One of the best ways I started to turn around my mental health and really heal is by changing my internet experience. At the height of my depression and anxiety, I was almost exclusively following mental illness blogs on every social media platform. I was on my phone all day every day because I was too sad and scared to really participate in life, and my internet experience was filled with even more mental illness.
At first, this helped because I so desperately needed the validation. I needed to hear from other people going through the same things I was, just so I would know I wasn’t completely crazy or dramatic or alone. But after a while, this became a problem. All I was doing on the internet was drowning in my pain and others’ pain, and it seemed like there was no hope to be found.
In reality, there was hope, but I couldn’t see it because I had curated my internet experience to reflect the pain, not the hope. I wasn’t ready for a message of hope when my mental illnesses got particularly bad, but after a while, I needed that hope. I needed it bad.
I found some hope through my loved ones of course, and therapy helped as well, but after a while I realized I wanted to receive some hope from other people like me. People who felt like they’d been drowning for years now, and somehow knew they were going to be able to swim again. So I started changing my internet experience. I followed some incredible mental health blogs, and I realized that there were ways things might get better. I hope my Mental Health Monday posts have contributed some of that genuine hope to your feeds as well, but if you’re looking for more, I’ve collected the 7 best mental health blogs on the internet right now. I personally visit each of these sites regularly, and I’ve found them to be incredibly helpful. I hope they can give all of you the same growth, peace, and camaraderie they give me.
*** Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated in any way for recommending these blogs. They are just genuinely amazing resources ❤ ***
1. How to ADHD
Okay, I haven’t been formally diagnosed with ADHD, but I can’t explain how much Jessica at How to ADHD has helped me through my journey with mental illness.
How to ADHD is a YouTube channel (ideal for people like me with short attention spans who maybe can’t sit down and read a bunch of blog posts all the time) focused on education, compassion, and practical solutions to the ADHD experience. Jessica has been diagnosed with ADHD combined type since she was a kid, but it wasn’t until she grew up and saw that her ADHD was still drastically affecting her life that she started doing her own research and learning more effective tools for coping with the challenges of ADHD.
I have learned so much from Jessica. For instance, I learned the term “executive dysfunction” from her, and it completely changed my life. For the first time, I understood why I struggled so much with seemingly simple daily tasks. It wasn’t laziness, it was a misfiring in my brain. Best of all, there were ways to cope with it, to make it better!
But How to ADHD isn’t just about advice and education. Jessica shares her personal struggles and stories, and she is genuinely entertaining and interesting. I could (and have) watched her videos for hours on end. If you have (or suspect that you have) ADHD, it’s a must watch, but even if you’re just looking for easily digestible information about mental health, I can’t recommend this channel enough. I subscribed a year ago, and it has brought so much joy and empowerment to my life with mental illness.
Katie is a self-proclaimed “weird, sensitive creature” with ADHD and autism, and her blog addresses everything autism: autism in girls, late autism diagnosis, stimming, masking, and more. Again, I haven’t been diagnosed with autism, but I’ve still learned so much from this blog and I know so many other neurodivergent people will also be able to learn from Katie’s honesty, wisdom, and wit.
Words cannot describe how much I love the name of this blog alone. The fact that she is claiming the labels of “weird” and “sensitive,” words that have always been used to hurt me, is so empowering for me to see. And it really captures the vibe Katie goes for, which is self-acceptance and self-love.
A big project she says she’s working on this year, both on the blog and in her daily life, is unmasking. Many people with autism, especially women and girls, experience a unique symptom called “masking,” which is essentially paying close attention to every tiny detail of how “normal” people act and replicating those behaviors in order to blend in. It’s not just social anxiety or “behaving,” it’s an incredibly draining, harmful symptom of autism, and many autistic people spend years unlearning their masking and finally being their true selves.
I can’t describe how much this blog has helped me in the few months I’ve been following it, both online and on Instagram. Her pictures are gorgeous, her posts are heartfelt and informative, and I feel like she’s teaching me, bit by bit, to accept myself for the neurodivergent “weird, sensitive creature” that I am. If you know you need to work on your own self-acceptance, this blog could be a tremendous help.
I recently did an interview with Michelle, the creator of Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health, New York City based clothing line, but long before that, I was following her blog and her account on Instagram. I know there’s a bit of a trend going on here, but I have not been diagnosed with schizophrenia either, but regardless, I’ve learned so much from Michelle about stigma, hope, and self-acceptance, and I know so many others who could benefit from hearing more about her experiences.
Michelle has schizophrenia, one of the traditionally “scary” mental illnesses that is still heavily stigmatized, even as mental health becomes a bit of a “trend.” Well, Michelle knows she isn’t scary, and she’s out to break down stigma everywhere, starting with her incredibly unique clothing line. Several of her designs include the Rorschach test (AKA, the ink blot test). She says people with schizophrenia see the ink blots differently than people without schizophrenia, and she wanted to showcase that by making the ink blots bright and colorful.
On the Schizophrenic.NYC blog, you will find an absolute treasure trove of information about mental health. Why sleep hygiene is important, what people with schizophrenia want you to know, schizophrenic episodes caught on camera, and more. The blog is personal, educational, and most of all, hopeful. It’s incredible to see a fellow mentally ill creator making such amazing content, and since following her blog, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve even started to let go of some of the learned helplessness that often goes hand-in-hand with mental illness.
