Happy New Year! For our first creator spotlight of 2022, we're talking to TikTok sensation Dr Julie, a psychologist who is all about positive changes and prioritising your mental health.

Dr Julie is a firm favourite in our community, sharing her thoughts on what happens when we feel down and what depression and loneliness can look like. She stresses that mental health can take many different forms; it isn't simply black and white and that's okay.

In her newly launched book 'Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?', she shares insights and tips on living a meaningful life alongside resources to support you on your journey of understanding your own mental health. So, whether you feel burnout from work or struggle to understand why you might self-sabotage, her book provides the first steps in recognising these issues.

With 3 million followers and 35.2 million likes, it's clear our community loves Dr Julie's content. We sat down with her to discuss how it feels to have achieved her dream of writing a book and her best advice on beating the January blues and taking better care of our mental wellbeing in 2022!

Firstly congratulations on the launch of your book, 'Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?' Has this always been an ambition of yours?

Thank you! Writing a book as a child seemed like a pipe dream. However, sharing my insights from therapy in short-form videos and questions from my followers gave me the push I needed to make my dream come true. My book is jam-packed with details and step-by-step approaches that I often teach people in therapy. I can’t wait to start seeing it on the shelves.

Were you surprised by the reaction by the community to your content on TikTok?

Yes. When I joined TikTok in November 2019, I could not find any other professionals sharing anything on mental health. I thought I would be trolled or just ignored, but the community has been so supportive in my journey. I think the popularity of the videos says a lot about how people are hungry for good quality information that they can use to help them through tough times.

What first inspired you to create on TikTok?

I wanted to make therapy more accessible and readily available to people. Therapy can involve an element of education about how your mind works and how you can influence your emotions and mood. So many of the people I worked with in therapy found this aspect of therapy incredibly empowering. Lots of them would say, “Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?” and tell me how they were using it to change their lives.

What is your goal on TikTok?

To keep making content that has value. That has been my main goal from the start and I don't want to lose sight of that. I want to continue learning and sharing what I learn along the way.

What else or who else is on your TikTok For You feed?!

Comedy and inspiring creators. When I close down an app I want to feel inspired, entertained or informed.

What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?

I love using props in my videos to help illustrate my message. I have flooded my therapy room with a hose, exploded beer bottles, had food thrown at me. But more recently, sat on top of an exercise ball as it exploded. That one took a huge amount of preparation (and nerves of steel!) but I am so thrilled with the outcome and people seemed to love it.

@drjuliesmith 💥Don’t try this at home 😬 Share to spread the word for #mentalhealthawareness day @gymshark #mentalhealth #stressrelief ♬ original sound - Dr Julie Smith - Psychologist

Finally, what would be your top piece of advice for anyone trying to keep positive this January?

It sounds counterintuitive, but don’t force yourself to be positive all the time. You are human and humans don’t feel on top of the world every single day. So if you set that as a standard for yourself, you are setting yourself up to feel like you’re failing. Instead, there are lots of small things we can do to shift our mood every day. I give the step by step for each of them in my new book!

New to TikTok and keen to learn more? Getting involved couldn't be easier - simply download the app for free via the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon.