About Marisa

Hi there! I’m Marisa (rhymes with Lisa)—just your average bipolar/bisexual/bilingual lady. I was born in New York, the same year as the Nintendo console, Green Day, and Push Pops, which I enjoy to this day. I still live there (in a different house) writing fiction and nonfiction, though I do my best writing on ferry boats and train rides. I have a loving husband, a foster daughter, and two small dogs that are cuter than your baby.

I am at work completing my first book—YAY!—a memoir entitled Everything You Can't Control. Find out more and read an excerpt on the Publications page of this site.

Marisa Russello and her spouse smiling.
Terry, the dog, chasing a tennis ball.

A former middle school teacher, I now work as a peer recovery specialist at a local nonprofit where I support individuals improving their mental health and wellness. My passion for mental health advocacy and past experiences with discrimination inspire me to speak openly about my disabilities. When I'm not out there saving the world, I'm usually tossing and turning in bed, donning my sleep apnea mouthpiece. 

My idea of fun includes playing board games, kayaking, swimming, reading, dancing awkwardly and singing badly to loud music, or painting my next masterpiece. I value travel as a form of education and love learning languages, exploring new places, and meeting people.

You can find me on Instagram @marisarussellowrites and never on what was formerly known as Twitter @russellowrites

Marisa and her spouse wearing life jackets and standing in front of a red kayak.
Marisa sitting on the floor, surrounded by piles of books.

J'ai appris le français à l'école pendant six ans, et j'ai utilisé Google Translate pour écrire cette phrase. Al menos recuerdo como hablar español.

I graduated with a bachelor’s in Spanish language and literature from Haverford College and a master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Teachers College, Columbia University. I've taken writing courses from many awesome people at Catapult and elsewhere. 

I put those expensive college degrees to good use by starting a free newsletter called Of Mice & Mental Health, which I send quite sporadically.

If you’d like to request me as a speaker—I'm super talented—you can do so through The Stability Network, where I present about my own mental health struggles to empower others and inspire hope, or by contacting me directly. I've also spoken at events for AFSP and for NAMI, the largest mental health organization in the U.S., and consult for the Mount Sinai Suicide Research and Prevention Lab. Most recently, I performed at Ancram Opera House's Real People Real Stories winter 2023 show in the Hudson Valley. 

Photo of Marisa speaking at a microphone at an event.

Of Mice and Mental Health

Demystifying and reimagining mental health. And mice memes.