Top 8 Free Mental Health Apps To Support You in 2023

If there’s one thing we love here at DiveThru, it’s a free mental health app. Is it because we have our own free app that we’re going to plug in this article? Definitely. But besides that, we love that mental health is becoming more accessible for everyone, at affordable price points, right on your phone! 

It can be tough to search through aaaalll the options in the app store to find the apps that suit you. Plus, everyone has different needs! That’s why we did all the searching for you. Here are eight free mental health apps for a variety of needs, so you can take self-care with you anywhere you go. Let’s dive into it! 


We would kinda suck as a company if we didn’t mention the DiveThru app in this article! But we’ll explain all the lovely benefits you get from it.

First off, we have our Dives! These free routines lets you take care of your mental health with 3 simple steps (5-minutes-or-less!) every single day. For the first step, you track your feelings to help you identify your emotions and their triggers. In the second step, you work through a 60-second breathing exercise to regulate yourself. And the last step is 2 quick journal prompts. Pick our general Check-In Dive to start or head right into a topic-specific routine, like one of our Anxiety, Preventing Burnout, or Exploring Self-Esteem Dives. The Dives make positive mental health routines easy AF to start and stick to!

In the app, there’s a ton of content, including hundreds of journal prompts, soooo many informative articles, mindfulness exercises, and interactive courses with therapist-led videos. Everything we put on our mental health app is double-checked by mental health professionals, so you know it’s good! 


Can artificial intelligence help your mental health? Wysa thinks so!

Wysa is a mental health app that uses an AI chat bot to navigate your concerns in a way that helps you feel secure and anonymous. After chatting for a bit, the AI recommends different resources and functions in the app to help steer you towards something that can help you in that moment. 

Wysa includes self-care packs with different meditations, exercises, and check-ins for a long list of mental health concerns. As well, it has a paid option to have text sessions with a therapist! If you prefer to not talk about your emotions IRL and feel like texting is the way to go, Wysa is the right app for you.


If your days feel chaotic and messy, and you struggle to keep good habits, you might want some help establishing a routine. This is where Routinery shines!

The app has functions to build a custom routine to suit your needs. You can make a morning routine (with timers!) to remind yourself of anything you need to do! And it’s totally customizable. So you can set a routine to wake up, make your bed, brush your teeth, do your skincare routine, get dressed, and journal—all with custom time limits—in any order you like! TBH waking up probably comes first… but the rest of the order is up to you!.

Plus, the app has celebrity routines that you can choose from! So if you want your morning to look like Oprah Winfrey’s, Routinery can make that happen. 

It’s a great tool for people who have a tough time sticking to a routine (shout out to our ADHD friends), or find themselves forgetting a step or two when their day gets out of hand. 

Simple Habit

If you don’t meditate because it sounds stressful, Simple Habit might be a good choice! The goal of this mental health app is to make it that much easier for everyone to try meditating. 

The guided meditations last between three and 20 minutes, with plenty of smaller programs to focus on if you’re strapped for time. There’s tons of different categories to choose from, so whether you’re looking to build some self-love or to feel inspired, Simple Habit has a meditation for you! 

Simple Habit has a seven day free trial, but then requires a subscription.

Clear Fear

This mental health app is all about challenging your fears! 

Clear Fear includes journaling prompts, mood tracking, and anxiety-tackling activities. The big “Clear Your Fear” button on the homepage lets you get specific with your anxiety and what would help, then walks you through ways you can manage your anxiety. The app also gives you some inspirational quotes to use for affirmation, and has a Safety Net option that reminds you of what helps in tough times. 

If your anxiety is confusing as hell and you don’t know why you feel the way you feel, this anxiety app can help you figure yourself out! 


When you want to get some movement in, but you’re not able to fully commit to a workout, Wakeout has you covered.

The app is full of fun and easy workouts that are designed to be done basically anywhere. They have office chair yoga, quick kitchen workouts, and fun couch movements you can do with your partner. Schedule a bite-sized activity break whenever you have a moment to spare! You can also set timers to remind you to get moving. The video guides will help you nail those moves, and it makes it suuuper easy to fit a bit of movement into your day. 

Wakeout has a seven day free trial, but then requires a subscription. 


Meditopia’s goal is to make mindfulness and meditation a consistent habit with incredible long-term results.

When you open the app, you get a questionnaire about your mental state, your challenges, and your goals. The app then gives you a personalized program based on your wants and needs. Meditopia has so much variety, including guided meditation, music, and nature sounds. You have options to inspire you, get yourself familiar with your true feelings, and even help you sleep.

Meditopia has a seven day free trial, but then requires a subscription.


Rootd is all about addressing and accepting panic attacks with their big red button called The Rootr. 

If you’re having a panic attack, hit that button! It will give you the options of some reaffirming statements about your resilience and how panic attacks are temporary, or some statements of radical acceptance that remind you to stop resisting the sensations and to take them head-on. 

Aside from that, they also have lessons about panic and anxiety, breathing exercises, journaling functions, visualization exercises, and audios to help you sleep. Using it all consistently will help give you the tools to handle a panic attack when it comes along. 

Rootd has a seven day free trial, but then requires a subscription.


There you go! That’s eight of the best mental health apps for 2022 to help you take charge of your mental health from the convenience of your phone. Our personal fave is still the first one tbh! Everyone’s mental health needs will be different, so try them all, play around, and see what works best for you! 