So far, all of the blogs I’ve recommended have come from a very specific point of view with an emphasis on a specific diagnosis. But if you’re looking for more general mental health information and advice, Mental Health @ Home is the blog for you.
Ashley is a mental health nurse and she has treatment-resistant depression, but her blog goes so far beyond those things. Obviously she has some amazing posts on living with depression, taking medication, and the issues with using “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” labels, but she also does a wonderful “What Is…?” series that explores so many psychology terms. From conversion therapy to Meyer’s-Briggs personality types to rumination, she covers it all.
If you want to learn more about how your brain works, Ashley can help. If you have questions about a specific diagnosis, Ashley can help. And if you’re looking for books on mental health, Ashley can help you out there too. She is personally the author of three books: Managing the Depression Puzzle, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, and Psych Meds Made Simple, which are available on her site, Amazon, and more.
Personally, I have loved her personal posts about how she manages blogging along with her depression. I sometimes have a tough time juggling my Big Sad with being a productive blogger and freelance writer, so it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one, and I love her advice on how to continually improve your blog without getting caught up in the pain of comparing yourself to other bloggers. As a writer and as a person, I’ve gotten so much out of Mental Health @ Home, and I’m sure others will too.
5. My Soul Balm
I only found Maria’s blog, My Soul Balm, a few days ago, and it is already one of my favorite mental health blogs by a long shot. Words cannot describe how much I love her eloquence, intelligence, openness, and bravery.
A delicate combination of personal narrative and magnificent resource pile, My Soul Balm truly will soothe the burning feeling in your brain caused by mental illness. Maria’s own problems as a highly sensitive person with OCD, anxiety, and depression speak to me on my most basic level, as a fellow HSP with a lot of the same problems. But this blog goes so far beyond just conveying a personal experience (even though that is perfectly valid and valuable in and of itself). It’s also a great source for improving your self-advocacy. Maria had a traumatic experience with “voluntary” admission to a behavioral health center, and even though that kind of experience caused her immense pain, it also awakened a fire inside her. A desire to advocate for herself and others to prevent mental health care from being more traumatic than the illness itself.
If you need to know your legal rights in a behavioral health situation, her blog can help. She has a post on how to afford medication, how community care can help (and hurt), and she’s got plenty of resources for getting through our current pandemic situation. My Soul Balm isn’t just about education or validation, it’s about practical advice for protecting yourself, which I think we need a whole lot more of in the world of mental health.
Personally, my favorite post so far is the one on generational trauma. Maria comes up with a hypothetical family and goes through, generation by generation, the issues that can crop up in different types of people. I’ve never seen such a straightforward, engaging explanation of how a young person in 2020 might find themselves struggling with trauma they’ve never directly experienced. The whole site is relatable, honest, helpful, and just generally a wonderful resource and ally in this struggle against mental illness.
6. Emm Not Emma
Oh Emm Not Emma *happy sigh* I have followed Emm’s comics for over 5 years now, I’ve bought her comforting coloring book, and I can attest that her work will make you feel valid and safe in a way that none of the other blogs on this list can.
Sometimes, I just don’t have the presence of mind for a blog post or even a video. Sometimes, I just need some bite-size comfort, and that’s when I turn to Emm’s social media. I used to follow her on Tumblr, but she’s mostly switched over to Twitter and Instagram, so I follow her there now. She regularly posts comics that focus on self-affirmation, soothing anxiety, and improving overall self-worth. Her comics are typically simple line drawings, and they evoke a sense of peace that many of us neurodivergent people desperately need at times. I still have a few pages left in her coloring book she published years ago, and I break it out when I just need to take a few deep breaths and color a cute kitty.
If you’re struggling with everything going on with the pandemic right now, you aren’t alone (trust me, I have cried nearly every day for a week now). Emm has several beautiful comics about the delicate balance between allowing ourselves to grieve right now and still having hope for the future without invalidating our current pain. She also has comics about panic attacks, comics with animal puns, and comics about accepting limitations with a mental health condition. When I read her comics, I just feel a sense of peace that I don’t get from hardly anything else, and they have certainly brightened up my social media feeds. If you’re looking to make a small change in your daily internet experience, I highly encourage you to follow Emm Not Emma.
Another great resource for bite-sized comfort, Prescriptions for Hope is one of my favorite mental health blogs when it comes to easily digestible, fast advice on improving my mental health in small ways. Dr. SD Shanti is a public heath expert with experience in both dentistry and mental health, and she has combined her experience to create something called “Brush Your Mind.” The basic idea is that in order to have good mental health, you need to consistently practice preventative care, like you do with your teeth by brushing them every day. You don’t wait until you have a cavity to start brushing your teeth, you just do it. In the same way, SD promotes mental wellness by showing us how to take care of our mental health before a full-blown mental illness develops.
If you’ve always sort of thought about therapy, but don’t feel like you have a mental illness so you feel like you should just “power through,” Prescriptions for Hope is the blog for you. The truth is, we all need support when it comes to maintaining our mental health, especially right now.
One of the really cool things about this blog is the additional support SD is providing to help people get through the pandemic. Although they aren’t available yet, she is working on setting up webinars to provide you with tools to help you cope with everything going on right now. Upcoming webinar topics include gems such as Stress and Coping, Transcending Crisis and Making Meaning, and Health Promotion During Times of Crisis.
If you aren’t sure you want to jump into therapy yet (although I highly recommend it for everyone, mental illness or not) but you feel that you need some support for your mental health, especially right now, Prescriptions for Hope is a great resource.