Blue filtered image of a woman with curly hair looking at her phone with a smile.
Photo illustration; Image source: Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

At this point, we’re all pros at doomscrolling. The end of the presidential election brought a brief respite, but we could really use a longer break. Or a sabbatical, if we’re being honest.

Let us offer you a digital palate cleanser from the gloom: 25 Instagram accounts that will uplift you, make you laugh, and help you feel a little bit more human. Some of these folks share highly relatable illustrations. Others make you feel like you just walked out of a free therapy session. All will help your social-media feed become a place you actually enjoy spending time in.

Read about them below, and follow the ones that resonate (or all of them!). Your day will be better for it each time you pick up your phone.

Gemma Correll

@gemmacorrell

With her charming, all-too-relatable cartoons about video calls (“Oh God, is that what I look like?”), at-home date night ideas (“It’s called a ‘quarantini’ — the ingredients are vodka and my own tears”), and quarantine looks (“Am I hungry or just bored?”), illustrator Gemma Correll is capturing the #PandemicMood. Her feed makes us laugh, feel seen, and realize that none of us have any idea what we’re doing, but we’re doing it, anyway.

Strange Planet

@nathanwpylestrangeplanet

Even when the world is deeply unfunny, we can manufacture our own joy laughing at ourselves, and Nathan W. Pyle’s cartoons are a reminder that there’s plenty to laugh at. Pyle’s alien characters invite us to turn the lens back on our own behaviors and customs, from Halloween to heartbreak, highlighting the silliness and absurdity present in everyday life.

DLC Anxiety

@dlcanxiety

This account, which aggregates illustrations, tweets, videos, and visual explainers on anxiety and mental health, has something for everyone. If you’re newly struggling with anxiety with everything happening in the world, come here to make sense of a frightening experience. If you’ve been living with anxiety for a while already, come for the resources to cope with the seemingly endless stream of triggers the news keeps providing. And if you’re feeling okay despite it all, come to learn how to support the people in your life who may not be faring as well.

Liz and Mollie

@lizandmollie

Illustrator Liz Fossilen’s charts perfectly capture the challenge of being a person right now, highlighting the small and large struggles we all face in getting things done at work, feeding our relationships, and attending to our own needs. With wit and warmth, her charts both meet us where we are and offer us a path forward.

The Nap Ministry

@thenapministry

The Nap Ministry wants you to practice self-care in a very specific way: by taking a nap. Rest. Literally lie down and close your eyes. You’ll achieve a sense of calm in your life — or at least your afternoon — and in doing so, they argue, participate in “a form of resistance.” This account’s mission is so much more profound than it first appears.

Loryn Brantz

@lorynbrantz

The beleaguered protagonist found in comic book author and illustrator Loryn Brantz’s posts is like a millennial version of the angst-ridden comic-strip icon Cathy, an archetype that seems more fitting now than ever.

Lord Birthday

@lord_birthday

The genius of Lord Birthday’s darkly comic, text-heavy illustrations is their relatable weirdness. You probably miss a lot of the “Things I Miss So Much.” You’ve probably said things similar to “Actual Things I’ve Said Lately.” It’s a catalog of the anxieties and delights of modern life.

Self-Care Gang

@selfcare.gang

This Instagram counterpart of the Self-Care Gang podcast sees hosts Devyn and Desiree translate the BIPOC-geared wellness advice from their weekly show into quick-hit tips. The overarching theme? Growth.

Nedra Glover Tawwab

@nedratawwab

Let’s face it: Therapy influencers are a dime a dozen. As nice as it is to run into a thoughtful affirmation on your morning scroll, the same old platitudes can get a little stale. Enter Nedra Glover Tawwab, a therapist whose ultra-specific, bulleted-list posts offer concrete suggestions for our most stressful relationship struggles — from navigating tough conversations to making sense of contradictory feelings after a breakup.

Sara Kuburic

@millennial.therapist

Kuburic is a licensed therapist and PhD candidate in psychotherapy at Sigmund Freud University in Vienna, so she knows what she’s talking about. Like Tawwab, she takes a practical and action-oriented approach to feeling good, setting boundaries, and more.

Lisa Congdon

@lisacongdon

A self-taught artist who started her own business at age 40, Portland-based Lisa Congdon frequently posts her bright, cheerful, and often activism-inflected illustrations and designs. Whether she’s reminding us to embrace uncertainty, helping us to remember that we are enough, or nudging us to vote, her posts feel incredibly relevant to the challenges of the current moment.

Austin Kleon

@austinkleon

Writer and artist Austin Kleon is all about incorporating creativity into every corner of life. We love his blackout poems, his collaged notebooks, and his funky little handmade zines — something about his feed just makes you want to make something, doesn’t it?

Mari Andrew

@bymariandrew

Illustrator, author, and Forge contributor Mari Andrew has amassed a devoted following for her quirky, heartfelt images and inspirations. She writes about gratitude, looking for love, healing from heartbreak, cultivating resilience, and everyday life with vulnerability and wit.

We’re Not Really Strangers

@werenotreallystrangers

It’s 2020. Nobody has time for small talk or emails that hope to “find us well.” We’re Not Really Strangers gets that. It’s an Instagram account for a card game, yes, but it’s evolved into so much more. The viral feed, run by Los Angeles-based model and artist Koreen Odiney, is filled with artfully presented thoughts, questions, and advice about the deep stuff, from toxic relationships to negative self-talk to lessons you should have learned by now. You’ll want to spend some time here, maybe with a friend or partner. But as the bio warns, just know that “feelings may arise.”

