I recently stumbled across an article on The Guardian discussing the impact of Instagram on mental health. Bit late to the party I know! But I learned that, of all the social media networks, Instagram is the one that has the most negative impact on people’s mental health.
I’m not at all surprised by this. At one time my feed was full of people living seemingly charmed lives. Of perfect hotel rooms, gigantic (almost obscene) breakfast spreads and perfectly posed images in amazing locations. It was, quite frankly, anxiety-inducing and not at all good for my fragile brain.
So I did a complete overhaul. I unfollowed all those accounts that made me feel a bit shit about myself, and instead filled it with things and people I love. Now when I browse on Instagram, my feed is full of friends, comedians, educational stuff, entertaining celebrities, travel (the non-wankery kind), mental health advocates and body positive models.
So today I’m spreading the love and sharing my absolute favourite mental health advocates on Instagram. Enjoy!
I discovered Bryony Gordon through a friend who knew that I was suffering from depression and body image issues. Bryony’s account is refreshingly honest and unfiltered and she talks unashamedly about her struggles with mental health, body image and alcohol. Like me, she advocates exercise as a way of managing mental health and she even ran a marathon in her underwear! Enough said!
I read Fearne Cotton’s book ‘Happy’ at the very start of my depression. At the time I knew that I was suffering with depression but I didn’t know much else. I had absolutely no idea where to start with helping myself. Fearne’s book explained mental health in a way I could relate to and helped me start taking active steps to look after myself and recover. Having someone so high profile be so open about their own mental health problems was a real comfort to me. Fearne’s Instagram account includes lots of little reminders to be grateful for the small things in life.
Whenever I’m feeling a bit down I sneak a peek at Gracie Francesca’s account. It always makes me feel better to see someone who has suffered through mental health and body image problems absolutely killing it. Grace is fiercely open about her experiences with trauma, mental health and eating disorders and like Bryony above, totally genuine.
Jen Gotch, founder of Ban.do, proves that even super successful entrepreneurs aren’t immune to suffering from mental health conditions. She was diagnosed with depression when she was 23, and a few years ago started sharing her own personal experiences on Instagram.
Mental Health Advocacy
Mental Health Advocacy is an Instagram community aimed at beating the stigma that surrounds mental health. Victor shares stories of both celebrities and everyday people, with the occasional inspirational quote, to help spread awareness about mental health problems.