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Total-Body Workouts for Women

7 Exercises for 7 Moods

How you move can change your mood. Here are seven exercises that can make you happier and feel better.

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Did you ever wake up on the grumpy side of bed? Or sometimes you’re just so mad you can’t function? Whatever your emotional state, exercise can help alleviate or fortify it, depending on your desire.

“The awareness of thoughts is connected to the movement of emotions, and both of those things are directly linked to the movement of the body,” says Rupa Mehta, NASM trainer, wellness coach and author of The Nalini Method: 7 workouts for 7 Moods (Seal Press, 2016). “When you respect your body and your mind through movement they reward you with chemical reactions that physically make you happier.”

First identify the mood/emotional state you’re in or want to be in, then decide if you want to shake it off or boost it up. Do the move prescribed by Mehta while repeating the mantra to help release or fortify the mood itself, and you should be on your way to a happier, healthier day.

Mood: Anger

Mantra: The Solution is Born Before the Problem

“Don’t let a problem weigh you down, limiting your search for and taking away valuable time and effort from finding the solution. The world is filled with infinite solutions; don’t let your anger distract you from this truth.”

Clam Exercise for Mood: Anger

Mind-Altering Exercise: Clam

Setup: Sit with your hands on the floor behind you, fingers pointed to the sides and spread apart. Bend your knees lift your legs toward your chest, feet flexed. Lean back and balance on your tailbone.

Action: Extend your legs out straight while simultaneously leaning back, bending your elbows. Sit back up to complete one rep.

Sets & Reps: Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Mood: Energy

Mantra: Let go. Live. Love.

“This is a cyclical lesson. No single element of this energy motto can exist without the others: To Let Go, you must live and love. To Live, you must love and let go. To Love you must let go and live. One feeds the other and allows energy to grow and spread.”


Mind-Altering Exercise: Burpees

Setup: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

Action: Crouch and place your hands on the floor in front of you, then jump your feet back into plank. Immediately jump your feet back into a crouch, then stand up, reaching your arms for the ceiling.

Sets & Reps: Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Mood: High Stress

Mantra: Shut up. Sit. Smile.

“Practicing this mantra in times of stress is like an emotional push-up. Practice makes perfect, you get better over time, and the results are undeniable.”

Wall Squat Meditation for Mood: High Stress

Mind-Altering Exercise: Wall Squat Meditation

Setup: Lean against a wall with your feet and knees together, feet parallel and placed a few feet in front of the wall.

Action: Bend your knees and slide down the wall until your hips are level with your knees, as if sitting in an invisible chair. Keep your tailbone down and your back flat, and pull your belly button in toward your spine. Bring your palms together in front of your chest, hold and breathe for 1 minute. Close your eyes if it suits you.

Mood: Chill

Mantra: Love yourself dearly. Be yourself completely. Treat yourself occasionally.

“Immerse yourself in this mood and appreciate it. Whatever route the chill vibe takes you, it’s a special mood. It’s a mental space to be at peace with yourself — flaws, strengths and all!”

Frog Exercise

Mind-Altering Exercise: Frog

Setup: Lie face-up and lift your legs over your hips perpendicular to the floor, arms extended along your sides.

Action: Turn your legs out so your heels come together, then bend your knees and lower your feet toward your glutes, as if doing a plié in the air. Allow your knees to open to the sides. Imagine your heels drawing a straight line up and down and press your knees and thighs apart then squeeze them together.

Sets & Reps: Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Mood: Happiness

Mantra: Say Thank You.

“Happiness is contagious; gratitude is too! Saying thank you is great to do, especially when you are happy. Take the time to not only acknowledge that you’re appreciative and/or lucky to feel happy, but share that incredible feeling with someone else.”

Chair Clap Squats for Mood: Happiness

Mind-Altering Exercise: Chair Clap Squats

Setup: Stand with your feet together then bend your knees and drop your hips until they come parallel with your thighs.

Action: Lean forward with your upper body, back flat, and reach your fingers toward the floor outside your feet, palms facing inward. Staying low, jump your feet apart into a wide squat while bringing your hands together and clapping. Jump them back out to complete one rep.

Sets & Reps: Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Mood: Doubt

Mantra: No One Can Take Away Your Happiness.

“Doubt can make you feel stuck, grey, and heavy. But when it comes down to it, we have the power to make ourselves happy, so use this mantra to reclaim your power.”

Warrior 1

Mind-Altering Exercise: Warrior 1

Setup: Stand in a wide lunge with your left foot straight and your right foot turned out, foot flat. Your heels should be aligned, hips squared.

Action: Raise your arms straight up toward the ceiling, palms inward, and actively reach upward. Bend your left knee to a 90-degree angle over your left ankle. Hold and breathe for 30 to 60 seconds each side.

Mood: Anxiety

Mantra: Don’t Magnify Success or Failure.

“Balance is the name of the game. Don’t consume fear and panic without focus and perspective. With this balancing act, you’ll have the capacity to demagnify anxiety and take a huge weight off your shoulders.”

Plank Balance Series for Mood: Anxiety

Mind-Altering Exercise: Plank Balance Series

Setup: Begin in plank with your hands underneath your shoulders and your hips, head and heels in line. Hold for 10 seconds.

Action: Lift up your right leg and hold for 10 seconds. Replace, then repeat on your left for 10 seconds. Lift your right arm parallel to the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Replace, then repeat on your left for 10 seconds. Lift right leg and left arm and hold 10 seconds. Replace then lift left leg and right arm for 10 seconds. Replace. Hold original plank for 10 seconds. Rest 30 seconds, then repeat twice more.