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61 powerful mental health quotes (+ free digital wallpapers)

Jul 03, 202411 minute read

You deserve a life filled with an abundance of health and happiness. Mental health and self-care play a key role in making that a reality. 

Yet, 55% of adults living with a mental illness never seek treatment. That is roughly 28 million people in need of essential care—but not receiving it.1 

Many individuals delay or completely avoid treatment due to the stigma surrounding mental health and a fear of discrimination. It’s essential that society as a whole continues to fight this harmful narrative. 

In support of this mission, we gathered 60 powerful mental health quotes to inspire comfort, self-empathy, and inspiration for anyone who wants to build healthy mental health habits. Bookmark this page (or download the free wallpapers below) so you can return to these pocket-sized pieces of wisdom whenever you need them. 

Mental health awareness quotes

Mental health awareness should extend year-round, not just during Mental Health Awareness month or other national holidays. These quotes shine a light on the importance of mental wellbeing. 

  1. I hope one day that, as a culture, we can take mental health as seriously as we take our physical health. That would be the ideal. — April Kilduff, MA, LCPC, LMHC
  2. What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation. — Glenn Close
  3. I want to talk about it and not feel any embarrassment or shame because I think it’s important for people to hear from adults who have good, fulfilling lives and manage chronic mental illness as part of those good, fulfilling lives. — John Green
  4. Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm, or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction … We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently. — Michelle Obama
  5. I well knew that one could break one’s arms and legs before and that then afterward that could get better, but I didn’t know that one could break one’s brain and that afterward that got better too. — Vincent Van Gogh
  6. Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say, “My tooth is aching” than to say, “My heart is broken.” — C.S. Lewis
  7. The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about. ― Jonathan Harnisch
  8. The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. — Nathaniel Branden
  9. Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed. — Thich Nhat Hanh
  10. We all have mental health in the same way that we all have physical health. It’s okay to have depression, it’s okay to have anxiety, it’s okay to have an anxiety disorder. ― Prince Harry
A mental health quote by Thich Nhat Hanh shown against an illustrative background. 

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Short mental health quotes 

Sometimes, a simple phrase can offer a powerful boost to your mental well-being. Here’s a collection of short quotes to inspire you, remind you of your strength, and help you prioritize your mental health.

  1. Look at you, love. Still here and hopeful after it all. ― Alex Elle
  2. This, too, shall pass. — Persian proverb
  3. The chief element of happiness is this: to want to be what you are. — Desiderius Erasmus
  4. No one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves. — Marianne Williamson
  5. You are stronger than you know. — Lori Osterman
  6. You are enough just as you are. — Brené Brown
  7. Why fit in when you were born to stand out? — Dr. Suess
  8. The only way out is through. ― Robert Frost
  9. Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. ― Etty Hillesum
  10. Self-care is how you take your power back. ― Lalah Delia
A mental health quote by Etty Hillseum shown against an illustrative background.

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Inspirational mental health quotes 

These inspirational quotes can be a beacon of hope on your mental health journey. Filled with words of encouragement and reminders of your inner strength, they offer a quick pick-me-up to help keep you on track. 

  1. There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t. — John Green
  2. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. ― Amanda Gorman
  3. One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart. ― Linda Poindexter
  4. If you were born with / the weakness to fall / you were born with / the strength to rise. ― Rupi Kaur
  5. You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. ― Sophia Bush
  6. Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls your life. ― Akshay Dubey
  7. I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay. ― Iyanla Vanzant 
  8. With depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone … Hold onto that fundamental quality of faith. Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good. ― Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  9. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. ― Desmond Tutu
  10. I saw the future, I did, and in it, I was alive. ― Neil Hilborn
A mental health quote by Rupi Kaur shown against an illustrative background. 

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Motivational mental health quotes 

Sometimes life’s circumstances, and the emotions they bring, can feel all consuming. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, these motivational quotes about mental health offer a spark of encouragement to help you navigate difficult emotions, prioritize self-care, and remind you of your resilience.

