When I first began my recovery journey, my dad proudly announced that his insurance offered free therapy for family members. It sounds great, right? I was so happy to finally have someone to talk to about the things I was struggling with.
After going to about three sessions, we got a notice that the insurance company didn’t cover treatment for eating disorders. What?! That literally made no sense to me. I needed help! I knew I wasn’t alone in this either, many people have issues with getting their insurance to support them in eating disorder recovery.
As a poor college student, there was no way I could afford therapy on my own. I wasn’t about to give up yet though.
There had to be a way to get support and guidance on my budget of $0.
And there was. Throughout the years, I’ve found some great resources for supporting eating disorder recovery that are totally free. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t seek out professional help first. If you can, I totally recommend you do. Nevertheless, these resources are great for everyone, whether you have professional help or not.
Here are your 7 fabulously free recovery resources
1. Recovery Warriors Podcast
Simply hearing others share their stories and struggles is so powerful. To know you aren’t alone is comforting. Listening to the podcast whenever I could made me want recovery more. Just wanting to recover is actually half the battle. So, make sure you take advantage of all the wisdom and knowledge you can get from the (free) Recovery Warriors podcast.
2. Rise Up + Recover App
This app is so amazingly helpful! You can record what you eat, but more importantly your emotions. You can also add where you ate, who you ate with, and add notes. Having the emotions listed (and cute little emojis for each one 😍 ) was way easier than trying to think of what emotion I was feeling on my own. When you have a list to choose from, it’s much easier to identify the emotions you’re feeling. There’s even a handy section with coping skills and journal activities.
This app can help you see patterns and identify what you need to work on in recovery. If you are seeking professional help, this can be a great tool to show how you’re doing throughout the week with your treatment team. Weekly and daily logs can easily be exported through email to share with your treatment team.
ConnectED is another free resource that can help connect you to treatment options that really know how to treat eating disorders. By choosing a professional from ConnectED, you know that they are specialized in eating disorder recovery. This can help prevent wasting money on professionals who aren’t well equipped to treat eating disorders (we know there are quite a few who aren’t). ConnectED can help you save both time and money, and the resources itself is totally free.
4. Recovery Warriors Online Magazine
Recovery Warriors website is full of amazing articles (like this one) written on all sorts of topics relating to recovery. Find tips to love yourself more, trust your set point weight, find out recovery looks like, and learn from the experience of others. Reading through articles can give you inspiration and guidance for your own recovery. Don’t let this free resource go unloved!
5. Minnesota Starvation Experiment
In the depths of my eating disorder, I seriously felt like I was insane half the time. The obsessions and weird habits were overwhelming at times. Little did I know, most of it was just the scientific effects of starvation.
In 1950, a study was published on the effects of starvation on 36 healthy men. The entire study is quite long, but you can find out a lot of information on the study with a simple Google search. This study does a great job of laying out how starvation effects you and how the study ties to eating disorders.
Knowledge is power. When you can understand what’s happening to you more in depth, you can begin to see what life might look like without the shadow of an eating disorder.
6. This Girl Audra
When I discovered this YouTube channel, I seriously considered it heaven-sent. It felt like Audra knew me and was talking directly to me!
Audra covers topics like getting your period back (which is super important, as I learned from Dr. Anita Johnston), exercise-addiction, binge eating, and more. She isn’t currently making new videos, but there are still over 200 videos you can browse. Her sweet Southern accent and broad base of knowledge was certainly motivating for me, and I hope she can help you too.
Your local library
I already said this, but knowledge really is power! Buying books is great, but I’m all about taking advantage of all the (free) books at the library. 🤓
There are so many books on eating disorders and recovery that give practical steps to take towards recovery.
Eating disorders are complicated, so you really have to do your research to begin understanding them.
Some great titles to check out are Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston, Food: The Good Girl’s Drug by Sunny Sea Gold, and Pound for Pound by Shannon Kopp. Although they aren’t specifically written for eating disorder recovery, The Gifts of Imperfection, I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) and The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown deal with issues that are often connected to eating disorders.
Do you have any other fabulously free resources that have helped you?