10 Inspiring Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

I love social media. (You don’t really write a blog unless you’re kind of into the whole online thing.) In fact, I love social media so much that it’s a large part of my occupation.

Consequently, I spend A LOT of time online, and I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impact that social media can have. (#IceBucketChallenge, anyone?! Or how about the recent story on the woman in Chicago who purchased a bunch of hotel rooms to house Chicago’s homeless during the Polar Vortex?!).

Nonetheless, I know that the Internet isn’t always a positive place, and that it can be very hard to view social media as a force for good if you’re constantly getting lost in the comments sections of political posts. (Seriously people, it’s never worth reading the comments section on the Internet)!

Yet despite the ugliness that sometimes spawns from a single tweet, I will forever defend the Internet’s overarching positive impact. Kind of like humanity, there’s a lot more good to it than bad. The bad is just (usually) louder.

So today I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of my very favorite uplifting Instagram accounts. Instagram might actually be my favorite social platform. I also happen to think it has a more positive, kind, and supportive community than a platform like Twitter.

Now while we all know that scrolling past photos of puppies is peak happiness, I’ve already written an entire post about the best animal Instagrams, so this blog will feature other kinds of accounts.

Therefore, without further ado, here are my Top 10 Uplifting Instagram Accounts.

1| Tanks’s Good News

This account might be my favorite thing the Internet has ever given us. It features countless positive, uplifting, good news stories that highlight individual people doing awesome things. It’s guaranteed to restore your faith in humanity.






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I will never complain again about taking my dog for a 10 minute walk (via @dailymail)

A post shared by Tank.Sinatra (@tanksgoodnews) on

2| Humans of NY

Humans of NY tells the stories of the people of New York City, one person at a time. Sometimes the stories are sad, but they are always inspiring in that they challenge you to view each person you encounter as just that – a person. Someone with a full life and story and complex emotions and hopes and dreams and challenges just like you and me. It’s so easy to forget this when we get too wrapped up in ourselves. Humans of NY is a great reminder.

“My high school wasn’t very challenging. I never had to struggle. I was 15th in the class. Section leader in my marching band. Top of this. Top of that. Where I grew up, not too many people go to college out of state. So when I got accepted into West Point, I assumed that I’d continue to succeed. But I finished my first semester with a 2.5 GPA. Not only was I barely surviving, but I felt like I was trying as hard as I could. I started thinking: ‘Am I dumb? Can I even do this?’ My second semester I had a physics teacher named Major Bowen. He was honest with me about my faults. He told me that I needed to get more sleep. And that I had poor time management skills. But he also told me some nice stuff. He said that I was a good student to have in class. And that I was definitely smart enough to succeed. It’s nice to hear that stuff when you’re surrounded by so many naturally talented people. Major Bowen showed me ways to become more efficient. I started using calendars. I started studying in groups. I began tutoring people in calculus, because teaching is the best way to really learn a subject. Six weeks into the second semester I got my first test back, and it was an ‘A.’ It was a ’90,’ but it was an ‘A.’ It was like: ‘Oh, wow. I can do this.’”

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3| Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

Okay, so maybe my Leslie Knope obsession influences this choice a bit, but an account that’s all about empowering young women and celebrating how they can use their brains to make the world a better place? Sign. Me. Up.

4| Happsters

Happsters is the perfect combo of good news stories; inspirational quotes, thoughts, and affirmations; and pictures of puppies. The triple threat you never knew you needed.

5| Sweatpants & Coffee

You’ll come for the enticing, cozy account name, but you’ll stay for the relatable, hilarious posts; the dose of wellness-focused reminders; and the random stories.

6| Shine Text

Shine Text is actually an app that you can download for daily motivation, but the self-care focused IG account is a pretty great resource, too. Check it out for colorful, inspiring messages.

7| Tommy Norman/Mission Give Foundation

Two accounts for the price of one! You may have heard of Officer Tommy Norman, an Arkansas police officer who believes in “community policing.” His love for his community is so compelling that his social media accounts are viral, and he’s even launched a foundation, Mission Give, which works to build bridges, break down barriers, and serve inner-city youth. He’s a cool guy, but the people he serves in his community always steal the show.






