S’porean TikToker Nicole Liel gets real about her depression pile cleanup

Small steps.

Natalie Teo |
April 4, 2023, 3:16 pm

We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.

Have you ever felt too overwhelmed to clean or do your chores?

Singaporean TikToker Nicole Chen (better known as Nicole Liel) took to TikTok and Instagram recently on Mar. 29 to share the realities of cleaning up her “depression piles”.

@lielnicole♬ original sound – Liel Nicole & my fluffy dogs

“Everyone in my house is depressed so it’s just a depression pile upon depression pile upon depression pile,” said the influencer, as she showed viewers the state of her home, which had several items strewn around.

“No one bothers to clean because we just all so depressed,” she continued.

Decided to do something about it

However, Nicole decided that it was time to clean up the mess, since she was home-bound due to a bout of diarrhoea.

“I can go downstairs and buy myself a cabinet, and let me just start somewhere you know.”

“It was time to get started on depressing my depression pile,” she joked.

Admitted that the past year had been difficult for her

While Nicole continued to keep a lighthearted tone throughout the video, she confessed that life events in the past year had made her want to “curl up in a ball” and “unalive [her]self”.

Unalive is a term that TikTok users have been using to refer to suicide or killing, sometimes in a humorous way.

According to The Daily Beast, users have been using it to get around TikTok’s censorship, as the platform usually removes videos that mention death, or suicide.

However, Nicole said that she refrained from sharing this with her followers because she didn’t want her platform to be a “negative place of sadness.”

“I really did have a couple of down moments last year, more often than […] I would like,” she added.

“Slight difference”

Nicole also shared the results of her cleanup with her viewers.

While she acknowledged that the difference was “slight”, she also said that she was glad she took the step to make a change.

“I’m very happy and I want to do my wardrobe next,” she concluded.

Clutter and mental health

Daily chores like cleaning are already tedious, but for people who are struggling with their mental health, the task can seem even more insurmountable.

Insider reports that several depressive symptoms like hopelessness, fatigue, and lack of concentration may cause individuals to be unable to upkeep the cleanliness of their rooms.

These individuals may find it hard to muster up the energy or concentration to complete the task of tidying up.


If you or someone you know are in mental distress, here are some hotlines you can call to seek help, advice, or just a listening ear:

SOS 24-hour Hotline: 1-767
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (for primary school-aged children)

Related article:

‘I couldn’t even get out of bed’: S’porean actor Adrian Pang talks depression, family & the importance of being thankful

Images via Nicole Chen’s Instagram.

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