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The Conversation

Let out your anger and frustration at Hawaiʻi's first rage room in Kakaʻako

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Courtesy Break'N Anger
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The "Smash Lab" at Break'N Anger in Kakaʻako.

Have you ever been so mad that you just wanted to break something? Possibly during the pandemic?

The nonprofit Mental Health America recommends a handful of ways to deal with anger and frustration. Taking a breath, changing your surroundings, writing it down, or exercising are all great ways to cope.

But also, you can break stuff.

Some innovative local business owners opened Hawaiʻi's first rage room to do just that — Break’N Anger in Kakaʻako. It's the brainchild of owners Mark Gaulke, Cody Jarrett and Carolina Palotti.

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Hawaiʻi Public Radio
The Conversation producer Savannah Harriman-Pote learns about all the different items available for destruction.

"We wanted to do something fun and different. You know, we've been in the same business for so long doing construction work. And we said, well, we can build this and we can make this happen and it could be a lot of fun," Jarrett said.

"We brought (Carolina Palotti) in and she came up with a great idea of making it more about awareness, understanding your anger, how to deal with your anger," he said. "We saw that as being able to sustain our business as opposed to just a fad."

Break’N Anger has been open for four months and the owners say traffic has been pretty steady since day one. It's one of few places in the islands where you can break things — and get away with it.

Safety equipment is a must and there are strict instructions on what one can and cannot do. You can pick your own soundtrack to set the mood during your time in the "Smash Lab."

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Courtesy Break'N Anger
The "Splatter Room" at Break'N Anger.

But rage rooms and breaking things aren't the only activities available. There's also space to process emotions through creativity in the "Splatter Room." It's designed for throwing paint, shooting neon paint guns, and just making a whole big mess.

Experiences start at about $60 per person for the rage rooms and about $50 per person for the paint room.

The Conversation team got the opportunity to tour the facility. Here's what each producer had to say about Break'N Anger.

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Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
The Conversation producer Savannah Harriman-Pote prepares to smash things in the rage room.

"I mean aside from being able to break stuff, I just enjoyed the idea that there's a space where whatever emotion you have, it's OK," producer Savannah Harriman-Pote said.

"I enjoyed meeting the carousel horse in the splatter room. There's just so much interesting stuff that might have gone to the landfill that has a second life in this space. I appreciated that," producer Lillian Tsang said.

"The place feels like it has a family atmosphere. What I really liked was the shelf full of stuff to break. Going shopping for stuff that you're not going to take home and keep and have to keep safe — this is the exact opposite. It's the stuff that you don't have to be afraid to just trash and destroy," producer Russell Subiono said.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Nov. 17, 2021.

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