8 Tips for Dealing With Dating-App Fatigue

Dating app fatigue is very real. The constant revolving door of matches, choice paralysis, soooo many talking phases where you ask the same questions over and over and over… ugh. 

Finding someone to date in 2022 is tough. We’re two years into a pandemic, and it feels like dating apps are one of the few options left to meet new people! But the apps can become so exhausting after a while. How do you deal with it??

Well, that depends on why they tire you out! We’ve made a list with some common issues people deal with when it comes to dating apps, and how you can get through them. Let’s dive into dating apps!

1. Redefine Rejection

You found someone you really click with! You talk all the time! You even went on a date, and it felt amazing! You updated the group chat about the new boo and things are looking up! But then they hit you with, “I don’t see this going anywhere.” Ouch. Or even worse, they freaking ghost you

Rejection can feel rough. And veeeerry personal, especially in a dating situation. When you’re rejected for a job, it could be based on your experience, education, the company making an internal hire, or so many other factors. But if someone rejects you in a dating situation, it can feel like they’re rejecting you, like, as a human being. That can sting. On dating apps, you can even feel the twinge of rejection before you meet them, when you think a sure match goes unswiped on their end. 

Getting rejected doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong, bad, or flawed with you. It simply means you weren’t a match. Think of it this way: you can have the most perfectly baked, perfectly sweet, perfectly warm slice of pumpkin pie in front of you. But if you’re not a fan of pumpkin pie, you won’t want to eat it, regardless of how perfect it is.

So don’t give up! Be your most perfect pumpkin pie-self, and someone out there will want to eat you up. In a dating way. You get it. 

2. Make Sure It’s Still Fun

Dating should be fun! Talking to someone new should get you all warm and fuzzy inside. Planning a date or hookup should be something you’re 100% down and ready to do. 

A lot of dating app burnout can come from feeling like it’s a chore, or getting sick of drawn-out talking phases that never lead to anything. Is every match gonna be the whirlwind adventure of your wildest rom-com dreams? Nope. But you definitely shouldn’t dread opening up the app, or ignore your matches because you think they’ll fail before they start.

Basically, if it’s not fun, either give yourself a break from the apps, or try to approach them with less pressure to “succeed.” Think less about the end goal and more about getting to know a new person. These dating app icebreakers could help you out!

3. Get To Know Yourself

Speaking of which! Do you know yourself?

I mean, of course you do, to some extent. You’re hanging out with yourself literally all the time. But getting to know your own thoughts, emotions, and motivations can help you combat dating app fatigue. Asking yourself questions can help you understand why you’re fatigued, why you’re turning to dating apps in the first place, and how you can refocus on things that bring you energy and excitement.

One of our fave ways of getting to know yourself is through journaling. When you find that you’re dreading the apps, try out these prompts:

Why am I wanting to download or open up a dating app right now?

Do I find dating apps beneficial, harmful, or neutral for my mental health? 

When do I feel dating app fatigue the most? 

The prompts won’t fix the fatigue, but getting to the source can help you figure out whether you really want to use the apps to find a match, or are just doing it out of boredom, loneliness, or a desire for validation. No judgment here, btw! Everyone wants to feel desirable every once in a while. Just make sure it’s not bringing you down, okay?

Side note, if you want hundreds more journaling prompts from the convenience of your phone, the DiveThru app has soooo many to choose from! So many topics, so many prompts, so much introspection. Oooohh, and the app is free. So go ahead and download it. Plz. Thx. 

4. Focus On You

What makes you happy? 

So much of using a dating app is trying to attract other people. That’s kinda the whole point. But what brings you joy? What excites you? If the app is bringing you down, re-evaluate your approach. How much of your Tinder profile really reflects you and your interests vs. trying to appear attractive to the highest amount of people? Are your matches giving you as much effort as you give them?

We know that telling you to focus on yourself is weird dating advice, since dating involves at leeeeast one more person. But think about it: when you see someone living their happiest life and chasing their passions, that’s super attractive, right?? Getting matches is cute and fresh and fun, but remember to live your best life in the process! 

5. Take a Break

I mean, this one is so obvious that it shouldn’t have to be said, right? But juuuust in case you hadn’t considered it, taking a break from the apps can help.

When you’re burned out by something, a break might be in order. Delete the app for a week. You don’t have to delete it in a frustrated rage, though—just wanting a breather is a valid reason. If and when it feels right, redownload it. If you find yourself happier without the apps, maybe you need some more time away. 

6. Try a New Platform

These days, a lot of people are turning to social media as a matchmaking service! There are Twitter threads where you describe yourself, your interests, and add a couple pics, and people DM you off of that. There’s even TikTok matchmaker accounts dedicated to featuring people in the videos that are looking for a love match. 

Choice paralysis is one of the big drawbacks of dating apps, and can definitely lead to fatigue. There’s an incentive to keep swiping and see if something better comes up in the same way that we scroll endlessly through social media. If you always have the possibility of a new match waiting around the corner, how can you put effort into one you already have? Try to focus on less people at a time and really consider them before swiping again. Limit how many convos you have going at a time.

7. Volunteer Locally To Meet People

Maybe your dating app fatigue is less about the dating and more about the app. In that case, get out there and volunteer!

What are you passionate about?? Look it up and find a local organization or event dedicated to that thing. Whether you want to volunteer at an animal shelter, a concert, or a convention—volunteering makes meeting someone in your area extra easy. 

