The Secret Self Development Side of TikTok No One is Talking About

I joined TikTok in July 2020 because we were in the midst of Covid shutdowns and an Instagram friend of mine who has always seemed pretty normal was sharing her TikTok so I figured I would give it a try. At first I just kind of lingered (by the way, this is the creepiest form of social media use, I know). I was the fly on the wall watching all the hot 20-somethings dance next to their in ground pools. I cheered on newly divorced women as they found their way in life. Oh, and also, lesbian TikTok found me big time. I guess if you Google search Jessica Alba Into the Blue one too many times, you have only yourself to blame. Anyway, TikTok doesn’t look like that for me any more. At least for the most part. I have grown to over 250K followers and because I am still getting side glances from my 30-something friends, I felt like I needed to clear things up. Let’s talk about the “other side” of TikTok.

*Quick note: recommendations that I share may earn me a commission at no additional cost to you.

Customizing your TikTok

What people don’t realize is that no matter who you are, you are going to be force fed some basic TikTok content right of the bat. AKA young ladies and their navels. People with little to no obvious talent poorly lip syncing to someone else talking. Maybe a few cute couples here and there.

Chances are you will quickly find yourself going, “What did I sign up for?!” Then you’ll judge me and re-download Facebook to your phone.

But, before you do that, hear me out.

When you see a video you like…click on it! Engage!

  • Drop a comment
  • Download the video
  • Hit the like button
  • Subscribe to that person’s channel

As you start to do this TikTok will show you more content like theirs.

Gradually you will begin to see a pleasant shift taking place on your TikTok feed.

Seriously — I don’t have to sit through cheesy dance videos anymore. They are a thing of the past! Literally, I tried doing some of the dances and this girl’s rhythm clearly went out the door the second Spice Girls split up.

Finding your people

If you have patience with the algorithm and you give major props to people who you find that are:

  • Spreading positive messages
  • Encouraging equality for all
  • Teaching about psychology and trauma healing

Start clicking all the buttons. Even if you don’t really want to! Begin finding your people and slowly you will have nourishing, quality, helpful content at your finger tips. And if you’re anything like me you’ll get a nice sprinkling of cute gay couples and comedy skits.

Let me get you started:

Here is a quick look at some of the people I follow whose content always leaves me feeling inspired, motivated or all around happier than I was before I stumbled upon them.

Sensible Amber

Amber was probably one of the first creators I found when I started TikTok. She is a successful business owner who spends a good portion of her videos roller skating around her warehouse.

She has openly started talking about her therapy journey, setting boundaries and fully embracing who she is (even if that looks a little different from day to day). Oh, and people are totally flipping about her latest haircut.

Success Life Coach Mike

Mike is a former child of the foster care system turned Success Life Coach with a master’s degree in and a degree in Behavioral Psychology.

He breaks his videos down into bite-sized, encouraging tips usually accompanied by fun dance moves and entertaining facial expressions.

Tori Gordon

Tori Gordon is a coach whose company Coachable has taken off wildly largely due to her success on spreading light and love on TikTok. Her videos were ones I found early on in my TikTok journey and are ones I repeatedly go back to.

She shares a ton of life-changing information on breath work, trauma healing and other amazing life-transforming things while being totally transparent about the success of her business after ditching her 6 figure job to take a chance on herself.

Rachel Pedersen

Rachel is another Minnesota based woman who has dominated her field of social media management and created 2 7 figure businesses as a mother of 3! On TikTok Rachel not only shares helpful social media tips but also her real-life struggles of going from a broke single mom to a bad ass business owner who met the love of her life and married him 13 days later!

She also shares openly about her sober lifestyle and how she used to use alcohol as a numbing agent. As a cherry on top, she has recently started sharing her postpartum mom belly in hopes of letting other young moms know that their bodies are beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of.

Chris Olsen

It was such a breath of fresh air to stumble upon Chris Olsen’s TikTok. There are so many couples on TikTok who prank each other or do silly things, but Chris’s videos were always different. No matter what prank he seemed to try and pull on his partner, Ian, Ian’s response was always filled with so much patience, knowledge and maturity.

Considering how rare it is to see a fully healthy relationship play out on TV or social media, I loved any time I got to see a new one of their videos pop up on my feed. Ian now has his own TikTok, but I though you might want to start where it all started.

Renee Benes

Oh, obviously there’s me! I’m going to shamelessly plug myself because you know I am doing my best to bring simple, encouraging videos to your feed all day every day.

These days I’ve dived head-first into all things minimalist living, not taking yourself too seriously and fully embracing life through simplicity. Um so there’s that.

Can we all spread the word now?

If I haven’t convinced you that there is a secret portal to a better side of TikTok, I don’t know what else I can say!

I’m sure there are downsides to TikTok and some not-so-great videos out there, but the truth is, I don’t ever see them. When you take the time to interact with high-quality, good-feeling videos and creators like the ones I have shared, you will gradually see your TikTok shift into a high vibe place of growth and healing. Promise.

So what are you waiting for, go pick a creator and get started!

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You've heard of TikTok dancing, leggings, pasta and songs, but did you know there is a booking self development side? For reals!