We ALL experience a range of emotions, but often on social media, we pretend we're happy when we could actually use support. The goal of this initiative was to encourage young adults to open up about the struggles behind their smiles, creating a safe space for people to discuss their mental health online. By recognizing and understanding our wide range of emotions — and admitting when we aren’t feeling our best — we can learn to regulate our responses and connect with others and ourselves, leading to greater well-being and mental health.
This May (Mental Health Awareness Month), The Mental Health Coalition launched #RevealHowYouFeel, a digital campaign and social media challenge aimed to encourage people to feel comfortable sharing their real feelings. We capitalized on the original audio feature of Instagram Reels & TikTok and partnered with TV host and mental health advocate Michelle Visage to kick off the challenge. We worked with her to record a script that creators could use in their own videos, following her voiceover prompts to “reveal how they feel.”
This project came to life throughout the month through hundreds of videos we received from other creators and influencers, along with everyday people, who used the trending audio and template we created to share photos and videos of themselves feeling truly happy, as well as times they needed support.
While it was at times challenging to communicate how individuals could use the trending audio and template for those who aren’t as familiar with Reels and TikTok, it was worth it to us to be on the forefront of these new social media features that allow for unique connection and trend-building — ultimately creating a viral moment that put mental health into the spotlight.
#RevealHowYouFeel was designated as an official ‘trending audio’ on Instagram for 4 weeks, cementing its place in the top trends that could be discovered by users in the app. Throughout the month of May, over 500 participants joined the challenge, including high-profile influencers and celebrities like Leah Remini, Hannah Brown, Delilah Belle Hamlin, Dorinda Medley, Kenneth Cole, Sheree Zampino, Lisa Ling, Iyanla Vanzant, Kendall Toole, Jinkx Monsoon, and many others.
Together, the #RevealHowYouFeel videos reached ~3+ million organically & 23+ million with paid support. The campaign drove over 63K visitors to our website landing page, where they could interact with additional information on emotional regulation and find further mental health resources.
All in all, through millions reached and tens of thousands engaged, we know that we made a difference in showing people how to be true to themselves and discuss their mental health authentically online.