They’re making the world a better place!
Social media isn’t always the healthiest place for your mental health; it’s easy to digest copious negativity, become desensitized to topics you should care about, and spend too much energy on things that will steal your joy. Facebook is just the place to get caught up in an unhealthy debate with your third cousins, and Instagram is sure to give you a heaping dose of bad news every time you scroll. Meanwhile, TikTok, a popular short form video app, is growing in users and, if we’re honest, tends to create just a little more of the wholesome content.
From workouts to inspirational messages and even fun comedy, TikTok is a place where you can get the fluff without the fuss, at least for us U.S. users. The app has caught a lot of heat since its inception for favoring white content creators, and Fanbase founder Issac Hayes III even developed his own social media app to address the lack of pay for Black creatives. Last year, the company came out and announced a new incubator program for Black creatives, aiming to create more diversity and inclusion on the app. And while most creators diversify across several platforms, TikTok is the most concentrated for short form content.
With World Mental Health Day just behind us, we wanted to take some time to share with you some Black TikTokers who are creating feel-good content and doing their best to bring a little light to the world. The next time you open up your app, think about going to these pages first, they are sure to do wonders for your wellness!
Tabitha Brown (@IAmTabithaBrown – 4.9M Followers)
The North Carolina native is known for her comedic vegan food reviews as well as her innovative recipes, inspirational advice, and unique voice. She began her vegan journey after watching Netflix’s popular “What the Health” documentary. After battling with chronic pain for years, within the first 10 days of Brown’s 30-day vegan challenge, the pain disappeared. That’s when she decided she was never going back.
Less than three years ago, Brown began sharing her journey with the world, inviting viewers to “come on in the room” as she cooked plant-based meals that made even the most devout meat-eater at least want to try the alternative. She went viral after her review of a tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce and avocado sandwich from Whole Foods. The sandwich eventually sold out in multiple areas and Brown skyrocketed to social media fame.
After amassing a pretty healthy following on Facebook and Instagram, she eventually took her talents to TikTok and in less than 30 days, Brown gained over 1 million followers.
Tab is now America’s auntie and whether she’s sharing recipes, documenting her travels or reviewing a new vegan restaurant, she’s guaranteed to have you tuned in.
@iamtabithabrown Hang in there, better days are coming! I love you ❤️ #tabithabrown #spreadlove ♬ original sound – Tabitha Brown
Summer Clayton (@YourProudDad – 4.9M Followers)
Summer Clayton is a TikTok user who creates pretty wholesome content. While Clayton is not a father yet, he recognized the need for social media users to have a father figure, recently debuting a new content series entitled, “Dinner with Dad.” In the segment, Clayton offers users the opportunity to have intimate conversations they may wish to have with their own fathers, always sitting down two plates of food, starting with a prayer, and continuing to a quick check-in.
Summer is always the go-to for a heartwarming dad joke
How was your week?
Elsa Majimbo (@Elsa.Majimbo – 1.4M Followers)
Elsa Majimbo burst onto the social media scene during the pandemic with her videos about quarantine life, pairing basic beauty supply store sunglasses with lots of chip eating, relatable content, and an infectious laugh with genius comedic timing. Back then, the 19-year-old journalism student had just 10,000 followers, most of them from her native country of Kenya. Less than 6 months later, Majimbo raked up more than a million followers across social media sites, with more than half of those coming from Instagram.
“Ever since corona started, we’ve all been in isolation and I like miss no one,” Majimbo says in one of her first viral videos on IG before displaying that signature laugh and switching back to her native tongue, Swahili. Majimbo eventually caught the TikTok bug, transferring her content over to the popular short form site as well.
If you ever need a hearty laugh and want to see someone say the things we’re all thinking, visit Elsa’s page.
Donovan Taylor Hall (@Donofriend – 76.6K Followers)
Donovan Taylor Hall is a middle school teacher at Impact Academy, a charter school in Oakland. While most teachers are focused on the rigors of academics, Hall is taking a more inside-out approach, teaching a class 21st-century skills like coping with stress and anxiety and the importance of gratitude and self-love. Hall takes the lessons he shares with his 7th graders and uploads them to TikTok, going viral with some videos garnering more than one million views. The teacher is known as “Mister Donovan,” a modern-day spin on Mister Rogers.
If you’re looking for some refreshing content that makes you smile or cry, he’s your guy.
