WHAT MAKES AN influencer? Tons of followers. What makes a Men’s Health-approved Influencer? The bar is way higher. We scoured social media for accounts that provide strong amounts of three key factors: information, inspiration, and instruction. Do followers help? Of course. And degrees (M.D., Ph.D., etc.) and certifications (C.S.C.S., R.D., etc.) were highly valued, but in topic areas where they aren’t common, sheer experience counted too. As does the message, which had to be uplifting, not competitive or shaming. And their advice had to feel safe and practical and of course fun and useful.
The staff of Men’s Health, with additional guidance from the doctors, trainers, and researchers on our advisor board, scoured social media for influencers actually worth the follow and picked the top ten in key categories like strength and fitness, food and nutrition, health, mental health, sex and relationships and life. To gain a deeper understanding of how pervasive the impact of human—and AI—influence and the risks and benefits of living in an influencer’s world— read Taylor Lorenz’s story We’ve Hit Peak Influence. Now what?
JUMP TO EACH SECTION:
Jeff Cavaliere, C.S.C.S.
13.3M YouTube followers, @athleanx
The innovative trainer built his brand on results-driven online programs with fun and insightful video instruction, a formula widely copied by other trainers. His annual fitness summit, AX Live,3 regularly draws top fitness minds, 100s of regular Joes and fitness pros and has become something of a Fitness State of the Union. So wide-reaching is Cavaliere’s influence that Sylvester Stallone credited him on Instagram with revitalizing his routines.
Jason Pak, CPT and Lauren Pak, CPT
780k Instagram followers, @jasonandlaurenpak
Husband-and-wife duo work to simplify your fitness, delivering reliable, down-to-earth info that routinely debunks the quick-fix claims that are all over social media, an approach that recently landed them on TODAY.
Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., C.S.C.S.
327k Instagram followers, @bradschoenfeldphd
Renowned muscle researcher brings context to complicated fitness studies. He’s emerged as a go-to source of information for trainers – and is regularly quoted by the New York Times and MH as well.
Aaron Horschig, D.P.T.
1.11M YouTube followers, @squatuniversity
Physical therapist delivers actionable, research-backed new advice mostly about one of the oldest exercises there is: squatting. His squat warmup and rehab protocols are well-known in CrossFit circles—and used by the likes of 2019 World’s Strongest Man Martins Licis.
Ideen Chelengar, C.S.C.S.
177.2k TikTok followers, @vicesfitness
When trainers makes dubious claims in extreme posts (i.e., never eat junk food), Chelengar debunks them out, using humor.
1.5M Instagram followers, @chrisheria
Has energized bodyweight training by delivering actionable progressions for ultra-challenging gymnastics moves (planches, handstands, and L-sits) on YouTube and IG.
Vernon Griffith, C.S.C.S.D*
435k Instagram followers, @vernongriffith4
Mobility-focused trainer who explores twisting stretches, Griffith drew attention to wall-based stretches, which are now widely utilized in both rehab and workout warmup situations.
427k Instagram followers, @everygotdamndre
Boston-based trainer whose posts have pushed trainers to include rotational ideas in their kettlebell training, popularizing challenging (but fun!) flows, like the curtsy lunge to halo.
1.6M Instagram followers, @fitmencook
Before FitMenCook, fit men didn’t really cook. Or at least they didn’t amass a following for it online. Then along came Curry, who started posting healthy meals to Tumblr as FitMenCook in 2012. Chili. Smoothies. Pasta dishes. All things that seemed not only delicious but doable. His empire has grown to include a cookbook, an app, and a meal-delivery service. He’s posted more than 4,000 free recipes and tips on Instagram that make it easier to cook healthy meals.
Layne Norton, Ph.D.
798k Instagram followers, @biolayne
Many nutrition “experts” tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat. Norton, who has a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences, has built a following telling you why those people are wrong in a way that’s both educational and freeing.
960k Instagram followers, @chefjoseandres
Andrés isn’t just changing the culinary world—he’s changing the world itself through his passion for simple, nutritious food; his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen; and kindness (which counts for a lot these days).
Zach Coen R.D., L.N.
1.5M TikTok followers, @zachcoen
Where so much of food content online is picture-perfect, Coen’s is practical. He whips up quick, inexpensive, healthy meals that don’t feel overly . . . healthy. There’s pasta! There’s bacon! There’s pizza!
Asker Jeukendrup, Ph.D.
103k Instagram followers, @ajeukendrup
The sports-nutrition scientist presents study findings in fun infographics that turn complex topics into “Hey, I get that now!” Follow him to feel like an instant nutrition expert.
Abby Langer, R.D.
84.5k Instagram followers, @langernutrition
There are people who build followings with take-down videos just to stoke drama. Langer’s beef toward industry titans (Mark Hyman, M.D., Gwyneth Paltrow’s doctor) is always research-backed and (gasp!) actually helpful.
