Break It Down
Three 10-minute sweats can boost your mood as effectively as one 30-minute workout. There’s always time to benefit from training.
Steady-state runs work, too. Aerobic exercise reduces your levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, so lace up.
Ensuring that you drink 2.5L of water per day is the simplest way to float your spirits. Bottoms up.
High-GI foods are a risk factor for depression. So, swap your croissant or sugary cereal for porridge.
More than two-thirds of people with creative hobbies, such as playing guitar, say it builds self- esteem. Get strumming.
Your brain produces oxytocin during orgasm, countering emotional pain. No partner? Go it alone.
In a study involving nearly 1900 people, regular weightlifting significantly reduced symptoms of low moods, including lethargy. It’s a heavy-duty pick-you-up.
Shine a Light
Deficiency in vitamin D has been widely linked to unhappiness. Take a lunchtime walk: nine minutes in the sun will keep your levels normal.
Soak It Up
Among those with depression, a hot bath twice a week can sink dark moods even better than aerobic exercise.
Take the Lead
Waltz to better mental health with three months of dance classes. A study found that they can help you beat long- term anxiety.
Loneliness is a killer, due to its impact on your mood. Kick out dark thoughts with a weekly five-a-side match.
Make a solo cinema trip to see a sad film, not a feel-good flick. Counter-intuitively, it boosts endorphins.
Simply entering a room full of plants can lower your blood pressure, which calms anxiety. Vote green at work.
Support from your peers – whether over the phone or over a beer – has been found to be as beneficial as CBT.
Equally, psychotherapy has been shown to be as effective for treating depression as meds. Try talking it out before resorting to pills.
Rub the muscles above your eyebrows. This mini-massage reduces anxiety-inducing signals in your brain.
Pencil It in
In a study, four days of sketching was enough to quash symptoms of depression. Life drawing class, anyone?
Ditch the wrap for sushi at lunch to reel in extra omega-3 fatty acids. Those with fish-rich diets tend to dodge the blues.