Whether you’re going through a rough patch in your relationship, newly single, or falling in love and don’t know WTF to do with these intense emotions, seeing a lil’ square of advice popping up on your phone can do wonders to ground you and remind you what’s what. These 18 popular relationship accounts on Instagram are 100 percent worth following for their advice. You’ll get some wisdom and perspective in your feed that applies to you, no matter where you’re at in your love life:

1. @mindfulmft

If you’re looking for original advice mixed in with some really gut-punching attributed quotes, it’s almost impossible not to become obsessed with licensed marriage and family therapist Vienna Pharaon’s @mindfulmft account.

2. @natlue

If your tendencies to people-please have started to impact your own happiness, you need to head over to author and relationship blogger Natalie Lue’s page rtfn.

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Hands up who’s over-responsible? This is where you default to taking too much responsibility because your parents/caregivers gave you too much of it or you assumed it to ‘help out’ and ’be good’. It’s something that affects a hell of a lot of us. I’m of the generation where there wasn’t this social consciousness about parenting. Most parents did not read parenting books or worry about being a ’good parent’. ”What the feck would I need to read a parenting book for? You think anybody read one back in Jamaica?” ?, ”Go ahead and call Childline if you think you’re bad!” spring to mind! Physical punishment and a lack of filter were very common back then, and I know that my parents repeated patterns from how they were parented. I speak to so many people who blame their current and past struggles on being not ’good enough’ when, in fact, they are and always have been worthwhile and valuable people, they just don’t realise that they’ve been socialised and raised, whether it was consciously or not, to be over-responsible. Some of us still think we have to live our life for our parents or play roles that no longer serve us. That’s why we’re The Fixer, The Saviour, The Overachiever, The Clever One, Second Best, The One Who Must Not Do Too Well, and more. But these are jobs and responsibilities that were never ours in the first place, and we don’t have to keep settling for sucky relationships, burning ourselves out, or mistreating ourselves to numb us against the weight of the over-responsibility. Ack! I just noticed that weird typo added onto one of the sentences by Canva, but can’t replace or delete it now. Argh! The perfectionist in me is screaming ???? #baggagereclaim #codependency #codependentnomore #emotionalbaggage #recoveringpeoplepleaser #recoveringperfectionist #overthinker #selfhealing #healthyboundaries #peoplepleasing #peoplepleaser #peoplepleasers

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3. @estherperelofficial

Therapist, author, and host of the famous “Where Should We Begin” podcast, Esther Perel is an authority on all things love, sex, dating, relationships, marriage, and oh yeah, cheating.

4. @dr.alexandra.solomon

Another solid account to follow for a mix of mostly original, sometimes quoted, tidbits of advice from professor and psychologist, Alexandra Solomon, PhD.

5. @werenotreallystrangers

Come for the fun graphics, stay for the comments where people pour their hearts out. The @werenotreallystrangers account is run by Koreen, a model and artist from L.A.

6. @shadeenfrancislmft

If you need a moment of zen or a reminder that it’s okay to prioritize yourself, Shadeen Francis, a licensed marriage and family therapist, posts inspiring quotes that will help you re-center yourself.

7. @lisaoliveratherapy

For those that feel burnt out or frustrated in relationships, or are just generally human with ups and downs, therapist Lisa Olivera’s earth-toned pick-me-ups belong in your feed ASAP.

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Forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, missteps, and misalignments is often a challenging task. For so many reasons, we hold onto every little thing we’ve done “wrong”. We use our mistakes as ammo against ourselves, as proof we aren’t good enough, and as a reason to bash ourselves with criticism. We cling to what we’ve said, done, or experienced in a way that frequently doesn’t make room for truly moving forward, for growth, or for self-compassion. We might think that forgiving ourselves means excusing our behavior or avoiding responsibility. Here’s the thing: self forgiveness doesn’t mean we let ourselves off the hook, avoid personal responsibility, or refuse to confront our own behaviors, actions, or experiences. Instead, forgiveness means we hold space for, honor, and sit with what has happened in our lives, understand that we may not have known then what we know now, recognise what we’ve learned and integrated, and allow ourselves to move forward without the heavy burden of holding onto all the ways we’ve been imperfect in the past. We can learn from past experiences and let them go at the same time. We can hold onto what we might want to take forward and release what no longer serves us at the same time. We can admit we aren’t perfect and choose to show up differently next time at the same time. We can own our actions and allow ourselves the chance to make more supportive choices at the same time. We don’t have to constantly hold our mistakes over our heads, as if being reminded of them all the time will help us grow or keep us in line. Truthfully, what helps us grow IS self-forgiveness, because it creates room for something new to exist and take up more space. It empowers us to move forward and know we are *more* than our past. What do you need to forgive yourself for? What are you deeply holding against yourself? What have you had difficulty releasing? Where in your body are you storing mistakes of the past, and what would it feel like to set them free? What is it like to even *think* about forgiving yourself? Forgiveness is a practice and it often feels challenging, so be gentle with yourself as you reflect here. Sending you ease, my friends. ?

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8. @nedratawwab

Looking for clear-cut examples of exactly what behavior is and isn’t okay to accept in a relationship? Therapist and writer Nedra Glover Tawwab’s Instagram is full of bullet point lists outlining exactly what to do, what to avoid, ways of coping, and how to be a supportive friend and partner.

9. @the.holistic.psychologist

Searching for more actionable advice? Psychologist Nicole LePera gets into more healing-oriented posts on her @the.holistic.psychologist account.

10. @lizlistens

Couples therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw is the brains behind the popular @lizlistens account, which is full of posts on how to be a better partner, listener, and communicator.

11. @midtowntherapist

Specializing in relationship therapy and self-love, licensed therapist Carrie Babe fills her @midtowntherapist account with soothing reminders that it’s okay to want more in relationships.

12. @lovealways.drbetsy

As great as some of the heavier stuff can be, sometimes a little humor and levity is the best way to learn a lesson. Clinical psychologist Betsy Chung runs her @lovealways.drbetsy account with a dash of humor and meme-ery that still manage to be full of heart.

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Proactive listening is a really important relational skill to have, yet so many of us suck at it. : A big reason we suck at active listening is due to erroneous “schemas” that we all have. : Schemas are like theories our minds have created about various things in order to make sense of the shit ton of stimuli we’re constantly barraged with. They’re basically mental shortcuts we use to quickly interpret important stuff around us, because our brains can’t reasonably and efficiently analyze all of the data that enters our peripheral. : Schemas can affect our abilities to proactively listen because they cause us to react prematurely to new information through the lens of existing theories. What results is that we jump the gun, and assume we know what others are thinking or going to say, before they have the chance to finish their thoughts. : Here are some common schemas we have that might affect our abilities to proactively listen: (swipe left above for details) ✔️ Binary thinking ✔️ Defensiveness ✔️ Victimization ✔️ Solution-focused : In addition to schemas, here are other common difficulties that counter proactive listening: • Passive listening; we hear words in a conversation without attentively engaging. • Listening to respond; you pause in a conversation just for the space to communicate your piece, without sincerely considering what the other person is saying. • Multi-tasking leads to a divided attention, causing you to miss important details of a conversation. : Stay tuned, next I’ll throw in some tips to become a better proactive listener.

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13. @createthelove

Known for his blunt but truthful advice, Mark Groves, a “human connection specialist” posts relationship tips you might not want to hear, but need to hear.

