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How Exercise is Beneficial for Mental Health & Mental Health Resources

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month! CHI-SOCIETY is your SOURCE to discovering the best of Chicago Health & Fitness, but we also believe that your mental health and wellness should be a priority in your health and wellness lifestyle. Good mental health and good physical health go hand-in-hand. Read below to see how exercise can be beneficial for your mental health and check out any tools and resources at the end of this article to take charge of your mental health!

5 Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health

1. Decreases Stress

Exercise can decrease your stress. When you increase your heart rate through exercise, it can reverse any induced stress in your brain by stimulating the production of endorphins. Working out helps your body lower stress hormones and improves the body’s overall ability to respond to stress.

2. Reduced Depression and Anxiety

Research shows that exercise can reduce depression and anxiety. Just like with stress, when you increase your heart rate through exercise, your brain stimulates the production and release of feel-good brain chemicals, like endorphins! This then enhances your sense of well-being and helps with your mental health overall.

3. Better Sleep

Exercising can help you get better sleep! If you have trouble falling asleep at night and it’s affecting your mental health and wellness, it’s great to start including exercise into your routine. Exercise can help you get better sleep as it reduces one’s sleep onset. A sleep onset is the time it takes for you to fall asleep, which in the end, can decrease the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. Creating better sleep habits from exercise can help your mental health and wellness.

4. Increase in Self-Confidence

When you workout, it helps you feel better about yourself and the body you live in. Exercise makes you feel better about your physical self and your abilities. Exercising can help you feel better about yourself and increase your self-confidence as it has been shown that exercise can enhance moods and influence our minds towards positive thoughts.

5. Greater Social Support

Having support from others is key to improving your mental health. When you join a group exercise class or partake in any group fitness activities, like a local sports league, it can create great social support for yourself. Having a network of social support allows you to improve your ability to handle trying times and eases the effects of emotional distress.


Wellness Partners in Chicago

Here at CHI-SOCIETY, we are proud to partner with the best wellness partners in Chicago. The best investment you can ever make is in your own health so if you’re looking to make your health and wellness a priority or just improve your mental health, then these CHI-SOCIETY wellness partners are here to help you do that!

Kelly Maher Acupuncture + Wellness - @kellymaher_aw

About: A Holistic Healing Approach to Live the Life You Truly Deserve. Kelly Maher is a certified life coach, acupuncturist, and herbalist. She is the owner of Kelly Maher Acupuncture + Wellness and offers physical and mental wellness services, along with complimentary wellness tools, such as meditation.

What’s Offered?: Acupuncture, coaching, & meditation

For more information or to book your first class, check out their website —

Emerge Physical Therapy & Wellness - @emergeptw

Location: Lincoln Park (1962 North Bissell)

About: Emerge Physical Therapy & Wellness in Lincoln Park provides the best one on one orthopedic, pelvic floor PT, and personal training in a boutique-style, safe and clean environment. Above all, they aim to promote recovery and wellness in Chicago.

What’s Offered?: Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, Mental Health Services, Nutrition, Injury Prevention, & Personal Training

For more information or to book your first class or appointment, check out their website —

Haven Holistic Health - @havenholistichealth

Location: Fulton Market (220 N Green Street)

About: A holistic health center whose mission is to create a conscious community of health-minded individuals in Chicago and beyond. Haven makes finding and keeping your health in the modern world easy through our health strategies and online community.

What’s Offered?: Health & supplement consulting

For more information or to book your first consultation, check out their website —

Move Therapy and Wellness - @movetherapychicago

Location: Roscoe Village (2135 W Roscoe St)

About: Move Therapy and Wellness is a lifestyle practice that focuses on a holistic path to wellbeing. Psychotherapists, yoga therapists, and other holistic health practitioners work together to develop a tailored and individualized path to wellness for each unique client.

What’s Offered?: Psychotherapy services, career, and life coaching, mentoring, yoga therapy, and special class series and workshops

For more information or to book your first class or appointment, check out their website —

Cup Half Full co. - @cuphalffullco

About: Supps for your cup! They provide low-dose supplements in a powder form to provide what you need and nothing more. 42% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D and one of the main symptoms of deficiency is depression. In addition to mental help benefits, Vitamin D is good for bone health and aids in Calcium absorption.

What’s Offered?: Vitamin D supplements

For more information or to purchase some goods [CHI-SOCIETY members receive 15% off their purchase at checkout - find the code under our “Community Perks” tab], check out their website —

Finding a Therapist

If you’ve been thinking about finding a therapist, but don’t know where to start, we can help! Finding and exploring therapists can be tough, but just remember that finding a therapist is like dating and that there can be different options for you depending on your financial situation. Check out the Psychology Today article below, which can help you find detailed listings and information for mental health professionals in Chicago, IL, and the United States!

Hotlines + Websites for Help

Looking for more resources? Below you can find a list of websites and hotlines that can help you with any situation you may be in!

Mental Health Hotlines

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to text with a trained Crisis Counselor

LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433

Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7437

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438

Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673

Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272

Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, & 1-800-621-4000

After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Vioce: 1-866-439-4253

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663

Adolescent Suicide Helpline: 1-800-621-4000

NAMI Chicago’s Helpline: 1-833-626-4244

CARES: 1-800-345-9049

Between Friends [Chicago domestic violence crisis line run by a nonprofit]: 1-800-603-4357

City of Chicago Domestic Violence Helpline [Chicago domestic violence help and referral line run by the city]: 1-877-863-6338

Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline [Chicago non-profit for survivors of sexual violence and their significant others]: 1-888-293-2080

National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN): 1-800-656-4673

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255

Mental Health Websites

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