How to Motivate Yourself to Workout When Depressed: 6 Ways

This is a drawing of a man looking up gym motivation on tiktok

How to Motivate Yourself to Workout When Depressed

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Being depressed is a huge damper on personal motivation. Regular exercise can boost your mood to help push through the mental health struggles you are facing. Here are 5 ways you can motivate yourself to workout when depressed:

  1. Youtube workout videos
  2. Motivational quotes on Pinterest
  3. Get a workout partner
  4. TikTok fitness influencers
  5. Hire a personal trainer

Here is How to Motivate Yourself to Workout When Depressed: 6 Ways.

Being depressed can leave you in a mindset that sucks all the motivation out of your body. You can lose the desire to do such things as make yourself food, keep your room clean or see your friends as often as you usually do. 

Finding the motivation to workout will also decrease when you are depressed, even with moderate depression. Your desire to leave your house to go to the gym will drop, and even if you do make it, it can be tough to push yourself to go through your workout routine. 

So how do you motivate yourself to work out when depressed? 

Keep reading, and we will leave you with a handful of ideas to put that fire in your belly to not only help you workout again but also work through your depression. 

Does Depression Make it Hard to exercise?

Yes, feeling depressed will make it much harder for you to exercise. A lot of working out is pushing yourself a little bit harder, whether it be during your 10th rep or 20 minutes into your cardio session.

That is if you find the motivation to put on workout gear, leave your bedroom and join the crowds at your gym. There are a lot of barriers to overcome when wanting to train when depressed.

Should you Force Yourself to Workout when Depressed?

No, you shouldn’t force yourself to work out if you feel depressed. Pushing yourself to go out into the world to work out can add a lot of anxiety to your already depressed state. 

Forcing yourself to do anything is not favourable for your mental health. The word itself is detrimental to what you are trying to achieve by overcoming the low mental health state you are in.

However, if you are not in any physical pain in your depressed state, it can be beneficial for you to step outside your comfort zone and work out, whether at your gym or home by yourself. 

The act of working out will release chemicals into your brain that are called endorphins, and these will help combat the negative feelings of depression you are having.

So, no, I wouldn’t want you to force yourself to work out. HOWEVER, pushing your comfort zone and making yourself exercise will help you combat depressive thoughts. 

Is Exercising Good for depression?

Yes, exercising is excellent for depression! Many positive things can occur when you choose to exercise daily when depressed.

Exercise Activates Endorphins

Like I mentioned above, when you get active, endorphins are released. The activities that can release endorphins are endurance activities, lifting weights, yoga and even sex. These hormones help reduce pain and discomfort by increasing the feeling of well-being.

What are endorphins? 

Endorphins are a group of peptides produced by your pituitary gland and central nervous system and act on the opiate receptors in your brain. These neurotransmitters (also sometimes thought of as hormones) increase feelings of pleasure and well-being and reduce pain and discomfort.

Exercise Builds Confidence

Working out multiple times a week will slowly build up your confidence. It is not easy for us to stick to a regular workout routine, so achieving this will imprint a sense of assurance in yourself. 

By proving to yourself you can follow through on a regular workout routine, you will use that confidence as you work each day to work your way out of the depression.

How to Motivate Yourself to Workout when Depressed

Now that you understand the value of working out when depressed, let me help you find that spark of motivation when the proverbial depression cloud hangs over you.

Use Social Media as Inspiration

Open up your phone and hop onto your favourite social media app and type these tags into the search bar to get some instant motivation and inspiration to workout.





These are my favourite fitness influencers when I feel depressed, but I know I need to get a workout in for my mental health. 

TikTok Fitness Motivation

Gym Shark TikTok
@gymshark @Erika Rischko 82 yrs old & still crushing it! 🙌👏 #Gymshark #GymTok #AbWorkout ♬ original sound - Gymshark
Kat Moja
@kat.mojas Started jumping this year and honestly this is now my favorite form of cardio 😌 #stillpracticing ♬ Motivation vs Consistency - Taylor, ACE-CPT, CYT
Kate Frump Fitness
Ricardo Vilsant

Buy a New Piece of Workout Gear

I do not suggest using this source of motivation every time depression hits because It could become quite costly. But the confidence boost from putting on a new clothing attire is a motivational bump you can’t deny. 

Create Smart Achievable Goals 

One of the most common reasons people fail to find a consistent routine working out is that they set unachievable goals in a very short period of time. The need to set realistic fitness goals when depressed is even more critical due to the wave of emotional stress that is pushing against you. 

An achievable goal when mentally struggling is something that you can see a result from within hours to days. Using a plan of going to the gym two days in a row is a highly achievable goal.

An unachievable goal is something that won’t be able to be hit until months down the road. Using a goal of losing 15lbs as your motivation when depressed is a highly unachievable goal.

Creating achievable fitness goals daily will help build your confidence and allow those positive feelings to support other areas to beat your depression.

Learn How Long Does It Take To Get In Shape?

Find a Workout Buddy

Adding a reliable partner to your workout routine will help keep you consistent and dedicated to exercising. Often your depression will dampen your fire to get moving and active; that’s where your workout buddy will be helpful. 

Allow them to be there to give you gentle push forward to get to the gym or set up your workout at home. Once you get moving, the endorphins will start flowing, and you will be glad you had your friend there to help you stay dedicated to your goals.

Hire a Professional

There are two types of professionals that will help you during your state of depression in finding happiness again and motivating you to be active and get moving. 

Hiring a therapist to talk to every week is the best tool to add to your mental health routine. Therapists are there for you, no matter what is going on in your life, and you can talk to them about anything. Not only will they help you find the motivation to work out, but they will also help you work through your depression.

Hiring a personal trainer 2-3 times a week will help you stay on top of your exercising when you are down. Hiring a personal trainer will help you get to your fitness goals faster and help you stay consistent in your weekly routine.

Be Honest With Yourself

The most important thing you can do to motivate yourself when depressed is to be honest. 

If you are too depressed to get out of bed, accept these feelings and allow them to happen. Don’t get down on yourself, instead prepare yourself mentally to find a way to work out tomorrow. 

How do I get Back into Exercise After Depression?

When coming out of depression, you will want to keep the same mindset about working out as when you were depressed. 

The desire to ramp everything up to 100% will be strong because you feel happier in life, and that’s good! But it is easy to slide back into a depressed state if things don’t go as planned.

Keep your same workout plan the first few days and as your happiness and confidence grow, add new areas to your workouts and fitness goals each day. If you worked out twice a week before, add a third workout the first week and a fourth workout the second week. 

What Exercise is Good for Depression?

The best exercise you can do for depression is running or walking. The number of barriers to overcome is significantly lower with these two actions than any other workout possible. Put on a pair of shoes, lace them up and go!

How can I Mentally Motivate Myself to Exercise?

When you are on the edge of working out, do one of these three things to get that final mental motivation needed.

  1. Watch a workout video on Youtube
  2. Read 10 of these 61 inspirational ‘you got this’ quotes 
  3. Scroll your favourite Instagram or Tik Tok fitness influencer

How to get out of a depressive slump

This is how you can do your best to get out of a depressive slump. Before you go further, you need to understand that we all deal with depression differently, and each depressive state may need a different focus.

  1. See a therapist 
  2. See a therapist
  3. See a therapist 
  4. Eat healthier food
  5. Exercise daily  (make sure you know the Best Time To Go To The Gym)
  6. Allow yourself to get eight hours of sleep

No, that is not a typo; seeing a therapist is that important!

I suggest you first learn How To Email A Therapist For The First Time then learn about What To Talk About In Therapy for the betterment of your mental health.

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