Redefining ‘Man Up’: Embracing Emotional Well-being and Mental Health

Image of a man emerging from the shadows.

In this article:

Dear Men,

As Father’s Day approaches, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate you and your role in the world. You are leaders, providers, protectors, mentors, and friends. You have the strength, courage, and resilience to face any challenge that comes your way. You are valued and appreciated for all that you do.

Man Up

But I also want to invite you to rethink the concept of “man up”. This phrase has been used for generations to encourage men to be tough, stoic, and independent. On some level, it has pressured men to suppress their emotions, ignore their needs, and sacrifice their well-being for the sake of others. It has often been created a narrow and rigid definition of masculinity that leaves no room for vulnerability, diversity, or growth.

I believe that it is time to redefine “manning up” in a way that honors the best of the traditional characteristics of the concept, while also embracing the best traits of well-being and self-care. I believe that “man up” can mean:

  • Being brave enough to express your feelings and ask for help when you need it.

  • Being confident enough to admit your mistakes and learn from them 

  • Being compassionate enough to empathize with others and respect their differences.

  • Being responsible enough to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health even when it feels vulnerable.

  • Being flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances and embrace new opportunities.

  • Being creative enough to pursue your passions and express your talents.

  • Being authentic enough to be yourself and honor your values while respecting the values of others.

These are the qualities that make you a whole and healthy human being. These are the qualities that make you a great man. These are the qualities that I want to celebrate with you on Father’s Day and every day.

But I also know that these qualities are not always easy to cultivate or maintain. I know that there are many barriers and challenges that prevent you from taking care of your well-being and mental health. I know that there are many myths and stereotypes that may make you feel ashamed or afraid to seek help or support. I know that there are many gaps and shortages in the mental health system that make it hard for you to access quality care. I know they have impacted me at times in my life.

That’s why I want to share some facts and resources with you that can help you overcome these obstacles and improve your well-being and mental health.

Did you know that:

  • Only 1 in 8 men report experiencing symptoms for mental health problems, compared to 1 in 5 women?

  • 40% of men report that they have never spoken to anyone about their mental health

  • 29% of those who haven’t done so say they are “too embarrassed” to speak about it, while 20% say there is a “negative stigma” on the issue

  • The biggest cause of mental health issues in men’s lives are work (32%), their finances (31%) and their health (23%)

  • 35% of men think they may have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life?

  • Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population?

  • People with serious mental health issues are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions?

These statistics show that men’s mental health is an important issue that affects millions of men across the world. They also show that many men do not receive the help or treatment they need or deserve. They show that there is a lot of work to be done to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and increase access to care for men’s mental health.

That’s why I want to encourage you to take action today.

Some steps you can take:

  • Learn more about men’s mental health issues and how they affect you and those you love. Really take a look at yourself, not just a cursory glance. 

  • Talk to someone you trust about what is weighing on your thoughts and/or your heart. It can be a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a professional. Recognize how it could unburden you to talk that through with someone who recognizes your strength and courage. You don’t have to suffer in silence or isolation. You can find support and understanding without judgment from others.

  • Seek help from a qualified mental health provider such as a life coach or therapist if you are struggling with your well-being (or even if you aren’t). If you are in a crisis or need immediate assistance, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

  • Practice self-care habits that can boost your well-being and mental health. You can try activities like exercise, meditation, hobbies, reading, or spending time in nature. You can also set healthy boundaries, manage stress, get enough sleep, eat well, and avoid alcohol and drugs.

  • Join a community of men who are committed to improving their well-being and mental health. You can find online or offline groups, forums, podcasts, or blogs that focus on men’s issues and offer support, advice, or inspiration. You can also participate in events or campaigns that raise awareness and funds for men’s mental health causes. If you’re interested in joining one of our groups, fill out an interest form here: Group Interest Survey

These are some of the ways you can “man up” in a new way. A way that is good for you and good for the world. A way that is not about hiding or denying your feelings, but about expressing and embracing them. A way that is not about suffering or sacrificing your well-being, but about enhancing and enjoying it. A way that is not about conforming or limiting your potential by outdated standards, but about expanding and fulfilling it.

This Father’s Day, I hope you will take this opportunity to “man up” in a new way. I hope you will treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and respect. I hope you will reach out to your loved ones and share your gratitude, appreciation, and love. I hope you will take care of your well-being and mental health.

You deserve it. You are worth it. You are amazing.

Happy Father’s Day!


Coach and Founder

enLiven Wellness Life Coaching

Elevate Your Life, Elevate Your Purpose

Unleash your full potential and take control of your life with the enLiven Wellness Life Coaching team. Book your no cost consultation now and start your journey to a happier tomorrow.


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