By the middle of last year, two things had become apparent: Most of us weren’t going anywhere for a while, and most of us were not OK with that. Mental health was taking a widely publicized downturn, and it was social media’s moment to step up and step in. Which it did.
In October, TikTok introduced its #wellbeing network, providing a common ground for influencers to offer advice on mental health, wellness and self-care.
Here’s a look at seven TikTok influencers who are helping bring self-care and mental wellness front and center.
Dr. Julie Smith
This doctor was definitely in when it came to guiding followers through a tough year. Her upbeat, to-the-point videos offer reminders of the importance of self-care and offer tips on things like depression, anxiety and burnout. She somehow manages to make the science behind it both enlightening and entertaining.
Trauma, anxiety and depression are all topics many people are trying to work through – or work around – on a daily basis. Micheline Maalouf, an Orlando, Florida-based therapist, takes on all these issues and more in her videos. She regularly takes on trauma and the side effects it can create if ignored and looks at some of the overlooked causes of trauma. She makes the connection seem easy and genuine.
Embody Health London
They call themselves “the dancing dieticians,” but Ariana and Cassie cover much more than just food facts with their entertaining account. They take an unexpected and much-appreciated approach to food and health issues, talking about things like body image, intuitive eating and how to break an addiction to sugar.
Too much time on our hands last year led to many questions in our heads, and Nadia Addesi set out to answer many of them. She’s completely relatable as she breaks down mental health challenges such as social anxiety and depression, but also talks about common situations such as oversharing, overthinking and parenting.
As a licensed professional counselor, Lindsay Fleming is open about her struggles with anxiety, ADHD, and dyslexia. While the posts are professional, they’re also entertaining, and she’s a big fan of taking “baby steps” rather than diving in headfirst. Her messaging is mainly targeted toward teen girls, but she also is relatable for young adults.
Dr. Justin Puder
Who says therapy can’t be fun? Not this guy! Dr. J, as he likes to call himself, is the therapist we didn’t know we needed. He uses plenty of humor in his videos while at the same time taking serious aim at mental health challenges like bipolar disorder, suppressed trauma and anxiety. He’s a big proponent of yoga and meditation, and makes the mental health journey seem a lot less frightening — and a lot more entertaining.
Dr. Kojo Sarfo
This Hollywood mental health expert never met a topic he was afraid to take on. He’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner who takes on some surprising topics not typically included in the scope of mental health, such as what kind of mental effects PMS has on women or the importance of talking more about men’s mental health challenges. He also takes on more familiar topics, like depression and eating disorders, but does it in a fun, unexpected way.
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