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How To: Love Yourself For Free

Updated: Aug 23, 2020

I shared a little bit about this on insta, but I knew I had a little more to say, and this is my attempt at hopefully helping someone out there find a least one way to love themselves a little more.

How do you talk to middle school girls about self-love? Most of the women I know (myself included much of the time) can’t even answer this question. But girls? They have such little agency over their lives, right? They aren’t at Whole Foods deciding what to cook for the week. They’re not at Lush buying bath bombs or getting manicures and massages.


Omg. This is bad.

I’m most likely being a modified version of a Debbie Downer, but hear me out! When my students complain about the politics of school- heartless teachers, bullies, boys, girls, drugs, lack of funding, too much homework, not enough sleep, no classes focused on anything practical… I say 3 things:

1. I confirm that yes, most of what you’re learning you will never use again. Sorry, but facts are facts and I haven’t used Pythagorean Theorem since… I don’t even know. Surprised I can even spell it, tbh.

2. You must learn how to manage your time because as you get older, you have even less of it. So if nothing else, school is teaching you that.

3. The drama, the bs, the mean girls, the immature boys- it doesn’t go away. People don’t change, it just manifests differently as we get older.

And I think that #3 is true because we’re never taught what it means to love ourselves. To practice self-love, self-respect, self-compassion, the inner stuff, would likely manifest in an outward practice of kindness, empathy, and collaboration. How can we give it to others if we can’t give it to ourselves? How can we teach our children if we’re not able to model what that looks like?

** As I’m writing this, Mark thought the teachers out there might be offended. I’m not anti-school, however, there’s no part of my education that taught me how to love myself. In fact, it has always did the opposite.

I think we deserve to be in a loving relationship with the person we see in the mirror every day. Periodt. And I wanted to share these 10 tips because, well, maybe it’ll be helpful to you. But also, the more I read them and say them aloud, the better chance I have at making sure they “stick”.


Know the difference between self-love and self-care.

My friend Erinn and I run a girls group in an elementary school, and we talked about this together with our 7th and 8th graders. To me, s