Let’s face it, 2020 was a difficult year that put our mental health and overall spirit to the test. The lockdowns, restrictions and staying indoors — a lot of which isn’t completely gone — pushed us to find ways to stay positive.
Thanks to social platforms like Instagram, we had access to numerous uplifting accounts where motivating quotes, stories, anecdotes, videos and pictures kept us engaged, entertained and happy. Many of these accounts have been around for quite some time, consistently inspiring people to improve their lives through self-development and conveying the message that positivity is something that comes from within.
Here are some Instagram accounts you can follow if you need more positivity in life.
Main image: Adam Jang/Unsplash
Featured image: yoga/Instagram
Followers: 11 million
Undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous blogs, Humans of New York was started as a photography project by Brandon Stanton in 2010. It began its social media dominance starting with Facebook in 2011 and today has around 18 million followers on its official page. The success has followed them on Instagram as well with the followers increasing every day. The posts are about New Yorkers and their inspiring stories of love, compassion, loss, challenges, courage and victories, with which readers can establish an immediate connect. Humans of New York has inspired others to undertake similar projects in their cities around the world.
Followers: 10 million
Scrolling through this Instagram account will either put a smile on your face or make you cry, but you’ll leave with positive vibes only. The Dodo features videos that show animal rescues, pets with their owners or just animals being goofy and fun. Besides Instagram, it has an equally influential presence on Facebook and Twitter. Named after the first recorded species that went extinct due to human activity, The Dodo was started in 2014 by Isabel Lerer. It also champions animal rights issues through various campaigns.
Followers: 2.7 million
A genuine way to increase positivity in life is by starting to love oneself. As the name suggests, the account presents ways to increase self-love through its consistent positive messages including uplifting quotes, lessons on co-operation, and simple graphics on different emotions we feel. There are also tips to improve the amount of self-love with a focus on mental and physical health. Started in 2019, their official site also has articles on important issues such as anxiety.
Followers: 1.1 million
Let’s be honest. Most of us hate Mondays. That feeling of going back to work and that seemingly endless wait for the weekend can be crushing. Motivation Mondays comes as a gust of cool breeze on a hot summer day, giving us hope with their powerful quotes each of which is better than the other. Sample this: “No one is you, and that is your superpower.” Or how about the one in the picture above?
Followers: 22.2 million
Launched sometime around 2013, The Good Quote is an acclaimed Instagram page on well-being, mental health awareness, and positive vibrations. Founder Meggan Roxanne created The Good Quote as an extension of her popular Tumblr blog that she started in 2011. You’ll find motivational quotes from famous personalities such as Stephen King, Morgan Love, Malanda Jean-Claude, Thisuri Wanniarachchi, Ruby Dhal and Nicki Minaj among others.
Followers: 2 million
Movie one-liners, old adages, famous quotes and even interesting anecdotes — the posts on Motivation Mafia are diverse. They are accompanied by eye-catching photos and videos of iconic personalities including the likes of Bob Marley, Sylvester Stallone, Daniel Craig, Albert Einstein, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr. and Leonardo DiCaprio. Scenes from movies designed to uplift spirits are also part of the posts.
Followers: 7.5 million
Millionaire Mentor is one of the biggest motivational Instagram accounts. It was started by Jason Stone — a mechanical engineer who is also an entrepreneur and a social media influencer. Stone began by sharing his expertise in the world of business alongside motivational quotes on the platform, which quickly gained loyal followers. The account is all about stuff like bitcoin, business, high life and how to get rich. Words of affirmation like “I’m a money magnet,” overlayed on a part of a US dollar bill featuring Benjamin Franklin, certainly sound powerful and encouraging. In case you are interested in more, check out the official website for informative and inspiring articles on business trends, blockchain, branding and the like.