André Hueston Mack
643k Instagram followers, @andrehmack
Yes, the former head sommelier at Per Se reviews wine, but he routinely rates budget buys, raves about ham and cheese sandwiches, and hosts wine tastings with celebs like Dwyane Wade. People follow him in droves because he’s fun, funny, and exactly what the wine world needs.
1.17M YouTube followers, @mattymatheson
Okay, many viewers will never attempt his recipes, but that’s not really why they watch. They watch to see him burn his mouth, screw up cook times, and curse. They watch because they relate.
2.3M Instagram followers, @ottolenghi
The grandmaster of flavor (and author of so many cookbooks) posts recipes that are as jaw-dropping as they are accessible. You follow for the surprising ingredient combos—like miso butter roasted onions.
Andrew Huberman, P.h.D
3.8M Instagram followers, @hubermanlab
This Stanford neuroscientist’s goal is to bring “zero-cost science-based tools for enhancing mental and physical health” to the public. He does it in deep-dive podcast interviews with top medical experts on how to think and live better. He tackles trending topics, like contrast baths, what alcohol really does to your body and mind, and how to control dopamine, extracting evidence-based best practices on any topic. His earnest, curious approach has earned his show a spot as one of the top podcasts in the U. S.
Peter Attia, M.D.
630k Instagram followers, @peterattiamd
A podcaster, a physician, and the best-selling author of Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity, Dr. Attia has a clear, study-backed answer for “what’s the deal with . . .” no matter what health problem you’re facing or remedy you’re considering.
1M Instagram followers, @richroll
Nothing reminds you how a thoughtful, provocative question can change your mind and health like the conversations this ultraendurance athlete has on his eponymous podcast with wellness experts and athletes.
Eric Topol, MD
686.3k Twitter followers, @EricTopol
A go-to for seeing what today’s health news means and where the science is headed. Wrote a book on AI in medicine way back in 2019.
Joseph Salhab, M.D.
803.9k TikTok followers, @thestomachdoc
No overproduced posts, just straightforward tips on stopping your guts, liver and pancreas from being grumpy, often delivered from his car.
Alok Patel, M.D.
30.1k Instagram followers, @alokpatelmd
This doctor’s TV producer side shows in his well-edited, science-informed clips on what to do about seasonal allergies, whether it’s OK to eat grilled meat and more.
Jake Goodman, M.D.
1.3M TikTok followers, @jakegoodmanmd
Dr. Goodman blew up the Internet in 2021 when, as a psychiatry resident, he posted a photo of himself with an antidepressant on his tongue, proudly stating that he takes meds for his mental health. Since then, he’s become an outspoken advocate for mental health, being creative about ways to help people understand and manage all their emotions.
1.1M Instagram followers, @jamesclear
The author of Atomic Habits is still at it with the perfect advice for you to reduce stress, improve your thinking patterns, and leave unhelpful thoughts behind.
404k Instagram followers, @kiergaines
Posts by this therapist and champion of Black male mental health are somewhere between free therapy and your best bud explaining to you how to be a better communicator and friend.
Lola Tash and Nicole Argiris
8M Instagram followers, @mytherapistsays
Two 20-somethings created this make-you-laugh, make-you-cry, all-the-feels meme site. Nothing makes you feel less alone about your issues than a good meme.
2.6M Instagram followers, @yung_pueblo
If a poet and philosopher wrote down your therapist’s key reminders, it would look like the feed of this author of Lighter: Let Go of the Past, Connect with the Present, and Expand the Future.
Yolo Akili Robinson
18k Instagram followers, @yoloakil
This non-binary founder of Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective leads the way in honest conversations where people can hear themselves and each other about issues including racism, homophobia, and transphobia.
97k Instagram followers, @kingjaybarnett
Barnett’s the therapist behind the Just Heal Bro journal—a safe place for guys to write about mental health—and his Insta drops food for writing, thinking, and communicating.
Tracey Marks, M.D.
1.44M YouTube followers, @DrTraceyMarks
Want to know what narcissism looks like or why you’re so anxious? Marks’ straight-up videos get you the 411.
Sasha Hamdani, M.D.
319k Instagram followers, @thepsychdoctormd
Whether you or someone you know has ADHD, Dr. Hamdani’s explanations help everyone through it.
Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D.
The best-selling author, history professor, MacArthur fellow, and #GirlDad has translated his powerful anti-racist work into actionable information and lessons across his platforms for people of all ages and backgrounds—whether you’re a parent who wants to teach their kid about race (How to Raise an Antiracist) or somebody who’s intent on making the world better (How to Be an Antiracist). He’s changing the culture, nudging all of us to be more self-aware.
341k Instagram followers, @brightbazaar
A decade of smart style and decor tips earned Taylor a home-accessories line at QVC and two inspirational design books.
