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‘Hot Girl Walk' Trend on Social Media Can Have Big Benefits for Mental Health

Experts say taking a "Hot Girl Walk" can relieve anxiety and elevate mood

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Maybe you’ve seen the TikToks, or the Instagram hashtags, or maybe you’ve taken one yourself. It’s hard to miss the "Hot Girl Walk" craze that's all over social media.

Chloe Denelsbeck, who lives in Boston, said eventually she got onboard with the trend.

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“As it kind of picked up speed, I just started thinking of my own walks as, hot girl walks," she said.

Denelsbeck saw the posts popping up during the pandemic after one TikTok user is credited with coining the phrase “Hot Girl Walk,” and it can be deceiving without giving it a second look.

It’s a four-mile mindfulness walk aimed at focusing on things you’re grateful for, how hot you are and the things you want to accomplish.

For Denelsbeck, it came at a good time.

"I started grad school online, so making friends was kind of difficult,” she said. “I was like, why not start my own group?”

She started posting fliers around Boston inviting anyone who wanted to connect to take a hot girl walk. She wanted to find an easy, safe way for people to come together again that was based on something positive. 

"I think just like entering a safe space that is welcoming to all has been very attractive to people,” she said. "Also, a lot of people that have been healing their relationships with exercise and fitness."

Clinical Psychologist at Tufts Medical Center Dr. Alice Connors-Kellgren said the Hot Girl Walk is heading people in the right direction.

"It can help to reduce anxiety," Dr. Connors-Kellgren said. "It can help to elevate mood. It can help to kind of permanently shift the way that we see ourselves."

Social media can feel anything but social. Instead, a lot of these apps quickly turn into a time suck of doom-scrolling, FOMO, and anxiety for users. But what if there was a much simpler alternative? That’s the idea behind Somewhere Good. LX News storyteller Ngozi Ekeledo sat down with founder of the app Naj Austin to chat about the app that she says folks are calling the “future of the internet.”

She said while walking is not a substitute for seeking out serious mental health support when needed, it is a great idea to add something like this into your own self-care routine.

"Gentle movement by taking a walk, gratitude, reflection, setting concrete goals and thinking about how you're going to get there and then self-affirmation. Each of those elements kind of individually or as part of different treatments have been shown to have a significant positive impact on mental health," Dr. Connors-Kellgren said. "It's so important that people feel empowered to be able to make some of these changes on their own."

Denelsbeck said she plans to keep her walking group going and continue to grow her platform on social media. Also, trying to make sure people know that the Hot Girl Walk is inclusive and welcoming to anyone who wants to put a positive pep in their step.

"Anyone can be a hot girl," she said. "It's just a fun name."

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