in them.

Do you regularly work with people on their skin? Make a joke about all of the products we’ll buy, mud we’ll put on our face, and $$ we’ll drop getting facials before we’re willing to cut out french fries?.

Talk to humans like they’re humans. Connect, make them smile, and share things that make them want to share.

xo, Rachel Jeffries Murphy

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Hi, I'm Rachel.
Your Biz Bff + New Marketing Team.

I've been you. After graduating from business school and working at a digital agency, I left the 9-5 grind and went *all in* on studying Ayurveda, Yoga, Holistic Nutrition, and Reiki. I co-built a wellness brand for 3 years until I realized my magic isn't in being a practitioner, but in being the bestie, marketing team, and hype woman behind the scenes.

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