Alternative Ways To Feel Your Feels

The idea that Gen Z prioritizes their mental health is nothing new. However, the way they choose to focus on it has been evolving since the Pandemic. There’s been such a fundamental shift in this generation’s mindset and a pivot towards self-care as a form of personal growth that new trends are constantly emerging to meet this need. Ahead, we’re checking out a few new self-care tactics and rituals young people are experimenting with in their quest for improved mental health.


If you fancy having one of those days when all you do is veg in bed till 4pm on a Sunday, there’s now a name for it- and a new TikTok trend to boot. Having amassed over 105.8M views on TikTok, “Bed rotting” is the go-to way to relax for many people. This isn’t just about lying down for a quick nap as it goes deeper than that and is heavily associated with the concept of making time to relish in relaxing activities. Bed rotting is another example of Gen Zs affinity for "soft living," referring to a lifestyle that is as stress-free as possible and correlates nicely to what Cassandra revealed in our Great Re-Port on Work as 64% of Gen Zs selected “being free from stress,” when asked about what they consider important to their idea of success.


Where does Gen Z go to learn how to take a break from social media? TikTok, of course! Gaining traction on TikTok, dopamine detox has, ironically, over 73M views. The idea is to try to source dopamine, or the natural brain chemical that makes you feel good, from anywhere other than your smartphone, gaming device, or TV to recalibrate your brain’s reward pathways. Gen Zs have jumped into the dopamine detox trend enthusiastically. Detox protocol includes behaviors such as limiting the number of times they pick up their phone in a day, enjoying meals without phones on the table, and not checking phones for at least an hour after waking up.


As Cassandra uncovered in our recent Traveling with Pride report, 75% of young LGBTQ+ folks agree that “doing things for my own pleasure or gratification” is a core value of their day-to-day lives, which unsurprisingly strongly resonates with 68% of their non-LGBTQ+ Gen Z cohort as well. With this in mind, there is a growing trend for prioritizing positivity, including joy. Of course, joy looks different to all of us. For some, that first sip of piping hot coffee in the morning sparks joy, while for others, joy comes from exploring nature. What’s important, according to The joyful coach AKA Sophie Cliff who helps individuals & organizations to flourish by finding joy, is that you know what actually makes you happy – and then you can seek more of it.