Emma Chamberlain is the quintessential cool girl and, honestly, somewhat of a paradox.
With more than 9.5 million YouTube subscribers; 10.5 million Instagram followers; her own podcast, merchandise, and coffee company, Chamberlain has every reason to exude an ego. But nope, the wildly successful 19-year-old has managed to stay humble and approachable.
It makes sense. Unlike many curated influencers, Chamberlain is unfiltered and unafraid to talk about her struggles—namely with anxiety. mbg recently got the chance to catch up with Chamberlain, who explained how she prioritizes her mental health amid all of her other responsibilities.
She uses coffee as a form of meditation.
First and foremost, coffee. While it may seem counterintuitive to drink caffeine to quell anxiety (known stimulant and all), Chamberlain has found a way to turn it into a self-soothing tactic.
As a self-proclaimed overthinker, Chamberlain generally finds it hard to meditate. “What is meditation for me? It’s ruminating time, and I haven’t figured out how to turn that off yet,” she says. Making coffee, though, helps quiet her thoughts and gives her something purposeful to complete.
“Making my coffee when it’s dead quiet, my hair is a mess, and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet—it’s a very therapeutic moment for me,” Chamberlain tells mbg. After a slow and silent morning of grinding and brewing beans (currently: the Night Owl blend), Chamberlain likes to crawl back into bed and look out the window. “It’s great. It makes me feel calm,” she says.
She regularly reaches out to loved ones.
Whether it’s a friend or parent, Chamberlain says “being around people I love…just talking about it really, really helps me.” Although she owns the recently rebranded Chamberlain Coffee, the YouTuber says sometimes going out to a café with a friend can also be grounding. “It’s sort of like a meditation moment but with someone else,” she tells mbg.
In all cases, but especially during a pandemic, being alone is a common reality, which can (and has) seriously affected young people’s mental health. When that’s the case, Chamberlain says healthy distractions are her best coping strategy.
She distracts herself from negativity.
For Chamberlain, healthy distractions may include cooking a meal, going for a drive, visiting the beach, grocery shopping, or watching funny and relatable YouTubers.
In the words of Chamberlain, these small, mundane tasks are “mindless and not freaky at all.” They help distract not only from negative thoughts but also from negative external sources.
Recently we’ve had so much time to just lie in bed and doomscroll, which for Chamberlain—and just about everyone else—can be harmful. “As long as I’m not on my phone, I’m usually feeling better, to be honest,” she says, which, cue another paradoxical mention, is funny considering her whole job is to be on her phone and appear on other people’s phones.
I try to be the escape for the internet, in a sense.
How does she come to terms with that? Don’t worry, we asked. “I try to not talk about things that are stressful, depressing, or scary because I feel like there’s enough of that going on,” she says. “I try to be the escape for the internet, in a sense.” P.S. It’s working.
After speaking to Chamberlain, with her well-caffeinated, yet calming energy, it became clear that these three tips—slowing down with a cup of coffee, reaching out to loved ones, and performing simple tasks—are critical. But the mental health work doesn’t stop there.
Staying on top of her work and setting strict work-life boundaries are also key components of minimizing her anxiety. Whatever the trick, it’s safe to assume Chamberlain will do it with coffee in hand.