Many people work hard to take care of their physical health. Why not do the same when it comes to mental health?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, roughly one in four American adults has a diagnosable mental health disorder. That means that if you struggle with anxiety, depression, or other issues, you're not alone. Especially when you run a business there are inevitable ups and downs and it's important to take care so that you do your best work and realize your goals.
The following mental health quotes remind us that we all struggle sometimes. We’ve compiled a list here as a source of encouragement and inspiration.
Quotes about speaking out and asking for help
It can be hard to seek the support you need for a healthy mental state. For encouragement, here are a few of the best quotes on mental health and asking for help:
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” — Fred Rogers (The Washington Post)
“Black women have harnessed their strength out of the necessity to support themselves and their families when no one else would — and that should be applauded. But there is also strength in vulnerability, comfort in seeing that you are not alone and power in knowing when to ask for help.” — Inger E. Burnett-Zeigler, PhD (The New York Times)
“The advice I’d give to somebody that’s silently struggling is, you don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to struggle in silence. You can be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it, because it’s really important you share your experience with people so that you can get the help that you need.” — Demi Lovato (The Cut)
“There isn’t anybody out there who doesn’t have a mental health issue, whether it’s depression, anxiety, or how to cope with relationships. Having OCD is not an embarrassment anymore — for me. Just know that there is help and your life could be better if you go out and seek the help.” — Howie Mandell (The Wall Street Journal)
“Being vulnerable is actually a strength and not a weakness — that’s why more and more mental health is such an important thing to talk about. It’s the same as being physically sick. And when you keep all those things inside, when you bottle them up, it makes you ill.” — Cara Delevigne (HITC)
“Emotional pain is not something that should be hidden away and never spoken about. There is truth in your pain, there is growth in your pain, but only if it’s first brought out into the open.” — Steven Aitchison (Twitter)
Quotes about the healing process
With so much lingering stigma surrounding poor mental health, it can be hard to identify your mental health needs and begin the journey to recovery. Here are some of the best mental health quotes about seeking treatment and healing to achieve positive mental health.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (EKR Foundation)
“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” ― John Green (Time)
“Many survivors insist they’re not courageous: ‘If I were courageous, I would have stopped the abuse.’ ‘If I were courageous, I wouldn’t be scared’… Most of us have it mixed up. You don’t start with courage and then face fear. You become courageous because you face your fear.” ― Laura Davis (The Courage to Heal Workbook)
“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable, and imperfect.” — Brene Brown (TED)
“When you come out of the grips of a depression, there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work — everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors.” — Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy)
“It's really about slowing down, practicing acceptance, being really curious and compassionate, and really nurturing our younger self for the things that we didn't receive, needed or even deserved growing up.” — Canh Tran, MSW, LICSW (KUOW)
Quotes about erasing the mental health stigma
If you're faced with mental health struggles, it can be challenging to speak up. But mental health awareness begins with identifying and erasing stigmas surrounding mental health challenges.
After all, mental health affects entire families and communities. With more candor, we can begin to have better outcomes for those affected by mental health concerns like severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other emotional storms.
With this in mind, here are some of the most encouraging quotes on mental health stigmas.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” — Glenn Close (HuffPost)
“It is okay to have depression, it is okay to have anxiety, and it is okay to have an adjustment disorder. We need to improve the conversation. We all have mental health in the same way we all have physical health.” — Prince Harry (Business Insider)
“Anyone can be affected [by mental illness] despite their level of success or their place on the food chain. In fact, there is a good chance you know someone who is struggling with it since nearly 20% of American adults face some form of mental illness in their lifetime. So why aren’t we talking about it?” — Kristen Bell (Time)
“I think it’s really important to destigmatize mental illness in any form. I think there’s a lot of people that are carrying around guilt and shame and baggage for [stuff] that doesn’t matter. Everybody is going through something; everybody has had something that they’ve had to overcome.” — Mary Lambert (HuffPost)
“I say that publicly because I think it’s really important to take the stigma away from mental health … My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?” — Kerry Washington (KVUE)
“Sadly, too often, the stigma around mental health prevents people who need help from seeking it. But that simply doesn’t make any sense. Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm, or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction.
"We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently.
"Instead, we should make it clear that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness — it’s a sign of strength — and we should ensure that people can get the treatment they need.” — Michelle Obama (Obama Whitehouse Archives)
Quotes about mental health and community
If you're struggling with poor mental health, you may be surprised to find that you're part of a pretty big club. Here are some of the best mental health quotes about community:
“I found that with depression, one of the most important things you can realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not gonna be the last to go through it.” — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Today)
"One of the things I think people struggle with a lot, especially as it relates to depression, is thinking that depression looks a certain type of way when it simply does not. I think it helps people realize that mental illness can impact anyone, and that we shouldn’t be looking at things like income, relationship status, or job title to indicate whether someone is struggling or not." — Joy Harden Bradford, PhD (Refinery29)
“We have seen that two heads are better than one when dealing with a mental health problem.” — Kate Middleton (ABC News)
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve to never ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just IS — like the weather.
"Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” — Stephen Fry (The Telegraph)
Quotes about self-care
While the challenges of mental illness can't be solved with a day off or a long soak in a bathtub, self-care is an important component of recovery. Here are encouraging mental health quotes about self-care:
“That’s about 90 percent of my ... life — radical self-care. Put your own oxygen mask on first. I watch the self-talk that goes through my mind, and if I am being critical with myself, I shake myself out of it. I do for myself exactly what I would do for you — make a lovely cup of tea, or a hot bath, or go buy myself a fabulous pair of socks. I believe that you take the action, and THEN the insight follows — and that is what home looks like for me now.” — Anne Lamott (The Cut)
“My health, the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, my peace of mind, the number of times I smile, what I’m feeding my mind and my body — those are the things that I’ve been focusing on. Mental health is self-care too.” — Beyonce (Harper’s Bazaar)
“Separate yourself from yourself. If this were your friend ... what would you say to them? Because we are way harsher to ourselves than we are to other people. And then take it one step further and ask, how would you talk to your 10-year-old self?” — Miranda Atkinson (Bustle)
“You don’t need to find a lesson in your trauma.” — Jordan Pickell, MCP RCC (Jordan Pickell Counselling)
“Part of my identity is saying no to things I don’t want to do … I check in with myself throughout the day, and I say, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ and if the answer is no, then I don’t do it. And you shouldn’t either.” — Lady Gaga (Business Insider)
“It’s not an attempt to keep young, but you should pay attention to health, don’t smoke. Do everything but not too much of anything.” — Helen Mirren (Stylist)
“I’m on Instagram, and I have much more fun creating funny videos or funny pictures. And I don’t read the comments, and things like my rule would be, “Don’t engage, don’t read the comments.” Yeah, and it feels like I can have much more of a … more on my terms, really.” — Haley Atwell (Stylist)
“I call it soul care. I think that when you call it self-care, people may look at it as a luxury. But if you’re taking time to do something for the good of your soul — whether that’s getting a massage, putting on music, lying down and doing nothing, or meditating — that’s a right. That’s not a privilege.
“I think sometimes it’s just a matter of saying no. Whether it’s an event you’re supposed to go to, or maybe you promised your partner you’d drop the kids off at soccer — sometimes it’s just like, NO, I cannot, for the good of my soul. You have to protect your soul.” — Tunde Oyeneyin (SELF)
Quotes about living with mental health struggles
Mental health conditions can be a lifelong struggle. But with the proper support, you can have unashamed conversations about your journey and live a fulfilling life.
Here are some of the most encouraging quotes about the inner work of living with a mental illness:
“I often say that the opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality.” — Andrew Solomon (NPR)
“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared, and anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a negative person. It makes you human.” — Lori Deschene (Tiny Buddha)
“I’m a good talker. But I soon learned that you can’t talk someone out of depression. Mental illness is real. And like everything else in life, it operates on a spectrum. Though there are common symptoms, everyone experiences it differently.
"Yet so many people live in shame, hiding their struggles, not seeking help. We, as a culture, have not fully acknowledged how much help is needed. The only real shame is on us for not being willing to speak openly. For continuing to deny that mental health is related to our overall health. We need to start talking, and we need to start now.” — Oprah Winfrey (Oprah)
“I wouldn't wish depression on anyone. But if you ever experience it, or are experiencing it right now, just know that on the other side, the little joys in life will be that much sweeter. The tough times, the days when you're just a ball on the floor — they'll pass. You're playing the long game, and life is totally worth it.”— Sarah Silverman (Glamour)
"Nobody wishes for anxiety. But, what some people find is that the work they do to recover from symptoms, such as adopting healthy habits, exploring thought patterns, or improving relationships, doesn’t just alleviate symptoms. It actually leads them to emerge from the journey stronger than ever." — Sarah Greenberg, MFT (Bustle)
Where to find help
While these mental health quotes can be a source of encouragement, some readers will need additional assistance to continue on their mental health journey.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) offers free, confidential, 24-hour assistance for your mental health struggle. Simply call 1-800-662-HELP to speak to someone about treatment options, or use the online treatment locator.
Remember, you're not alone, and your journey to good mental health begins with a single step.