We share 12 of Reddit’s greatest mental health and wellbeing communities to help you make connections, find advice, and discover new ways you can put your mental health and wellbeing first
We all know the golden rule when it comes to your health and the internet: do not google your symptoms. But if you’re one of the one in six people in the UK who have struggled with your mental health in the past week, finding others we can make a connection with in real life can feel like a struggle.
Online communities can provide a sense of belonging, validation that you are not alone in your struggles, and encouragement to find new ways to access help and make positive changes, often while providing a safe space to vent.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is one of the biggest social media platforms online. Called ‘the front page of the internet,’ over 430 million of us flock to the website and app every month. But what is it about Reddit that keeps so many of us coming back for more?
Divided into individual ‘subreddits’, the platform’s 52 million daily users can easily access communities dedicated to everything from cute photos of puppies and kittens that make you go aww (r/aww) to the latest world news (r/worldnews). Each subreddit has its own individual rules, guidelines for posting, and specific aims. Some seek to spread a little moment of joy (r/mademesmile) while others look to shock and surprise (r/unexpected). No matter what your individual hobby is, niche interest, or issue (big or small) you’re looking to debate about, there is almost certainly a subreddit about that.
Through their individual subreddits, users have carved out a real sense of community, sharing personal experiences, life advice, adventures, personal wins and heartbreaking losses. There are communities devoted to restoring old and damaged photos (r/photorestore) often of lost loved ones for free, and other communities who edit and animate birds to have human arms (r/birdswitharms). Whether you’re looking to laugh, cry, or find a compassionate ear to listen, you’re going to find it somewhere on Reddit.
6 subreddits for mental health
Dedicated to providing support, resources, and mental health related news for those in the UK, r/MentalHealthUK isn’t affiliated with any specific charities, organisations, or businesses. Providing a space where individuals can talk about their ill mental health, seek out advice on how to access support, and share their progress (whether that’s feeling more positive after reading self-help books, or getting the referral that they’ve been waiting for).
It is important to note that, unlike many other mental health-related subreddits, the posts in this community can often edge more towards venting and sharing frustrations with NHS waiting times and lack of choice in support options available in different areas of the UK. However, there are still plenty of small personal win stories being shared that can help provide a little inspiration.
r/socialanxiety is a place to share strategies and learn from others if you’ve ever felt anxious in a social setting. Welcoming those who have officially got an anxiety diagnosis, as well as those who feel just a little nervous and shy in social situations, users frequently share personal experiences and stories about their struggles finding friends as an adult, coping with ill mental health while working, and reaching out to find others who share their worries. While primarily a place to share personal stories, many also share strategies that they have found to help them combat their anxiety.
r/mentalhealthmemes and r/anxietymemes
Based around the idea that laughter can be the best medicine, r/anxietymemes and r/mentalhealthmemes look to help further destigmatise big mental health topics through relatable comics and memes. Helping users to combat the social stigma that can come from experiencing ill mental health, redditors can find relatable content from others who are living with the same struggles (and often facing the same misconceptions, unhelpful advice and internalised self-double)
r/talktherapy and r/askatherapist
Neither of these subreddits are designed to replace speaking with a qualified, professional, accredited mental health professional. What r/askatherapist and r/talktherapy are there to do is provide a place to ask questions and hear real life experiences.
Ever wondered how your experiences compare with others? Not entirely sure what your therapist was saying, but afraid to ask? Thinking about starting therapy, but want to hear what it’s like from a patient’s perspective? These are the places you can go to anonymously find out more. Providing room for discussion, venting, memes, and advice, people share relatable experiences about the struggle to open up to your therapist even when you want to.
While r/talkingtherapy is a place where both those who provide therapy and are in therapy respond to posts and offer personal experiences, r/askatherapist is designed for individuals to ask questions that only mental health professionals should respond to.
Disclaimer: These subreddits are not designed as a replacement for seeing a therapist. Find out more about the importance of working with an accredited therapist, how to find a qualified counsellor, and what questions you should ask while searching for a therapist.
6 subreddits for wellbeing
One of Reddit’s bigger and older communities, r/offmychest calls itself a safe community for support. A community built around sharing deeply emotional and personal issues users feel like they can’t share with loved ones in real life, here redditors share long-standing baggage, happy thoughts, recent and long-suppressed traumas, and deep frustrations, in hopes of finding some relief in finally putting into words the experiences, thoughts, or feelings that have been weighing on them.
Members of the community can talk openly, as moderators promote responses within posts that focus on support, being good to each other, and leaving oppressive attitudes and shaming language at the door. Those who can’t stick with the overall aims of the community in creating a safe space are banned.
Despite sounding like it should be filled with heavy topics, many posts focus on happy stories, moments, successes, or changes people have made but still feel they can’t openly discuss. If you’ve ever felt weighed down by something you can’t share with those around you, this is the community for you.
r/bodyacceptance and r/bodyneutrality
If you’re looking to feel more comfortable in your own skin, these could be for you. r/bodyacceptance offers a place for people to speak openly about their worries about their physical appearance, seek advice about tackling low self-esteem, and take part in regular inspirational, motivational, and body-positive threads.
In a world where we’re all bombarded with the idea of the ‘perfect body’, these communities seek to help users feel good about themselves, feel more comfortable in their own skin, and ditch the idea that they need to change how they look to achieve happiness.
r/bodyneutrality is a similar, newer community, for those who find body positivity and body acceptance to be challenging. Focused on the idea that we should look not at how our bodies look like, but at what they can do for us, body neutrality promotes the idea that you don’t need to love your stretch marks, but you also don’t need to spend valuable time and mental bandwidth hating them, either. We’re all more than our appearences.
Find out more about what is body neutrality?
r/mindfulness and r/meditation
Mindfulness (a technique used to develop an awareness of the present moment) and meditation (connecting with ourselves to alleviate stress) are both regularly recommended as healthy parts of a sustainable self-care routine. But how can you actually get started with these?
r/Meditation shared experiences, stories, and instructions on how you can practice meditating, learn to quieten your mind, and feel more emotionally stable. Offering free guides for beginners on how to get started with meditation, information on different types of meditation, and recommended reading for beginners to pros, this community is a great place to help you improve your meditation practice whether you are new or experienced.
r/Mindfulness offers memes, quotes, tips, and personal experiences about incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life. Helping teach you how to live in the moment, stay positive, and focus on what is happening around you, this community is filled with inspirational posts.
Affirmations are, essentially, saying or writing positive statements (affirmations) to empower and support ourselves. Many of us may unintentionally use negative affirmations (eg. when we think ‘I can’t do that’, or ‘I’ll never be able to…’) but studies have shown that positive affirmations can help build or restore self-competence.
r/affirmations is a place filled with positive affirmations, messages, tweets, and messages. If you’re unsure of how to use affirmations to improve your life and help make your world that little bit more positive, this is the place to help you get started.
What social media/online communities do you find most beneficial to your mental health? Let us know in the comments below.
Ready to start your therapy journey? Connect with a counsellor or therapist through counselling-directory.org.uk