Life is all about…Instagram. Yes. Let’s own it. Most of us count on Instagram to be one of the first apps we see within a half hour of waking (or maybe the first 5 minutes.) We are told that we are a generation that is too obsessed with social media, technology, and reaching the unattainable perfection that we see online. But let’s talk about the past for a moment. Before the Internet, women were looking at and reading magazines where they saw models who seemed to be absolutely perfect. Insecurity and low self-esteem are not things unique to the present. But today, even though we are bombarded with photoshopped images and celebrity captions we could only experience in our dreams, there’s an equal amount of women who are speaking out for female empowerment—whether it’s in the form of showing off their imperfect bodies, shedding light on mental disorders, or starting movements like #nomakeup. Therefore, if we are looking at Instagram all day, let’s stop following accounts that make us feel like everyone else has the perfect life only we can dream of, and let’s start making our own lives the ones we are happy and content with. The following 15 inspirational Instagram accounts will motivate you to smile, take care of your body, appreciate your mind, and most importantly, be happy with the unique person you are.
15 Cleo Wade (@cleowade)
An artist, poet, and speaker, Cleo uses her words to inspire and empower people to live their best lives through realizing their self-worth. She advocates for gender and race equality and has spoken at panels across the country. Her daily, short musings and epigrams are relatable, feel-good, and reveal the struggles we all face. Her words were even placed on a billboard in New Orleans in observance of the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina! She contributes to a top fashion magazine (Harper’s Bazaar), and has some high-profile celebrity friends (Katy Perry), but she’s still down with communicating with us, the average folk. When you wake up in the morning and read Cleo’s words, you will be motivated to start your day by remaining positive and grateful. Forget the depressing poetry accounts, Cleo’s words will brighten your day. She’s a pretty bada$$ woman who will make you feel that way too. Thanks for spreading the love, Cleo.
14 Well + Good (@wellandgoodnyc)
Well and Good was voted the best lifestyle site in 2016 and that is no surprise. The site covers everything from natural beauty tips to meditation techniques to healthy eating, and their Instagram profile displays these topics nicely. From their funny, daily quotes to drool-worthy food pictures, Well and Good is an account that will wake up your senses after a long night’s sleep. Their fitness videos are particularly motivating because they often depict exercises you can do from home, even after coming home from a long day at work. There’s no need to spend hours in the gym to create the body you desire, and Well and Good knows how to make your workouts productive when you have very little time. The best way to use this account is to screenshot the pictures you like and then head to their site when you have some time to look up recipes, workouts, or beauty products. You won’t be disappointed in the content on their site.
13 Feminist Voice (@feministvoice)
All of us should be treated equally, but women are treated a little less equally than men. Women make less money. They are harassed more often. And some men still believe that their kind is smarter, more business savvy, and deserving of higher positions in companies. I think all women can agree that their favorite position is CEO, and we should have equal opportunities to obtain those positions. This is where Feminist Voice is so empowering. The page posts inspiring quotes, pro-woman-body doodles, and newsworthy stories about female empowerment. If you’re feeling down about your job, scroll through some of the pictures on Feminist Voice to pick you back up. After all, we have to help each other if we want to succeed. There’s no room for jealousy. And if you don’t like where you are in life right now, don’t get bitter; be pro-active. Like one of the quotes on the page states, “Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day.” Keep doing you.
12 Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines)
Kayla has a huge following on Instagram with over 5.6 million fans, and if you’re looking for fitness inspiration, you should follow her ASAP. Kayla is a fitness guru who has her own app called Sweat With Kayla. The app is so popular because it includes short 28-minute workouts with very little equipment needed. You can track your progress with her weekly photo journal, while reading tons of tips on nutrition and how to prevent injuries. The best part of Kayla’s Instagram page is that she posts real before–and–after photos from some of her clients who use the app. The transformations are so incredible that one glance at one of her user’s abs will make you rethink that bagel you were planning on getting on the way to work. But Kayla is not only a fitness fanatic; she is a kind soul who promotes mental stability and happiness just as much as physical transformation. Because after all, if you’re not happy on the inside, changing your exterior will not help.
