Service Users

Supporting Eating Disorder Recovery in Young People

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University are conducting research which aims to investigate social identity and eating disorder recovery amongst young people aged 16-25 who have experience of using online support groups for living with an eating disorder.

If you are aged 16-25, live in the UK or Ireland, and have experience of using online support groups for living with an eating disorder, researchers would like to hear from you.

You can take part in an online survey or an email interview, or both, depending on your preference.

If you’d like to take part in the survey, please go to:

If you would like to take part in email interviews, please email the research assistant for the study, Elizabeth Mair, on:

Self Help Tool Kit

This is essentially your tool box for drawing on your coping strategies. You can use something like a shoebox and decorate the item you choose with crayons, paper, buttons, ribbon, photos of loved-ones, affirmations, fabric, cartoon characters, or anything you like!

Write as many healthy coping alternatives on small sheets of coloured paper as you can think of. Here are some examples…

  • Write a letter to yourself / your friend in a years time. One, still with your eating disorder and one where it is no longer dominating your life
  • Write in your diary
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Read positive quotes
  • Seek support from others – family / friends or someone you may know who is In recovery
  • Colour in a colouring book – a good distraction and relaxing
  • Play your favourite instrument
  • Talk to a friend face to face or pick up the phone
  • Pop bubble-wrap
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Do some painting (by numbers or your own) / arts and crafts
  • Take a bath / shower
  • Go for a drive
  • Take a leisurely walk (if this isn’t an ED behaviour)
  • Watch your favourite film
  • Spend time with your pet (very therapeutic)
  • Do a cross word, brain training or sudoku

Next time you are feeling sad, angry, overwhelmed, confused, or distressed and need to find healthy ways to cope, go to your tool box, pull out one of those sheets of paper and do what it says. Remember to put it back in your bank after you’ve read it, so it’s there for the future.

  • Remind yourself…  “I am looking after ME!”
  • Reasons for recovery
  • Coping with negative thoughts
  • Challenging Your Thoughts – fighting back!
  • Distracting Ideas – to add list
  • Motivation – making a vision board, place mats, positive affirmations, future goals
  • Service Users Instagram
  • Accessing Help – speaking to someone, admitting there is a problem