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This blog covers a range of topics in mental and gut health, but even I can’t tackle it all! For your convenience, I have listed several reputable sources of information below that I recommend consulting for further information.
The resources below are by no means an exhaustive list, but have been strategically selected to reflect The Cozy Counselor‘s mission and help as many readers as possible. Each and every resource has been tried and tested by yours truly. If I have neglected a topic of importance in the resource list below, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I would love to hear from you!
Please note that some of these resources may be triggering or sensitive for some individuals. Should you choose to peruse these resources, you do so at your own risk. Use your best judgment, take breaks if needed and be sure to engage in self-care. Remember: only you know what is best for you.
Get Help Now
National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741-741
*Not appropriate for immediate crises.
TrevorLifeline (LGBTQ+) — 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline — 1-877-565-8860
National Domestic Violence Hotline — 1-866-331-8453 OR text “loveis” to 22522
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline — 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
NEDA Helpline — 1-800-931-2237 OR text “NEDA” to 741741
- Allows you to search for the perfect therapist by location, specialty, gender, insurance & more.
- Helps you find free, targeted mental health resources in your community.
- Find groups of like-minded individuals in your area. Try searching “support group,” “depression,” “anxiety” or “eating disorders.”
Anxiety & Depression
- A curated self-help and inspiration blog geared toward young adults with depression.
- Free self-help toolkits, worksheets and downloadable resources for overcoming stress, depression and anxiety.
- Offers healthy coping alternatives to cutting and self-harm in the heat of the moment – featuring cute monster characters!
- Pings you with mental health questions multiple times a day. Every 14 days, the app generates a letter to your provider summarizing any evidence of a depressive episode or other symptoms.
- Berry-flavored tincture with 500 mg THC-free CBD oil per $40 bottle. I keep it on my desk at work – a few drops per day helps to relieve everyday stress and anxiety!
- A helpful preliminary quiz to see if you or someone you love may be struggling with an eating disorder. (Is NOT a replacement for formal diagnosis!)
- Attend a free support group or sign up to get a Grocery Buddy or Recovery Mentor.
- Free template for creating an action plan to deal with the urge to relapse.
- AH-mazing blog by Canadian anti-diet health coach Rini, with podcasts, freebies & e-courses (oh my!).
- A collection of research sharing why everything we’ve been told about obesity and weight loss is a lie. Read on a “bad body image day” for a pick-me-up.
- Once upon a time, as a 15-year-old living in small-town Massachusetts, this book helped me realize that I needed to stop hating my body and start offering myself grace. It was my first introduction into intuitive eating, and my first intro to #EDrecovery.
- Nonfiction memoir of Irish YouTuber Melanie Murphy, chock full of advice about eating disorder recovery and life in general.
Gut Health & IBS
- Blog posts, recipes & e-courses related to living with IBS on the low-FODMAP diet.
- Blog posts, recipes – plus a free 7-day challenge to jumpstart the low-FODMAP diet.
- This chart is a godsend. Contains every food tested by Monash University thus far – and unlike the Monash app, is 100% free to print & post by your fridge!
- Lottie is the founder of #mybloatedwardrobe and posts adorable outfit ideas for concealing a bloated tummy & avoiding the pain of too-tight pants.
- Gut health tracker geared toward those with IBS, IBD and other bowel difficulties. Track your symptoms, food, mood, poop & more – then generate graphs to see how they correlate!
- Best probiotic I’ve tried thus far. Contains lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains. Keep at optimal temperature (indicated on package) for best results.
- Exactly what it sounds like: 365 practical tips for living well with IBS. I like this book because Dr. Bolen shares tips that aren’t just “common sense” – and are more than worth the $8.00 you’ll spend to get them!
- My favorite low-FODMAP cookbook for those suffering from IBS. Delicious recipes avoiding typical triggers like gluten, dairy & more.
Emotional Support Animals*~
*In June 2019, my boyfriend David and I adopted Chandler, our Border Retriever, as my Emotional Support Animal. You may have seen him on my Instagram and wondered if you, too, could benefit from an ESA. These resources are designed to help you determine if you’re a candidate for an ESA, how you can get an ESA and what your rights are as an ESA owner.
~These laws only apply to the United States, where I am located. If you are located internationally, this advice may still help you – but be sure to cross-examine with the legal requirements in your area.
MY TOP TIPS:
- DO NOT PAY TO “REGISTER” YOUR ESA ONLINE. You’ll notice none of these resources involve a paid certificate or registration. That’s because there is no official registry for ESA dogs and many landlords will not recognize these certificates. Save your money – these sites are a scam!
- YOU ONLY NEED TO “PROVE” TWO THINGS. First, that you have a disability that interferes with your daily functioning, physical, psychiatric or otherwise. Second, that your ESA helps alleviate some symptom or challenge arising from that disability.
- ALL YOU NEED IS AN OFFICIAL DIAGNOSIS & PRESCRIPTION LETTER FROM YOUR MENTAL HEALTHCARE PROVIDER. A landlord can legally request verification from your healthcare provider in the form of a letter or signature on a form. That’s IT.
- YOUR LANDLORD CANNOT ASK WHAT YOUR DISABILITY IS. You are NOT required to disclose any sensitive medical information to your landlord. Do not sign a release allowing your landlord to seek this information from your provider. Instead, make a complaint using the link below.
- YOUR ESA DOES NOT REQUIRE FORMAL TRAINING. Though obedience training is as helpful in ESAs as it is in all other pets, your ESA – unlike a service animal – requires no special skills or training to qualify.
- YOU STILL HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE ADA. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects your right to an ESA, but requires a few things. First, your animal must be under your control at all times. Second, your animal must be housebroken. Thirdly, your animal must be vaccinated. Lastly, your landlord may require you to pay for damages incurred by your animal, such as cleaning fees. YOU CANNOT BE CHARGED “PET RENT” OR “PET FEES,” OR FALL SUBJECT TO SIZE, WEIGHT AND/OR BREED RESTRICTIONS.
- THERE ARE ONLY TWO TIMES YOUR LANDLORD CAN DENY YOUR RIGHT TO AN ESA. Your landlord may deny your ESA if it poses a threat to the health and safety of others (for example, another person in your building has a severe allergy to dogs) or it would cause undue burden or damages to the property (for example, you may not be able to bring a miniature horse into an apartment building). That’s IT! No other provisions can be used to deny your ESA. If your landlord violates this right, make a complaint using the link below.
Graphic Courtesy of Canine Companions of Northern Ohio
- Official housing discrimination complaint mechanism for HUD. Use to file a complaint against a landlord who has violated your right to your ESA under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- A factsheet answering the major FAQs about owning an ESA, including a sample ESA letter written by a psychologist.
- This compilation of court cases dealing with ESAs gives a clear picture of what your rights are and aren’t as an ESA owner.
- While not legally required to keep an ESA on property, I’ve found that tagging my emotional support dog has reduced the number of questions and complaints I’ve gotten. This is the exact tag I purchased from Amazon, which has helped us tremendously!