The Ultimate List of Coping Outlets (For Those Fighting Depression and Anxiety)


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I’ve been craving Bacon Maple bars from Hurt’s Donuts all day. That oh-so-sweet maple crust with that yummy bacon topping gets me every time. If you haven’t tried these donuts, you just NEED to treat yourself!

Coping outlets… Basically, another term for “coping mechanisms“. It’s finding a healthy activity that you can do to help overcome obstacles when you’re stressed, depressed, or anxious. It’s really important to manage stress in a healthy, positive way. Resorting to negative behaviors will be a guaranteed way to lose the fight against mental illness.

Here are some examples of unhealthy coping outlets that you should change TODAY:

  • starving yourself (You have to eat to survive!)
  • eating too much (Avoid too much sugar and caffeine.)
  • cutting, pinching, punching
  • pulling out hair
  • biting nails
  • drinking alcohol/ doing drugs
  • taking too much anxiety medication (Did you know that medications like Xanax or Klonopin can make your anxiety worse?)
  • Body shaming
  • suicidal tendencies

It’s time to make some positive changes in your life! Kick depression to the curb, and show anxiety who’s boss! I created the ultimate list of coping outlets to help you win the fight against stress and mental illness. There’s something in this list for everyone.

Try out a few, find out what makes you happy and motivated. Don’t do something that you dread. If you don’t like to garden, then don’t go planting flowers. Keep this list handy! When you’re depressed, stressed, or anxious, just pick one of these activities to do to trick your mind into happiness and relaxation! Remember, every day is a new day, and every day that you practice using positive coping outlets, the quicker you will overcome stress and mental illness.




  1. Go sit outside and enjoy nature
  2. Check out these 10 depression quotes that could change your life!
  3. Give yourself a facial (Check out these DIY masks)
  4. Take a hot, herbal bath with my handcrafted Bath Spell sachets, only on Etsy! Try out the Anxiety & Depression herbal sachet!!! 
  5. Try these yoga poses
  6. You HAVE to try out this grounding exercise!
  7. Read the Harry Potter books (or any book)
  8. Pedicure time!
  9. Get artistic with adult coloring books
  10. Drink hot, herbal tea
  11. Ride a bike
  12. Try out these breathing exercises!
  13. Cook a healthy meal, like this: Teriyaki Chicken Casserole
  14. Go swimming!
  15. Try meditation
  16. Paint your fingernails
  17. Try watercolor painting
  18. Relax in a hot tub or steam room
  19. Walk around the block
  20. Lay out in the sun or go tanning in a booth (this will give you a boost of Vitamin D Happiness)
  21. Have a glass of wine
  22. Eat healthy snacks like these
  23. Go walk the dog
  24. Wash your car
  25. Read a magazine
  26. Listen to stand-up comedy on Pandora
  27. Dance to your favorite music
  28. Start a workout plan
  29. Hike a trail
  30. Go fishing
  31. Learn how to be a photographer
  32. Sing your heart out!
  33. Write some poetry
  34. Try a DIY hair mask
  35. Take a jog through the park
  36. Catch up on housework: laundry, dusting, mopping
  37. Take a small nap
  38. Plant some flowers or bushes
  40. Buy some new shoes or lingerie
  41. Put on some makeup (want that sexy cat eye?)
  42. Call a friend or your mom
  43. Stretch out your muscles
  44. Learn how to meal prep
  45. Use mindfulness
  46. Go get a massage
  47. See a therapist
  48. Work on those abs!
  49. Re-decorate your house
  50. Paint your bedroom (2017 Paint Color Trends)
  51. Organize everything!
  52. Clean out your closet
  53. Have a yard sale
  54. Drive around town
  55. Go to Starbuck’s
  56. Try out something new like Hurt’s Donuts
  57. Watch a movie or tv show
  58. Go to a museum
  59. Make some pottery
  60. Plant a tree
  61. Start recycling
  62. Learn how to sew or crochet
  63. Adopt a pet from a shelter
  64. Use essential oils
  65. Learn a new language (I’m trying to learn French)
  66. Take a hot bath with epsom salts
  67. Play Candy Crush or solitaire
  68. Do crossword puzzles or word searches
  69. Start journaling
  70. Track your moods
  71. Take a college course
  72. Lift weights
  73. Get a spray tan
  74. Buy some new makeup
  75. Take selfies and bask in all the compliments
  76. Travel somewhere new (I’m planning for Portland, Oregon)
  77. Play some sports
  78. Join a gym
  79. Write and mail letters to your friends
  80. Unplug from social media
  81. Bake some cupcakes
  82. Go rollerskating
  83. Enjoy a movie at the theater (my local drive-in theater is opening this weekend!)
  84. Send your loved one flowers or a card
  85. Play hackeysack
  86. Put lotion on from head to toe
  87. Make a gratitude list
  88. Compliment yourself!
  89. Try surfing or sailing
  90. Buy a comfy robe and slippers
  91. Use a heating/massage pad
  92. Change your look! Get your hair cut and colored!
  93. Drink lemon water!
  94. Eat these healthy foods to fight anxiety!
  95. Do a marathon
  96. Give to charity
  97. Volunteer
  98. Speak up for mental illness and help fight stigma!
  99. Give someone a compliment
  100. Braid your hair
  101. Try drawing
  102. Get crafty!
  103. Make your bed (put some lavender essential oil on your sheets and pillows)
  104. Rub a worry stone or Lepidolite
  105. See a play or Opera
  106. Try ballet or tap dancing (I was in ballet for almost ten years! Very therapeutic!)
  107. Write a book
  108. Create a recipe
  109. Make soy candles with essential oils
  110. Write a letter to your idol
  111. Go to a concert
  112. Hit up the batting cages
  113. Play miniature golf
  114. Go to a football or baseball game (Go St. Louis Cardinals!)
  115. Ride some roller coasters
  116. Have fun canoeing or water rafting
  117. Plant a vegetable or herb garden
  118. Play some board games with friends and family
  119. Check out Pinterest (You can follow me!)
  120. Listen to this Happy Playlist
  121. Mow the yard
  122. Do some more yoga!
  123. Relax at the beach

Cope, baby, cope!

I hope you have enjoyed this really long list of healthy coping outlets! What are your favorite ways of coping during stress, depression, or anxiety? Have any suggestions to add to the list? How is your journey of positive coping going? Tell me all about it in the comments below or email me at If you would like more advice about depression and anxiety, BetterHelp has all the answers!

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