A therapist ranks TikTok mental health trends from best to worst.

When the world was plunged into lockdown in 2020, our collective mental health took a major hit. Many of us turned to social media to stay connected with family and friends, and as a source of entertainment, with TikTok emerging as King.

In 2021, TikTok became the most downloaded social network app, and since then its popularity has continued to soar. Last year, TikTok was the most downloaded mobile app worldwide, generating 672 million downloads, with an increasing number of users turning to the app, not only for entertainment, but for news, global trends, even mental health advice. 

Video via Sunrise

“One of the benefits of platforms like TikTok, is that it provides a platform for people to discuss mental health issues and talk about strategies of how to manage mental health,” therapist Stella Ladikos tells Mamamia.

The downside though, is there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to mental health. 

“One of the issues with getting mental health advice from TikTok is that it’s a short, quick, oftentimes ‘easy’ fix; and we know that this is just not reality,” Ladikos says. 

That being said, TikTok has created a unique opportunity for people to receive mental health tips and advice from the comfort of their own couch, enabling them to feel heard, understood, and connected to others who might be going through similar experiences. 


“People can feel less alone and ‘normal’ if they see people going through the same struggles or issues as them… TikTok can actually provide a space of community and connection on a much larger scale than what can happen in a therapy room. Even though a therapist might tell you what you’re going through is normal, seeing thousands and thousands of people comment on a video… can feel much more reassuring and validating.”

According to Ladikos, TikTok mental health trends can be helpful, providing viewers consider them another tool in their mental health strategy box, and not something to base life decisions on, or to treat serious mental health conditions. 

Here are Ladikos’ top five TikTok mental health trends, ranked from best to worst:

1. Silent walking.

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The name of this trend speaks for itself, ultimately promoting walking in silence, without any headphones or other distractions. 

“I would say this is one of the best trends; not only does it have minimal to no risks, it gets people to be more mindful and present,” says Ladikos. 

“So often our brains are overloaded and overstimulated not only with thoughts, but ‘noise’ – most notably in the form of devices and distractions.”

Let’s face it, most of us don’t spend much time sitting with our thoughts or being present in the moment, but Ladikos says it’s worth doing. 


“This is also such a great grounding technique to help you come back to centre, be more aware and calm the nervous system.”

2. The state of delulu (delusional).

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The Delulu (short for delusional) trend is similar to the idea of manifestation – shifting your thoughts to gain confidence and hopefully, reach your goals.

“The trend is ultimately about entering a state where you give yourself permission to go after what you want, but never thought would work out.

“The concept of delulu allows you to work on building up resilience and confidence, and challenge negative narratives.”

The downside, says Ladikos, is that it can also be an avoidance tool to more serious emotions that might require professional support. The use of the word ‘delusion’ as a positive, lighthearted term, is also a bit of an issue.

“Delusions are a real and serious clinical and medical symptom that people can experience as part of psychotic disorders, and that can actually be really debilitating and disruptive to a person’s life,” she says. 

“The key is not to aim to be in a state of delusion, but to aim to manifest the life and values and goals that you want, and giving yourself permission to fearlessly go after them.” 

3. Glow up plans.

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Glow Up Plans feed into the idea of a positive and dramatic physical, spiritual, financial or/and mental transformation. 


“Once again, this is a trend that comes with minimal risks - the idea is for people to look at areas of their lives that could be improved and make it a priority to work on it,” Ladikos says. 

But, while the premise is essentially to become a better version of yourself, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison and perfectionism, which can be dangerous.

“The best thing you can do is make it a habit every day to work on improving one area of your life through conscious decision making and if things don't go to plan, forgive yourself, and try again the next day. 

“Self-compassion is going to be super important here with these glow-up plans, and equally as important is ensuring that you don’t measure your ‘glow-up’ against anyone else that you see online.”

4. Shadow work (or inner child healing).

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At its core, shadow work involves delving into your psyche to uncover and embrace aspects of yourself that you have suppressed, denied, or rejected. In other words, facing the hard stuff, and using it to your advantage.

“Most people have shadow self elements that develop in response to situations that feel overwhelming, foreign, and frightening. They likely have been using it as a coping strategy to avoid discomfort. However, it ultimately holds them back from a full, authentic life,” Ladikos says.

Shadowwork has become increasingly popular in recent years due to a growing interest in holistic well-being, self-awareness, and personal growth.


Because it involves trauma, it can be tricky and should be approached with caution.

“Whilst doing shadow work is great for developing a greater understanding of yourself, it can bring up traumas or experiences that require professional help from qualified therapists, psychologists and/or psychiatrists. The emotions can be large and if they're not handled correctly, it can cause further harm.”

5. Therapytok.

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TherapyTok is a trend where therapists, counsellors and psychologists create TikTok videos to provide education, tips and strategies on how to manage your mental health. 

“There are many benefits to this trend,” says Ladikos, including the fact that it's bringing attention to mental health, ultimately helping to decrease the stigma. 

These videos also provide access to support for those who can't afford or access professional help. 

The downside is the potential for self-diagnosis, which can be harmful. 

“This trend can also lead to people fully relying on it as a way to manage their mental health rather than seeking actual support from professional services,” Ladikos says. 

“It’s important to remember that whilst these trends help provide broad strategies, they shouldn't be used as a replacement to one-on-one support with mental health professionals.”

Featured Image: Getty. 

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