How Cocktail Recipes on Pinterest Ease My Depression

via Instagram: @bartendermeme

A cocktail recipe a day...

Scrolling Through Cocktail Recipes on Pinterest Has Become My Therapy

Stephen King once wrote:

"The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them—words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out."

Yes, I am using those incredibly deep and meaningful words to prepare you all before I dive into discussing how trolling Pinterest for cocktail recipes has become my latest method of therapy.

It wasn't always that way. I usually had much more "acceptable" means of managing my depression and anxiety. From music to exercising, there was always something that helped me keep my head above water.

Any and everyone with a mental illness has their own way of dealing with said illness. Whether it be scrolling through depression memes on Instagram or turning on an ASMR video to ease anxiety, there are many methods to keeping one's mental illness in check.

Obviously, one of the more appropriate ways of doing so is by regularly attending therapy or taking medication. I have dabbled in both of those, but never really stuck to either. Medication didn't work early on for me and I went back and forth with therapy, mainly because finding a great therapist that is covered by my insurance is easier said than done. But I digress.

I've been in a dark place for the past month, something I try to hide from those around me. Even though I've been vocal about my struggles with depression and anxiety, it doesn't make it any less difficult to admit you need help to yourself and your loved ones. So, that's where I'm at—the limbo between knowing I need to ask for help, but not being open enough to ask for it.

What better place to seek solace than the internet, right?

I can generally find my happy place (so to speak) by blasting my favorite emo jams and tuning out the world around me. My depression's tolerance to that medicine has only grown stronger, thus my need to find something else that would make me a little less miserable.

It wasn't until last week I realized that something else was scrolling through cocktail recipes on Pinterest, a platform I only use for work and seldom ever visit in my off hours. For any of my coworkers wondering why our suggested pins are filled to the brim with pictures of dainty drinks, it's because of me.

I had stumbled upon this piece from Cosmopolitan about cocktail recipes for vodka lovers. As a visual person, I was drawn to the featured art created for the article.

I, like anyone who "reads" online articles, did not read the article. Rather, I scrolled through for the photos of the cocktails. Almost immediately, I felt a bit of lightness creeping into my dark world. I then migrated to Pinterest and found myself looking at pictures of delicate drinks for almost an hour.

Some would say it was time wasted—mainly my employer, who essentially paid me for my free therapy session, but we'll let that slide. What? We all dick around at work, though this was something I desperately needed at the time.

The next day, I looked through Pinterest again for more light, airy, and whimsical cocktails to take my mind off everything that was going wrong in my life. And wouldn't you guess, it worked?

When the going gets tough, I get scrolling... on Pinterest.

Now, I am no therapist or psychologist, so I don't have a scientific explanation for you as to why seeing photos of well-crafted cocktails specifically on Pinterest (I know I used Instagram embeds for this piece, but Pinterest embeds don't work on our site, so I had hoped you'd all overlook that. But yes, I am a fraud.) has told my brain to release more oxytocin, but I have a few guesses.

The pictures of cocktails that tend to boost my mood are those that are easy, breezy, beautiful. A pastel pink Elderflower Rosé Vodka cocktail will make me feel at ease more than a mysterious and mystical Unicorn Blood cocktail. The lighter the alcohol, the better I feel—in more ways than one.

In each and every shot, the cocktails are all perfect. There is not a single flaw in any of them, even down to the way they are garnished. Yes, I know photo editing helps this, but for someone whose life is a gigantic disaster right about now, there's something so awe-inspiring about an immaculately crafted cocktail. In a weird way, it gives me hope. If this drink can have it all together, then so can I.

And the final reason I think perusing Pinterest for cocktails works as my own personal therapy is the way it lets me drift off to a world of pure imagination. Once I find a cocktail that's simply irresistible, I allow my mind to wonder to a more desirable place. Normally, I'm fascinated on all that can go wrong. I don't daydream, but rather have day-nightmares. Everything in my life feels like it's crumbling around me, and so starts to unravel everything in my head.

When I see a cocktail that gets me to stop my scrolling immediately (which is very difficult to do with the way social media works these days), I let myself stare at it for a bit. Then, I imagine myself sitting on an empty beach with my toes in the sand staring off into the sunset with said cocktail in hand. And just for a moment, everything seems okay.

Before I let you go, I want to make it clear that I am in no way condoning how I deal with my mental health struggles. Drooling over pictures of cocktails works for now, but it won't forever.

Therapy is something I'll likely have to start up again, but for now, I'm taking baby steps. Even admitting to you that I need help is more than I've done for my depression and anxiety in over a year.

So, dear reader, I encourage you to find your own version of my cocktail therapy, but don't ever let it replace the real thing.

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