Meet Our Team

Maria Newport, M.S.Ed

My name is Mari Newport but everyone calls me Mari (pronounced MAH-dee). I am a co-founder of The addJOY, LLC. With over 20 years of experience in education and administrative roles, I bring expertise in advising and supporting individuals, groups, and businesses as they unlock their greatest potentials for true joy. As a former instructional coach in various urban settings, I understand the hard work of shifting mindsets and ensuring success in the most difficult of situations. 

Through my work as a classroom teacher in Atlanta, GA and NYC, behavior management administrator, coach, and program specialist for major school districts, I have developed particular skills in mood management for individuals and groups, curriculum and program development, and planning effective implementation. I have had great success in affecting change in classrooms, school buildings, and entire districts.

I graduated from Spelman College (B.A. in Early Childhood Development) and Georgia State University (M.S.Ed in Urban Teacher Leadership). I was born and raised in the Bay Area but currently call Atlanta home. I enjoy laughing with my daughter, creating memories with my friends, celebrating random strangers I meet, and singing at the top of my lungs at the most inappropriate times. I am a professional Cheer Chaser and Mood Modulator.


Kanika Bell, Ph.D.

My name is Dr. Kanika Bell. I am a co-founder of addJOY, LLC. I am a licensed psychologist specializing in clinical and forensic psychology and an associate professor at Clark Atlanta University. I received my undergraduate degree in psychology from Spelman College and masters and doctoral degrees from Auburn University.  I divide my professional time between all facets of clinical psychology including individual, couples and group therapy, clinical assessments and psychological evaluations, scholarly research, and consulting. I am the co-owner of A.T.L. Psychotherapy and Consulting Services, LLC in Atlanta, GA, and my current clinical interests involve children, adults, and families affected by the legal system, adults coping with occupational stress, relationship counseling, and issues that impact women of color specifically. During the writing of a volume entitled Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability, I realized that in the midst of trying to survive…folks forgot to thrive. Joy for me means living balanced and optimally, thus I began to dedicate my clinical, research and academic interests to the use of joy as a therapeutic tool. Whether I am treating individual clients, doing therapy with couples, coaching executives on self-care and diversity issues, or appearing on television discussing mental health, I bring humor and liveliness to every environment. I am a professional Peace Provider and Laughter Liaison.