I resisted for as long as I could, scoffed at the idea of giving in, and judged the platform too hard because I thought it was only for little kids. Yes, I’m talking about TikTok.
The more people talked about TikTok, the more my curiosity rose. What’s so great about the app, anyway? Isn’t it just a bunch of pre-teens dancing? I thought to myself many times. Turns out, I was completely wrong. TikTok is redefining the culture of social media.
Facebook and Instagram are among the top 5 most popular social media platforms, and since they’ve been around since the early 2000s, they’ve become hugely saturated with nice content, yes, but also very problematic content.
When they launched, we were all so new to social media, so it makes sense that if we were going to go through the trouble of going through our photos, picking one, editing it, and sharing it, it better be a good photo. But we didn’t know what harm could come out of showing our highlight reel to people online. Then, social media influencers became a thing and our mental health started to decline because of how easy it is to get caught up in the comparison game.
Now, we’re feeling the aftermath of this, and though we’re seeing some change in the type of content people post, the residual feelings are still present.
Users flocked to TikTok, and perhaps unknowingly, created a social media revolution. TikTok has become a platform full of creative, funny, intelligent, and kind people. Not to say that there aren’t trolls, bullies, and toxic accounts, but it’s almost as if our society has had enough and is revolting against the “traditional” way of using social media.
From what I’ve seen so far on the platform, people use self-deprecating humor (in the most respectable way) and create skits that are all too relatable. Whenever I log into the app, I can’t help but think, “Wow, you get me!” over and over again as I scroll. Not to mention, the video-and-no-photos feature of the app, the algorithm, and the nature of the app makes it nearly impossible to share what you would normally share on a more photo-friendly platform like Instagram and Facebook. People do not go on TikTok to see a video of you at a fancy party in the Hidden Hills of Santa Monica. They want to be entertained.
Dr. Courtney Tracy is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), doctor of clinical psychology, and self-proclaimed no-BS therapist. I love her videos because she’s not wrong about being a no-BS therapist — she keeps things super real and straight to the point on her page, yet she’s able to balance that with validating language and introspective content. More often than not my face transforms into that emoji with its hand over its mouth because I simultaneously can’t believe she said something a bit risque and because she just served me an aha-moment.
She’s also super real about her struggle with anxiety, and that honestly humanizes her a lot — we don’t see a lot of therapists getting vulnerable with their own struggles online. All in all, her page is incredibly relatable, reassuring, and hilarious.
Dr. Melissa Shepard is a board-certified therapist and psychiatrist, and mental health advocate who is also super open about her own mental health struggles (like Dr. Courtney Tracy), but with depression and ADHD. And that’s partially why I love her page so much because she’s also humanizing herself and showing vulnerability, which I think many people can connect with because they feel like they’re not alone.
But I also needed to add her to this list because she knows how to extend immense empathy to her followers. Her comment section is flooded with people opening up about their struggles and saying they feel heard, and it’s really a great community to be a part of.
Lindsay Fleming is a licensed therapist, content creator, business owner, and speaker who focuses a lot of her content trauma, ADHD, and anxiety for teens, but the videos she makes still hit home for someone like me in their 20s because we all deal with mental health struggles no matter what age we are. She also uses her platform to destigmatize getting help, no matter what your background or how “severe” your mental health struggle is.
Lindsay mostly uses songs in her TikToks, which I thought would be a turn-off because I’m just not that trendy, but they fit so well with the message she sends and it injects a bit of humor into otherwise serious topics — and like I mentioned in part 1, humor can play such an important role in mental health journeys!
Nadia Addesi is a psychotherapist and registered social worker who just seems like one of the most compassionate people. She creates super helpful thought-reframing videos and educates her viewers on signs for a wide range of mental health disorders, such as anxiety, OCD, depression, and trauma — just to name a few. If you want a more educational experience and want to learn more about the signs of certain disorders, then Nadia is the page for you
because she knows how to clearly and concisely explain common signs, symptoms, and tips of advice for those struggling.
Mama Therapy, AKA Stephanie Straub is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who focuses a lot of her content on parents. I had to include her on this list because of this niche! It’s not that often we get to see someone who is actually a professional and who isn’t a mommy blogger giving advice in the world of parenting. Though I don’t have kids, I still find her page useful because I can either reflect on my life as a kid or apply her advice to my relationships.
For anyone who is thinking about becoming a parent, though, or wants to simply be motivated to strengthen your relationship (with yourself, your partner, and/or other loved ones), her page is fantastic!
Out of all the social media platforms, I have to say: TikTok may be one of the “healthiest” ones to be on. With the emergence of health professional influencers, I’m excited to see how this niche grows and makes the online world a better place. Are there any therapists I didn’t mention that you’d like to give a shoutout to? Leave their username in the comments! And don’t forget to check out part one by clicking here!