Even if you don’t find the love of your life, you could find a great friend, which is pretty sweet, too. And maybe that friend introduces you to someone you end up dating! Either way, there’s no dating app fatigue involved, and you end up with cool people in your life who are interested in the same stuff you do. We love to see it! 

8. Journey > Destination

The cycle of using, deleting, and re-downloading dating apps can deeefinitely become tiring after a while. You’re probably going to have many matches that go nowhere, talking phases that fizzle out, and you might even be ghosted once or twice. All of that can make it tough to keep using the apps. 

Try to take your matches one step at a time. Instead of thinking big picture and far in the future, when you get a match, think about getting to know them. If that goes well, then you can think about a first date. After that, a second date. But in the whole process, if you’re approaching every match like they’re your one true love, you’ll likely be disappointed. So stay in the present, see where things go, and don’t forget to have fun with it!

10 Therapists on TikTok You Should Follow

The combination of TikTok and therapy is so gooood! Two of our fave things rolled into one. It’s like chocolate and peanut butter, or weighted blankets and naps, or procrastinating your work and scrolling through your FYP for three hours until you get the TikTok guy telling you to go outside. Okay, we def don’t recommend the third one, but the first two are pretty great.

TikTok therapy content is not a replacement for actual therapy. But mental health TikTok accounts can be a great way to learn about the topics! Or, at the very least, you can watch therapists make memes about mental health. Getting a meme with your educational info is a sweet two-for-one deal. Plus, if you see a really relatable vid, you can take that into your session and talk about it with your therapist. 

Mental health and social media can also be a dangerous combo. It can give a big platform to someone who thinks they know all about mental health, but actually gives uninformed or harmful advice. Soooo, with that in mind, which therapists on TikTok do we recommend?

TikTok Therapists to Follow

For this list, we scoured the app for 10 of the best therapists on TikTok making funny, educational, and relatable content. In no particular order, let’s get into it! 

Simone Saunders (@thecognitivecorner)

Simone Saunders is a therapist whose content on TikTok is largely based on healing from trauma. Her videos cover family trauma, relationships, and attachment styles, among other things. She also has TikToks that respond to viewer comments, explaining topics like feeling like an outsider and dissociative amnesia. 

While she does cover the many difficulties associated with PTSD, she also touches on the less overt forms of trauma, like how childhood trauma can include the lack of good things that should have happened, rather than the presence of bad things. Definitely worth checking out if you want to learn more about trauma.

Hannah Fuhlendorf (@hannahtalksbodies)

Hannah Fuhlendorf is a licensed therapist, involved activist in many different causes, and suuuper informative content creator. She’s all about dispelling the myths created by anti-fat bias, advocating for body acceptance, and creating a fair world where fat people are able to have the same quality of life as straight-sized people.

If you’re looking for advice on how to take care of yourself as an activist, or wondering just how toxic diet culture really is (hint: it’s Britney Spears pop anthem kind of toxic), check out her account!

Dr. Justin Puder (@amoderntherapist)

Dr. Justin Puder is a licensed therapist and psychologist who’s all about managing stress and anxiety, the power of vulnerability, and the benefits of mindfulness. In his videos, he’s talked about the trauma of the deaths of his dad and brother, working through his OCD diagnosis, and using his experiences to inform his practice.

He also has a video on buying plants as a coping mechanism. It’s definitely not relatable, definitely not something we do, and deeefinitely not the reason we feel the need to steer clear of the houseplant section in every store (succulents might not fix every problem, but they fix the problem of not having a succulent, and some would say that’s a step in the right direction).

Sandy Tufts (@therapyghost) 

Sandy Tufts is a licensed independent clinical social worker who uses TikTok to create a safe space for mental health information. She often makes videos responding to comments, covering topics like childhood neglect, hypervigilance as a trauma response, and mental health disorders like Bipolar Disorder.

She has a great multi-part series on therapist red flags. Her examples include your therapist insisting on you describing your trauma in detail, giving weight loss tips when body image concerns are brought up, and blaming a young person’s self-harm on puberty. Yikes. Yeah, those are red flags in anyone, but DEFINITELY red flags in therapists.

Dr. Carrie (@the.parent.therapist)

Dr. Carrie is a child psychologist who’s all about kids and ADHD. She posts tons of content for parents, like how to handle tantrums, the challenges of organizing ADHD kids’ schedules, and how to parent a kid with ADHD when you also have ADHD. She also makes content about setting boundaries with family, and shutting down body-shaming comments directed at your kids from your family. Yes yes yesss. 

She also has a great video about bad ADHD advice as inspiration quotes. Taking away the shame around parenting struggles, while also making hilarious content?? Incredible. We love. We live. 

Dr. Han Ren (@drhanren)

Dr. Han Ren is a licensed clinical and school psychologist who’s passionate about intersectionality, BIPOC therapy access, and anti-oppressive work. Her videos are honest and real, and address the sometimes hateful and racist reality of being a BIPOC person on a public platform. On her social media, she tries to show her audience the true, lived experiences of BIPOC people. 

When she’s not addressing the unfortunate experiences of racism, her videos have a light and fun tone. Bonus points because they often feature her cute lil’ puppy!! The ones on cultural aspects of mental health and trauma are fascinating, and she’s just as educational as she is entertaining! 