11 Medical Medium (@medicalmedium)
There’s a whole movement to eat healthier—organic, no refined sugar, no processed foods, no simple carbs. The Medical Medium is a NY Times Bestselling author who is literally changing the way we view food one post at a time. Through his Instagram page, we not only see beautiful foods in their natural state but are also able to read lengthy captions that explain exactly what those foods are doing to our bodies and how they are helping to combat disease. For example, did you know that basil is “an herbal antibiotic, antiseptic, carminative, and appetizer that has a special affinity for the stomach”? And the Medical Medium does not stop his description there. There are another 300 words explaining just how basil can heal wounds, rashes, warts etc. If you want to get some serious motivation to eat healthy, it’s best to be armed with information, and the Medical Medium provides more than enough.
10 Atticus (@atticuspoetry)
Who is Atticus? Perhaps you have seen his name on short quotes and poems that circulate on Instagram frequently. It’s a mystery who this author is, but his work speaks for itself. His short epigrams are almost stream of consciousness style—but a consciousness we wish we had. Uplifting and filled with emotions, his poems, a combining of unlikely words and analogies, will make you feel like you are not alone in this world. His ability to post sentiments that almost exactly match what we are thinking at any given moment is almost like he is collectively reading all our minds in order to help us grow. Perfect for reading after a bad breakup or betrayal, his ability to relate to humanity will inspire and motivate you to move on from whatever is bothering you. His cult following often believes in his words so deeply that they tattoo his poems on their bodies. His job writing is definitely rewarding. Or do they call that a higher calling?
9 Society Gal (@thesocialsociety)
This page is a community of female entrepreneurs who promote community over competition. You know those celebrity Instagram pages you follow and just feel bad about yourself because their goals are ones you will never reach, even in 5 lifetimes? Yeah, this page is not like that. If you want to feel like you can connect with other women who work hard, follow Society Gal. They post everything from killer outfits to daily coffee fixes, and travel pictures. The photos alone will inspire you to keep a positive mind all day long. They often repost pictures from other women who work and always keep an optimistic, kind attitude in their captions. If women really want equality in the workforce, we must stick together and encourage each other’s dreams and ambitions. No matter what they are, they are valid. Join Society Gal’s #galtribe and start feeling better about your own accomplishments.
8 Kimberly Smith (@kimberlysmithdesign)
Kimberly Smith is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Australia. She clearly believes in girl power and her drawings show it. From two word phrases to the complicated anatomy of the female body, this artist is truly unique and inspiring. When you read and look at her work, you will want to pick up a pen and start drawing your own cool stuff. Kimberly Smith reminds us that no matter what job we have, we should always make some time to get creative. Did you know that creativity leads to greater happiness and more focus? Yep. We are born to express our unique talents, not just go to a 9-5 job to make money. Think about life without money. What would you really be doing? Doing what you absolutely passionate about is the key to life. So, start thinking like Kimberly Smith and you will feel motivated to express your own unique style.
7 Roxanne (@roxannesvibe)
Roxanne is one bada$$ chick and she posts the words we all want to hear to motivate us to love more, worry less, and help each other to succeed in life, love, and whatever other journey we are on. The pictures and doodles that accompany the words are spot on. With over 900K followers, she is definitely doing something that people can relate to. This just proves that love and kindness will always trump hate and judgment. If you make it a habit to check out Roxanne’s posts throughout the day, I guarantee you will feel better about your situation. Some people just have a way with lifting others up, and Roxanne is a person who totally gets the connectivity between all things. She might even inspire you to think differently about something that you never thought about before. Remember, there’s only one Earth, and we are all in this together.
6 Spiritual Movement (@spiritualmovement)
Just like the health movement, there is also a spiritual movement that is happening. People are no longer defined by their religion, but by how much they can individually connect to something more personal: their self-worth. By loving yourself first, you are able to love those who are around you. The Spiritual Movement page exists solely to inspire you to be the best version of you…not somebody else. Easier said than done, however. The opinions, judgments, and needs of others bog us down constantly, so we need to be reminded daily that we are enough and we are special. Every person is beautiful, amazing, and important; this page really brings that concept home. If you need a little motivation to love yourself even more than you already do, reading the short musings on this page will lift your spirits. Only positive vibes there. Follow at your own risk of becoming happier.