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Reactivity is wound memory. As in, a past memory of a situation which led to abandonment, rejection and/or a sense of unworthiness is being triggered in the present moment. Essentially, our “wounding alarm system” is going off and saying, “we know where this has gone before.” • The challenge with this is that where we’ve experienced wounding we often become HYPER-sensitive to any potential hurt. So, what can happen, is that we can become very reactive to objectively simple things. Things and moments and words that don’t actually threaten us. • If you tend to get defensive, withdraw, get angry, or just end things and run for the hills, your behaviour is likely being driven by hurt… and likely previous hurt, and sometimes hurt that has nothing to do with the non-threatening person who’s trying to love us… we just can’t see the love (or are terrified of it) through the fight/flight/freeze response we’re in. Our subconscious takes control and creates similar relational situations, breakups, drama, fighting. And so on. • First off, welcome to the club. All of us humans are reactive in some way. And the work isn’t to turn off the radar that triggers us, it’s what we do with the trigger. We are responsible for how we react. Read that again. *We are responsible for how we react.* • Secondly, it is up to us to learn how our wounds get in the way of love and connection. It’s always how “our stuff” plays with our “partner’s stuff”. So where do we begin? Next time we get reactive, let’s pause and get curious. Where do I feel this in my body? When is the first moment I remember feeling this way? And, in this moment, what would love do/choose? That’s how we start. Awareness of the reactivity, and then choosing what we do with it. • It’s not instantly fixed and healed… it takes practice and effort and trust to guide our hearts to safe love. It takes beautiful boundaries to preserve us, and it takes vulnerability to share and open ourselves up to love, which we often equate with pain and hurt. Want to know more about triggers? Head to the link in my bio and sign up for my newsletter – you’ll get an email from me with a quick and easy guide to triggers! #createthelove

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14. @notesfromyourtherapist

If handwritten notes on chic pieces of torn, expensive-looking paper is your jam, @notesfromyourtherapist is about to flood your feed with the most aesthetically pleasing nuggets of wisdom around. With an M.Ed in Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, Allyson Dinneen posts some seriously enlightening words of advice (all in v. covetable handwriting).

15. @silvykhoucasian

Ever find yourself lost for words in the middle of a tense argument or disagreement? Follow relationship coach Silvy Khoucasian’s Instagram account and you’ll discover a ton of tools to more productively deal with conflict.

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I was first introduced to the concept of communication boundaries by the brilliant Anne Katherine. . . Her definition of healthy communication boundaries includes, “If you want something, make a clear, straightforward request.” . . According to @drstantatkin, poor communication is one of the 3 biggest causes of relationship failure. And that makes so much sense! So many of us are unclear in the way we deliver our messages (myself included!) Or we might deliver our messages without ever making actual “requests” for what we’d like to have happen instead! . . I also think being able to “interrupt” unskillful or unhelpful communication is essential. Learning to call out when communication is spiraling in a negative direction helps us then be able to change gears. . . “Let’s please stop for a moment.” . . “I think we’re misunderstanding each other.” . . “I’d like to try sharing my experience with you again and I’ll try sharing it more clearly.” . . “I think we are actually talking about two different things here.” . . Another important communication boundary is being clear about what we actually need in order to move closer to safety and connection. If we don’t express what we need, we can remain stuck and frustrated for what feels like eternity. . . “In order for me to feel safe sharing deeply with you, it’s important that what I share stays between just us.” . . “In order for my to feel safe giving us another chance, I need to know that you’ll agree to go to counseling with me.” . . “I’m willing to go that party with you if you’ll agree we will leave in 2 hours.” . . Making clear communication interruptions or even requests doesn’t mean that the other person is obligated to respond well. Remember, we can’t control people. But we can show what’s truly important to us and learn to pay attention to how those offerings are being responded to. #coachingwithsilvy . . How do you communicate your needs and desires?

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16. @gottmaninstitute

John and Julie Gottman are one of the best known names in marriage and relationship therapy for a reason. They’ve spent the last 40 years studying relationships and have published several books on the topic. Their Instagram feed is full of helpful infographics on everything from how to initiate and refuse sex gently without hurting your partner, to straight up advice column-like questions and answers.

17. @tyler_spangler

For gorgeously designed typographic treatments that are equal parts art and therapy, psychology graduate and art school drop out Tyler Spangler’s posts will cheer you up in more ways than one.

18. @elizaboquin

Whether you’re struggling to let go of a toxic friendship or fully move on from The One That Got Away and Is Probably Never Coming Back, licensed therapist Eliza G. Boquin’s posts will make you feel strong enough to walk away without making you feel guilty for staying all this time.

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