Black mental health matters.

And if you're a member of the Black community, now more than ever it’s important to find ways to protect and care for your mental health.

Why: As acts of violence, racism, and injustice against the Black community are finally getting the amplification they deserve, repeatedly hearing about each of these instances can take a mental toll.

When the trauma you’ve endured for your entire life is now dominating the news cycle, social media, and even your conversations with friends: It can feel so heavy and difficult. And that’s human.

And as a member of the Black community, now more than ever it’s important to find ways to protect and care for your mental health.

Here, we gathered a list of tips and resources that can help you when you need a moment to care for yourself, advice from Black mental health advocates, or assistance in finding more professional resources for support.

Your Guide:

●︎ Quick tips

●︎ Books

●︎ Podcasts

●︎ Instagram accounts

●︎ Resources for deeper care

Things to remember, especially now:

Your productivity doesn't define your worth. Remember that rest is critical to prevent burnout.

Give yourself space to feel what you need to feel. How can you sit with any negative emotions you have instead of distance yourself from it? Remember: Getting to know those negative emotions can help you eventually work through them.

Reframe your thoughts. How do you talk to yourself and about yourself? Make sure the thoughts and words you use are full of love and hope.

Create a list of truths to ground yourself. I woke up today, my bills are paid, my kids are happy...etc. These are things I know to be true. Use that list to get out of negative space.

Prioritize your mental health with a holistic approach in mind. What you eat, how much you move, prioritizing sleep to give your mind and body a chance to rest.

Remember: It's OK to honor your anger. Naming and honoring your anger can help you try to heal and move through your journey.

Savor joy. Do something you love, talk to someone who makes you smile, try something new, or rest. (Learn more via The Four Bodies: A Holistic Toolkit for Coping With Racial Trauma by Jacqulyn Ogorchukwuu)

When you find something that works for you, include it in your daily routine. Whether that's a pre-bed ritual, mid-day break, or a meditation that helps you quiet your mind. If you're not sure where to start: The Shine app has a whole collection of free meditations focused specifically on Black wellbeing.


Books to read:

Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fear by Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett, Ph.D.__ In this book, psychologist Angela Neal-Barnett explores the many factors that can lead to increased anxiety, panic, and fear for Black women, and offers a “blueprint” for how to start coping and healing.

Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy DeGruy, Ph.D. After researching the residual impacts of slavery in both America and Africa for 12 years, therapist Joy DeGruy developed her theory of Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS). In this book, she explores PTSS and the mental and emotional behavior patterns that are common.

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem MSW, LICSW, SEP In this book, therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem unpacks what racial trauma and white supremacy does to our bodies and offers practices for healing.

Podcasts to listen to:

Therapy for Black Girls This weekly podcast from licensed psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D., covers all things mental health, from how to build a “coping kit,” journaling exercises to help you self-reflect, and the impacts of racial trauma.

Naming It In this conversational podcast, Black psychologists Dr. Bedford Palmer and Dr. LaMisha Hill explore the intersection of social justice, psychology, and Blackness and how it impacts our day-to-day existence.

Black Girl in Om This podcast, hosted by Black Girl in Om founder Lauren Ash, features influential women of color—from activist Rachel Cargle to sound therapist Dr. Crystal Jones—and aims to uplift and affirm other women of color tuning in.

hey, girl. In hey, girl. Black writer and wellness consultant Alex Elle sits down with the people who inspire her for deep conversations about self-care, healing, and more. A great episode to start: This one where she speaks candidly about Blackness, Rest, and ACTION.

Gettin’ Grown In this podcast, hosts Keia and Jade discuss all things adulting. Their focus on Black women and self-care is a highlight of the series—in addition to discussing everything from radical joy to stress management.

The Gurls Talk Podcast You might now Adwoa Aboah as a model, but the London native is also the founder of Gurls Talk, a community for young women to come together and discuss everything from mental health to racial justice issues. The podcast is an extension of this community and features people of all backgrounds in conversation with Adwoa about loneliness, legacy, resilience, and more.

Power Hour Adrienne Herbert hosts this incredible podcast focused on tapping into the skills you need to find motivation and create a new definition of success for yourself. Adrienne interviews thought leaders and experts across all industries in a way that’s powerful and much needed.

Between Sessions Houston-based therapists and friends Eliza Boquin, L.M.F.T., and Eboni Harris, L.M.F.T., are the creators of Melanin & Mental Health, a community and online directory to help members of Black & Latinx/Hispanic communities find “culturally competent clinicians.” In their podcast, Between Sessions, they interview other BIPOC mental health experts about topics like racial battle fatigue, anxiety, workplace microaggressions, and more.

Instagrams to follow:

Dr. Jess Clemmons (@askdrjess), psychiatrist Dr. Jess has always shown up for Black mental health, and her work is important now more than ever. Her IG question & answer sessions cover so much ground and help folks process everything from trauma to emotional baggage to respectability politics.

Nedra Glover Tawwab, therapist (@nedratawwab) There’s a chance you’ve already seen some of Nedra Glover Tawwab’s work reshared since it seems as if every post goes viral—and for good reason, too. With her work, Nedra summarizes a wide range of mental health challenges and provides actionable tips to help you switch up habits that no longer serve or protect your mental health.

Rachel Cargle (@rachel.cargle), writer and activist Rachel Cargle’s work is synonymous with Black mental health. As an educator and an advocate for Black mental health, Rachel has prioritized sharing resources through her organization, The Loveland Foundation. Follow her for learnings about systemic racism and daily thoughts on the fight for Black liberation and mental health.

Jamila Reddy (@jamilareddy) For insightful mantras and reminders of your power, turn to Jamila Reddy—a writer, meditation teacher, and personal transformation coach. Their reminders are impactful and provide reflection moments that you can apply to your own life.

Jacqulyn Ogorchukwuu (@ogorchukwuu) If you value new information in an aesthetically pleasing way, go follow Jacqulyn’s Instagram account immediately. As a UX designer and wellness advocate, Jacqulyn’s work is poignant and stunning. You’ll want to share every IG post with your friends and save them for yourself.

Sad Girls Club (@sadgirlsclub) If you’re interested in following a community-based platform, Sad Girls Club is a great organization to follow. It was founded by filmmaker Elyse Fox and is a digital space for women of color to come together and open up about their mental health struggles.

Resources for deeper and professional care:

Take a mental health screening test, courtesy of Mental Health America. This test can help you better gauge whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Upon taking the test, know that it's OK to ask for help to kick off your healing.

Find a therapist that works for you. It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to asking for help from a professional. Luckily, there are a lot of organizations that can help you find a therapist that works for you. If you're a Black woman looking for a Black therapist, try searching in Therapy for Black Girls. If you're searching for a queer therapist of color, National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) might be the place for you to look. Psychology Today is also a great resource to find more professionals that can cater to your needs.

Join communities like Ethel's Club for support. Ethel's Club is one place people of color can come together in spaces intentionally created for healing and wellness outside of the white gaze. It can be helpful to connect with others on a similar journey of self-care as you.

Reach out to Crisis Text Line. This program provides free, 24/7 support to anyone who needs help. All it takes is a text message: Text HOME to 741741 to receive support about anxiety, depression, stress, and more.

For even more support: Read Shine’s BIPOC Mental Health Guide