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These Depressed Cupcake Pop-Up Shops Are Reducing The Stigma Of Mental Illness

August 20, 2015

It is rare to find a community of people who are combining something they love doing, with something that they regularly suffer from. The depressed cake shop is a concept where volunteers bake pastries that are coated in grey icing, and sell them in pop-up shops that appear all around the world. All of the proceeds from these baked goods are donated to various mental health charities, and bakers have already raised over $46,000.

The cake shop is an incredibly simple, yet novel concept. The idea is that the grey resembles the impact that depression can have on a person’s life: coat something beautiful in a dull color. The cakes underneath the icing are sometimes brightly colored. Bakers who are involved in this movement have even gone as far as to identify which types of mental illnesses a pastry would be; there are anxiety Oreos, ‘celebrity with depression’ cookies, ‘monster’ cake pops, ‘rainy day’ macaroons, etc. People are allowed to organize their own pop-up shop bake sales for any city, and bakers nearby will always join to donate grey baked goods.

Baking is a form of expression for many people, and those who have participated have expressed the joy that they felt in creating a baked good that would yield both a smile, and a bit of comfort to someone. In a larger scheme, these pop-up shops have contributed to a growing environment in which the stigma of mental illness can no longer be prevalent. Some of the pastries even include messages that are common things that well-wishers will say to a person who is struggling with depression. Identifying these stigmas and finding solidarity with one another is an overlooked way of coping with depression.

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