Sometimes half the battle (or more) with freelance writing is finding clients or publications to pitch. I really believe that regardless of which area you want to write about (not that I think you only need one area of expertise), there will most likely be a publication, brand or business willing to pay you for your words. Articles and blogs focusing on health and wellness are so popular at the moment, and mental health content is a huge part of that. Here are 5 publications that pay decently for mental health articles.
Want to write about mental health? Pitch to these publications.
Elemental by Medium
I’m not sure about you, but lots of people I know still think that Medium is “just” an online blogging and publishing platform.
Some of the best articles I’ve read recently are on Medium and the best news for freelancers is that they pay well for content.
Elemental prides itself on health and wellness content that is scientifically rigorous, nuanced and engaging. Their sections are split into: body, brain, food, life and trends, so while you may feel that your mental health story ideas fits beautifully into ‘brain’, take a look at the other sections too because you may just find a home for other stories you want to pitch.
Pitch: Alexandra Sifferlin, senior editor of Health & Science – email@example.com
Pay: $1 a word (USD)
Like many publications, Vice aim to cover health stories in a unique way. Within this vertical, articles touch on mind, body, healthcare and ‘this week in science’. Keep your pitches brief and to the point and make sure you highlight why your idea is original.
Pitch: Kate Lowenstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pitching info: https://www.vice.com/en_us/page/vice-about
Pay: Reported to be between 20-30c (USD) a word.
Vox (first person)
Vox’s First Person isn’t technically only about mental health, but I thought it was worth including because writing personal essays is so popular amongst freelancers.
The idea behind Vox First Person is to provide ‘thoughtful, provocative personal narratives that explain the most important topics in modern life.’
What I like about this section is that the editors are happy to work with unpublished writers just as they are experienced ones.
Pitching info: https://www.vox.com/2015/6/12/8767221/vox-first-person-explained
Pay: Reported to be around $500 (USD) a story.
Glamour’s health section covers accessible stories on issues that impact women’s lives, including mental health, body image, reproductive rights, nutrition, fitness and more. The editors here are looking for articles both for print and digital – from reported features to personal essays to ‘sticky’ online reads.
Pay: Undisclosed but editors say they are competitive
PItch: Senior editor Macaela Mackenzie
I know it might seem a bit … well … daggy, but Reader’s Digest is still going strong. Regardless of whether you want to write a personal essay for their ‘true stories’ section, or a reported health feature, the great thing about Reader’s Digest is their rigorous editing process and investment in making your article the best it can be.
Pitching info: https://www.readersdigest.com.au/terms-and-conditions/submission-guidelines
Pay: $400 AUD for a personal story, however writers report to be paid more for reported articles.
That’s not all folks …
Of course, it’s worth noting that the majority of the suggestions above are mainstream publications and most glossy magazines and newspapers with sections on towards health, fitness, lifestyle or sustainability will be open to mental health pitches.
If you want to write about mental health then the opportunities really are endless.
It’s also worth thinking about pitching to trade health publications, magazines published by health insurance companies, fitness studios, mental health organisations, psychology groups and more.
Do you write about mental health? Do you have any other suggestions of good places to pitch?
Lindy, I must say that this article unexpectedly came at the right moment somehow. I’ve been thinking lately about my niche and how to position myself as a freelance content writer. And today I decided to go for what I love most to write about: health & nutrition, mental health and other related topics. Then this article popped into my inbox – thanks, by the way!
While I find these resources great for a freelance writer on mental health, I’m just wondering if these publications and their editors are open to articles written by people from any country. I’m Romanian and if I’d use/quote Romanian sources / names, would they accept them in their published stories? I didn’t see such content on these publications and I’m not sure about that…
Thanks for your comment, I’m so glad this article about writing about mental health came at the right time for you.
My sense is that editors are generally very open to commissioning writers from different countries. Sometimes you can use it to your advantage, for instance, are there any particular studies to do with mental health where the lead researchers are Romanian or where Romania is leading the way?
Or, if you’re looking to pitch to (for example) a US or UK publication, then yes, I would look at finding case studies and experts from those countries.
Hope that helps?
Hi Lindy! Thanks for the informative article. Is the pay rate that you quoted for Elemental, an estimate from their Medium Partner Program? Or is that what you receive on top of the partner program?
From what I understand this payment is separate from the Medium Partner Program.
I appreciate your article, but I’m wondering if there are publications that accept mental health pieces that are not all about recovery and roses and flowers? My pieces are not so much about the healing as they are about the ‘being there in it’.
Thanks for your comment. That’s such a good point and I’m sure that there are publications (and readers) who would love to read a piece about ‘being in the weeds’ – I guess the best thing to do is to read these kinds of publications regularly and get a sense of the type of stories they’re likely to run.
Many thanks Lindy, just what I was looking for! Some great thoughts on publications that are looking for mental health articles, and where they actually could pay us for doing so! Time for me to get writing!
I’m so glad to hear that Keith. Good luck and let me know how you go!