The Best Exercises For When You Feel Sad

A 2016 study in the journal Preventative Medicine suggests that exercise can help bring your mood back up. WebMD also recommends getting some exercise in the sun. It can reduce stress, and just a ten-minute walk can “lift your spirits.” 

Ben Michaelis, evolutionary clinical psychologist and author of “Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy,” explains to Health that running is a great way to help alleviate sadness. “Running causes lasting changes in our ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, both during and after exercise,” Michaelis told Health. In addition, Active reports that runners can experience what is called the “runner’s high,” which occurs when a flood of endorphins are released during physical activity, improving mood, energy, and alertness.

Another exercise that can slay sadness is hiking. A 2010 study published in the Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine journal found lower stress hormones in participants who walked or hiked in nature rather than in a city. A 2013 study published in the Extreme Physiology & Medicine journal yielded similar results, finding that exercising outside benefits mental health.

Finally, HuffPost reports that yoga can help make you happier. An all-inclusive yoga practice, which incorporates meditation, breathwork, and a full-body workout, can “reshape our attitudes, views, and thoughts,” which increases feelings of calmness and joy.

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