Health

20 Badass Tattoos Inspired By Health And Wellness

Seriously awesome ink ahead.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to show us their tattoos that are inspired by health, fitness, and wellness. Here’s what they shared.

1. This colorful lion covering up scars from self-harm.

“When I was a kid, I was picked on for multiple reasons. … By the time I was a teenager I was neck-deep in depression and taking it out on myself seemed like the only relief. Now that I’m older and much better equipped to deal with my mental health, I decided to cover up my years of self-harm scars.

A lion was the first thing I thought of when I wanted something representing strength, plus we put in lotus and azalea blossoms in the mane for their symbolism of overcoming struggle. Instead of seeing a painful reminder of where I was, I get to look at this badass symbol of where I am.”

vodak636

2. This declaration in the face of a diagnosis.

matthewd4e6b6e425 / Via buzzfeed.com

“This is dedicated to my fight against multiple sclerosis, which I was diagnosed with on 05/22/14. I have several other tattoos but this is the most meaningful one to me.”

matthewd4e6b6e425

3. This powerful punctuation that symbolizes strength in the face of depression and anxiety.

beccaree / Via buzzfeed.com

“Semicolon sol invictus [unconquered sun] for the semicolon project. I will recover from depression and anxiety.”

beccaree

4. This powerful symbol of recovery from an eating disorder.

taylorr46b7a8fdb / Via buzzfeed.com

“I have struggled with several eating disorders my whole life. During my road to recovery, I have focused on NOURISHing my body so I can do the things I love to do! The ‘o’ is the National Eating Disorder Association symbol. This tattoo is a reminder of my past, somewhere I never want to go again!”

taylorr46b7a8fdb

5. This simple medical ID tattoo.

sarahefcarroll / Via buzzfeed.com

sarahefcarroll

6. This specimen in a jar following brain surgery.

amberl4322ea027 / Via buzzfeed.com

“I got a brain in a specimen jar with a monocle three years after I had brain surgery to remove a tumor. Pre-surgery, I had a hemorrhage and lost vision in my left eye, hence the monocle. I’m currently fighting liver cancer; when I beat it, I’m going to honor that battle won too!”

amberl4322ea027

7. This life-affirming post-cancer treatment statement.

jendenbo / Via buzzfeed.com

“After I finished chemo and [got a] double mastectomy for breast cancer at 32.”

jendenbo

8. This ink that celebrates three awesome race finishes.

crystaly472556d69 / Via buzzfeed.com

“After completing my Spartan Trifecta (Sprint, Super, Beast) in 2014.”

crystaly472556d69

9. This important pep talk.

Courtesy Meagan Bass

“As for every teenager, things got tough. I began looking to music for help. I found a band called the Wonder Years and fell in love with their music. These lyrics always stood out to me. You don’t always have to be happy. But you just can’t let the sadness get you. The chemical structure in the middle is of dopamine and it’s just a constant reminder to not let my sadness get the best of me.”

—Meagan Bass

10. An important message from a loving grandma.

elaime / Via buzzfeed.com

“My grandmother has always said ‘I adore you’ instead of ‘I love you.’ It feels more sincere. I incorporated the National Eating Disorders Association with it and placed it on my side so that on those days when I’m feeling weak I’m reminded that I am adored regardless of what my body looks like.”

elaime

11. This little marathon finisher.

crystaly472556d69 / Via buzzfeed.com

“First marathon celebration!”

crystaly472556d69

12. This simple reminder.

pjheller / Via buzzfeed.com

pjheller

13. This ode to courage.

claudiap12 / Via buzzfeed.com

“I was always the fat sister, the fat-but-funny girl, the one that was weak and fragile. One day I tried CrossFit with my girlfriend and I didn’t look back. Now I am strong, confident, unstoppable, and fearless like my tattoo. And just like my favorite Disney girl Mulan, I know that ‘The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.’”

claudiap12

14. This homage to loving yourself.

laurenc94 / Via buzzfeed.com

“I have struggled with my weight and people’s negative reactions throughout my life, and felt that these words honored my love for my body regardless of other opinions. For my 19th birthday, I finally mustered the courage to get these [One Direction] lyrics tattooed on my right hip. … The ‘you’ and ‘me’ both refer back to myself and the whole tattoo acknowledges that I do get to love myself, despite what others may say.”

laurenc94

15. This hard-earned symbol of tenacity.

megl4f01a5987 / Via buzzfeed.com

“This is actually my sister’s tattoo. It is a symbol of strength with the words ‘Just do it.’ My sister has not had an easy road to a healthy life. But she works so hard to balance everything. I have seen her conquer personal demons and come out on top. She’s tough, runs obstacle races with ease, and has more upper-body strength than anyone I know … I love that my sister can kick ass and take names. I love that my sister is a fighter. I love my sister. And she loves me (more than the gym, I hope)!”

megl4f01a5987

16. This colorful celebration of swimming and the sea.

anniea9 / Via buzzfeed.com

“I got this tattoo about six years ago in Montreal. I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years and taught swimming for another five after I stopped competing … I now live right next to the sea so I’m still able to have my water fix.”

anniea9

17. This full-back piece that covers spinal cord surgery scars.

Courtesy Kylie Bayer

“I got this full-back piece after a thoracotomy to remove a grapefruit-size tumor from a nerve near my spinal cord. I found out about the tumor a month or so before a study abroad trip in Mexico. I decided to distract from the giant scar on my back with a Mexican-styled tattoo celebrating the death of Pearl, that nasty tumor I decided to name. She’s all filled in now. The process took over a year.”

kyliebayer

18. These Roman numerals that mark the beginning of a weight-loss journey.

ashleyy4a4f598b7 / Via buzzfeed.com

“I used to weigh 390 lbs.
Current weight: 175 lbs.
Goal weight: 150 lbs.”

ashleyy4a4f598b7

19. This tree of life to commemorate the life and death of a best friend.

emilyhouse0709 / Via buzzfeed.com

“My best friend was diagnosed at 35 with stage 4 breast cancer. Even though it was a grim diagnosis, we promised each other we would get the tree of life tattoo when she went into remission. She never did, and passed 17 months later. Her death, the death of my soulmate in a friend, ripped me apart. Once I got myself together, I committed to a healthier lifestyle because I owed it to my body … Her initials are in the tree of life. It also serves as a pretty badass scar cover-up! :)”

emilyhouse0709

20. And these song lyrics that keep you company when you’re down.

laurer3 / Via buzzfeed.com

“I got this when I visited my best friend in London, right before I reached my deepest point. It’s from a song by Seether, a band that has helped me through my depression the past seven years. I absolutely love it and the placement (on my ribcage).”

laurer3

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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