Goal setting

We are often asked about our ‘goals in life’ when it comes to careers or discussions about the future. ‘Squad goals’ or ‘couple goals’ appear in many Instagram posts, but what does this really mean? Are personal goals something we want to be, or want to have?

In this article, you will find help to set and achieve your goals:


Why do people self-harm?

Self-harm is when someone intentionally damages or injures their body. Also known as self-injury, it can take on many forms, such as cutting, burning, hitting, or scratching.

Risky behaviour that can be harmful is also considered self-harm behaviour. Binge drinking to the point of blacking out or vomiting regularly, restricting food intake, or overeating could be considered risky.

How to deal with anger

Anger is a feeling we all experience. It’s an emotional state that comes with thoughts and often physical feelings as well.

Anger can usually be summed up with the expression ‘that’s not fair’. It comes with a sense of injustice. Maybe you feel you or someone else has been treated unfairly. Anger can be a great motivator, prompting us to make changes and tackle inequalities.

The past year has been challenging for many, and can cause a lot of anger. We often feel angry when we have no control over things. We can feel stressed, or under a lot of pressure.

There is nothing wrong with feeling angry. It is our response to feeling anger that can cause problems for us.

Why we feel angry

Feeling angry often comes with physical sensations. Things like our heart beating faster, feeling hot or clenching our fists.

Anger can be difficult to express and manage. Particularly because a lot of us have been taught not to show it. We can be made feel guilty or ashamed about being angry, despite it being a necessary emotion.

This is unfair as well, and can further sustain feelings of anger. Until we learn how to manage it a different way, this keeps going in a circle.

We learn a lot about how to express emotions from our family. Think about the habits you may have picked up over the years. Do people close to you release anger in a healthy way?

Mental health apps

The App Store or Google Play host thousands of apps claiming to help people with their mental health.

With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start, or which to trust.

What are the best mental health apps?

At Jigsaw, we are often asked which are the best apps for anxiety, or what ones we would recommend. Research and evidence are important parts of our work so we can really stand behind what we say.

To ensure we recommend safe apps to use, we embarked on a review project with funding from ESB Energy for Generations,. The aim was to identify apps that might be helpful to young people in managing their mental health.

Relaxation for mental health

How many times have you heard the words ‘just relax’. Sometimes it’s easier said than done.

It can also be quite annoying to have someone telling you to relax, when there seems to be a lot on and out of your control.

But often, life can be so busy we forget to take a break and step back. It’s not unusual to have several things on our mind all at once.

Things like exams, family, friends, finances, and the future can feel overwhelming. Feeling stressed or tense can be a signal to take a break and have some downtime. Relaxation is important for our mental health.

In this article, you will find:

Youth workers’ role in promoting youth mental health

In Jigsaw, we know how important youth workers can be in young people’s development. Youth workers play an invaluable role in promoting youth mental health.

They help young people access supports that contribute to their personal, emotional, social and educational development.

This article has practical advice for youth workers on how to support youth mental health and to help create a safe place where it is promoted.

Ask Jigsaw: Lockdown affecting eating habits

I think the lockdown is damaging my eating habits and the way I view myself. I’ve been isolated to my house for weeks now. I’ve felt an extreme hatred towards myself, and it just seems to worsen everyday.

But I feel so awful for upsetting my family, especially my mam, who I know is being really hard on herself because of how I’m behaving.

I really do try to eat and not think about the disordered thoughts, but because I can’t distract myself, I feel sort of trapped with them.

I feel extremely guilty and horrible for adding more stress to my family, but I just can’t do what they’re asking me. I can’t see myself getting better and I feel like such a burden on everyone. I really do wish I could snap my fingers and make everything right, but I can’t. I don’t know what to do, it’s too difficult.


Hi Anna,

I’m sorry to hear that you are going through such an intense experience during an already difficult time. Thoughts about body image can be all consuming, and can have a strong negative effect on our mental health, as you have described.

Ask Jigsaw: Not sure if I am depressed

Hi there.

I am wondering what to do about my current mental health. I am not sure if I’m depressed or overthinking – I no longer enjoy hobbies I used to love, I want to spend all my time alone and find it so hard to get out of bed, because I can’t look forward to anything. I feel guilty for being less involved and kind to my family, and also guilty that if I am not actually depressed I am undermining those who are actually struggling, wasting time of others and opening up to family only to find out I don’t need help.

I cannot remember the last time I was happy. I can’t concentrate at school and keep zoning out, even though I usually do well. I keep feeling like a burden and feel down even when my closest friends text me because I have to put effort into replying. I keep people pleasing but avoiding social interaction when I can.

I can’t really remember when all this started but I don’t know if this is normal for young people, if I should wait to see if it continues, tell my family or go see a doctor. I was hoping this could help me figure out what to do next.



Hi giantflowercat,

Thanks for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear you are going through a tough time. You sound like a considerate person for not wanting to waste people’s time or undermine people who are struggling, but that’s not the case at all. Life can be hard and you deserve to get support just as much as anyone else. We do hear from a lot of young people who describe feeling this way, so know that you’re not alone.