243k Instagram followers, @greengirlleah
The writer popularized the idea of intersectional environmentalism and created a resource hub for people (think other influencers, professors, and big brands) looking to rethink their approach to sustainability.
2M Instagram followers, @deuxmoi
Anonymous “curators of pop culture,” @deuxmoi publishes celebrity news and gossip that everyone—yes, everyone—reads, including celebrities themselves.
Anne Helen Petersen, Ph.D
143.7k Twitter followers, @annehelen
The journalist and author is well-versed in millennial burnout and the creator of one of the most popular Substacks, “Culture Study,” which explores the people and ideas that are shaping our society today.
155.1k TikTok followers, @schizophrenicreads
Nathan Shuherk is a disability advocate and public speaker living with schizophrenia and panic disorder. He shares nonfiction book recommendations on BookTok, a TikTok community that drives books sales.
59.3M YouTube followers, @dudeperfect
This group of friends has mastered the art of creating cool sh*t (read: comedy, stunts, and sports talk), turning it into entertaining content, and inspiring guys everywhere to do more with their own friends.
Jeff Guenther, L.P.C.
2.7M TikTok followers, @TherapyJeff
A relationship expert with “your coolest teacher in high school” energy, Guenther was dubbed “one of the most successful therapist-cum-influencers” by Wired. His viral videos allegedly caught the attention of the Biden administration, who asked him to make videos touting an economic campaign. Guenther, a progressive with a similarly left-leaning fan base, explained why he turned them down on the All Things Private Practice Podcast: “I will be canceled by my audience.”
Nicole LePera, Ph.D.
6.6M Instagram followers, @the.holistic.psychologist
Crowned “Instagram’s favorite therapist” by the Wall Street Journal, LePera’s viral posts help her millions of followers discover how their childhood trauma is impacting their adult relationships—and how to break the cycle. Her 2021 book How to Do the Work was a #1 New York Times bestseller, so it’s no surprise LePera has another book on the way.
Esther Perel, L.M.F.T.
1.6M Instagram followers, @estherperelofficial
The psychotherapist famous for her study of human relationships has two bestselling books, two podcasts, and even a storytelling card game to help people find connection. Naturally, she’s entered the content creation game, with her Instagram reels on finding the right partner and navigating relationship issues raking in millions of views.
On her podcast, “Lovers and Friends,” she’s talked about sex and relationships with some of today’s biggest reality TV stars, including The Bachelor’s Nick Viall and Mike Johnson. Self-described as “Dr Ruth meets Rihanna,” Boodram became a reality star herself on Peacock’s Ex-Rated With Andy Cohen, where she was the resident sex expert on the show’s one season.
Nedra Glover Tawwab
1.8M Instagram followers, @nedratawwab
Are you left scratching your head whenever someone brings up “boundaries”? In her empowering videos, this therapist explains what boundaries are and how to use them for healthier relationships—wisdom you can also find in her book Set Boundaries, Find Peace, an instant New York Times bestseller.
14.2M Instagram followers, @jayshetty
The author, speaker, coach, and former monk is a go-to source for life advice, and most recently advice on love and relationships. Exerts his influence through his best-selling books, like the 8 Rules of Love, his podcast On Purpose, and his role as Chief Purpose Officer of Calm.
Brené Brown, Ph.D.
4.9M Instagram followers, @brenebrown
This professor and storyteller has spent the past two decades sharing her research on courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Her Ted Talk on the power of vulnerability has more than 60 million views and her most recent book Atlas of the Heart was a NYT bestseller.
143k Instagram followers, @polyphiliablog
Defying heteronormativity can be as daunting as it is liberating, but when you come across Yau’s posts on polyamory and queerness, it’s impossible not to feel empowered. Drawing from her experience as a bisexual, neurodivergent, Chinese woman, Yau shares educational memes and bite-size tips on non-monogamy, queer relationships, and sex positivity, and hosts the Happy Polydays podcast.
511k Instagram followers, @yourdiagnonsense
Social media rarely leaves room for nuance, but this sex therapist breaks down the complicated, messy truths of adult relationships—in a way that’ll make you laugh, too. The Daily Mail has published feature-length online articles breaking down his Instagram posts, and Baratz’s IG Live with Men’s Health sex columnist Zachary Zane (the topic: “What to do when the sex sucks, but you really like them”) has been viewed nearly 30,000 times.
Joe Kort, Ph.D.
664k TikTok followers, @drjoekort
What’s the difference between an otter and a bear? How about sexual fluidity vs. bisexuality? Known for coining the term “side” to describe queer men who don’t enjoy anal sex (and therefore don’t identify with “top” or “bottom” labels), Kort makes videos tackling everything you’ve ever wondered about queer sex and relationships. He’s also the host of the popular Smart Sex, Smart Love podcast.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article included influencer Darius Williams. Due to allegations of business malpractice (that he has previously denied), we have removed him from this list.
This article originally appeared in the July/August issue of Men’s Health.