Generations of comics past earned their stripes by working the late-night comedy circuit and practicing their tight fives for years to achieve perfection. Actor Elysee Myers took a slightly different path to success: the comedian, writer and digital content creator has helped millions of people find light in their darkest mental health issues through her ever-evolving TikTok, Instagram and YouTube platforms. This year, with a podcast, a scripted TV series and a book on the way (NBD), Myers should inspire a lot more belly laughs.
Myers has been dubbed “the internet’s best friend” and reaches an audience of over five million from her home in Nebraska. Scroll through her TikTok feed and you’ll find an endless stream of videos that can only be described as the Platonic ideal of surprise and delight: hilarious monologues from Myers reminiscing about her engagement day, the French braid fails, and diaries honest about living with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
In other words, Myers’ content defies the niche, and in an interview with Well + Good, she says that lack of curation is 100% intentional. “I just decided that I was going to do what makes me happy and what I love to do and create,” she says. “I think creating content across many genres gives people a really clear idea that you’re a whole person with different interests and hobbies.”
This devotion to authenticity has not gone unnoticed in the Myers community. When she posts a video of she picks a piece of her lower lip until he bleeds, she asks her TikTok followers if they are doing the same. The answer is over 4,000 commenters assuring him that they do the same. The reaction is just as strong when she posts a rant on the term “healthy eating” before Easter. “I’m trying to overcome binge eating and restrictive eating disorder, and trying to reframe how I view food is so important,” one commenter wrote.
While Myers isn’t concerned with niche, she does care about how her content touches her audience. “My goal has always been to make sure mental health isn’t some weird thing to talk about, something as normal as talking about the weather,” she says. “Whenever I sit down and talk about my OCD, anxiety or other traumatic events that happened in my childhood, I’m always very intentional. I get nervous, but I know that if I feel that way, other people also feel that way about things that have happened in their lives as well.”
At a time when so many people are managing mental health crises and coping with uncontrollable levels of stress due to politics, a global pandemic and [enter whatever you’re personally going through right here, reader], the Myers stream looks like a safe space. And in 2022, she is taking steps to create many more safe spaces in the media landscape. So whether you’re catching up with Myers in your eardrums via his soon-to-be-launched podcast, watching his show, or waiting to hold his hardcover in your hands, it’s clear: the internet’s best friend goes beyond of the web.