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