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Hanging with my friends at the @makeawishmidsouth Radiothon! 💫

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A Great Night with a huge group of #TeamMissionGive ❤️ members from Pilgrim Valley Baptist Church Study! Thank You All for the Love & Support! 🙏❤️

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8| Simon Sinek/Simon Says Inspire

Another twofer! Simon Sinek is one of my all-time favorite motivational/inspirational speakers. He’s brilliant and you should absolutely watch some of his TED Talks, as well as any other clip of him speaking that you can find. He’s also published several excellent books, and I can’t wait for his latest, The Infinite Game, to be out. His personal IG account is very, very funny (see the Eiffel post below), and documents a lot of his travels, but his official brand account is filled with all kinds of thought-provoking, inspirational messages.






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Nice to be back in Rome. #bigben

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#quote #qotd #truth #inspire #inpiresomeone #simonsinek

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9| Christopher Poindexter

Probably my favorite living poet, Christopher Poindexter always seems to put words to my feelings. His poems are sometimes sad, but are often inspiring, and you’re guaranteed to connect to what he’s saying. His book Naked Human remains my all-time favorite volume of poetry.






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Old Soul Love, my new book, now available in all @barnesandnoble @booksamillion and @chaptersindigo . You can also order from Amazon! 🌹#christopherpoindexter #oldsoullovers

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10| Rudy Francisco

My other favorite living poet, Rudy Francisco will push you view the world differently. His latest book, Helium, is another one of my go-to reads. He also has some amazing spoken word performances (this being my favorite) that you should YouTube!






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Photo by @emilymstokes

A post shared by Rudy Francisco (@rudyfrancisco) on

Bonus| Shadow & Friends

Okay, okay, I know I said that I was going to leave out animal Instagrams, but I discovered this account just a few weeks ago and it is 100% the best IG I have ever followed. While the three cats (one with no eyes, one with eyes that don’t work, and one that sees perfectly) are adorable and charming, it’s really Dave, the gentleman who runs the account, who will suck you in. His captions are so ridiculously funny that you’ll open up your IG once a day to make sure you don’t miss his latest post.

Hi, everybody! Rosa and Shadow are in the west wing of the apartment playing a game with Triscuit called “Panther-Pray.” It works like this: Shadow stalks and ambushes Rosa over and over while Triscuit watches and prays for a time machine so she can go back to the days when she was the only cat. . I wish you could see all of the incredibly cool and hilarious moments that happen. Rosa will sometimes call for a Panther-Pray timeout, because Shadow, as our long-time followers know, can be “a lot.” She’ll run over to the couch, rear up on her hind legs and wave her paws in the air. This is my signal to scoop her up. I’ll put her on my lap, where she’ll catch her breath, and then two minutes later she will scamper to the edge of the couch and FLING herself back onto the field of play where waiting for her is a heavily muscled North American Carpet Panther five times her size. Between takeoff and landing, with legs extended to all four points of the compass, she looks exactly like a flying squirrel. I’m telling you friend, I have never seen anything like what I’ve seen this past week. . And we are just getting started! . I’d be having a blast doing this as a single parent, but I’m so lucky I have almost 100,000 of you to partner with me and celebrate their little lives. You’re our life partners! . So, how can we up the FunFactor here? We had an idea. Since we had so much fun doing the Live broadcast the other day, we thought it would be cool to establish a weekly Live broadcast. We had a family meeting and came up with this… . Wait for it… . Are you ready?? . “Caturday Night Live!” . It is a minor bone of contention over here exactly who came up with the name, but the four of us shall settle it like any American family would. (In court.) The point is, we will go Live this Saturday night at 6pm Pacific Time. Please come prepared with any questions you might have for me or the kids, and perhaps some snacks and the beverage of your choosing. We shall laugh and laugh! . Thanks a billion for joining us on this journey. And don’t forget, “Caturday Night Live” *this* Saturday night @ 6pm Pacific. We will see and/or hear you there! . Have a great day!

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Anyway, I hope these Instagram accounts bring you as much joy, reflection, and inspiration as they have brought me!

Penny for your thoughts?