If you’re anything like me, you dove head first into TikTok during the pandemic. No, really. Sometimes, a friend will send me a funny one and then I’ll get lost on TikTok for HOURS. As someone who loves variety, I love that my “For You” Page is constantly showing me new content. And while it ranges in topics, nine times out of ten, the reason I end up following an account is because they’re able to teach me something new or make me smile and feel a little bit better. I won’t even sugarcoat it, life right now can be tough. And sometimes, it’s important to have little bits of happiness or things that make you feel good throughout the day. So, here are three TikTok creators I follow that have helped support my mental health over the past year since the pandemic began.
CW: Disordered eating/body image
When COVID-19 first began, I can definitely admit that being by myself all day was…difficult to say the least. I, like many people, am a very social person – so to be forced to stop going out and seeing my friends and loved ones (even though I knew it was for the safety of myself and others) was really challenging. When it became clear that I was going to be spending a lot of time at home, I quickly found out that I would be even harder on myself than I was before. I had just started making great progress at the gym when quarantine began and without it, I began to notice that I was participating in unhealthy eating habits because I was so afraid of “quarantine weight”. Then, I found Brittani Lancaster. Brittani is currently in recovery from two eating disorders and has been able to show myself and all of her followers that we are all wonderfully made. She has helped me learn to give myself a little grace, that we are all dealing with varying emotions and situations during this time, and that there’s no such thing as “bad foods”. Food is there to fuel your body, and having a handful of chips because I’m craving them isn’t really a big deal. I’m beyond grateful that she has as big of a platform as she does, because diet culture can be dangerous.
Valley is one of my favorite bands on the planet. Their music is so chill and I love every single song of theirs. So when TikTok became “big” at the beginning of quarantine and they made an account, I knew I had to follow them. Music has always been a big part of my life, and it’s so interesting to be able to see the ins and outs of how making music works (especially during a pandemic). Now I eagerly await their new videos because they give you an inside look at their lives as a band, and I especially love to see how they layer all their sounds together. They recently shared the first verse to a song they wrote which was so popular that they wrote the rest, recorded it and released it in 48 hours! While this isn’t necessarily something that is directly mental health related, this is something that really makes me happy, and that is good for my mental health.
I actually followed Liz Moody on Instagram before I followed her on TikTok, but I am really happy to follow her everywhere, honestly. Liz Moody is relatable, and that’s what I love about her. A lot of social media “influencers” can feel unrealistic to the “average” person. And oftentimes, at least for me, that was hard on my mental health (which is one of the big reasons I edit my social media feed every few months and unfollow people who I no longer feel the need to follow). Seemingly perfect images all over my feed made me feel like I needed to do and be better, all the time. But Liz Moody doesn’t make me feel that way. She is honest and open and isn’t afraid to be. She talks about topics most influencers might shy away from, like discussing her real, raw feelings, her difficult childhood and more. Liz Moody feels like she could be one of my friends, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s a cookbook author and shares delicious recipes for me to try, too.
TikTok isn’t for everyone, and I totally get that. But whenever I feel like I’m having a hard time, I’ll just hop on TikTok for a few minutes and it makes me feel so much better. If TikTok is something you like, consider following these three creators and others for little bits of happiness in your daily life. And if TikTok isn’t your thing, you can apply the same concept of finding little bits of happiness to anything, really. Another social media platform, a hobby, reading a good book; the possibilities are endless. It’s important to find little things that support your mental health and happiness and if you can incorporate them into your daily routine, even better. We can all benefit from a little extra happiness every day.
While watching TikToks helps me when I’m feeling down, it is not a replacement for help from a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline any time at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).