Victoria Secret Model & Mental Health Advocate Ali Tate Cutler On Developmental Mental Health, Body Image, and Working to Replacing Stigma with Hope

“I struggled with my mental health as a child a lot. It was in regards to my own body. I always felt fat, and believed no one would like me or date me because of it. It was only in my 20s that I let that belief go, and then I discovered anxiety about other issues. But the main struggles in my life were always about my sense of unlovability. I just didn’t feel worthy of connection or love and if I don’t keep on top of that, it comes up in my life today.”

Alyssa Petersel, CEO of therapist match startup My Wellbeing, on Finding Good Therapists and Entrepreneur Mental Health

“Therapy has given me consistent time and space to be honestly and authentically myself. As an empath, one of my strengths is being able to read a room and adjust my demeanor and offerings to best serve the people around me. From a professional perspective, I am proud of this skill and it brings me a lot of joy and growth opportunities. From a personal perspective, this tendency can blur the lines of what I am doing because I want to or because it nurtures me, and what I am doing because I am caring for someone else, or because I think I should be. Therapy has helped me identify this tendency in itself and has given me the perspective and tools to recognize my own wants and needs and communicate those to others, setting boundaries when necessary to ensure those needs are met. This is incredibly powerful both at work and at home.”

Amy Shapiro, Nutritionist and Founder of Real Nutrition, on Finding Foods that Help with Mental Health and Wellness, and the Importance of Prebiotics and Probiotics

“Symptoms of mental disorders can be helped by balancing blood sugar, limiting processed foods, watching caffeine and alcohol intake and eating plenty of plants. Again, it is all about being consistent. Many supplements such as magnesium and lemon balm can also help. Herbs are very powerful.
Anything with vitamin C (strawberries, red pepper, kiwi, citrus), omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, chia, flax, hemp), greens for lutein and nuts and seeds for healthy fats that will help your skin glow.”

Part II. Microbiome and Mental Health: The Gut – Brain Axis

“eating foods with high levels of tryptophan or sweet and starchy carbohydrates boosts serotonin, the “contentment” neurotransmitter that curbs cravings, suppresses appetite, and leaves you feeling satisfied and full. Close to 60% and 90% of all your dopamine and serotonin respectively is produced in your gut, and microbes regulate levels of these mood-regulating neurotransmitter production.
Because of this gut-brain axis, neurotransmitter levels in the gut and brain mirror one another. A low level of neurotransmitters in the gut leads to constipation and indigestion, while a low level in the brain can manifest in depression. Conversely, an abundance of neurotransmitters in the gut leads to cramping and diarrhea, while an abundance in the brain can manifest in anxiety.”

Part I. Microbiome and Mealtime: Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Plant-Based Food

“Although the microbiome influences many diseases, particularly interesting is its implications on obesity, a conditioning affecting nearly 35% of adult Americans. In one study, obese mice were shown to have less diverse gut microbes than skinny mice. When gut microbes from obese mice were transplanted into the skinny mice, the skinny mice grew heavier and had more body fat. Furthermore, when microbial strains from skinny mice were transferred to the obese mice, these obese mice soon developed healthier weights. Researchers found that the microbiome of these obese mice were missing key gut bacterial strains integral for maintaining healthy metabolism that were present in the microbiomes of skinny mice.”

Nick Kohler, DJ and Music Producer, On Working Through Depression in School and in Work, Exploring His Own Sound Identity & Success, and Using His History of Struggle To Inspire and Heal

“Somebody reached out to me privately who said my music had been a major part of him overcoming his depression; at the time his dad was in a hospital recovering from something and he told me that that they had actually bonded over one of my sets during that time. Hearing this person be brave enough to open up to someone he didn’t know talking about something that was really vulnerable for him at the time and saying that something [my music] had this positive impact on his life made me see that I’ve experienced situations like that too; it helped me see that if i can use whatever platform I have for anything, I want it to be for something uplifting, and I since felt empowered to do the same thing this incredibly brave person did. Because I have experienced the lows, that side of things; depressed, suicidal.. I can be open about it, and uplift another in the process, that is a good thing. I have no reason to hide it.”