@donofriend Celebrate the incredible growth of this human being! #growth #teacher #teachersoftiktokfyp #teachersoftiktok #love #mentor #celebrate ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic
Jalaiah Harmon (@JalaiahHarmon – 3M Followers)
Jalaiah Harmon is a dancer who first started posting her dances to social media sites like Funimate and Instagram. At the age of 14, she created a dance to artist K Camp’s “Lottery (Renegade)”, the dance becoming a viral sensation and the hashtag #Renegade earning more than 700 million views. Originally, Harmon had to fight to be recognized as the creator but once she did, K Camp invited her to perform with him at All-Star Weekend. After her performance, she received a special shout out from Forever First Lady Michelle Obama who tweeted, “Jalaiah, you crushed it – love seeing your talent shine” after her amazing performance.
Harmon is known for a good two-step, feel free to watch or join in and try to keep up!
THANK YALL FOR 3 MILLYYYYY !!
Kevin Fredericks (@Kevonstagetiktok – 583.3K Followers)
Kevin Fredericks, known professionally as KevOnStage, began his career as a comedian more than a decade ago, building an independent brand that has garnered him millions of followers on social media.
While his profile on TikTok loudly boasts that he’s “too old to be on here,” Fredericks presence on the young folk’s app is refreshing and provides a much-needed daily dose of comedy.
@kevonstagetiktok IB: @R. W. Reed ♬ original sound – kevonstage
Nakia Smith (@ItsCharmay – 390.2K Followers)
Nakia Smith has gone viral on TikTok, thanks to her videos educating people about Black American Sign Language (BASL). Smith comes from a four-generation family of people who are deaf and utilizes her own experience to educate people on the deaf community, racking up nearly 400,000 followers in the process.
Her videos, featuring her great-great-grandparents, grandparents, and siblings, all of whom are deaf, have a particular focus on the variations between traditional American Sign Language (ASL) and BASL while also educating people on how to interact with members of the deaf community. Smith’s videos have led to more interest in the differences between sign language in the Black community.
‼️ I don’t own the right to the music‼️ I’m not gonna lie…the beats sounds like church. Y’all can’t deny it ✋ this happened to me before smh!
Alexis Loveraz (@Alexis_Loveraz – 615.1K Followers)
Alexis Loveraz initially joined TikTok to do what every other kid was doing — entertain himself and others through funny, short form videos. But soon, Alexis’ friends were encouraging him to help them out on TikTok with their schoolwork. With schools closed and millions of students quarantined and learning from home, they wanted to use all the help they could get.
At the time, the Bronx native was a junior in high school with a 4.0 GPA who said he just wanted to help people out. But his videos soon went viral, skyrocketing his views, going from just 3,000 followers in early 2020 to more than 600,000 followers today. Now in college, Alexis has been dubbed the “TikTok Tutor,” helping hundreds of thousands of students a day with algebra, geometry, chemistry, and college-level exams. Check out his page to brush up on your own skills.
@alexis_loveraz If you need extra help, JOIN my server, and I can help!!! (Link in BIO) #discord #democracyprep #math #science #grades #college ♬ Tap In x Rags2Riches x Wet – carneyval
Qai Qai (@realqaiqai – 4M Followers)
Qai Qai is the favorite doll of Serena Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian’s 4-year-old daughter Olympia. The doll first appeared on Instagram in 2018, Williams once remarking that she purchased the doll so Olympia could have a Black baby doll. But Qai Qai, pronounced ‘Kway-Kway,’ quickly gained internet stardom, garnering millions of followers across social media. The doll has since been animated and shares its hilarious adventures with Olympia and her family online, Williams recently announcing that 16-year-old Taikirha Miller will voice the doll in a new YouTube series.
You can catch clips of Qai Qai’s hilarious and adorable moments right on TikTok, and it’s giving Black Toy Story for sure!
@realqaiqai I keep this song on repeat #ThisIsMySong #WellThatsYou #CanceledPlans ♬ original sound – Nene
Daviant “Dae” Palmer (@Daes_Detail – 235.7K Followers)
ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is the term for the sensation people get when they watch videos that stimulate them. Some say the videos are relaxing while others say they fall asleep. Whatever the feeling, that’s exactly what you’ll get when you head over to Palmer’s TikTok page, Dae’s Detail.
Palmer has been enamored with cars since he was just three years old. In April of 2020, he quit his job as a cable installer and by August, started detailing cars full-time in his driveway. Putting her marketing expertise to use, Palmer’s mom Typhany Jones decided she would start filming her son, posting videos of his cleaning techniques to TikTok.
There’s nothing like seeing a full car-cleaning transformation coupled with a little bit of inspiration from a budding Black business.
@daes_detail I was never going to Give Up!#detailingcars #detailing #stepoutonfaith ♬ original sound – Daes Detail
Black TikTokers to follow for feel-good content. Photo Courtesy of Arturo Holmes/Getty Images