Did you know that #health and #fitness are the top two wellness hashtags on Twitter? In light of COVID-19, the use of TikTok wellness hashtags have risen dramatically. To date, TikTok users have viewed #wellness-tagged videos more than 500 million times, #fitness-tagged videos more than 41 billion times, and #health-tagged videos more than nine billion times.
Since its debut in August 2018, TikTok has become a wildly popular social media platform. Its video-sharing app has currently been downloaded 2.3 billion times, making it the most downloaded app in the App Store. It also boasts more than 680 million active users worldwide, and more than 100 million Americans are MAUs (monthly active users).
TikTok differs from other social media platforms in the way it promotes community engagement. This means that successful accounts boast more than likes and enthusiastic comments. Top-ranking TikTok videos actually inspire the creation of more videos.
While other platforms, such as Instagram, tend to foster a competitive atmosphere, TikTok actively encourages collaboration with others. This is particularly apparent in the arena of health and wellness.
Why TikTok Wellness Is Trending
In light of COVID-19, state and national travel restrictions remain in place. With many in quarantine or working from home, people crave a sense of community. On TikTok, users can explore ideas, learn things together, and share their viewpoints with the world. People often think that TikTok is just about new dance challenges, but the platform offers much more. If you’re interested in self-care, check out the platform’s health and wellness series to get workout, diet, meditation, and nutrition tips.
Although this vibrant community serves a unique social purpose, it’s also important to remember that any advice you find there likely hasn’t been vetted by health experts. In fact, critics maintain that the platform has fueled eating disorders and a toxic diet culture that endangers youth.
None of this means that you should avoid TikTok when you’re looking for wellness tips. It’s absolutely possible to find solid information there, but it’s important to seek out content creators you can trust. So, beware of influencers who post overly complex, punishing workouts and promise drastic results. You want to be sure they have the knowledge to back up what they’re sharing.
Sure, some TikTok influencers use fun graphics and quirky dance moves to make a point. But, don’t count them out. If they share solid, verifiable information, they may be well worth following.
Below, we recommend 10 of our favorite TikTok wellness accounts.
Stephanie Grasso, RD @stephaniegrassodietitian
As a Registered Dietitian, Stephanie is passionate about countering fad diets and “miracle” weight loss plans with facts. She knows her stuff, and her nutrition information is based on evidence-backed research and clinical experience. She’s a comforting voice in the fitness community, rejecting the body-shaming sentiments that often accompany weight loss advice.
Stephanie offers helpful nutrition facts about topics that are often misrepresented in diet culture circles, such as carbs, vitamins, keto diets, and so-called “cleanses.” If that sounds like a lot of lectures, don’t worry. Her videos are fun, encouraging, and entertaining. For instance, did you know that foods rich in magnesium can help reduce stress and mood tension? Stephanie explains how that works, and where to find magnesium-rich foods. There’s your Registered Dietitian-approved reason to eat dark chocolate!
Joyce Park, MD @teawithmd
In a world of extreme social media skincare advice, Dr. Joyce is a voice of reason. As a dermatologist, she’s fully equipped to dole out information about what will really help your skin versus fads that pose health risks. She also offers timely advice, such as how to care for dry hands during the age of coronavirus and what to do about “maskne,” the breakouts some people experience from wearing masks.
Dr. Joyce also produces informative videos about topics like the causes of rosacea, the elements of an effective skincare routine, and the best ways to treat under-eye bags. Most importantly, she dispels myths, like the one about needing a 20-step skincare routine to get (and keep) a glowing complexion. Instead, Dr. Joyce outlines strategies and products that actually work. Her advice is clear, straightforward, and inspiring.
Rose Marie Leslie, MD @drleslie
As a Family Medicine Resident and Health Educator, Dr. Leslie feels that many teens and young adults miss out on important information because health professionals don’t reach out to them on the platforms they frequent. To rectify this, she writes in a friendly and approachable way on TikTok (where many Gen Z and Millennial users gather). In fact, TikTok has become the de-facto favorite platform of Gen Z, especially on the subject of sports.
Dr. Leslie also provides advice on issues that many young people struggle with.
Her videos cover such topics as vaping, birth control, the safety of waist trainers, college first-aid kids, and stress. She even branches out into discussing topics that most teens would never feel comfortable bringing up, such as constipation, ear wax, and a doctor’s thoughts on Cardi B’s new song. Although seniors are starting to use TikTok more, it still hosts a large community of teens and young adults. In terms of catering to youthful concerns, Dr. Leslie is one of the best TikTok wellness influencers to follow.
Natalie Crawford, MD @nataliecrawfordmd
Dr. Crawford is a gynecologist who specializes in fertility treatments. This makes her the perfect person to bust myths about women’s bodies. Even in this era of oversharing and TMI-prone posts, people are still uncomfortable talking about the female reproductive system. For her part, Dr. Crawford isn’t having it. She covers issues such as menstrual flow, birth control, and the physiological explanation behind Cardi B’s new song (it’s pretty big on TikTok).