5 Juniper Fox (@juniperfoxx)
We have all enjoyed the celebridog accounts on Instagram, like Marnie and Toast’s out-of-mouth tongue pictures. But did you know there is an even cuter animal that is taking over? Meet Juniper the red fox! Juniper lives with her boyfriend, Moose (a dog). The two are so cute together that no matter what picture you look at, you will smile. Juniper’s videos are really cool because she actually seems like a domesticated animal and acts very much like a dog. But to her owner’s credit, Juniper’s behavior is often explained in case others think it will be cute for them to get a fox. The owner is careful to answer questions honestly. After all, a fox is still a fox and can bite, become possessive of food, and have bad moods. But, she is still the most adorable account to hit Instagram since Maru, the Shiba Inu. In need of some laughs? Watch some Juniper videos.
4 Mind Body Green (@mindbodygreen)
If you’re the rare person who doesn't like scrolling your Instagram feed (even though everyone does), then you should follow Mind Body Green to get all your motivation categories neatly wrapped up into one account. Their page provides great content on healthy eating, traveling, working out, and just living. From great quotes to cute animals to travel pictures and healthy recipes, this is the best guide to all things motivation. I guarantee no matter where you are lacking inspiration, you will find it on Mind Body Green. They truly believe in loving every aspect of your life and doing everything you can to improve your current situation. Whether you want to go vegan, or start meditation, you will be able to find helpful articles on their site for all. There is no better healthy living website than Mind Body Green, so follow their Instagram to feel inspired to love better, live longer, and be happier. Go Enjoy!
3 Upworthy (@upworthy)
Upworthy is on a mission to bring people together, and they really do! The news is usually all about sensationalism, and unfortunately, that usually means stories that make us sad. We hear about people being killed and animals that are harmed, natural disasters that destroy the world, and children that suffer for no reason. After a while, it takes a toll on us. But Upworthy is changing that and its format is working. Upworthy provides stories that inspire people; in other words, happy stories. Stories with good endings. Its stories involve people randomly helping each other when they need it most. It brings to our attention new technology and the way people are brilliantly using their minds to create absolutely amazing things. Whatever good is happening in the world (which is a lot, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the news), Upworthy is uncovering. If you’re feeling particularly motivated, share your own story by pitching to them on their site. In the meantime, follow their Instagram for daily world goodness.
2 Stay & Wander (@stayandwander)
Everyone needs to explore, even if it’s just within his or her mind. Stay & Wander provides the perfect pictures for those who want to see the world, but don’t have the time or money to actually do it (right now). This page will have you taking screenshots of multiple places and putting them in your phone folder labeled “places to go.” This account has a very calming effect on the mind because all the pictures are peaceful, showing nature in its most beautiful forms. Whether you like lakes or mountains, snow or oceans, Stay & Wander posts images of all. The pictures are reposts from different accounts, so if you really have a lot of time on your hands, you can click on the copyright owners pages and follow those accounts too. Sometimes we just need to see the earth do what it does automatically to be reminded of how special this place we live in really is, right? Have fun scrolling and liking.
1 Sara Forte (@sproutedkitchen)
Not feeling motivated to cook? Follow Sara Forte and you will, most definitely. She is the author of The Sprouted Kitchen and her recipes are so clean and the pictures are mouth-watering good. Sara believes in eating seasonally, which means foods that are freshly picked and not frozen: foods that actually grow in the season you are in. From smoothies to salads, to yogurt pops, all her recipes will make you re-evaluate what you are currently eating. And if you are really motivated to change your eating habits, check out her cookbooks. If you have never tried eating seasonally before, you will be pleasantly surprised at how different food can taste when it hasn’t traveled thousands of miles and is freshly picked. Always shop for fresh, clean ingredients and follow Sara to make your meals delicious. You won’t be disappointed when you find out how great a salad can really taste (and what it can do for your health!)