In difficult and uncertain times like these, it’s more important than ever to care for your mental health. We’ve found that carving out time and building a soft schedule around some sort of physical activity has helped bring us calm and clarity. From pilates and HIIT to yoga and meditation, our very own Jessica Wu curated a special roundup of (mostly) free workouts and wellness practices that we think you'll love.
If your vibe is… calm, nurturing, and eager for empowerment
And you want… healing, balance, and mentorship
Go for... A Certain Softness
Melissa Barayang started A Certain Softness to honor the strength in softness that is often overlooked. A Certain Softness aims to empower highly sensitive folks in the BIPOC community to build self trust through meditation and ancestral remembrance. As a healing coach, Melissa offers 1:1 sessions to help clients take steps to deepen their connection to their most authentic/empowered self, reclaim their roots through ancestral remembrance, and to uncover blocks to help them move through life with more intention and purpose. She also offers a three or six month mentorship program for those who are seeking a mirror to guide them on their journey. She recommends a daily sitting meditation practice or even journaling, dancing, lighting candles, burning incense, taking a walk, and grounding in nature. Create a ritual, even in the mundane everyday activities, just start with where you’re at and build from there.
If your vibe is… confident yet calm
And you want… body positive yoga
Go for... Jessamyn
Jessamyn Stanley is an incredible Black body positive yoga instructor who makes yoga accessible for everyone. She shows that every single type of body is valid and capable. She also founded The UnderBelly Yoga, “a virtual yoga studio inviting you to look within and cultivate mindfulness in your everyday life through yoga." She’s also an author of Everybody Yoga and has a podcast called Dear Jessamyn.
Category: Body Positive Yoga
Cost: Free on Youtube | Try the 2-week free trial to The Underbelly ($9.99/month after trial)
If your vibe is… bright, positive, and pink
And you want… pilates, strength training, and cardio
Go for... Chrissa Sparkles Fitness
Chrissa Sparkles is a naturally charming, sweet, and bubbly clothing designer, fitness instructor, and performer. She’s so inspiring that you still love her even when her workouts get so challenging you want to yell at her through the computer screen. She also has a livestream chat show on Twitch called “The Pink Lounge,” where she does daily affirmations, aspirational card readings, and just general magic manifestation.
Category: Pilates/Strength Training/Cardio
Cost: Free – but it’s helpful if you sign up for a $5/month subscription
If your vibe is… bad ass chick with a dope can-do spirit
And you want… EVERYTHING – we’re talking bootcamp, pilates, full body props, and stretch
Go for... Pilates With Jess
Jess Zadok is a force to be reckoned with. She’s a certified Pilates master and it shows. Even through a screen, it feels like she’s in the room with you. She’s incredibly detail-oriented so she’s great for people who are beginners to Pilates (or working out in general) because she gives such clear instructions and directions even through a computer. She brings a sense of accountability and schedule to this weird time when it’s hard to keep track of what day it is. She usually teaches Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 12pm and Saturdays at 11am.
Category: Bootcamp/Pilates/Stretch/Full Body Props
Cost: Donation-based workouts. Give whatever you can.
If your vibe is… confident, vibe-y, sexy, and fun
And you want… a dancehall soca dance workout
Go for... Alicia DanceDragonSlayer
Alicia seriously brings the energy. She teaches online diaspora dance classes and her live dance classes are every two weeks on Sundays. She also has a library of online class playbacks that you can access by giving a $10 to $20 donation too. It’s the perfect workout when you just want to dance.
Category: Diaspora Dancehall Soca Dance
Cost: Donation between $10 to $20
If your vibe is… cheerful and uplifting with a challenge
And you want… pilates, bootcamp, sculpting, and lots of variety
Go for... Blogilates
Cassey Ho is OG. You can always rely on her to give challenging, consistent workouts (abs, arms, legs, glutes, full body – whatever you want, she’s got it). With a decade’s worth of YouTube videos, you can find basically whatever you’re looking for from full body workouts to specific muscle groups (i.e. arms, abs, or legs). She even provides monthly workout schedules to take the thinking out of working out.
Category: Pilates (she founded POP Pilates)/Bootcamp/Sculpting/PIIT28 (Pilates Intense Interval Training)
If your vibe is… honest, open, and raw
And you want… an authentic conversation series
Go for... Pillowtalk Sessions
Pillowtalk Sessions is an intimate conversation series hosted by Sophia Roe & Danielle Giardina honoring curious minds, community, and food & feelings in a safe and open space. It is exclusively for members of the Brown and Black community. Each week’s event focuses on a different topic, from olive oil and florals to interracial relationships and self-love.
Category: Conversation Series
If your vibe is… in need of community, hope, and therapy
And you want… free and accessible counseling
Go for... Soul Sessions
Soul Sessions by Sad Girls Club is free group counseling led by a roster of healers, therapists, yogis, mindfulness coaches, and special guests who host sessions every week. They’re creating community in mental health for Gen Z and millennials in the digital space so anyone around the world can participate. Soul Sessions believes that exchanges should be mutually beneficial so all their healers are compensated using their '500 Strong' fundraising initiative. You can donate here.
Category: Free Group Counseling