TikTok's 'Bed Rot' Self-Care Technique Makes Mental Health Days More Accessible

Self-care has practically become a lifestyle, with the "that girls" of the world leading the way. But if we're being honest, it's a lifestyle that can become pretty tiring. Getting up early every day for your highly productive morning routine, followed up with a stint at the gym, a made-from-scratch lunch, an hour-long therapy session, and finally a hot girl walk spent listening to a self-help podcast can start to feel like a full-time job.


But self-care was never meant to be a chore, and doing things you hate for the sake of mental wellness kind of defeats the purpose. Sometimes, what your soul really craves is doing, well, basically nothing. That's the idea behind TikTok's "bed rot" trend, which has racked up over 300 million views to date and spawned hashtags including #bedrotting and #ilovemybed. If you could use a break from the usual self-care prescriptions, here's why it's totally okay to swap your rigid routine for a day in bed.

What is the viral bed rotting trend?

"Rotting" in bed for hours isn't exactly a new concept, but TikTokkers have turned it into a mental health practice for those days when you just can't be bothered. One of the first — and most viral — clips on the subject came from user @g0bra77y in December 2022. "Who tf actually likes rotting away in their bed?" reads the video's caption, before the creator gestures to point to herself. The comment section exploded with other TikTokkers who could relate and were proud to embrace the bed rot life.


Other creators followed up with their own videos, from burned-out evening-shift workers to unmotivated snackers (because what's a good bed rot sesh without food?). At the core of most bed rot content is a sense of giving in. You know how it goes: You have a sink full of dishes, a bill that needs to be paid, and a dog that needs to be walked, but your cozy bed is calling your name, so you surrender and spend the next eight hours horizontal.

Once you've gotten comfortable, follow whatever your lazy heart desires. Watch a comfort show, read a book, or catch up on sleep.

Rot in bed, but don't go overboard

We all know rest is crucial, and bed rotting seems to be a super accessible technique when you need to slow down and recharge. However, some experts aren't so into the idea. "While most people enjoy a good lazy day, the new trend of 'sleep rotting' seems like a way to popularize a behavior pattern that can be very harmful to many," Dr. Katrina Ostmeyer, psychologist and CEO at Beyond the Individual LLC, told Sleepopolis. "When we spend our days laying in bed and engaged in passive activities, we limit the opportunities to encounter reinforcement and meaning in our lives."


Nathalie Savell, a holistic psychotherapist and nature therapy facilitator, agrees, telling Fast Company, "People think they're helping themselves because a stressed brain just wants to shut down, but what it actually needs is healthy types of stimulation and rest."

As with anything, bed rotting should be done in moderation. Spending most of your free time in bed can be worse for your mental health in the end — not to mention it's also not so great for your physical health (FYI, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Rot in bed sometimes when you need that mental health day, but don't forget to live life outside of your duvet too.