Raise your hand if you’re guilty of scrolling through Instagram and feeling more overwhelmed than inspired. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to turn your go-to app into a source of positivity that’s worth a few minutes each morning. Here are a few super-inspiring accounts that only send off feel-good vibes, from poets who seem to know exactly what you’re feeling to one woman’s zero waste journey to some furry friends. It’s about time you started following these accounts to brighten your spirits and start every day off right.
We all have that one friend who is effortlessly cool, and so genuinely cares about the people and the world around them. On Instagram, that friend is Lauren Singer, CEO of @packagefreeshop and a self-proclaimed zero waste pioneer. On her personal account, Lauren shares a peek into her own zero waste journey, including her activist efforts, everyday life as a CEO and everything in between (including some appearances from her adorable dog, Rosie). “My goal in life is to inspire large scale positive environmental impact and change,” Lauren says. “I use Instagram as a great way to spread awareness and education on how people can reduce their waste daily. Through my platform, Trash is for Tossers, I hope to encourage other people to find alternatives to single use plastic and live more sustainability. I love using social media to show that living a zero waste or low waste lifestyle — or even just reducing your waste a tiny bit — can be simple, cost effective and fun!”
Lauren’s own favorite posts are the “snapshots that show how the simple swaps in my day-to-day routine create a large positive impact with very little effort.” Lauren’s feed will definitely leave you inspired to minimize your eco footprint — one package-free day at a time.
As a writer, editor and author, words are sort of Brianna Wiest’s thing. And while she’s been published on Forbes, Medium and more, it’s Instagram that’s earned her a worldwide readership. With her account, Brianna says, “I hope that I can help people become more aware of their unconscious thought patterns, assumptions and beliefs, many of which are guiding the course of their lives. I believe that personal development is essential work that every one of us is responsible to do, and I have found that words and writing is often one of the most effective ways to communicate that.” For West, writing isn’t just work — it helps to transform her own mindset, just as much as she aims to help others.
What could be more inspiring than the flora and fauna of our public spaces? The “official Instagram for America’s Best Idea” shares gorgeous images of creatures and landscapes from around the parks system, serving as an amazing reminder of all nature has to offer. As a bonus, someone at the National Parks Service is having a grand time with the captions, referencing everything from Dr. Seuss to “Seinfeld” to lackluster online reviews from park visitors (“Doesn’t look anything like the license plate,” one Yelp reviewer said of the breathtaking Arches National Park). There’s always a dose of education, too, whether it’s the history of the park or how to respect and be respected by our wild landscapes and their inhabitants.
Even if you don’t instantly recognize his name, chances are high you’ve seen an Atticus quote. Known for a soft, romantic — and sometimes bittersweet — approach to writing, he remains completely anonymous — even going as far to wear a mask during interviews. When we asked him why he doesn’t show his face, he explained: “I have always written anonymously to help remind myself to write what I feel and not what I think I should feel.” For Atticus, connecting with others is the most important part of his page, to the point that exchanges with readers have been life-changing. In return, he says, “I try to be as honest and vulnerable as possible. I do this very imperfectly, but my hope is that people read the words and can relate or connect to them in some way. I hope that feeling of connectedness makes people happy. It makes me happy to think there are others going through the same things as me.”
There are plenty of Instagram accounts out there featuring furry friends — from dogs and cats to rescue squirrels and foxes. But while it’s fun to scroll through feeds with videos of dogs learning new tricks, we’re even more fond of the accounts that leave us learning something new. Such is the Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw, whose personal Instagram account is a loving mix of baby kittens and humane education. Each post inspires and uplifts while allowing for followers to get a glimpse into the life of a real-life (and very experienced) foster mom. What we love most about Hannah is that she isn’t just in it to share adorable images (though that’s great too); she provides detailed education on responsibly handling small, vulnerable animals and keeps the love going through Orphan Kitten Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of saving cats’ lives.
Chemine Sharpe (aka Eloise Night) is the writer behind this popular poetry account, which she started in 2014 with the goal of exploring a form of writing that was unfamiliar to her. What she didn’t expect is how deeply she would reach people across the world, and how she could positively affect people with her musings. “When I realized I had the potential and power to reach and impact people through my words, that goal shifted to self-care for both me and my readers,” Chemine says. “With this in mind, my goal isn’t to make others happier. It’s to inspire. And that inspiration may lead to happiness — I pray it does, or it may not, but it’s there for the taking.”
Personally, Chemine’s favorite posts center around advocacy and social topics — or science. She loves creating metaphors and reading lists for A-Z inventions or searching for information on the human body or astronomy. “I firmly believe that nature can remind us that we are not alone,” she says.