Dr. Kristen Casey (@drkristencasey)

Dr. Kristen Casey is a clinical psychologist who often works with business and entrepreneurs, but has lots of content about anxiety management, how to get a restful sleep, and what therapists really think during sessions. She has videos about the pandemic’s emotional toll, and how it has affected mental health workers. It’s an important reminder that therapists are humans, too, and feel the weight of the world just like everyone else. Knowing what we’re going through is part of what makes them great therapists!

Her videos are super informative, and she’s talked about the incredible steps that social media has made towards making mental health information accessible, but like so many therapists (and us!), she emphasizes that TikTok therapy content can’t replace actual therapy.

Dr. Kojo Sarfo (@dr.kojosarfo)

Dr. Kojo Sarfo is a Hollywood-based psychiatrist who posts videos on a range of mental health topics. He covers things like ADHD, eating disorders, and anxiety. Because of his own experiences with ADHD and low self-esteem, he creates a lot of content to educate people on the symptoms of ADHD

One aspect of his videos is reassuring people that going to a psychiatric hospital is okay, that the staff are there to help you, and that patients are able to thrive after admission. The effort to destigmatize seeking help during mental health crises is amazing!! 

Dr. Melissa Shepard (@doctorshepard_md)

Dr. Melissa Shepard is a psychiatrist and therapist who posts lots of educational content. She’s all about making affirmations work for you, learning to accept anxiety rather than resisting or avoiding it, and allowing yourself to struggle with your mental health. The idea that we’re not allowed to struggle because “someone has it worse is super unhelpful to everyone involved and had nothing to do with your situation.

Dr. Shepard has also made a really great video about making sure that your “Tik Tok therapist” is actually a registered therapist! She suggests checking their bio, website, or Googling their credentials. There’s a lot of false and misleading info out there! Check your sources, people!! And remember, a degree in TikTok Therapy is not a real credential! 

Shani Tran (@theshaniproject)

Shani Tran is a licensed therapist who posts tons of high-energy content about running her BIPOC-owned and -staffed therapy office, dealing with Black trauma, and managing stress and anxiety. She loves dancing around and performing skits, making her approach to therapy all her own. 

A big part of her videos are making sure people are finding the therapists that suit their needs, and that they’re getting the most out of their sessions. After all, you’re the one paying for the service, so you should be benefiting from it! 

TikTok Therapy Content ≠ Going to Therapy

This content is all super fun and informative, but again, TikTok therapy content is not a replacement for real therapy! The right therapist for you will listen to your individual needs and act accordingly. Just because you recognize a symptom from a TikTok, does not mean you have that mental health disorder. Avoid the pitfalls of self-diagnosing, and make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you’re concerned!

But until you book that appointment, a couple funny mental health vids couldn’t hurt.

10 Self-Care Tools for Trans and Non-Binary Folks

Transgender and non-binary people have a lot of reasons to practise self-care. It’s enough stress to deal with everyday things like finances, relationships, family, and school, but if you add gender politics into that mix, it’s super easy for that stress to become too much. So you need to take care of yourself! 

There’s a common misconception that self-care is taking a bubble bath, putting on a face mask, and watching a nostalgic childhood movie. Those things can be helpful! But self-care is more about prioritizing your mental and physical wellbeing beyond the superficial so that you have the emotional resilience to take on the many challenges life throws at you. 

Self-care is going to look a little different for someone whose gender expression and identity can make them feel like an outsider, or even put them in danger. But we want trans and non-binary people to find—and keep—joy in their life! So this is a self-care list that has trans and non-binary folks in mind.

1. Find Your Support System

Everyone needs support! And this is especially true for trans and non-binary people. Finding your family—whether given or chosen—is so important. The idea of the found family is all about finding people that make you feel safe, loved, and respected, outside of the boundaries of a biological or nuclear family. 

Many transgender and non-binary people face rejection from or conflict with family members after coming out. So whether or not your relatives are willing to accept your trans or enby identity, your close friends, their pets, and your work bestie can make a fantastic support system! Maybe keep the pets away from the Friendsgiving table tho.

2. Journal

Your journal is such a great tool to work through your thoughts and feelings. If you’re grappling with your gender identity and expression, or want to dig deep into your feelings around gender, journaling is a great way to take care of your mental health!

You can journal to build gratitude, work on loving/ accepting your body, and learn how to love yourself. We’re veeeery pro-journaling at DiveThru, and have tons of prompts in our app to help you work through whatever you’re thinking about. And your journal is yours, so you should def use it to get out all those complicated thoughts and feelings, but you can also journal about how Laverne Cox looks gorgeous literally all the time. Like… how? What’s her secret??

3. Style Yourself How You Want To Look

An affirming way of embracing your gender identity is to style yourself however you want to look. For transgender and non-binary people, many grew up with the pressure to look a certain way that went against their gender identity. So developing your personal style and rocking it can be an amazing form of self-care!

It’s okay if you’re not comfortable going out in public in your own unique style at first. If you want to strut around your house wearing what makes you happy, full support! Your hallway is a runway. Hunter Schafer would be proud. 

If you want to try to change up your look but you’re scared to do it alone, reach out to your support system, have an eighties makeover montage, and let them give you all the emotional support you need (and maybe a borrowed outfit) to look like your true self. 

4. Find Activities and Hobbies That Bring Joy

Living with a gender expression other than cisgender can be stressful. That’s why it’s important to pursue experiences that bring you joy!

Artistic expression can be a great way to lose yourself in something while working through how you feel. And if you don’t think you’re very skilled at the art you create, remember Bob Ross’s wise words: “It’s the imperfections that make something beautiful. That’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.” 

