In the middle of a particularly difficult depressive episode, Melissa Broder tried out an unusual type of therapy: creating an anonymous Twitter account called @sosadtoday to disclose her dark inner thoughts to the world. “@sosadtoday is lifting me up so much,” explains Broder, “and revealing one of those parts of myself that I felt like I just couldn’t … be honest about in waking light.”

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Broder uses the outlet, which has grown to amass a Twitter following of more than 300,000, to air her anxious and depressive deliberations on self-worth, relationships and addiction. “When something happens to me in the world, it makes me feel like crap, but then I tweet about it and then I’m actually feeling good about this,” says Broder. “I’ve reframed it in a way that I can feel good about.”

After revealing her identity last spring, Broder has now released a book of essays called simply “So Sad Today: Personal Essays” which elaborates on her negative thoughts. With chapters called “Keep Your Friends Close But Your Anxiety Closer” and “How to Never Be Enough,” the book is a biting, deeply personal look into Broder’s inner mind.

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Opening up about depression on social media

Broder was only able to become so candid online because she started @sosadtoday as an anonymous account. She believes that expressing disconcerting thoughts online — even anonymously — can be calming. “If you have things you feel like you need to say … don’t let that fear stop you,” she says.

Being yourself on social media is key, according to Broder. “I tweet the way that I wish Twitter would be. Be the tweet you wish to see in the world.”

Power of creativity

Broder shies from giving advice, but she does stress that finding your creative outlet — whatever that may be — is helpful in finding some peace. “If you have a creative bone in your body, use it. Creativity has always saved my life, you know. The power to create makes life mean something.”