The Best Exercises For When You Feel Sad

The argument can be made that any movement is better than no movement. However, some exercises are better than others when it comes to lifting your mood. If you are in what some might call "a funk" and you've been feeling down for a few days or so, the last thing you might want to do is exercise. Surprisingly, this may be one of the best ways to remedy your sadness. 

The Mayo Clinic reports that all forms of exercise can support physical health and mental wellness, as physical activity releases endorphins, which are the "feel good" chemicals produced by your brain. While there are specific exercises that may target sadness directly, it is best to talk with your doctor if you are regularly experiencing anxiety or depression. They will be able to recommend the best treatment for your specific needs. Until then, here are some exercises you can try.

Try these exercises to lift your mood

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.