Eight Easy Ways to Boost Your Mental Well-Being

We all have mental health. We all have low moments and days, even if we don’t have a longer-term problem. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience major depression in their lives.

We can all benefit from good mental health and wellbeing. Three of the biggest factors which impact our mental health are activity and exercise, nutrition and sleep. If you're doing OK with those, then here are eight other easy and practical ways to build mood boosting activities into your week.



There’s a whole bunch of scientific evidence that gardening isn’t only great for getting active and increasing your microbiome, it’s also good for your mood.

Gardening activities consistently show reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety. Short-term gardening activities can lead to immediate improvements in mood and reductions in stress levels. If you don’t have a garden why not check out a local community garden?


Move Move Move

And don’t forget that physical activity of any types makes you feel better too. Exercise affects the brain in multiple ways.

Physical activity triggers the release of neurotransmitters like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Endorphins are natural mood lifters, dopamine contributes to feelings of pleasure and reward, and serotonin regulates mood and reduces anxiety. Physical activity can serve as a healthy distraction, taking your mind off negative thoughts and emotions. It can also be a positive coping mechanism to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. Just 150 minutes of moderate activity a week will make a real difference!


Snack Well

People who snack on foods like crips most days have been found to report more symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression than those who don’t, while the opposite is true for those who snack on fruit.

There’s lots of research showing that a diet high in processed and junk foods can have negative effects on our mental health. One study found that people who consumed a diet high in processed foods had a 58% increased risk of depression compared to those who ate a healthier diet. Moving towards a more balanced and nutritious diet rich in wholefoods, fruits and veggies can help protect against depression.


Daily Check-In

Performing a mental health self-check-in by asking yourself "How am I feeling, out of 10?" offers numerous benefits. This simple practice encourages self-awareness and helps you identify your emotional state, which is crucial for managing stress and anxiety.

Regular check-ins can reveal patterns in your mood, allowing for early detection of mental health issues and timely intervention. By quantifying your feelings, you can track your mental well-being over time and seek support when needed. This proactive approach promotes emotional resilience, better coping strategies, and overall improved mental health.


Take an Active Route to Work

How we travel to work can significantly impact our mood as we start each day. In a recent study it was found that commuting by bike can actually improve your mental health. The study showed that people who cycle to work are less likely to be prescribed antidepressants, compared to all other ways of travelling.

If cycling doesn’t suit you, any active journey to work is beneficial for your your body and mind. Another recent study concluded that any "Physical activity is highly beneficial for improving symptoms of depression, anxiety and distress." So cycle, run or walk the whole journey if you can! If that's not practical then get off the bus a stop early, walk a longer route from the train station, or park further away. If you work from home, try a daily morning "fake-commute" to get you moving.


Spend Your Time Well

Evidence tells us that spending time on arts and crafts, volunteering and doing good are all really positive activities for our mental wellbeing.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education recently published data which found that the top driver of young adults’ mental health challenges was having "a lack of meaning, purpose, and direction". Volunteering and helping others can help offer a higher purpose. Whether you find purpose in your career or your "spare" time, here’s a great article about finding your purpose! And for anyone who wants to be more active *and* help people out, check out GoodGym.


Spend Time in Nature

Just being in green spaces is great for your mind. "Green social prescribing" is a new thing. It’s the practice of supporting people to engage in nature-based activities to improve their mental and physical health.

But we don’t need to wait for a medical professional to prescribe it. There’s loads of evidence that spending time in green and blue (aka watery) spaces is linked to positive health benefits and general wellbeing across age ranges, cultures and social class. Don’t be a stranger to your local park, river or green spot.


Dance Like No One’s Watching

A super accessible way that most people can use to boost their mood is to get some tunes on and dance. Dancing can raise your endorphins (feel-good hormones), reduce anxiety and depressions and improve self-esteem.

It’s also a great way to get moving and have fun with friends and family. What’s not to like?! Get your kitchen disco grooves on, join a class or get out to a club with some friends.

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