Of course, art isn’t the only option. You can go for a hike, play some video games, bake, and do any number of activities that make you happy!

5. Get Moving

Speaking of hiking! 

Physical activity is a fantastic emotional regulator and it includes so much more than just hitting the gym. But we know that exercise can be intrinsically connected to diet culture so here’s the type of movement we want you to focus on. You should move in a way that makes you happy and do the type of activities that you genuinely enjoy — whether that is stretching, yoga, dancing, running, biking, swimming, or going for walks in your neighbourhood. As long as you’re bringing some joyful movement into your day, that’s all that matters.

6. Become An Activist (With Safety In Mind)

It’s an unfortunate reality that it’s more dangerous to be transgender than it is to be cisgender. 2021 saw the most violence on record against transgender people than any year before (“on record” is being specified because a lot of violence will go unreported). In the United States in 2021, a record breaking amount of states passed anti-transgender laws that allow awful exclusionary policies like banning trans women in women’s sports leagues, letting businesses signal customers when trans people are using public washrooms, banning gender changes on birth certificates, and medical professionals being allowed to turn away trans people simply for being transgender. 

You have every right to be upset about political moves like these and want to get involved. Part of self-care can be taking action towards making the world a better and more accepting place. Look up local 2SLGBTIA+ organizations that you can get involved with, join online communities that are fighting to make a change, and donate to 2SLGBTIA+ shelters and funds that help at-risk youths get the financial aid they need.

But you have to take care of yourself in all this. Activism can be self-care, but it can also become destructive if you let it take over your life. 

As registered therapist Hannah Fuhlendorf explains in our DiveThru course Sustaining the Activist: How to Take Care of Yourself While Changing the World, the idea of the self-sacrificing activist is not worth it. You must prioritize your time, money, and energy for yourself so that you can help the world and yourself when you do get involved in a cause! 

Check out the course in the DiveThru app for more tips on getting involved, finding your community, and how to take care of yourself while making a change. 

7. Follow 2SLGBTIA+ Influencers and Activists

Social media affects how you think and perceive the world. So curating your feed is a big step in finding people that share your values. Whether you want to follow 2SLGBTIA+ activists who are trying to make changes in the world, or trans and enby people who post OOTDs and cottagecore inspo pics, your feed is yours to control! Unfollow toxic and unsupportive people and fill your feed with amazing Queer influencers and adorable animals. You’ll be much happier while scrolling social media.

8. Allow Yourself to Disconnect

This goes along with the previous two points.

Yes, it can be a form of self-care to be involved in the 2SLGBTIA+ community, and to follow people on social media that inspire you, match your gender politics, and generally have a positive vibe. But along with activism and social media comes that 24 hour news cycle, clickbait-y articles and posts, and the sometimes ignorant opinions of strangers on the internet. Every once in a while, a break is needed.

Taking a break to disconnect doesn’t invalidate your activism, involvement in the community, or how much you pay attention to the world. Disconnect for a bit and read a good fiction book, take a leisurely walk in your local park, or just have a nice, long nap. Do what works for you!

9. Practice Mindfulness

It can feel comforting to repress your thoughts and feelings sometimes. As a transgender or non-binary person, you may deal with a lot of shit from a lot of different angles, and may even be struggling with trauma and PTSD. Practising mindfulness is a way to bring awareness to those thoughts and feelings and work through them in a way that reduces stress and, with practice, brings a lasting sense of calm when you need it. 

Mindfulness is used to check in with your thoughts, allow them to come, and accept them without judgment. In a mindfulness practice, thoughts aren’t good or bad – they just are. For someone struggling with gender dysphoria, that can be a helpful tool!

Studies confirm the potential benefits of mindfulness for transgender and non-binary people, too. In a 2016 study on 2SLGBTIA+ youth, mindfulness was shown to help young people deal with sexuality-based victimization. As well, a different 2016 study found a positive correlation between trauma-informed mindfulness practises and a reduction in PTSD symptoms, which many transgender people struggle with.

Mindfulness will look a little different for everyone. Whether you want to do a full 30 minute meditation, or a five minute check-in before bed, play around with it and see what sticks!

10. Go to Therapy

At times, self-care will need more than one person to do it right. It takes a village, as they say. Pretty sure they were referring to raising children but it can take a village to prioritize your mental health, too! That’s what mental health professionals are here to do.

Therapy can be an amazing tool to help you work through your concerns and talk about things like your gender identity, trauma, and any other concern you might have. Finding a therapist who is transgender and non-binary affirming will be key, so that’s why we wrote a whole article on it. 

Self-care is an ongoing process. Doing any of these just once when you’re having a bad day won’t make a lasting difference, even if it helps in the moment. So take these tools, put them in your metaphorical self-care toolbelt, and practise using them regularly! Go out there and live your best gender-affirmed life.

How To Support Your Grandparents With Their Mental Health

Ahh, ageing! It’s challenging to get older and see your parents and grandparents age. They used to take care of you, and now you may be returning the favour. Don’t you wish getting old could be avoided??

Grandparents can have a special, wholesome, and unique relationship with their grandchildren. But getting older isn’t easy, especially when ones’ physical and mental health begins to deteriorate. It can be difficult to watch them go through this, but you can help—just by being there! Showing them emotional support is highly beneficial to their mental health.

According to research published in The Gerontologist, grandparents who have continuous positive, supportive interactions with their grandchildren had fewer and less serious symptoms of depression and better psychological health than grandparents who do not have strong emotional attachments with their grandchildren.

And if topics like mental health, worry, or sadness were not talked about openly when you were younger, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered! Let’s look at how to broach these subjects with your grandparents and encourage them to talk about mental health.

1. Lend A Listening Ear

When you were a kid, you may have been told to “have your listening ears on” at school. So often, when a loved one is going through anything, our initial impulse is to fix it as soon as possible by providing solutions. Vulnerability isn’t easy for everyone. Seniors may have had negative experiences sharing emotions in the past that continue to influence them today. Because showing vulnerability hasn’t always been (and still isn’t) normalized from a societal standpoint, it can make people feel exposed. 

Something as simple as listening to your grandparents share stories from their life can make a big difference. If they feel isolated, just having a loved one to talk with might boost their mood. Similarly, there may be times when your loved one requires a safe space to express themselves without being judged or given advice. So when you lend a listening ear, make sure to be actively listening as you create a safe environment for them to communicate their feelings. 

2. Be A Resource

Through those conversations, you can get a better picture of your grandparents past and present experiences. That can help you piece together what resources to recommend. You can even involve them in some of the resources that you yourself use for your mental health! That could mean sharing an article about journaling, taking a mindfulness course together in the DiveThru app, or watching a YouTube video about a topic they’re interested in. 

You don’t need to have all the answers yourself, but just by knowing where to look, you can be a big help for your grandparents. Maybe online research is daunting for them, so having a loved one they can turn to helps a lot! You can also pick and choose what you activities you share based on what they like most.  If they like to write, send a journaling prompt. If they’re more of a sit on the couch and chill kind of grandparent, send a breathing exercise. Just as long as they know you’re there to help them when it comes to their mental health.

3. Celebrate Their Growth

Because of your support, your grandparents might take steps like journaling, practicing mindfulness, or see a therapist for the first time (it’s never too late in life to start!). It’s important to remember to celebrate each step of their journey. Recognizing their accomplishments is an excellent way to show that you are their biggest cheerleader and want them to succeed by acknowledging each milestone.

4. Ask Your Grandparents How They Like To Be Supported 

You know what they say about assumptions. There are times when we don’t know what our loved ones need, so we just share everything that we know and hope something sticks. Instead, try asking basic questions like: 

How can I support you right now?
How can I help you when you’re in need?

Simple and straight-forward questions like these are great ways to help someone open up and understand what support means to them. It means various things to different individuals, so the best way to find out is…well, to ask!

5. Introduce Them To Self-Care Activities 

Older generations may not be familiar with the familiar term “self-care.” And if they have heard it, they may have discounted it as luxury not meant for them.

They may have spent a good majority of their lives pouring themselves into taking care of their family, putting themselves second. Talk to them about self-care and what it really means to prioritize caring for yourself. They might not know that self-care can be simple things like going for walks, taking a moment to be mindful, practicing a hobby, or simply doing some deep breathing. 

Whether a grandparent in your life has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or you just want to encourage them to be more aware of their mental health, you can help them create their very own self-care routine. Ask them about ways they’d like to prioritize themselves and make sure to include those alongside your own suggestions! Help them establish a structure for self-care and if you’re up for it, participate with them as a bonding activity. Starting a new habit is hard and they might love your company while doing it!

6. Show Them Lots Of Loveeee

Older generations may find it difficult to open up to someone if they were not encouraged to open up or express their emotions in the past. You can provide them a major boost just by showing compassion and being there for them. Those actions show your grandparents that they are a priority. The bond you have with your grandparents is pretty special and we hope these activities to do with your grandparents will only make that bond stronger! As much as these ideas are to support their mental health, they will also be supporting yours.

What’s Body Dysmorphia? Signs, Symptoms and How To Treat It

Body dysmorphia is one of those mental health disorders that can reeeeally trip you up. Your friends and family see your regular ol’ self, but you see a whole bunch of flaws that either aren’t there or are super minor. Those flaws feel extra noticeable—a huge problem that you need to change. It’s like your own personal Regina George inside your head, telling you awful things about yourself all the damn time. Greeeat. 

Body dysmorphia can make even just seeing a picture of yourself a massive challenge. We want you to be able to be comfortable in your body and comfortable with looking at yourself! So strap in for a big dose of psychoeducation as we DiveThru body dysmorphia, its causes, the symptoms, and how it’s treated. 

What Is Body Dysmorphia?

Alright, let’s get technical!

Body dysmorphia, or Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), is defined in the DSM-V (the diagnostic tool for mental health professionals) as “preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance that are not observable or appear slight to others.” It can relate to anywhere on your body, including your face. 

Everyone feels insecure about their appearance from time to time. We know that icky feeling when you try your best to hide a massive zit that you’re convinced everyone else is staring at, even though they’re defs more concerned about their own stuff. But when your fixation on your flaws and appearance starts to dominate your thoughts to the point of interfering with your life, you maaay want to reach out for help. 

What Causes Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

The causes of body dysmorphia are unknown, but there are some factors that can contribute.

Abuse and bullying can lead to the disorder, particularly if it’s related to one’s physical features. Low self-esteem is also a factor, as someone might excessively focus on “fixing” their appearance as a way to become confident. Fear of loneliness or isolation can contribute, especially if you think you need to look a certain way to be accepted by a partner, your friends, or society as a whole. Face filters give people unrealistic expectations of beauty. Perfectionism plays a part, too, as the desire to look “perfect” can lead to seriously damaging attitudes and beliefs about yourself.  

