Fitness Articles

Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise

Use Fitness, Not Food, to Change Your State of Mind

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Your Mood: Lonely
When you feel lonely, throwing a pity party for one will only make it worse. Sometimes the best thing for you is to get out and socialize.
Mood Busting Exercises: Any group fitness class
Exercising with a group of people who are all following the same routine and all have similar goals can really make you feel like you're a part of something bigger than yourself. No matter what type of class you choose, there are plenty of reasons why group classes are so popular: They offer social support, a friendly environment and an opportunity to meet people who have similar interests.

Your Mood: Depressed
Depression is no joke. Millions of people suffer from depression that is debilitating and emotionally painful, but exercise is scientifically proven to help treat depression. While finding the motivation to take the first step is the hardest part, the right activity can help.
Mood Busting Exercises: Outdoor walking, biking, or running
There's something restorative about nature. Getting outside to breathe in fresh air and admire the scenery can make a world of difference in your perspective. Plus, regular exposure to sunlight can boost your mood and ward off seasonal depression, too. No matter what outdoor pursuit you enjoy (think outside of the box and try canoeing, climbing, or team sports, too), moving your body can help improve your outlook and symptoms.

Your Mood: Stressed
We're all busy, often taking on more responsibilities than we can handle. When life gets crazy and you want to throw in the towel, you can wind down without giving up on your obligations.
Mood Busting Exercises: Mind-body exercises like yoga, Pilates, or Tai chi
Mind-body exercises take focus, patience, and attention. Because of the complexities of maintaining the correct form and breathing, which connects the mind and body, it's almost impossible to think about your to-do list while you're in the middle of a good yoga or Pilates class, for example. The quiet, meditative atmosphere in these classes (and videos) allows you to tune in to the present moment—something that the overly stressed should do more often! If you're thinking that you're too busy or overwhelmed to try a class, then take advantage of short video workouts that are often broken up into 10- to 30- minute segments.


Have you ever finished a workout and thought to yourself, "I wish I hadn’t done that! I really just wasted my time." Probably not. Chances are you feel better physically and mentally. Regardless of your funk, exercise can be a useful tool to get you back to bust your bad mood and get back to your normal self. What are you waiting for?
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About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

Member Comments

  • A lot of times I need a DVD or workout with an instructor with a good sense of humor. Also, for me the music is essential - and I love variety in that regard. - 5/15/2016 1:05:22 PM
  • I love the way this article breaks down the kind of activities that could address whatever your dealing with.
    Good stuff! Thank you! - 3/6/2016 2:34:31 PM
  • Love this - all great ideas. I found myself so angry yesterday morning that I just didn't know what to do. Breaking something has never been a good option. So I put on my tennis shoes, got Daisy ready and out we went for the fastest walk around the block (it's a very large block) that we've ever taken. But, I felt so much better when we got home! - 3/6/2016 11:28:57 AM
  • Good advice to remember. I had some stress issues this week and should have just walked it out. - 3/5/2016 11:17:25 AM
  • Good ideas here, but the suggestion about imagining that you are hitting the object of your anger when practicing martial arts is bad advice. The Japanese words kara te mean empty hand, and the empty part refers to more than just a hand with nothing in it: the empty mind is what gives karate its power and speed. Any martial art exercise should be treated as a meditation, and the object of your attention should be the task you are doing: focus your mind on your body. This is what used to be called paying attention to what you're doing instead of daydreaming (i.e., imagining you're hitting something or someone). This is as important as the physical part of the exercise (if not more so). And it should work just fine at reducing stress or anger or whatever, because meditation tends to have that effect. - 3/5/2016 10:38:02 AM
  • Awesome article! - 2/19/2016 2:47:29 PM
  • Great article! I'm definitely going to come back to this time and time again for the suggestions and reminders! - 9/22/2015 9:58:57 AM
  • Love this. One of the biggest things I'm learning is that 1) I used to use food to medicate a lot of stress, anxiety, boredom, frustration... and 2) running wipes out those negative emotions, leaving me so much better able to negotiate my day-to-day life (without the need for unhealthy coping tools). - 9/5/2015 11:23:44 AM
  • Great article! - 2/15/2015 4:07:06 PM
  • Great article! It is helpful to see the suggested exercise broken down by what to do based on how a person is feeling. Love that! - 1/11/2015 10:08:59 AM
  • Nice suggestions for different types of exercise for different moods - 10/3/2014 5:43:31 AM
  • This is a terrific article and echoes what therapists have been telling me all my adult life! Not always, but frequently -- you can lighten depression by moving your body around in a walk or a couple of sit-ups. Just about anything that gets you out of your chair will help a bad mood, if the problem is not chronic and debilitating. Of course, this is not always an answer but it sure has helped me out over the years. - 8/27/2014 5:47:10 PM
  • Some good suggestions, but what if you can't do something right then, i.e., you're at work and have a big project to finish? You just can't get up from your desk, and go for a 10 min. walk. Good way to lose your job, or get so far behind you have to stay late. So what do you do? You're stuck.

    It's easy to say "get up and move when you're depressed". Try doing that when you're overwhelmed with grief and trying to scream without alerting the neighbors. I've been battling bouts of depression and anger since my mother died in Sept. Getting up and going for a walk or any kind of exercise is completely out of the question. I simply can't do it. - 8/27/2014 10:30:51 AM
  • I just did this today. I was feeling bored and stressed; plus, just generally blah. It's a cloudy day. I finally convinced myself to do my scheduled workout. Now I feel so much better. - 7/28/2014 1:29:21 PM
  • ARYTON
    Wish there was a way to save this to my page lol - 6/3/2014 8:26:15 PM

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