Using encouraging quotes from famous people and mindfulness tips, this Instagram account improves your outlook of yourself and life, one post a day. It encourages you to take five minutes out of your daily life for yourself for your own peace. The account suggests gratitude journaling, which means that you write about things you are grateful for. This is meant to both inculcate a healthy habit and shift focus to the good. For this purpose, you can use their Five Minute Journal, a diary that has a simple format allowing you to list things you are grateful for and affirmations. One of the most famous users of the diary is The New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss.
Followers: 42.3 million
One of the best ways to bring positivity to life is by travelling. Now, if you cannot do that given the current circumstances, you can at least follow National Geographic Travel on Instagram to see the incomparable diverseness of our planet from the comfort of your home. You can enjoy the sight of monks practising a traditional dance in a Bhutanese village or follow a polar bear family across the snowy wilderness of Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada, from the comfort of your home and marvel at the wonders of life. Besides the captivating pictures and videos, the stories of the adventures, ranging from thrilling to thought-provoking, will leave you wiser and more informed.
Followers: 1.7 million
Girl Boss is a community of strong and ambitious women who are encouraging, empowering, entertaining, supporting and informing ladies around the world about their rights. This is done by creating job opportunities, community participation, conversations on issues such as inclusivity, and motivational tips among various activities that help in both professional and personal growth. Their Instagram account is a mix of serious activism and social satire that goes a long way into instilling confidence besides bringing a smile of hope on your face. Check out the video by Vivien in which she hilariously but powerfully takes a jab at the discrimination against women even in the manner in which emails are written.
Followers: 4 million
When you look at their Instagram account, the first thing that strikes is the chessboard-like presentation. Each post alternates with a black and white background. And the posts? Well-known quotes by known and unknown share space with those by the account creators providing much-needed inspiration to followers. Take for instance this advice of great significance for perhaps everyone: “2020: You learned. 2021: You apply.” The Female Hustlers also works towards encouraging and promoting women entrepreneurship. In February 2021, they announced the launch of The Masterclass Membership in which 75 masterclasses on topics of business, legal, marketing, health & wellness, art & design, and copywriting created by an all-female expert team were made available for women looking to start their businesses.
Followers: 1.7 million
Among the many benefits of practising yoga is bringing positivity to life. Its immense health benefits on the body, mind and spirit is now a universally acknowledged fact. The Instagram account presents crowd-sourced photos and videos of yoga practitioners. They help you learn various yogasanas (yoga postures) and how to do them properly. Each post is captioned with words of wisdom and motivation. And, of course, the photographs chosen for each post are not only excellent, some even open a pleasant window to breathtaking backdrops.
Followers: 2.9 million
We can scroll through pictures of cute animals all day and definitely double-tap most of them. So why wouldn’t the heart not melt when an absolutely cute face of a golden retriever looks at you with those adorable eyes? This Instagram account is all about the exploits of one such good boy — Tucker. Appearing with his human mom Courtney Budzyn, who is herself a famous influencer, Tucker’s innocence has won millions of hearts. Check out his page, and you’ll find yourself wanting to hug him.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a non-profit based in Kenya which works for the rescue, protection and rehabilitation of orphaned African elephants. There are at least two reasons why you should follow them if you are looking for a positive influence. The first is the incredible work that the selfless caregivers at Sheldrick do every single day to protect one of the most beautiful animals on earth. Their service in the face of several odds will teach you lessons in humanity and determination. The second is of course the cute faces of the elephants, all of whom are babies. Their hilarious antics will make you laugh. And when you see these against the painful stories of the orphans that the trust often shares alongside the posts, you’d not only respect the work done by the caretakers but might also want to take up the cause of protecting wildlife wherever you are.
Followers: 3.6 million
“Inspiring, informing and celebrating entrepreneurs” — this is how the account describes itself. How people overcome challenges to make their dreams come true is certainly something to learn about. Follow this page for smart business tips and lessons on life, career and entrepreneurship from stars such as MMA fighter Conor McGregor and actor Ryan Reynolds, along with scores of successful people shaking things up in the corporate sector. Every post teaches an important lesson that can go a long way in improving your life.