We all know the feeling - in your non-curated bedroom, bed socks on and hair in a top knot, scrolling through the blue-lit feed of shiny lives on Instagram. It starts as a harmless time-waster, but at some point there's that little niggle... Your life is not Pinterest Perfect and you suddenly feel bad for it. You must buy this thing, or wear that thing, or look this way... TBH, for an activity that is just a roll of the thumb, it can be pretty exhausting. It's time to break up with the Instagram accounts that make you feel bad, and start using your feed to positively fuel your creativity, imagination or even admiration - if it serves your life. From travel to career and even puppy love, here's our pick for the top positive influences on the social platform.
Many studies have found that social media can have a negative impact on people’s self-esteem. Instagram, in particular, has become a vessel through which comparisons flow and often cause feelings of envy and worthlessness. Of course, there's a deeper issue here - like, why does it have the ability to affect us so deeply sometimes? According to a University of Michigan study, the more we expose ourselves to the shiny, seemingly perfect lives of others, the more likely we are to develop envy and, so, lower self esteem. While jealousy isn't a new concept, we've never been so actively exposed to the lives of others by such an easily accessed tool for immediate comparison.
A social detox is an obvious option to counter this, but you don't have to give up on Instagram, you can instead make it work for you. Break up with accounts that cause unsatisfying feelings and bolster comparisons. By changing the accounts you follow on Instagram, you can improve your confidence and perception. So, take note of your gut feeling when you're scrolling, and every time you pass a pic that isn't serving your life, immediately hit unfollow. Then, start including these guys in your socials hit...
Kash Bhattacharya (@budgettraveller) was named National Geographic Travel blogger of the year. What sets Bhattacharya apart from other travel bloggers is his goal to travel in style on a budget. His account displays gorgeous images and inspires travel and adventure that's actually achievable.
#LoveAnyBODY is a trending Instagram hashtag created by @any.body_co to remind women that there is no standard body size. The Instagram account is lead by Georgia Gibbs and Kate Wasley and contains photos of the Aussie models and inspirational body messages. The purpose of the account is to promote self-love.
///FRIYAY CHALLENGE - TAG A FRIEND + DO IT TOGETHER/// Did you know that you can't feel a negative emotion like anxiety at the same time as feeling gratitude? So next time you're feeling anxious about something, notice your thoughts and try to change them to practicing gratitude instead. I just learned this from my very wise friend Jessie from @heysoul__ on her Facebook live vid. Thanks Jess! 💗
@happsters mission is to spread happiness. After looking at the account’s inspirational quotes and positive affirmations layered over beautiful photos or illustrations, it’s hard to feel down.
@livingprettynaturally contains natural beauty and health tips. The account is dedicate to helping its followers feel and look good on the inside and out.
“I went to community college when I was twenty-one. I just had an epiphany that I wasn’t really doing anything with my life. I was staying out drinking until 4 AM every night. I was working retail. I was dating a guy who was a total douchebag. When I told him I wanted to go to college, he told me ‘Let’s be real. You’re never going to pass. Don’t waste your time.’ So at the beginning my whole motivation for going back to school was to prove people wrong. I went to all my classes. I turned in well-written papers, not bullshit ones. And it was hard, but I discovered that I liked the feeling of making good grades. So I started doing it for myself. And I never looked back. I remember taking an anthropology course that first year, and one of my assignments was to write a paper on New York City nightlife. I went to the same bar that I used to go to every night. Except I wasn’t drinking. I was just watching and taking notes. And I saw this girl my age playing beer pong, and she didn’t have a care in the world, and she was stumbling around, and she didn’t realize why the guys were being so nice to her, and she was probably spending money that she didn’t have. And I remember feeling so glad that I wasn’t that girl anymore.”
Brandon Stanton is a New York based photographer with the mission to capture the stories of New Yorkers. His Instagram, @humansofny, has become a sensation and inspiration to many because it displays images of people with captions of their unique stories. The captions are often uplifting and a reminder that through perseverance you can overcome obstacles in life.
(A Couple Cooks takeover, 2/4) Creamy coconut curry is one of our favorite ways to eat plant-based. With a silky sauce, flavorful curry powder, and brown rice for serving, you can't help but be satisfied after this lunch. (For a similar recipe, go to acouplecooks.com and search on "cauliflower curry".) #osgtakeover
@ohsheglows account is created by best-selling cookbook author, Angela Liddon. The account provides plant-based recipes and makes eating healthy easy and delicious.
Javier Pérez (@cintascotch) combines everyday objects with his art. His Instagram account is a reminder that creativity can arise even when things seem mundane.
Sprouted buckwheat and oatmeal bowls to start the week. With banana, cocoa nibs, yogurt, pumpkin seeds and maple syrup. I kept mine raw with just buckwheat, and coconut cashew milk topped with bananas. . . Then the leftovers I mixed with extra banana and cocoa and I'm baking it into oatmeal bars for this afternoon. #zerowaste #breakfast
@thewholefooddiary was created by Jared and Kezia Neusch. The account reflects the couples “journey in loving our bodies.” They post a daily diary of the healthy (and delicious looking) food they make. The account is also linked with their website which contains all the recipes they have created. The account preaches the importance of staying healthy while enjoying what you eat.
Lastly, who doesn’t need a daily dose of baby animals? @thebabyanimals account is guaranteed to brighten any day.
Story by Catherine Barnes