‘What’s A Mental Health Tip You Thought Was Bulls**t, But Actually Helped You?’

"You're stuck with yourself until you die, [so you] might as well be on your good side."

‘What’s A Mental Health Tip You Thought Was Bulls**t, But Actually Helped You?’

Image via Instagram (@joshkrameryoga)

A lot of mental health advice can seem a bit bland. But some of the tips you might prematurely judge as bullsh*t could really help. Case in point: a prolific Reddit thread, where users have been sharing some of the mental health advice they thought was bulls**t, but actually worked for them.

Reddit is a goldmine. But rather than prospecting for physical gold, today we have some tips of the mental health variety. Kicked off by Reddit user u/spicyiicing, the discussion was started by the question: “What’s a mental health tip you thought was bullsh*t but actually helped you?”

Here are the top answers in the thread, as judged by upvotes.


The top comment, receiving 3.8 thousand upvotes, was: “Diet and exercise. Seemed like such bullshit but now I see it as the #1 contributing factor to my well-being.”

Reddit user r/crazynekosama reflected further on this, writing: “I think it feels like bullshit because it’s something that is always recommended when you have chronic health issues. But it really is just the foundation to being healthy overall. Mental health and physical health are so tied together. It doesn’t even have to be a lot. Just some short walks and eating more healthy foods.”

They added: “I would add being hydrated and getting enough sleep as well. So many times I have gotten anxiety attacks after feeling awful all day and when I reflect I realize oh, I only got 4 hours sleep and the only thing I’ve eaten today is a granola bar.”

“Exactly, just move your body 20min a day and try reduce things like processed sugars and fats, eat more veges and protien and you’ll be sweet.”

Reddit user r/catslugs

User Alice In Wonderland threw her two cents in too, writing: “I think it’s also that it feels like you have to make a major commitment when you hear it sometimes… Like you’ve got to go on a super diet and become a total gym rat, but in reality, no, just making sure you’re getting protein and some vegetables and going for a walk each day can really change the way you feel.”

Just in case that wasn’t enough testimony, Reddit user strikes-twice jumped in with a story too, writing: “I go absolutely nuts if I don’t exercise. My wife said I’m like a ‘working dog’ who tears couches up when they don’t get a good walk and aren’t mentally stimulated, and she’s not wrong.”


Another user, tempestan99, said that they found gardening quite a useful tool for their mental well-being, writing: “My psychiatrist has recommended gardening for me. Just moving around in the sun, being conscious that I’m putting work into my well-being, is very helpful. Soil bags are heavy and digging is tiring, but those only come at the turn of seasons. Mostly it’s just maintenance, but the small movements help.”


The same Reddit user added: “Putting on a slow dance lesson is fun for me, too. I can either practice them with my partner or familiarize myself with basic waltz steps (they’re standard and can be taken super slowly, so they’re perfect for me).”


This one sounds like absolute bullshit (by our highly scientific and chore-hating standards) but is apparently something that can make you feel good, according to tempestan99, who wrote: “Cleaning/house maintenance [can help your mental health] too! Cleaning walls, vacuuming, and mopping are fantastic for stretching out my muscles.”

“It’s probably helpful to mention that I have chronic pain and am largely limited to small exercises (on good days, I do go for hikes.”

Being kinder to yourself

Reddit user r/whinnybeee shared this one, writing: “To be kinder to yourself (pay attention to how you refer to yourself and speak to yourself in your head). I changed my inner dialogue to be kinder to myself and it actually has had a major impact on my self esteem and how I view myself as a person.”

Another, Reddit user xolOvecOnquerzallxo, wrote: “THIS!”

“You know when you spill something and you’re like ‘WTF, you’re so stupid Sally!’ … now I just say ‘oh Sally’…. Feel so much less negative energy when it happens again and again.”

Another said: “My old therapist recommended that I address those thoughts as though they were from some rude stranger.”

“So now I have ‘Frank’, a gross, sweaty, overweight racist whose opinions are worth nothing to me. ‘Frank’ thinks I’m a worthless mess? Well, I don’t give a shit what Frank thinks.”

“It’s weirdly effective! It’s like, I wouldn’t tolerate another person saying this shit to me, so why should I tolerate it when my own brain says it? For whatever reason, it’s easier to picture Frank and tell him to go suck it than it is to change my brain.”

Changing your inner dialogue

Image Credit: Getty

This one might be easier said than done, but Reddit user darktsukih8u2 said it worked wonders for them, explaining: “One such great tip for changing your inner dialogue usually is ‘would you say this, like this, to your friends and loved ones?'”

“It helps us put in perspective how sometimes we can be the one that treat ourselves the worst.”

“You want to be your own friend – I mean, you’re stuck with yourself until you die, might as well be on your good side lol.”

Reddit user darktsukih8u2

Reddit user marigold 1101 added to this: “Not just inner dialogue but out loud too! The other day I was feeling down, alone in the car and said ‘I love myself,’ out loud. it felt silly to do and that in itself made me laugh. Then I was smiling by myself instead of feeling bad for myself.”


Another Reddit user promoted the benefits of yoga, saying: “Yoga with Adriene is dope!!! She’s so kind and great for beginners. Great sense of humor as well, for a Yoga teacher.”

They added: “Also curious if you’ve given walking a real chance? I was a collegiate athlete, and after an injury, all I could do was walking and yoga, when I could. After some time, I grew to love it. I’m better now, and I still love and appreciate walks. There’s almost no limit to walking. It can go on forever and take you so many places.”

“I appreciate my body being able to do things. So many people can’t do things for some reason or another. Physical health is a gift that gives back.”

“It’s also mostly sold as ‘get thin and sexy so you can be happy’, not, ‘your entire being will improve dramatically.’ #makementalhealthsexy.”

Sleep discipline

Reddit user Giant Dude added this tip into the mix, writing: “Google the subject. Try things out, find what you like. And stick to it. Your life changes when you get 7-8 (or more) hours of solid high quality sleep every day.”


Another Reddit user said: “When was the last time you absolutely filled your lungs? Hours ago? Days for some of us who aren’t active? Weeks or even months with those of us who are suffocated by life; activities, work, errands, family, etc.”

“Just… breathe… It won’t work miracles, but it’s something we often forget to do: Breathe.”

Quitting caffeine

You might hate us for this one, but according to Reddit user r/rf-elaine, “Quitting caffeine cured like 75% of my anxiety.” She same user added: “I used to have 1 big mug in the morning and maybe a diet coke at lunch. My anxiety was torturing me for years.”

“My job is still stressful and I still have to avoid the news. But that constant background feeling of doom is gone.”

Reddit user r/rf-elaine

They added; “Quitting was the hardest thing I’ve done, way harder than quitting alcohol. Now I am so calm it’s unbelievable.”

Other honourable mentions include cuddling, journalling and “leaving the f*cking house.”