Now that mental health is the cause du jour—despite, you know, actually being a cause du always—mental health merch has flooded the market. From hats and phone cases to bags and sweatshirts, you can find a statement to suit your stance. But if you also care about the fashion statement, you may be turned off by the plethora of flowery fonts and dorky design, even if you believe in the underlying message.
Of course, this is only relevant if you’re interested in wearing your mental health on your literal sleeve. For those who are open—and no judgment if not; disclosing is a highly personal decision—there’s proof that sharing can not only help reduce public stigma, but self-stigma, too.
Take a (very small) 2021 study published in the Community Mental Health Journal, in which college students spoke to groups about their mental health journeys. As one student put it, “Any stigma is just a lack of understanding…[that] comes with a lack of knowledge, right? The more that we have these conversations with people, we introduce them to new ideas, we challenge the existing ideas.”
Participating in this experiment, they said, also helped them “get better at getting better”—meaning that, while preparing for their speeches, they were forced to think about the ways they’d worked to manage their issues. This came with a boost in self-acceptance.
Obviously, wearing clothes or carrying a bag that publicly reveals your condition or emotional state isn’t the same as giving a speech. But it stands to reason that being open in a similar way could score some of those benefits.
Which brings us back to our style snobbery. We did a deep dive into the merch minefields to bring you stuff that looks as fresh as it posits.
All products featured on Mental have been selected independently and editorially. When you buy from our links, we may earn a commission.
A little bit ACDC, a little bit geometry class. Layer a white button down underneath with the ends hanging loose for a ’90s-Clueless-inspired look.
Artsy, whimsical, graphic, and available for iPhone models 4 to 14.
The mustard hue. The ribbed design. The clever wordplay. Quick! Snap. Up. Now. Until May 31, when you buy this cute bra, 15 percent of the proceeds go to The Jed Foundation, a mental health nonprofit that focuses on teens and young adults.
You’ll also receive an exclusive code for 50 percent off a membership to Movement Genius, a guided wellness platform cofounded by actress and mental health advocate Alyson Stoner (shown here), who openly discusses her mental health on social. Movement Genius offers sessions—designed by psychotherapists and other experts—that teach movement techniques to diminish stress, foster emotional healing, reduce pain, and more. Or, as Stoner tells us, “to help folks restore the mind-body connection, helping build resilience and restore agency over their lives.”
What quick movement-based trick does Stoner rely on when life is bananas? “Stimulate your vagus nerve in a subtle way,” they say. (Check out this Reel for the how-to.) “These are specifically helpful in an airplane seat, but also great in your car in traffic, at your desk, before/after a stressful meeting, waiting at the DMV, or in the doctor’s office.”
We first spotted these rhinestone stunners on model Adwoah Aboah, founder of the mental health organization Gurls Talk, and they’re certainly a conversation starter. Pair with a simple tee or all-black or -white outfit, and prepare for compliments.
This coffee cup’s got a Lisa Frank quality that turns the whole “rainbows and unicorns” conceit on its head.
A little bigger than an inch, this pin’s sweet bean represents autism with his infinity symbol and noise-cancelling headphones. Bean and Co is a British brand, so this lil guy may also have crumpets for breakfast—or so we like to believe.
No, the weather is not bipolar (be more clever, people). This tee advances the conversation without you having to say a word. Plus, the Etsy seller styled it for you!
Borderline Personality Disorder
Loud and proud, thanks to sans serif lettering and vivid hues.
MinyPrint BPD AF Tote Bag, $22.56
For some reason, we keep imagining a character from the Goodfellas cast holding this tote and saying, “So what of it?”
Spotted in the wild on a beauty influencer, this hat suits our rest-is-restorative era.
Light up a very needed mental health day—or week. Comes in three scents.
To be clear: We’re not calling you a monster! Founded by visual artist Ryan Brunty, this brand’s gear often features an illustrated monster named Yerman, originally a self-portrait of Brunty when he was dealing with anxiety and depression. But we’re partial to this corduroy hat. A portion of the proceeds goes to mental health charities.
If you’re thinking, So first I was a monster and now I’m a duck… May we request that you design some depression merch we can feature? But for real, this brand’s mission fights toxic positivity with messaging that it’s ok to be sad.
Mental health advocate Brianna Pastor knows from grief, having survived (and broken the cycle of) generational trauma. You’ll find her tops and totes emblazoned with some of her best bite-size poems. (For more, check out her new poetry book, Good Grief.) Throw over a black slip dress or leggings—done.
Our fave TikTok’ing OCD therapist has OCD herself—and fun style. We’re seeing this with wide-leg jeans and white platform Crocs.
Only if you have OCD are you allowed to poke fun at your repetitive thoughts. Which we do, so we will.
Love this merch drop from one Jaime Zuckerman, Psy.D., one of our must-follow Instagram psychologists. “We all strive to make sure everything is ‘great,’ that we need to always be ‘on’ and ‘happy.’ We don’t. We can’t. We are human,” she tells Mental. “Psychologically speaking, the more we try to be perfect, the more we try to avoid feeling bad, the worse we actually function in life. To lead a fulfilled life, we need to embrace our mistakes. Not avoid making them.” HUZZAH to that.
A playful set to wear as PJs or to the pool, letting your cat or the world know that you will not be answering emails right now.
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