  1. Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. — John Wooden
  2. It’s not a mountain that you climb or a hurdle that you jump, it’s something that you live with in an ongoing way. People want that narrative of illness being in the past tense. But a lot of the time, it isn’t. — John Green
  3. Self-care means giving the world the best of you instead of what is left of you. — Katie Reed 
  4. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. ― Anne Lamott
  5. You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you. ― Dan Millman
  6. Mental health … is not a destination but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going. ― Noam Shpancer
  7. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. ― Margaret Thatcher
  8. Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. — A.A. Milne
  9. Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. ― Nelson Mandela
  10.  If you tried / and didn’t end up / where you wanted to go / that’s still progress. ― Rupi Kaur
A mental health quote by Katie Reed is shown against an illustrative background.

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Inspirational quotes for teens

Being a teen can be tough. From emotions in overdrive to social pressures, it’s easy to feel depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. Turn to these words of wisdom for a dose of encouragement and to help you (or the teen in your life) navigate the ups and downs of growing up.

  1. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. — E.E. Cummings
  2. Every day may not be good … but there’s something good in every day. ― Alice Morse Earle
  3. Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. ― Christian D. Larson
  4. Life is tough, my darling, but so are you. ― Stephanie Bennett Henry
  5. Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde
  6. Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ― John Wooden
  7. Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart. ― Roy T. Bennett
  8. Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. ― Mary Anne Radmacher
  9. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ― Arthur Ashe
  10. You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop. ― Rumi
A mental health quote by Rumi is shown against an illustrative background. 

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Calming and centering OCD quotes 

NOCD is a leading provider of mental health services for those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As such, we specifically chose these powerful quotes for people with OCD. They offer words of understanding, strength, and inspiration to help you manage (or start managing) symptoms like OCD-induced panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, and more. 

  1. There isn’t anybody out there who doesn’t have a mental health issue, whether it’s depression, anxiety, or how to cope with relationships. Having OCD is not an embarrassment anymore – for me. Just know that there is help, and your life could be better if you go out and seek the help. — Howie Mandel 
  2. My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened. — Michel de Montaigne
  3. It’s not a mountain that you climb or a hurdle that you jump, it’s something that you live with in an ongoing way. People want that narrative of illness being in the past tense. But a lot of the time, it isn’t. — John Green
  4. OCD is not a life sentence. It is a challenge that, with time and effort, you can overcome. — Unknown
  5. You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. — Jon Kabat-Zinn
  6. Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment. — Stephen Covey
  7. You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle. ― Julian Seifter
  8. You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step. ― Martin Luther King Jr.
  9. In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. ― Deepak Chopra
  10.  OCD is not how it’s stereotyped… it made me feel like my mind was playing a cruel trick on me… Anxiety comes and goes, but now it feels like just another difficult emotion, as opposed to something that’s consuming my life. By doing the work and showing up for myself every day, I feel like I have more trust in myself than ever before. ― Camila Cabello 
  11. You do not have to live the life that OCD wants you to live – you can live the life that you want to live. – Patrick B. McGrath, Ph.D.
A mental health quote by Deepak Chopra is shown against an illustrative background. 

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Knowing when to seek mental health support 

While self-care strategies and inspirational quotes can be a great starting point, there are times when professional help is the best course of action. Here are some signs it might be time to seek professional support: 

  1. Daily struggles: For weeks or even months, you experience significant changes in your mood, thoughts, or behaviors that make it difficult to manage daily life. This could include difficulty sleeping, eating, concentrating, or maintaining relationships.
  2. Feeling overwhelmed: You’re constantly stressed, anxious, or depressed, and coping mechanisms aren’t providing relief. Daily tasks feel insurmountable, and you’re struggling to find enjoyment in activities you used to love.
  3. Thoughts of self-harm: If you think about harming yourself (or ending your life), it’s time to seek immediate help. You are not alone, and there are people who care about you and want to help.

Recognizing that you need help, and seeking that help from a professional, is a sign of strength. A therapist or counselor can provide valuable tools and strategies to manage your mental health and improve your overall well-being. 

If you read these mental health quotes and believe you’re struggling with OCD-related symptoms, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy can help. Explore NOCD’s library of trained ERP therapists and consider booking a free call for guidance and support. 

Get your life back from OCD


Mental Health America (2023) “The State Of Mental Health In America.” (Accessed June 2024)

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