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6 Ways Media Can be Used to Improve Mental Health

I have found that the topic “social media” has flooded the conversations of concerned parents, school curriculums, and impressionable teenagers. Usually when social media comes up in group discussion, it is about how “toxic” and “negative” it is, especially on younger users. 


Yes, social media can be toxic. This is inevitable. However, like life in general, it’s all about who you surround yourself with, or in this case, who you follow. My mentality is: if you don’t want to see it, unfollow! It is so much easier to remove toxic content with the click of a button rather than actually removing a person in real life, so take advantage of it. I don’t mean to be harsh, but your mental state is more important than pleasing other people. If it is not leaving a positive impact, you don’t need it. 


When I find myself too indulged in my TikTok “For You Page” or when my thumb finally gets tired of endless scrolling on Instagram, I find ways to remove myself from what can sometimes be a negative world and instead place myself into something more meaningful. Now, more than ever, we have an abundance of time to ourselves. Take this time to re-evaluate who you follow, what you engage in, and how you spend your time!


Throughout the past couple of years, I have created a list of my favorite outlets to destress and disconnect, from podcasts to meditation apps. Not all media is bad; you just have to know where to look. 


The Happiness Project – Book

This self-help book by Gretchen Rubin has become one of my favorite reads when I feel the need to press the reset button on my life. She shares that one doesn’t need to do something extravagant in order to see change. Instead, she focuses on the seemingly insufficient aspects in one’s life that end up making the biggest difference. It is definitely an easy and light read that can be picked up and left off at any point, so it’s not a huge commitment. So, whether you are looking for a segue into a reading hobby or are looking for a way to make a difference in your everyday life, this is the book for you. 


@subliming.jpg – Instagram Account

One of my favorite ways to remove negativity and toxicity from my social media life is to follow more accounts that leave a positive impact on me. I found this account that posts quotes about mental health, personal growth, and raises awareness to the fact that “it’s okay to not be okay.” If you are going to be on Instagram regardless, why not follow accounts that serve to inspire and comfort, rather than tear you down!


Happy Hour – Podcast

One of my favorite youtubers from highschool, Gretchen Geraghty, has come out with her very own podcast. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear her name is “positivity,” and her podcast doesn’t fall short of this description. With each episode, she addresses topics about relationships and her current favorites, all while keeping it real. With so much false advertising and negativity on social media, this is like a breath of fresh air. 


Headspace – App

Although it might not be for everyone, now is the perfect time to start meditating! My high school lacrosse coach introduced my team and I to this app, as she constantly stressed the importance of connecting the body to the mind and soul. I personally find it difficult to sit down and silently meditate, especially as someone who doesn’t even know where and how to start. This app provides guided meditations that talk you through breathing exercises and other mind de-stressors. So grab a pair of headphones or a friend, and go clear your thoughts!


“Self Love Club – Spotify Playlist

This playlist, along with multiple others for literally any occasion, can be found on Spotify (and Apple music as well) by LONELY GHOST. It’s the perfect mix of songs to get you feeling good and set the tone for the day. There’s no better way to detox than a car ride with a good playlist, and LONELY GHOST has a category of songs for whatever vibe, mood, or feeling you want to achieve. 


The Five Minute Journal – Journal Book

This journal is meant to lead to a “happier you in just five minutes a day.” Filled with weekly challenges, inspirational quotes, and writing prompts, the Five Minute Journal fully engages you in self-reflection and mind improvement. I have always loved to write and jot down my thoughts, but it can sometimes be hard to think of what to write about. Whether you are a beginner in journaling or are looking for some daily motivation or prompts, this journal can lead to a happier, more productive lifestyle. 

Hi, my name is Paulina Spacek from Massachusetts and I am currently a freshman at Bentley University. I enjoy photography, digital design, and fashion. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember and I plan on covering topics from culture and current events to trends in health, beauty, and social media.
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