Arianna merritt, M.Ed.

Founder & CEO


I am an e-learning professional driven to make learning easier and more effective.

How I got here?

My path is unique. When I started my undergraduate degree in 2002, we had to register for courses using the telephone. In addition, my first-year university Psychology lectures consisted of the professor writing notes on the overhead projector which the students then copied out by hand. I learned early on that teaching is so much more than standing at the front of a big lecture hall and simply talking to the audience. I have been in those lecture halls as a first-year and second-year student with three or four hundred fellow students – just sitting there for 3 hours absorbing course materials and taking notes.

These experiences empowered me to make learning more engaging and I have since looked for innovative ways to do so. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology focusing on the study of mental processes such as: attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, motivation, creativity, and thinking. I was driven to understand how we learn.

After graduation, I landed a job as an Instructional Assistant in the Psychology  Department at Camosun College. Working with students, teaching and mentoring them, and providing them with a sense of hope for their future – this environment was very empowering! The experience in the college setting led me to pursue graduate school at the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) in human development and applied psychology. I loved learning how people learn, particularly about the positive environments that help them grow.  During this time, I focused on reducing bullying in schools, as I know that a kind environment is essential to promote healthy development.

When I was working on my Masters degree and thinking about life after graduation, I lacked clarity for the future. Therefore, I created my blog from the ground up to connect with like-minded people and share my concerns beyond the classroom. Doing so really skyrocketed my personal and professional development. Since then, I have facilitated my blog, The Self-Discovery Retreat, to become an award-winning and trusted dialogue in the online community for empowering persons of all ages – especially students, recent graduates, entrepreneurs, and professionals – to launch their ideas into reality. Along the way, I have personally interviewed over 100+  professional thought leaders from around the world about how they turned their dreams into action.

Since turning my idea into action and building a supportive community through blogging has really empowered me, it is now my mission to work with institutions and learners globally to inspire life-changing learning through technology!


Official Bio

Arianna Merritt is a leader in education and content creation who has 20 years experience teaching/coaching/training/mentoring students of all ages and abilities in school, business, athletic, and non-profit settings. Since she was a little girl, Arianna has had a love of books and magazines. She believes education can change the world and has been finding ways to work with students and educators ever since.

Arianna is an experienced communicator who for the last 16 years has been conducting psychological research and turning the results into variety of formats that support the well-being of people globally. She believes you are never too old to have a new dream and helps people find ways to make it a reality.

Her undergraduate thesis work was in cognitive psychology focusing on how to improve mathematics education. Her graduate work was in how to reduce bullying in elementary schools. She is the Founder of The Self-Discovery Retreat, an award-winning blog with over 500,000+  readers from over 100 countries and has published a book “Stand Tall & Speak from the Heart: How to Find Your Way.” She has been featured on Psychology Today as well as presented her research at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science conference.  

She holds a Bachelor of Science (High Honours) degree in Psychology from Carleton University and a Master of Education in Applied Psychology and Human Development from the University of Toronto/OISE.


"If you are looking to make a major shift in your life, starting with your mindset, I would definitely recommend working with Arianna - she is the Firestarter you need that will (re) ignite your spark!

/  Reece sims  /