11 Mental Health Advocates to Follow on Instagram
These accounts will help you de-stress *and* give your feed a digital clean-up
In a time where every week (or day) is packed with bad news, it can be hard to turn to social media and use it as a way of escapism. The minute you decide to scroll through your feed, you're most likely bombarded with political news, racial injustices, or loved ones arguing with others about the trying times. And while it's important to be mindful of what's going on in the world, the ever-changing inconsistencies can negatively impact your mental health.
That's why, recently, many of us have chosen to adjust how we use social media platforms by either switching up our routines or adding more positive mental health accounts to our feeds. According to an August 2020 survey conducted by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, 56% of Americans (out of 2,000 polled) said, "their social media habits have changed because of tensions surrounding current events this year" while 20% of the same group said, "they’ve taken breaks from social media because of tensions surrounding current events this year."
For many people, the stress caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and political news, as well as other issues happening in the world, have led to "worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation," per a CDC survey from June. With all that in mind, it makes sense that some of us prefer to have our social media feeds feel like a place of serenity and comfort, rather than a pit of despair.
If you want to add more positivity into your social media platforms, here are 11 mental health advocates to follow who can help with your own mental health and provide a little more happiness in your digital space.
While Kat from @booksofnotes is known for their minimal bullet journal layouts, they also advocate for better mental health, share self-care practices, and provide tips for creating better daily routines with the help of...you guessed it...bullet journals. Give them a follow if you want to try new journal prompts or just want a reminder to pick yourself up every now and then.
As Alex Elle states in her Instagram profile, she uses her social media platform to help make "self-care as community care." The author and mental health advocate often writes affirmations on Post-It Notes and recently conducted a mental health interview series on IG Live called Lessons Learned, where she discussed family, suffering, and more.
As the founder of @sadgirlsclub, a mental health organization for millennials and Gen Z individuals, Fox has a goal of creating progressive spaces for women of color. On her feed, you can often find her discussing her company's mental health initiatives, topics like racial injustice, and her journey with her own mental wellbeing.
Esmé Weijun Wang is a New York Times best-selling writer who advocates for and brings awareness to people with schizoaffective disorder and chronic illness, like herself. On her feed, she often posts about her life with chronic pain, reveals her writing about mental health, and shares quotes from other mental health advocates and writers.
Not only is Larissa May a mental health advocate, but she's also the founder of #HalftheStory, a non-profit organization that empowers people to rethink their relationship with technology. On her feed, aside from talking about her company, May also creates Reels about mental health tips, posts about her own journey with her physical and mental health, and gives tips on how to unplug from technology. Her content is relatable, encouraging, and fun to watch.
While you may know Kelsey from Buzzfeed, she's been a long-time advocate for people with mental health and chronic illness, especially as someone who lives with Trigeminal Neuralgia and Anesthesia Dolorosa. On her Instagram account, she often posts advice on how to feel better or lean into the pain, reminders that it's okay to not be okay, and info on her soon-to-come book Don't Fucking Panic, which will discuss anxiety disorders, depression, and panic attacks.
Writer and blogger Sam Dylan Finch is a mental health advocate who touches on everything ADHD and diet culture to help destigmatize mental illnesses. On most days, he posts self-care affirmations, tips to help balance work and life for people with ADHD, and insights from his own journey recovering from an eating disorder. His posts are thoughtful and mindful of others' journeys, and he deserves a follow.
If you're looking for a follow who feels like a close friend, then check out Minna Lee's Instagram account. She's recently been posting mental health Reels every Monday to bring awareness to how to set boundaries and how to have productive and tough conversations. It doesn't hurt that she also posts about her Corgi, Benny, if you're looking for a serotonin lift.
Anna Zoe is an advocate for many things, from autism to mental health to the LGBTQ+ community. She self-declares as the "beret-wearing, sign-holding human," and her messages are impactful and thoughtful to those with mental health issues and conditions. Plus, she drops weekly truth bombs on tough, but necessary topics.
If you feel like you've been triggered recently due to childhood traumas, then you must give Lorraine Pascale a follow. Not only does this chef-slash-mental health advocate discuss how to protect your inner child, but she also gives advice on how to handle anxiety on a daily basis. Her Reels are entertaining and informative and will lift your spirits when you're feeling down.