• Hindsight is 2021–has everyone made that joke already?–and so we offer an illuminating review of your favorite Thriveworks content of the past year.
  • Our readers grappled with some dark feelings in 2021, but they also searched for ways to be kinder to themselves.
  • The Thriveworks blog has covered everything from post-Disney World depression to shopping addiction, but as usual, most of your favorite content explores relationships.
  • We love that you’re seeking answers to your mental health questions on our humble blog and we hope you’ll continue the self-reflection in 2022.

This was supposed to be the year when we collectively recovered from our pandemic trauma, found greater happiness in the workplace, and renewed loving relationships with our friends, our family, and ourselves. Did it all happen the way we mapped it out last New Year’s Eve?

Probably not. But based on what you read on the Thriveworks blog, you’re still trying your best. You’re facing your obstacles, confronting your feelings, and looking for pathways forward. This is what we’ve learned about you, dear readers, from reviewing what you read the most this year. Here’s a roundup of our top-performing content of 2021.

What Your Favorite Thriveworks Blogs Say About Your Year 

You were drawn to the darkness.

This year the world continues to be haunted by sickness, so it’s understandable that we’ve been looking for healthy outlets for our fears. You connected with stories about true crime, child reincarnation, and violent dreams:

Why do people like true crime before bedtime? Murder media as a psychological coping strategy

Past-life memories in young kids: Does child reincarnation hold up?

What do violent dreams mean? Are yours rooted in fear, changes in biochemistry, or trauma?

You were grieving.

During the pandemic we’ve all experienced numerous losses (of loved ones, friendships, and/or security) and have tried to navigate our pain. Sometimes grief flares up and feels eternal; other times you feel numb and wonder if that’s okay. Word to the wise: It’s all okay. 

Does grief ever go away? How long does it take to get over a loss?

Grief and lost emotions: Why don’t I feel anything?

You were angry.

Grief, pain, and trauma can often manifest as anger. You tried to understand where your big feelings were coming from, and learn better ways to manage intense emotion: 

Understanding intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and how to defuse angry outbursts

I hate my parents. Is that normal?

You were stressed.

One day future generations will look back and wonder how we got through these pandemic years. Meanwhile, we struggle with how to deal with the unexpected.

Adjustment disorder: Causes, symptoms, treatment DSM-5

You worried about money.

Comparing ourselves to other people can contribute to unhappiness, and who can feel rich when billionaires are joyriding through space? But we gave you a resource to remind you of all the wealth in your life. 

How to live like you just won the lottery: Hacking the psychology of wealth

You felt paranoid.

Times of high stress can keep us in fight or flight mode, so naturally you’ve been on the lookout for trouble. We took the liberty of writing a guide to keep you safe from cults and mind control techniques.

How to protect yourself from mind control techniques and cult recruitment (it’s not as far-fetched as you think)

You worried about your relationships.

Relationship content dominated our 20 most popular articles. In fact, three of the top search terms that brought people to the Thriveworks blog were “intimacy in marriage”, “trust issues”, and “abandonment issues”. It’s clearly been a tough year for romance. Maybe you and your significant other began getting on each other’s nerves in quarantine. Maybe someone you love was experiencing anxiety or depression. Maybe you were concerned about infidelity, or breakups, or emotional safety. We tried to give you the resources you needed to find clarity in your relationship.  

What is micro-cheating? How to recognize the signs, plus tips on how to save your relationship after infidelity

Psychological coercion, dark traits, and emotional safety in relationships

Flowers, chocolate, and CBT: Date night ideas for an anxious or depressed partner

Do I have trust issues? How to identify and overcome them

Relationships on social media can’t be trusted—here’s how they can negatively affect you

How do narcissists control you? How do they react when they can’t control you?

Emotionally attracted vs. sexually attracted: Can I be in love but not sexually attracted to someone?

5 signs your relationship is beyond repair, according to mental health professionals

You tried to be kinder to yourself.

Lastly, we noticed that you were interested in prioritizing your mental health. This is a great sign that despite the stressful era we’re living through, people are still mindful of their emotional wellbeing, not just their external circumstances. 

How to forgive yourself: Letting go of guilt and past regrets

Relationship self-care: 6 tips for prioritizing yourself when you’re in a relationship

End the Year on a Positive Note: Further Reading

This year our Thriveworks clinicians were quoted extensively in the media regarding the mental health struggles that elite athletes like Simone Biles face every day. We can all learn from these athletes, even if we “run” 30-minute miles and have never done a proper cartwheel. Mental wellbeing is the foundation for everything. This is true for Olympians and couch potatoes alike. So stay curious about what you can do to maintain your health and happiness in the new year. 

We’ve compiled a few blogs below to follow up on what you read in 2021 and set a tone for 2022. Just remember that if you’re really struggling, reading can’t substitute for the one-on-one guidance offered by a mental health professional. Make this the year that you reach out to a counselor or psychiatrist, if you could use the extra support. 

Improve intimacy with your spouse: 5 tips for keeping the flame alive in your marriage

An extra scoop of ice cream saves my marriage: The little stuff that will make or break us

Mental health in the workplace: Understanding the importance of mental health at work

The psychology of missing someone: 5 ways to cope with the pain

Achieve your goals any time of the year: 5 simple techniques

Does willpower exist? Ego depletion theory explained, plus ways to exercise better self-control

Happy New Year!