“If you want to improve your mental health, spend more time on social media.” Said no one ever.

Since our feeds are filled with picture-perfect content, we’re often told we should stay off social media to tend to our mental wellbeing.

But deleting your social apps isn’t the only solution; there is a new community of Instagram illustrators who are using social media to support mental health. Through their art, they talk about self-care and share their work with their followers.

The art of self-care

How do these illustrators help? If you see your struggle unpacked in a cartoon or comic, you’ll remember you’re not alone. Every time someone likes, comments on, or shares these cartoons, it says, “I feel this, too. I’m here.” And it builds a community.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to explain what we’re going through when dealing with stress or sadness, which can make us feel more isolated. Drawing can help Instagrammers communicate problems without verbalizing them, and reminds their followers they’re not alone in their struggles:

“On Instagram, you can see something in an image that doesn’t belong in words. If there were more materials out there that people could latch on to, people would be able to share these images more freely.” – Georgia, creator of @georgia.turner.art

Not only that, but these artists can help change the way we talk about these issues by being real on social media. When they take the risk to share something they’ve buried, a trauma, or just a bad day, it normalizes what could otherwise be a really tough time.

Elyse Fox, founder of the online community ‘The Sad Girls Club,’ says:

“We give social media so much shit, but ultimately it was created to connect people. I want to change the narrative of a picture-perfect life and show people how we can actually put out positive things that are kind of imperfect. We’re responsible for what we put out there.”

When met with support, these displays of authenticity can help clear out stigma and create space for deeper conversations and connections, both online and in real life. The dialogue around mental health can become more mainstream, and grants the comfort of community.

Our top feel-good artists

Here are our favorite Instagram illustrators who are making a difference in their communities:

1. @drawingsofdogs

 

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From illustrations of sloths to bunnies, Henry James Garrett draws “wholesome memes” to not only soothe his anxiety, but also his followers’ stress. On his feed, you’ll find a running theme: Henry often reminds his community they “have a superpower – and it’s called empathy.”

2. @rubyetc

 

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A self-described “illustrator, cartoonist, [and] big silly,” Ruby uses simple line drawings and scrawls to support her followers. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, but does talk seriously about mental health – making for a unique feed that can help lift you up and make you feel happier.

3. @makedaisychains

 

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Hannah Daisy’s bold cartoons are about #BoringSelfCare – from remembering to breathe to surviving a day at work to brushing your hair. You might find yourself appreciating these simple reminders on your toughest days.

4. @theofficialsadghostclub

 

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The ‘Sad Ghost Club’ is ‘the club for those who don’t feel like they’re part of any other club.’ Their signature cartoon ghost is repeated throughout their feed, offering comforting quotes. In their words, ‘We want ghosties to know that they’re not alone. Anyone can go through a rough patch, and knowing that others feel the same as you can be incredibly positive.’

5. @gmfdesigns

 

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Gabby Frost is the founder of the Buddy Project, a nonprofit movement aiming to prevent suicide by pairing people as buddies and raising awareness for mental health. The 21-year-old mental health advocate uses bold bubble lettering and pastel colored graphics to provide tips.

6. @crazyheadcomics

 

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Bad thoughts tend to fester, and negative thinking can become a habit that’s hard to break. Alternating between a cartoon version of herself and slogan posters, Matilda’s comics push us to make an effort to think more positively.

Fine-tuning your feed

Art can change your outlook and the way you experience the world. While these accounts don’t have all the answers, they can definitely make a difference to the way we feel when scrolling.

Give one of these IG artists a follow, and you’ll elevate not only your feed, but also your wellbeing.

P.S. As part of our Giveback program, the Lemonade community supports some amazing Mental Health charities – from TWLOHA, to NAMI, The Trevor Project, and Crisis Text Line. Find out how you can help us support them here.

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