There’s also a familial link—a person whose family struggles with BDD or disordered eating is more likely to also struggle with BDD, though there’s some debate on whether that link is learned or genetic. As well, if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or OCD, you’re more likely to have BDD, though it’s not clear whether or not these mental health conditions cause BDD or simply coincide.

Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorders

Body dysmorphia is usually associated with eating disorders and disordered eating (yep, two different definitions), and they often co-occur, though having one does not necessarily mean you have the other. Someone who is dealing with an eating disorder may perceive themselves as looking much thinner or fatter than they actually are due to BDD, therefore continuing to struggle with the disordered eating behaviour in an effort to become more in alignment with their definition of what’s attractive. 

But, as we’ll learn later in the article, body dysmorphia doesn’t go away when a certain look is achieved—it takes mental health help and a change in thought patterns and behaviours to truly deal with body dysmorphia.

If you’re looking for more info on eating disorders, disordered eating, and the many complex factors and causes, Hannah Fuhlendorf goes into more detail about all of this in her course “Disordered Eating: What Is It and How Does It Show Up?” in the DiveThru app. Suuuuper informative and super eye-opening!

Even though BDD and disordered eating/ eating disorders can be linked, body dysmorphia can also apply to things that have little or nothing to do with weight, like someone’s facial features, hair, nails, or any other physical feature. 

Facial Dysmorphia

Just to clear things up: facial dysmorphia is the same thing as body dysmorphia. Some experts believe having separate terms only creates unnecessary confusion, and possibly even delays treatment. Like we said above, body dysmorphia includes every part of your body, and your face is on your body. Ergo, BDD includes face. Make sense? Good. 

The term facial dysmorphia refers to someone viewing their facial features as noticeably flawed or unattractive, to the point of it distressing them and affecting their everyday life. So if you’re feeling extremely insecure about your face, refuse to Zoom call with the camera on, or avoid looking in the mirror because it amps up your anxiety, you may want to talk to a mental health professional about BDD. 

The Adonis Complex and Muscle Dysmorphia

This is when a man believes he doesn’t have enough muscle on his body. He sees himself as weak or small, regardless of his actual size and muscle mass. The godly term comes from a book of the same name, written at Harvard in 2000. Men face societal pressure to reduce fat and build muscle in order to be perceived as attractive and healthy. This is also known as muscle dysmorphia. Just like facial dysmorphia, it’s already part of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. 

Muscle dysmorphia can lead to steroid use, excessive exercising, and disordered eating and eating disorders to try to build muscle and lose fat. Competitive athletes, bodybuilders, and people who lift weights are at higher risk of developing muscle dysmorphia. 

Look at all the viral Marvel superhero body transformations (think Kumail Nanjiani). It’s not just movie stars—everyday men are often praised for their “gains” and “cuts.” It’s pretty easy to see how the Adonis Complex can become an issue. 

The Adonis Complex is only recently being recognized as a serious and pressing problem. DiveThru therapist Hannah Fuhlendorf believes that it may be added to the next DSM under Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Not sure if it’s Body Dysmorphic Disorder or regular ol’ insecurity? Here are some symptoms of body dysmorphia:

  • Preoccupation with a perceived flaw that others don’t notice or see as minor
  • Belief you are ugly or deformed
  • Belief that others mock or make fun of you for your looks
  • Frequently doing things to fix or address the flaw, like excessive grooming or fixing yourself in a mirror
  • Trying to hide perceived flaws with clothes or makeup
  • Constantly comparing how you look to other people
  • Frequently looking for reassurance about your appearance from other people
  • Getting cosmetic procedures, with very little satisfaction
  • Avoiding social situations

You’ve likely seen some version of these behaviours in people you know. Almost everyone has a friend who runs from the camera because they say they don’t look good. You might even see some of the behaviours in yourself!  

Insecurity about your physical appearance is totally normal—even though we want you to be your most body-loving self possible! It goes from regular insecurity to mental health disorder when it causes you serious distress and disrupts everyday life. 

We’re here to educate, not diagnose! If you think you, or someone close to you, may be struggling with BDD based on the stuff we’ve told you so far, seeking advice from a mental health professional would be a good next step. 

If you were to reach out for help, what would treatment look like for BDD??

Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Currently, the main treatment is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT. The idea is to change your thought patterns and behaviours around something. So if you hate the way you look, CBT can help reframe the way you think about yourself and how you behave with regards to your looks. 

CBT for body dysmorphia can sometimes include Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). It’s safe and monitored exposure to whatever is causing stress or anxiety. Patients learn coping skills and how to prevent unwanted behaviours in the face of their fears. If you feel uncomfortable looking in a mirror, your therapist may get you to do just that in short, controlled bursts. And don’t worry, exposure therapy is definitely something that would be talked about beforehand. 


Medication can help with the symptoms of BDD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be prescribed, as it’s thought that BDD is related to serotonin levels in your brain. This, along with CBT, can help you make great progress over time!

If someone is a danger to themselves, or can’t function in their everyday life because of BDD, they may need inpatient treatment. Don’t worry—the medical staff are there to help people go through whatever they’re feeling. We all need a little extra help sometimes. Reaching out can be the first step towards accepting yourself, and leading a more self-loving life.