Amber Rae

@heyamberrae

Scrolling through Amber Rae’s feed will make you wonder “Why isn’t this person my friend already?” The author and journaler extraordinaire posts smart and immediately useful life advice on topics such as changing your inner narrative, choosing wonder over worry, and sitting with discomfort. Warning: She’ll likely turn you into a “journal person,” so you might as well get some nice pens.

#HalfTheStory

@halfthestory

If you don’t have the healthiest relationship with your phone and social media, 1) hello and welcome to the club, and 2) #HalfTheStory is a smart follow. With its mission of helping people use social media to connect rather than disconnect, the account offers a collection of instantly actionable digital wellness tips, such as “set your phone to black and white instead of color” and “make sure you follow feeds that bring you life.” Read them, apply them, and then put your phone down already.

The Artidote

@theartidote

Illustration by Nicole Rifkin

Pairing stunning art with mental-health wisdom, The Artidote is a space to “storytell, empathize, bond, and heal.” The posts are moving — for instance, there’s an illustration of a woman staring at a car on fire, coupled with the caption: “I think there is pressure on people to turn every negative into a positive, but we should be allowed to say, ‘I went through something really strange and awful, and it has altered me forever.’” Fans regularly flood the comments with their own life stories or sometimes simply to say, “This made me stop and feel.”

Chanel Miller

@chanel_miller

Chanel Miller’s posts might remind you of the notes your best friend used to pass you in class. They’re funny, intimate, and after reading them, you feel comforted knowing that someone just gets you. Miller — once known to the world only as the unnamed sexual assault survivor at the center of the Brock Turner case — illustrates her musings on everything from why she’s hardcore domesticating (“Something I found out after trauma is that the contents of your life rest on a thin blanket and at any moment all order can be disrupted”) to what depression feels like (“You’ll treat the days like footsteps and take them one by one, just like you’ve always done.” ) We’re lucky she’s out of anonymity — and armed with a pen.

Notes From Your Therapist

@notesfromyourtherapost

Allyson Dinneen is probably not your therapist, but once you follow her, you feel like she could be. Since 2017, she has been posting handwritten notes on scraps of paper, most of them pointing to a few major themes: 1) All feelings are okay, 2) the feelings of others are not your emergency, and 3) when in doubt, keep going.

Bullet Journal

@bulletjournal

Whether or not you’re devoted to bullet journaling (or “bujo,” as the indoctrinated call it), this feed is a place for no-nonsense advice on topics such as changing your narrative, getting better at responding, and surfacing what to focus on. Particularly compelling are the live daily writing sessions with Bullet Journal creator Ryder Carroll. He starts by sharing a prompt — for example, he might invite you to take a mental inventory of what you’re doing, what you should be doing, and what you want to be doing — and then he simply journals alongside you. Fifteen minutes later, you’re more focused on what matters.

Holiday Phillips

@holidayphillips

If you want to challenge your assumptions, find tools for creating a more just and loving world, and be calmed by a collection of reflective meditations, check out the feed of Holiday Phillips. The writer and self-described “renegade sociologist,” who penned the powerful Forge piece “Performative Allyship Is Deadly (Here’s What to Do Instead),” shares advice on the skills we need to create a wiser and kinder world, like how to widen our perspective and how to listen better (there’s “listening to speak” vs. “listening to empathize,” she writes).

Morgan Harper Nichols

@morganharpernichols

It’s easy to get lost in the feed of Morgan Harper Nichols, or “MHN” as she signs her stunning works of digital mixed media art. Within her Instagram community, she’s “exploring what it means to connect through art, poetry and stories.” Nichols’ series #ArtFromConversations, in which she creates art based on the wisdom shared with her by fellow artists and storytellers, is poignant and immersive. (In one installment, Stefan Kunz explains his approach to choosing how to spend his time.) Nichols writes in her artist statement, “For me, this is about learning to hold what is known and unknown, in grace.”

Yung Pueblo

@yung_pueblo

In plain type on white squares, writer Yung Pueblo offers the type of wisdom you need to sit with that isn’t always easy to hear. “You need to know who you are so you don’t get told who you are.” “Throw out the idea that healing is forgetting.” “Love is not: I will give this to you if you do this for me. Love is: I will give this to you so that you may shine.” Under each post, Pueblo opens up the discussion to his community, inviting fans to support each other in their personal challenges in the comments.

Brianna Wiest

@briannawiest

Brianna Wiest, a popular Medium writer who pens poetic essays on emotional intelligence, posts excerpts from her work in a simple and lovely way. She often writes the thing you need to hear, that you are making progress in life even if it doesn’t feel like it, and that the ways in which you are self-sabotaging can contain deep wisdom. Her words can help you cut through the noise of the world and feel more grounded.

Kelly Corrigan

In the middle of the pandemic, bestselling author Kelly Corrigan created a gathering place for all those who were bored, anxious, and eager to share stories with a cocktail in hand. The event was BYOB on Instagram Live, and in it, she spoke straight to her fans about her quarantine musings. These included her thoughts on decision fatigue, the joy of making things, and what to do with guilt. It was a balm for our weary psyches, as is the rest of her feed. As Corrigan writes, “The gift is being here. Even in the shit show that is 2020.”

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