5 Instagram Poets Who Will Warm Up Your Winter Blues

Fill your feed with sunshine and similes

Blue Monday might have started as a press release to promote travel in January, but whether or not the equation—yes, there’s “math” to this—is total bologna-pseudoscience, it’s hard to deny the blues that come with cold weather. To help you through the chill, we’ve created an updated list of on-the-rise Instagram poets who have embraced the public platform as a way to make their voices heard. If you’re a fan of the insta-poets we’ve showcased in the past (Nikita Gill, Nayyirah Waheed and Yrsa Daley-Ward), these five talented writers are the perfect people to fill your day with sunshine and similes.

Tyler Knott Gregson

Best known for his Typewriter Series and book Chasers of the Light, Knott writes almost exclusively about love. His words are loaded with passion, softness and authenticity. Reading one of his poems feels like unfolding a love letter meant just for you—exposing, yet comforting. He’ll have you tagging your loved ones in the comments in no time, the perfect solution when your own words don’t feel like enough.

Morgan Harper Nichols

Morgan Harper Nichols is the ultimate hype girl. She is the supportive, wisdom filled friend that we all need when the blues begin to weigh us down. Her profile, which she uses as a platform for mental wellness and self-care, is loaded with positivity and empathy. Nichols writes about personal growth, accepting your failures and moving forward. She is happy to share, with templates and phone wallpapers available for free download, so that her reminders are with you always. My own lock screen currently reads, “she does not know what the future holds, but she is grateful for slow and steady growth.”

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“Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.” I wrote these words for someone else, but I need this reminder too. ⠀ I have always naturally been a quieter, more inward type, and for most of life, expressing feelings and emotions was a challenge for me (Enneagram 5, INTJ). Because of that, I often thought that because I did not naturally have certain personality traits, there was no way I could connect with others, even when it came to the things I made. ⠀ I had a great family growing up, but outside of the home, I struggled to figure out where I “fit.” I struggled making friends and often blamed myself for not being more extroverted or “interesting.” This sent me inward: Deep inside my journals where I would say all the things I was never able to say during the day. I would write things for people but never knew how to share it with them. I would fill pages of composition books just to try to understand why I felt unheard and unseen. I started to convince myself that the best way to show up in the world was to not to be myself. Even in an environment where my parents lovingly encouraged my gifts as a writer and artist (I thank God for the encouragement my parents gave and still give me everyday), I still didn’t feel like I fit anywhere in the outside world. But there was this inside world where I could draw and write out all of the things I never figured out how to say during the day. Over time, I have finally begin to see: in the same way I learned to fill my journal page by page, I could learn to connect with others one by one. Showing up in the world does not mean that I have to show up everywhere all at once. Connecting around real people and real stories, in relationships and art is about the one. Impactful things can be said on big stages and in chart topping songs but they can also be said in hospital parking lots and handwritten letters. I have come to believe that in a world that often seems too crowded or busy to notice meaningful things, there is yet still room for each our stories and I just hope that the art I make, page by page, person by person is just one example of that.

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Mustafa Ahmed

Raised in the public housing of Regent Park (a Canadian boy!), Ahmed, who goes by “Mustafa the Poet” is a proud Muslim songwriter, poet and spoken word artist. He writes about the struggles of mental illness, loss and poverty, but he is full of a hopefulness that is infectious to his audience. You may recognize his name from The Weeknd’s song “Attention,” which he co-wrote and performed, but his fame started at age twelve when he garnered attention from Toronto’s 2009 Hot Docs Festival for his poem “A Single Rose.” Watch Mustafa continue to bloom on his Instagram.

Samantha Jayne

Samantha is less about inspiration and more about relatability. Under her handle @quarterlifepoems, she writes about mundane, millennial crises and honestly, it is comedy gold. She writes almost-limericks paired with colourful doodles about accidental double taps on Instagram, social anxiety and financial confusion, all of which make you feel slightly less alone. She uses social media to make a refreshing statement on who twenty-somethings truly are behind all of the perfectly curated profiles. Her work is clearly catching on, her popular poetry being picked up as a television series, which will premiere at Sundance and air on FX this Spring.

Haley Macleod

Haley’s following isn’t as large as her fellow poets, with 25.5k, but the Calgary-born writer’s voice is genuine, and her fans are loyal. She writes about love, heartbreak and self-respect, advising readers, and likely herself as well, to choose a life of fulfilment and happiness. Her posts are visually stunning as well, with typewritten pages placed over photographs of seasides and city nights. They evoke a sense of peace and calm, the perfect escape from sharp winds and snowfalls.

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