If you want to pull up just your UNREAD messages, you can do a search for is:unread in the seach box at the top of your email screen. This also works inside specific labels, too! For me, the easiet way to find unread mail inside a label is to click on the label first, then add the is:unread to the search box. When you click on the label, you will notice that the search box changes to: label:labelname. So, to see unread messages in that label, your search box would look something this:
Notice the SPACE between the label and "is:unread." Then just click "Search Mail" and it will pull up the unread messages in that label category! Wahoo!