As a fertility specialist, Dr. Crawford also covers issues that many women have trouble getting answers to, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), how birth control affects fertility, the process of IVF, miscarriage, and egg freezing. She also shares insights on sexism in medicine, both from the perspective of a doctor and patient. Following her account feels a little like having a best friend who’s a doctor.
Dr. Julie Smith @drjuliesmith
A clinical psychologist, Dr. Smith dives into a number of issues pertaining to body confidence, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. She takes a compassionate and gentle approach to these subjects. Yet, she doesn’t shy away from addressing habits like excessive video gaming and how they may contribute to depression.
Studies show that continuous video gaming can have a negative impact on the psyche. Meanwhile, another study found that people who were addicted to gaming often exhibited poor coping strategies, self-esteem, and negative emotions.
Dr. Smith provides a number of tips on how to deal with anxiety and how to tell if you’re depressed.
But, she doesn’t just dwell on serious subjects. Dr. Smith also has fun videos about brain function and optical illusions as well as encouraging advice on how to change poor habits and make healthier choices. Her tips are practical, illuminating, and uplifting. You don’t have to struggle with a health issue to enjoy spending a little time with Dr. Smith. In terms of promoting your mental health, Dr. Smith is one of the best TikTok wellness influencers to follow.
Dr. Jared DeFife @jareddefife
Dr. DeFife is a psychologist who specializes in helping adults with ADHD. His account illuminates some of the challenges that people with ADHD struggle with, such as rejection sensitivity, procrastination, imposter syndrome, and even daytime sleepiness. He also busts myths about the condition, such as when bad behavior is blamed on poor parenting or video games.
As someone with an ADHD brain himself, Dr. DeFife is encouraging and optimistic about helpful ways to go about living with the condition. He points out the positive qualities of ADHD, such as creativity, enthusiasm, curiosity, and humor. People with ADHD can easily feel inadequate and overwhelmed, but Dr. DeFife is there to be a guide and friend.
Tabitha Brown @iamtabithabrown
This Atlanta based vegan food lover goes by “the World’s Favorite Mom,” and that’s definitely how she makes you feel. She always seems happy to see you and excited to share her latest video. And, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy her delicious recipes. Her warmth and enthusiasm will make you feel like joining her at her table for dinner.
But, don’t let her friendly demeanor fool you. She’s a big fan of science and enjoys turning plants into meals that are treats for the palate. Don’t believe us? Does great-tasting vegan food sound too good to be true? If so, you’ll want to try her carrot bacon or spaghetti with pecan meat sauce.
Increasing your intake of plant-based foods can promote better health and wellbeing, and you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. According to a study, more than 9.7 million Americans now follow “plant-based diets.” If you’re interested in diversifying your meals, Tabitha will show you the way.
Cassey is a Pilates trained fitness instructor, and she clearly loves what she does. She also seems to have an inexhaustible supply of ideas, enthusiasm, and inspiration. Cassey features Pilates-inspired workouts, food tips, and diet advice. Her videos are upbeat, high energy, and often funny.
One of the unique things about Cassey is that she offers innovative workouts, like cardio routines that can be done quietly. So, people who live in apartments can exercise without disturbing their neighbors. She’s also a big fan of dessert, which is always good to hear.
Laura Clery @lauraclery
List 3 things you are grateful for in the comment section. Because it’s impossible to be pissed & grateful at the same time. #fyp♬ original sound - Laura Clery
Laura talks about important issues such as anxiety and shares meditation tips. As a recovering addict, she has plenty of wisdom to share about the 12-step work needed to deal with trauma. She’s also a vegan, with lots of amazing food recommendations to share.
But most of all, Laura has a great sense of humor. She’s irreverent and doesn’t always use family-friendly language, so be prepared for that. But, she’ll make you laugh as she navigates her world with a husband and toddler son. Laura also just recently found out that she’s expecting another baby. So, don’t miss her video about finding out she’s pregnant — or the one where she tells her husband about it.
There’s nothing like a good laugh to make you feel better about life, and Laura can be counted on to deliver. And yes, she also has a parody of Cardi B’s new song.
Erika Weiss @workoutswitherika
Workouts With Erika has everything you’d expect from a #fitness account: workouts, recipes, and product recommendations. But, instead of pushing people to try harder, Erika focuses on encouraging a healthy body image, self-acceptance, and a positive attitude. You’ll love the filter-free videos of her dancing. Erika makes no apologies for her soft belly and doesn’t attempt to hide it.
Many fitness accounts feature people with chiseled, perfectly fit bodies. But, Erika focuses on being a role model for regular mortals just beginning their fitness journeys. She’s clearly strong and healthy but rejects the idea that our bodies must look a certain way to be accepted. Her cheerful refusal to buckle under societal expectations is inspiring.
As TikTok wellness accounts explode on the platform, interest in #health and #fitness will grow. While some may find this alarming, there’s no reason TikTok can’t be a helpful venue for sharing good information. That said, it’s important to verify claims on any social media site and make sure that what you’re hearing is supported by the facts.
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