When someone asks you how are you, you might answer with "Not bad," or you might describe how you're feeling in a more specific way. Which one you choose depends on the situation and how close you are to the person asking the question. For example, if you're standing in line at the office coffee machine with coworkers or classmates, it may not be appropriate to go into detail with your response.
However, if you're with a close friend, you might say something like "Fine, thanks" or "Not so good," or you might describe your emotions in a more specific way such as "Angry" or "Excited." The latter option can help you avoid long-winded answers that are inappropriate for the context.
If you're trying to encourage children to be more honest with their feelings, try this interactive that helps them understand the different emotions they feel. It presents them with daily life scenarios (like a birthday party or their brother breaking a favorite toy) and they click on the icons that best match their emotional state.
When used in conjunction with a deep, thoughtful, and open-minded listening style, this version of the question can change how people respond to the standard "How are you?" It allows them to skip the 'fine, thanks' surface-brush-off response and give you the real deal. It also shows that you're willing to hear what they really have to say. It requires patience and compassion, but it's worth the effort in fostering a heart-to-heart conversation.