Posts by Brianna-Johnson

Brianna runs a depth psychology platform called Exist Better. Her School of Self is designed to help individuals graduate from mainstream groupthink, integrate painful shadow aspects, and learn how self-empowerment actually works.

Brianna-Johnson's Website

Where My Depression Really Came From and What Helped Me Heal

“How you do one thing is how you do everything.” ~Unknown

One afternoon, during a particularly low slump, I was getting out of the shower. Quickly reaching for something on the sink, I knocked an old glass off the counter, shattering it onto the floor.

In most cases, one might experience stress, frustration, or sadness upon accidentally breaking an object that belongs to them. They might feel agitation on top of their already poor mood. But in the moment the glass shattered, I felt instant relief.

It was an old item I’d gotten at a thrift store, and the image …

Your Emotions Will Not Drown You; They Will Save You

“You weren’t built to be calm, cool, and collected all the time. If you were, it wouldn’t feel so exhausting.”~Ryan O’Connell 

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about “highly sensitive people” and “empaths.” It can be difficult for people who don’t relate to these labels to understand, or even believe what more sensitive folks experience. As a culture, we’re just beginning to grasp what sensitivity is and how to manage our energy.

What Sensitivity Actually Is

It’s easy to get caught up in cultural biases and stigmas concerning personality traits, and sensitivity has always been a part of that. …

What Your “Negative” Emotions Are Trying to Tell You

“Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone.” ~Billy Cox

It might sound like a senseless paradox to say that the “bad” or “dark” things about you are actually your “light” or “positive” qualities. However, this isn’t just a feel-good platitude; it’s literally true. The things we struggle with the most are our greatest sources of empowerment.

Because this process is not exactly front and center of modern mental health and wellness movements, committing to your own healing can seem daunting and hopeless. Few people have truly learned how …

Accept Yourself Unconditionally (Even When You’re Struggling)

“Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with myself.” ~Nathaniel Branden

Have you ever thought that you accepted yourself fully, only to realize there were conditions placed upon that acceptance?

There was a point in my life when I realized I had stopped making tangible progress with my emotions, self-esteem, and habits. I’d made some profoundly positive shifts that remained with me, like eating healthier, practicing yoga, and phasing out negative friends. You could say I was “cleaning house” in a sense—getting clear on what I wanted my life to look like and discarding the rest.

I …

Failing Doesn’t Make You a Failure (and You Can Still Succeed)

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” ~Zig Ziglar

Take a second and imagine little you. running around like the little ragamuffin you were. Imagine as far back as you can—back when you were first able to comprehend feedback from parents, teachers, or whatever other authorities were around.

When considering the cause of low self-esteem, the most obvious answers fall under the umbrella of past abuses or failures: a parent who demanded straight A’s, an abusive spouse, etc. These are common forms of mistreatment that cause some people’s self-esteem to tank.

But for those who’ve lived fairly easy …

Stop Worrying About What Other People Think and Be Yourself

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde

Confession: I’m a master wallflower.

In high school, a friend and I decided to skip our dreary computer class and roam the halls instead. The following day, our crabby teacher immediately reprimanded my friend for skipping class. I sat directly next to her, giggling and rubbing it in her face.

The teacher didn’t even know my name, let alone that I had skipped his class the previous day. I rejoiced in my anonymity thinking, “It pays to be unknown.”

To an extent, it was true. My friend was so disruptive and …

How to Start Feeling Confident, Worthy, and “Enough”

“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ~James Allen

Low self-esteem is like a garden weed. Uproot it while it’s small, or face the consequences of an unruly mess down the road.

Its true, I have gone to extreme lengths to supplement my low self-esteem. Hair colors, tattoos, new hobbies, new jobs, moving in, moving out. I was always waiting for there to be “enough.”

Enough what? Enough things where I could rest, feel satisfied, and be “equal” to everyone else. However, even though I often got what I wanted, …