Let’s face it: Instagram doesn’t do wonders for your mental health. From FOMO to #fitspiration, there are plenty of posts that don’t necessarily make us feel better about ourselves. In fact, Instagram was found to be the “most detrimental to a young person’s mental health,” and the more time people spend on the social media app, the worse they often feel.
With so many of our friends and family members using Instagram, it’s hard to ditch the app entirely, which is why it’s important to tailor who you follow to meet your needs. Instagram has a growing body of accounts and communities dedicated to making users feel better about themselves — whether the purpose is to improve body image, provide self-care tips, or share people’s stories.
Here are some accounts that are working to de-stigmatize mental illness, supporting those struggling with their mental health, and encouraging conversation about mental health:
The Buddy Project, founded by Gabby Frost, is a non-profit initiative that pairs “buddies” to help people with mental illness, self-harm, and eating disorders. The organization’s Instagram is filled with positive, motivational reminders for anyone going through a tough time or simply going about their day.
IDONTMIND is a non-profit movement sponsored by Mental Health America that seeks to normalize messages about mental health. It aims to “generate positive messaging about mental health,” which it does on its Instagram through text posts and a clothing line that gets people talking.
"My struggle revealed many unexpected strengths and resilience I never knew I had. I have learned to shoulder a burden that once seemed unmovable. I have learned to think of myself as a survivor, not a victim. I have proven to myself that I am stronger than I ever knew." Quote by Sheila 💕 #letstalkaboutmentalhealth #endthestigma
Designer Jessica Walsh launched the project Let’s Talk About Mental Health as an Instagram page that promotes conversations about mental health. It features illustrations with quotes from people who want to share their stories and includes essential reminders about recovery, seeking treatment, meditation, positivity, and other elements of mental health.
Treat yourself how you’d want to treat others 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 A twist on the old adage “treat others how you’d want to be treated” for those of us who are kinder to others than we are to ourselves! . This was sparked by an article I posted on my FB page, commenting on this weird “loophole” where I️ have so much anxiety about doing something, but if it’s for a friend I don’t mind at all. Chatting this over with my best friend @amanda_r_s, we both realized that we need to employ this exercise when we’re feeling anxious about something. Would you think your friend is weird for this or would you encourage the hell out of them rn? If someone thought your friend was annoying for something, would you think they’re stupid or their opinion doesn’t matter? It’s the same for yourself. As I thought about this, it kind of amazed me how I can have SO much empathy for others, but I have very little for myself. If someone else was sad, I would NEVER tell them they are weak or they should get over it. If someone else was anxious about asking for help or what they needed, I wouldn’t tell them they’re being needy. And yet, this is how I talk to myself. Does anyone else do this?? 🙋🏼♀️ . PS this art was created by my super talented, graphic designer, best friend and sounding board @amanda_r_s 💕
With Totally Mental, Hannah Maine curates positive and empowering messages about mental health. Maine’s self-proclaimed mission — “mental health realness and encouragement” — is fulfilled with posts about self-care and resilience.
Beth Evans delivers realistic and honest messages about mental health on Beth Draws Things. Her illustrations acknowledge that not everything has to be perfect, but it’s important to try to find the positive.
Following these accounts might not have the same impact as therapy, but they can create positive moments throughout your day, which can be significant in the long run. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of scrolling through Instagram for hours, so take some time to make sure it helps your mental health instead of hurting it.