14 celebrities reveal what they do to lift their mood when they're feeling down
No one is immune to struggling with their mental health. Low moods can affect anyone and everyone, whether you're in the public eye or not, as some of our favourite celebrities have proved.
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In honour of our Mental Health Digital Issue guest-edited by Scarlett Moffatt, we spoke to a handful of stars who shared what they do to lift their mood when they're feeling down. Whether it's working out, listening to music, or having five minutes to themselves, they've shown there are plenty of ways to get that serotonin flowing.
"I love listening to 70s music, so Donna Summer or Minnie Riperton. I'll just whack the music on full blast and have a bit of a dance around the house. I'll surround myself with people because what I've found is, when I'm having a bad day, my brain is telling me to spend the day alone but that actually makes me feel more sad.
"So I physically force myself to see my Mum and Dad or spend time with my boyfriend or friends or take Bonnie my chihuahua for a walk. I find animals really help because even if I am having a low day, I have to get up to walk Bonnie. It's good to have that purpose.
"You have to do things that bring you joy, but it's also alright to have a day where you do nothing and not beat yourself up about it. I call them sloth days where you just sloth about!"
"I can't feel down for long, I count my blessings and remember how much I have to be grateful for. I think it can be selfish to allow myself to be in a bad mood and so I don't get down too much.
"When there are world events that are depressing and upsetting, I will make donations to organisations and go into action, find out how I can help, as I find helping others helps me. And then music is such a mood lifter for me. I love to sing and dance in the kitchen. When Sailor, my daughter, dances I try to copy her and crack myself up, and when she's not around I still just pretend to be Sailor."
"I force myself outside. When I don't want to go outside, that's when I know I have to. We can think a lot about meditation, but you need to get the basics right: sleeping enough, eating well, cutting out too much coffee, avoiding alcohol. It's all the little things that are achievable that can give you a sense of power. Going out, having a walk and connecting with someone is the real key."
"I'm really big on self-care. Dedicating some time to yourself is important. A lot of us are constantly trying to make others happy, but it's important to take a moment to take care of ourselves. If we feel good in ourselves, we'll feel more able to help other people. Self-care can be anything from a cold shower in the morning, to making yourself your favourite cup of tea."
"I walk! Ten or 14,000 steps a day, if I’m not working. It changes your mood. I do it in London, I walk through all of the parks, and I have an app on my phone called Go Jauntly and it gives you walks that you can do and it gives you interesting things that you can see along the way."
"I go swimming. I do 20 lengths, it takes me ten minutes."
"I exercise. I'll do a training session or go for a walk with the dogs. For me, training is my own time and space. I clear my mind. If I'm stressed, tired or missing Gemma (my fiancée) and Mia (my daughter), I'll go and train and I'll feel energised."
"If I'm having a tough time, I'll have a therapy session with Camilla Dallerup. It's very important to talk to someone and be able to communicate your feelings. If I can't have a therapy session, sometimes I like to sit with it and let the feeling pass in its own time. I acknowledge the fact I'm feeling down and that's okay.
"I also like to walk the dogs, or cook. I take a bath, I meditate, I write things down. I'm trying to do more self-help but if it still doesn't go away, I talk to Camilla."
"I feel so sorry for people who get depressed because depression is largely to do with the serotonin levels in your brain and it's really difficult to do much about that. There are tricks and what I do when I'm upset or angry or sad, I will walk. I have two Cavalier spaniels and we live in the country, so I just get up and have a walk.
"The other thing I do is cook. My mother used to say, 'Go and cook something.' It's true, I find cooking really relaxing and pleasurable. So, I'd cook or walk. I think I'm very lucky because I have a naturally can-do optimistic and cheerful confidence by nature. I do think it's to do with chemicals in the brain. I think that's just luck.
"People say to me, 'You're amazing for your age, how can you be so energetic?' And I don't know. I was born like that. When my children were young, they used to say I was very tiring. It is tiring to be with people who are energetic. You do catch people's mood. If my daughter is crying, I'll start crying. My husband does that analogy of surround yourself with radiators not drains – and it's true but it's a very selfish attitude. It means that you're not cheering up people who are unhappy."
"I listen to some good music. I love music, it always gets me in the right mood. Or I give my family a call."
"I always take a moment and have my own space if I feel too overwhelmed. I will take five minutes on my own, without talking, to feel my own feelings."
"I think everyone's got their own ways of coping. For me, I know however I start my day sets me up for the rest of the day. And especially during the very first lockdown I struggled, as most people did, because it was quite overwhelming how much I had on.
"My way of learning to deal with it and cope with everything was to go out running every morning. I am not a morning person but I found that I was getting up earlier and earlier every morning and just run around our village. And I used to find it was a really good way to reflect on whatever decisions I had going on or had to make that day. I would get home and I just feel really good.
"Whenever I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and struggling, that's what I do, take myself off for a run and I like to do it in the morning because then I feel like I have the benefit of it for the whole day."
"Mental health is a journey and it's one I'm still very much on. Often, I wake up and feel extremely anxious and insecure about the day ahead, with even the smallest of tasks (getting out of bed and brushing my teeth for example) being almost impossible to complete.
"They're a few of the things I do that can help me when I'm feeling down and struggling with my mental health. Some things I do to help this are: I write things down that I am grateful for, for example the roof over my head and my amazing wife; I speak to a friend or family member about how I'm feeling and often they are able to cheer me up; I take the day as it comes and don't set myself up with too many big tasks. Focus on the small things first and listen to your body and mind; I also like to put something on the television that makes me smile, such as an episode of Friends or something!"
"Honestly being on stage really helps with low moods. Just getting to perform for a crowd really helps me to get out of any kind of rut."
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