There is no cure for Body Dysmorphic Disorder, but that DOES NOT mean that the symptoms can’t be reduced or improved. You deserve to live a happy, fulfilled, and confident life. With help from a mental health professional, medication (if recommended and prescribed), time, effort, and some positive affirmations, you can get that much closer to self-acceptance. You’re worth it!

How to Cope with Grief After Losing Someone You Love

It’s never easy losing someone you love, but we don’t need to tell you that. The loss of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences. The memories you shared with them play in your mind over and over again, overwhelming you with sadness and grief. You ask yourself  what you could have done differently, whether it was making plans more often, noticing a subtle sign of illness, or encouraging them to get help. There isn’t only one way to manage overwhelming feelings of shock, grief, despair, worry, devastation, and uneasiness. Grieving is a deeply personal process, and everyone copes with loss in their own way.

It may feel like you are the only one who understands how you feel. You may not know what to do, how to act, or feel hopeless because you don’t know when things will get better. There is no time limit for how long a person should grieve, and there is no right or wrong method to cope with loss; it might take months or years because it is such a personal experience that shouldn’t be rushed. 

It’s not easy to come to terms with the loss. Here are a few tips on how to cope with and understand the stages of grief. 

What Is Grief? 

There’s one particular line about grief in WandaVision that rocked us all when the show first came out (even if you don’t love all things Marvel like we do, this will still make sense). 

In case you haven’t seen that show yet (semi-spoiler warning), there’s a flashback to Wanda grieving the death of her brother. She compares her grief to waves that keep knocking her to the ground. Vision comforts Wanda by reminding her she still has good memories of her brother, and describes grief as her “love, persevering.”

Grief can be overwhelming and affect all aspects of your life, but it also means that you loved something. It’s totally normal to feel empty, broken, and helpless after losing someone you love. That person held an important place in your life and now it feels like you’re missing a part of yourself.

The 5 Stages of Grief and Loss

The 5 stages of grief were introduced to the world by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969, based on studies on how people felt when living with a terminal illness. These 5 motions of grief also show up when grieving the loss of a pet or loved one. 

Not everyone goes through all the stages of grief, or at the same pace. It’s also important to note that when we think of grief, we often think of death but there are actually quite a few other things that can cause you to grieve, including:

  • Losing a job or opportunity
  • Loss of a pet 
  • Losing a friendship or losing a romantic partner
  • An unexpected health scare
  • Moving away from your hometown 

How To Cope With Grief 

In Never Have I Ever, we watch Devi cope with her father’s abrupt passing. She’s constantly reminded of her father as she mourns and copes with her grief over his death. The grief cycle can feel like it’s never-ending. Some days are wayyy easier to manage than other days, where you feel like things are getting better and you’ve reached the point of accepting the loss of a loved one. But there can be other moments where memories resurface, and the pain is too much to handle and you feel like you’re back to square one. 

1. Be Gentle With Yourself

It might be difficult to treat yourself with the love and kindness you deserve when you are grieving. Allow yourself a safe space to experience all of your emotions. Allow yourself to be vulnerable in your safe area and concentrate on getting adequate sleep, eating, and feeling your feelings. Receiving messages, phone calls, or emails from others inquiring how you’re doing might be stressful. Don’t feel obligated to respond to anyone until you’re ready. 

It’s also okay to seek support from friends or family; your loved ones want to be there for you but probably don’t know what to say or do. They don’t want to overstep your boundaries, so when you’re ready, tell them what you’d like, whether it’s a walk in the park, watching a movie, or making your favourite food; they’re there for you.

You may also feel a sense of relief after losing someone you love to a long illness. It’s a valid emotion, and you’re not a bad person for feeling it. What you’re feeling is relief that your loved one isn’t suffering anymore, not relief that they’ve passed. Long illnesses are tough on loved ones, who can feel helpless watching. So don’t feel guilty for your emotions, and be gentle with yourself as you work through your feelings. 

2. Journal Through It

A really gentle way of understanding grief is through journaling. It gives you the ability to step back and explore your emotions and talk about them in addition to feeling them. Here are some journal prompts that you can try out:  

How can I show myself compassion today?
What is one of the most incredible memories I shared with my loved one?
What’s one thing I want to say to my loved one right now?
In what ways can I honour my loved one?

You can find these prompts in the DiveThru app, where you can also track how you feel daily and work through breathing exercises to help you connect with your emotions. 

3. ​​Honour Their Memory 

Grief might become so overpowering that you forget about the beautiful experiences you shared with your loved one. Find ways to honour their memory, whether that means doing an activity you used to enjoy together or creating something in their memory, like a painting or a poem. This can also help you appreciate the incredible moments you had with them, and help you remember that even though you’re grieving now, life can still be enjoyable as it moves forward. 

4. Talk It Out  

It’s so challenging to grieve alone. Join grief communities to support you, such as in-person groups or Facebook groups where people discuss their emotions. It can help you cope if you have a safe place to share what you’re going through with other individuals going through the same thing. 

Another way to get support is to reach out to a therapist or a mental health professional specializing in grief. They can provide you with coping techniques, and also they can speak to you about how you feel, where you can be very vulnerable to them without any judgement at all. It might be tough to talk about your pain after losing someone you love, but it can help to share because you won’t feel like you’re the only one who knows this pain anymore. 

Allow yourself to feel all your emotions. The pain from losing someone you love won’t go away overnight, but you can cherish the memories. Give yourself some compassion and love. You deserve it.