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How Exercise Helps Grief

During grief, finding the motivation to do things can be challenging. On the other hand, you might also feel like you are staying so busy you don’t have time to breathe. Here’s a question for you, are you taking care of yourself? We understand it’s hard to keep up with all the planning or caring for your family and loved ones, or even hiding away in solitude. If you’ve been running around or lying low, it might be good to take some time to yourself, like exercise. Did you know that exercise could help you at this time? Let’s learn together how exercise helps grief.

Exercise Releases Endorphins

If you’re feeling extra down and find it hard to leave your room, get some exercise! Contrary, if you’re busy with plans and taking time for others, set time aside for exercise. When you get exercise, you are not only helping your body get in shape but are doing positive self-talk. That’s right, with the release of endorphins!

According to Can exercise help with grief? by Lydia Smith,

“Exercise is a very good and positive tool that people can use while grieving, mainly because it triggers that release of neurotransmitters and the release of endorphins,” explains counsellor Sharon Stallard, who is trained in helping people cope with bereavement.

By exercising and creating a routine for yourself, you are already ahead in being able to continue living and motivating yourself. Endorphins aren’t the only benefit; escapism is as well.


When you exercise during grief, it’s more than releasing endorphins. You can also experience escapism, and a temporary distraction from your grief and grieving the loss of a loved one.

“This review suggests that physical activity may benefit grief outcomes in individuals who have been bereaved, alleviating feelings of depression, anxiety and the experience of post-traumatic stress disorder; whilst also creating a sense of freedom, enabling the expression of emotions, providing a distraction, and an escape from grief,” according to Can Physical Activity Support Grief Outcomes in Individuals Who Have Been Bereaved? A Systematic Review by Williams, Jane et al.

While escapism isn’t the only benefit of exercise, it might be a big one if you need to stop thinking. A lot of people experience overthinking and many times this leads to negative feelings or thoughts. By exercising during grief, you can focus on something else momentarily. This is how you can persevere.


When you push yourself, you can achieve things you never knew you could. This goes for any task in life, even grief! If you persevere, do not give up, and try again, you can do more than push through your grief. You can meet your goals and motivate yourself. You can develop a healthy routine and enjoy, laugh, live, and accept the low points with grace. By persevering, you are making yourself stronger. You got this!

Exercise to Cope

Now that we’ve learned a little about how exercise helps grief, we can start afresh. Staying fit and eating right can make a difference in how you feel. You can achieve, overcome, and persevere when you exercise during grief. If you aren’t sure what to do moment to moment or are feeling anxious, take a few minutes to yourself and go for a walk. There are many ways of exercising that are simple but make a difference. Exercising in grief can help you get on the path to living again. So, put your phone away, turn the TV off, and get some exercise!


Smith, Lydia. “Can Exercise Help Those Dealing with Grief?” Patient.Info, Egton Medical Information Systems Limited, 16 May 2018,

Williams, Jane et al. “Can Physical Activity Support Grief Outcomes in Individuals Who Have Been Bereaved? A Systematic Review.” Sports medicine – open vol. 7,1 26. 8 Apr. 2021, doi:10.1186/s40798-021-00311-z

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