Getting a tattoo can be a very personal and special experience, especially for those first timers who want to get a tattoo with a significant meaning behind it.
A common way to do this is by marking a momentous mental health milestone or by using a tattoo as a way to remind someone of their inner hope and resilience.
Whether it’s a word that feels grounding during a panic attack, a symbol to think of a loved one and their experience with mental health, or even a silly visual that brings a smile to your face, tattoos are a great way to document and connect to your mental health.
My first tattoo was a Wonder Woman symbol to represent my inner strength and sensitivity, tapping into the power of my femininity.
Since then, I’ve gathered little pieces of art along my limbs: a large flower inspired by my favorite peonies in my neighborhood park, an illustration of a woman holding flowers in place of where her head should be, a scene of my dog on a walk, and even a disco ball.
I have a laundry list of tattoo ideas I want to get in the years to come, and while some are just fun and cute, many of them do come back to a root inspiration that means something to my identity and my story. Like many people, that includes my own experiences with mental health and how my conditions have shaped who I am and the way I experience the world.
No matter what, I always want to get something that boosts my confidence, reminds me of my resilience, and inspires me to enjoy all the art around me.
For those who are itching to get in the tattoo chair but aren’t quite sure what to get, one of the most unique and significant places to draw inspiration can be in your mental health journey.
While everyone has their own experience with mental health and healing, we’ve brainstormed some mental health-related tattoo ideas to help you get the creative juices flowing — and hopefully find something that reminds you, too, of the hope in the world, and the courage within you.
Mental Health Tattoos Ideas —
General Mental Health Tattoos
Heart Mirror & Happy Flower
You Are Not Your Pain
All In My Head
Anxiety Has Not Gotten Me Down
Be the Change
Explore our complete list of anxiety tattoo ideas in our other article
Sitting On a Falling Chair
“I got a new tattoo last week ✒️
As some of you know I have struggled with panic attacks and anxiety most of my adult life and at my worst walking felt like you were sitting on a falling chair, but always.
This tattoo means a new start, one where life doesn't feel so hard 🚀”
— Sara Vieira
Seven Purple Stars
You Belong Here
Grow & Find the Light
Small or Simple Tattoos
Glad You’re Alive
Mental Health Mondays
Mental Health Awareness Ribbon
Read more about awareness ribbons, their colors, and their meanings
I Am Alive — Matt Haig
Listen to our podcast conversation about mental health with Matt Haig
Complete & Incomplete Bands
Watch Me While I Bloom
Strength Over Fear
Tigger & Eeyore
Self Love Tattoos
Flowers & Awareness Ribbon
Women’s Depression Tattoos
Colorful Best Friends
Healing Tattoo Ideas
Blooming From Chaos
Tattoo by @verity_spearpoint_tattoo
Love is the Movement
Tattoos To Celebrate Overcoming
Rescue is Possible
No One Else Can Play Your Part
Keep Moving Forward
Symbolic Simple Tattoos
Hope Awareness Ribbon
More Tattoos with Deep Meaning
Circle the One You Need Most
I Will Find a Way
Despite Everything, It’s Still You
People Need Other People
Listen to our podcast interview with Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms