Sport

If you are able to, finding a sport that’s right for you can be a great way to get fresh air, keep fit or meet new people.

Playing sport can also help you sleep better, take your mind off any stress or anxiety, and release endorphins to improve your mood. You might find the idea a bit scary, and that’s perfectly okay – it’s normal not to be very ‘good’ at first! The important thing is not to put too much pressure on yourself.

Some people prefer playing with others, like on a football or basketball team, whilst others might find that playing an individual sport helps them the most, like tennis or swimming. Remember that, no matter what level of ability you’re at, you always deserve to participate in something you enjoy; good sports teams or facilities make things fully accessible for everyone.

‘I was really nervous to start playing softball, but everyone made me feel comfortable to join in. Sometimes you play well, sometimes you play badly – that’s just life! It’s the sense of achievement I get from it and the improved confidence that really matters.’

Prince Harry discusses mental health with some famous sports stars in the following Heads Together video:

What young people have told us:

'Sport, I feel, is really really important for your physical well being. it has definitely helped me a lot.'

'Sport, rather than just exercise, often involve playing in a team and this allows you to make really strong friendships because you work together for the same goals. Also Endorphins are really really important to help make me feel energised and happy.'

There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.

Did this activity help your mental wellbeing?

If yes, why do you think it helped?

What would you say to other young people who are thinking of trying this?

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page


Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.


Analytics cookies

We’d like to set non-essential cookies, such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our Cookies page. If you are 16 or under, please ask a parent or carer for consent before accepting.