Videos of oversized kittens, makeup tutorials and parking garage singing made the list of TikTok’s most popular clips of 2023, with each video racking up more than 20 million likes and hundreds of millions of views. But health topics left their mark as well, especially ones that surveyed shadow work and “Girl Dinner.”.

Other viral health videos spanned the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the differences between U.S. and Canadian healthcare, and responses to the controversial “nurses’ icks” video. There were well-viewed clips about disordered eating, positive daily affirmations for mental health, neuroscience tips and the eternal battle between “Almond Mom” and “Butter Mom.”

Here’s our wrap-up of TikTok’s most popular health videos and trends from 2023.

Raw carrot salad

TikTok videos focusing on gut health, hormone balancing and fighting inflammation were surprisingly popular in 2023. A prime example of the trend: the viral raw carrot salad.

In a video posted in June, TikTok creator Gina Burgess provided a recipe for the infamous salad, which involves three large shaved carrots drenched in a dressing made with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame seeds. Whether a tasty (and healthy) side to a summer meal, or as a means of improving gut health for those who suffer from inflammation, the raw carrot salad became a sensation.


Viral raw carrot salad 😍🥕 3 large carrots, shaved 2 tbsp sesame oil 1 tbsp soy sauce Pinch salt 1 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar 1-2 tsp maple syrup – optional Big squeeze of lemon or lime juice Sesame seeds Handful fresh coriander #carrotsalad #vegansalad #veganside #rawcarrotsalad #healthyvegan

♬ Hurts Me (Alone At Prom) – Tory Lanez

Girl Dinner

Perhaps the most influential TikTok trend of the year, ”Girl Dinner” opened up conversations around women’s health, diet and nutrition, mental health and eating disorders. It started out as a trend featuring women making solo meals for themselves, usually a hodgepodge of snacks and little bites, when they didn’t have to worry about preparing meals for their partners or families. A Girl Dinner might be scrambled eggs with pasta, some strawberries and prosciutto, or boxed mac and cheese with Cheetos.

What started out as a feminist commentary ended up growing into a much larger debate around women’s mental health — and opened up questions around disordered eating. In one video that went viral this summer, TikToker Halley Kate questioned the ultimate fate of the Girl Dinner trend. She called out creators who used it to share unhealthy ideas about eating.

“I like how Girl Dinner started as this funny trend,” she said. “And then slowly it got overtaken by the wrong side of TikTok. And it’s just like, these girls being like, ‘Oh my God, one cube of cheese — girl dinner!’ No, let’s not glorify that, because I think that’s called something else.”

The video, which generated 4.5 million likes, attracted a wealth of commenters. One noted that a “girl dinner is a feast, not a crumb.”


Conversations around mental health dominated TikTok in 2023, with people discussing trauma, shadow work, “lucky girl syndrome” and various other topics. Positive affirmation as a form of coping with anxiety and depression became one of the most popular types of video on TikTok.

A cartoon video featuring a cartoon character spouting positive affirmations to herself (“Everything’s gonna be okay, because I love you,” “Today might not be your best day, but I still love you”) became the ninth most popular video on the platform all year. It generated more than 15 million likes and 100 million views.


Just doing a little nugget jig in preparation for tomorrow 🥰 (And every day, really!) I LOVE YOU!

♬ because i love u song – Tubby Nugget

Butter Mom

This year, TikTok sprouted the idea of the “Almond Mom”: mothers who instill eating disorders in their children by, say, only eating almonds as snacks. But just as Almond Mom videos rose to prominence in 2023, an alter ego — the “Butter Mom” — emerged as a counterpoint.

In one video that generated more than 500,000 likes, TikTok creator Butter Dawg featured  Butter Mom eating 5,000 calories for dinner. “As an appetizer she had a full entire loaf of sourdough bread, with a heaping scoop of lard, because she’s a growing girl and needs it,” the creator narrated. Shortly thereafter, “butter mom” scarfed down a hamburger, fries and ice cream.

The video attracted positive attention, with one commenter noting, “This is kinda healing as someone who grew up with an Almond Mom who shamed us during meals.” Others demanded “more Butter Mom content.”

Selena Gomez’s skincare tutorial

Skin care continued to rank high among health topics on TikTok. A makeup tutorial and a skincare routine — Selena Gomez’s, naturally — ranked among the platform’s top three videos in 2023. In the video, which now boasts nearly 25 million likes, Gomez patiently walked her viewers through her 6 a.m. skincare routine, which includes cleansing, exfoliating and about ten other steps.

Highly complicated skin-care routines, from slugging to facial flooding, have become TikTok’s obsession. Plenty of dermatologist creators have emerged to counter the misinformation — and unnecessary products — that gained traction.

Neuroscience tips

TikTok creators who position themselves as health influencers and experts can sometimes hold more sway over their audience than actual physicians. A video about brain health that went viral in 2023 showcased that power.

Creator Emily, known as @emonthebrain, posted a video that shared three “neuroscience tips” and, in so doing, generated more than a million likes. In the video, Emily identified three things she does to “protect” her brain: avoiding using the phone in the morning, staying away from negative thoughts and steering clear of highly processed foods.

Depression self-care

But even as non-physicians make a name for themselves on TikTok, real doctors have gained more of a footing. Kojo Sarfo, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, is one of them.

In a video posted in April, Sarfo showed how misconceptions about depression can be damaging to psychiatric patients. In the video, Sarfo demonstrated how a person struggling with depression may avoid showering. He noted that negative feedback — claiming the person is “lazy” or “unattractive,” for instance — does nothing to help that person.

“Depression makes self-care extremely difficult,” Sarfo explained. “Compassion and empathy is the answer.”


Depression makes self-care extremely difficult. Compassion & empathy is the answer 🏆 #mentalhealthmatters #depresion #recovery #drkojo

♬ hotline bling – hellaxgay

Behind-the-scenes dentistry

Finally, one of 2023’s most viral health videos was one featuring a dentist “maskfishing” — or showing the facial expressions he actually makes behind the mask when working on a patient’s teeth.

The humorous POV video gained more than 600,000 likes and thousands of comments, with audience members jokingly stating, “I’m scared to go to my dentist now.”

Other healthcare workers similarly commented, with one noting, “When my hospital dropped its mask policy I would literally catch myself walking around [with] my mouth open making weird faces.” The video proves yet again that humor will always have a place in TikTok health videos.


Sorry. Dont believe everything you see. #maskfishing #rt #nurse #healthcare credit to @Zie Barcelo

♬ Toxic x Pony – ALTÉGO

For a March 2024 article on TikTok’s ‘mystery virus’ trend spreading, click here.