Lucy: “I’ve struggled since adolescence – clinical depression, then post-natal depression, then a diagnosis of bi-polar. I was on medication but the side effects were terrible. Five months attending exercise classes and I’ve started working part-time, drastically reduced my medication, found my horizon again.

That exercise works as therapy for depression and anxiety is well proven, but ask Mood Active Operations manager Cameron Wilson, and he’ll tell you it isn’t being used enough. “Some GPs and psychologists are fantastic with prescribing it, but some aren’t, and we know that having exercise recommended by a healthcare professional means you’re more likely go do it.”

Mood Active has run group classes in Kingsford/Kensington since 2013, and personal stories like Lucy’s are not unusual. “We’ve had people with debilitating depression, unable to work, relationships crumbling. Add exercise to their recovery strategy, and often it’s the key to turning things around.”

So, exactly what happens to our brains and bodies when we exercise? “A touch footy game, gym workout, yoga class, lap swim or whatever, promotes the release of feel-good neuro-transmitters serotonin and dopamine, and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. It’s simple bio-chemistry – exercise makes us feel good.

Cameron has bi-polar disorder and he has plenty of personal experience of the impact of exercise. “I’m calmer, brighter, thinking more clearly, after I run a few laps of Coogee Beach or go hit some tennis balls.”

Mood Active is run on the efforts of volunteers. After winning grants from Souths Juniors and City of Sydney, they’re able to offer a limited number of fully funded places in their eight-week program.

  • twenty free places available City of Sydney (classes at Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills), for people aged over 18, diagnosed with a mood disorder and resident of City of Sydney
  • ten free places available Randwick Council (classes at Kingsford/Kensington), for people aged over 18, diagnosed with a mood disorder and resident of City of Sydney
  • must be filled by 30 September 2017

Mood Active – July 2017

enquiries: or phone Cameron Wilson 0405 262053

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