Michelle Williams touts benefits of working out to improve mental health
Article By Jesse Reynolds // EEW Magazine // Health & Fitness
May is mental Health Awareness Month, and if you’re looking for ways to build yourself up (mind, body, and soul), go ahead and sweat it out in the gym—something researchers from Oxford and Yale say could decrease mental health challenges.
Christian actress and Broadway singer, Michelle Williams, who has openly shared her ongoing struggle with depression, agrees that working out has improved her mental health, which is why she encourages others to get active.
“A part of taking care of your mental health is fitness [and] working out!” said the 38-year-old “American Soul” star in an Instagram caption alongside videos of her lifting weights, doing sideways squat walks, and battle rope exercises. The entertainer, who is in great shape, made it clear, however, that her strength-building routines are about much more than looking good. They’re about feeling good above all.
“I know there will be at least one comment that says ‘Michelle, you’re slim so you don’t need to work out,’” she pointed out, adding, “I actually work out because of how I feel afterwards. Yes, the physical results I see in the mirror are cool but the place I was in mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally in December is different from where I am today!”
Back in December 2018, the Destiny’s Child group member announced her split from then-fiancé, Pastor Chad Johnson, just nine months after she said yes to his marriage proposal. At the time of their breakup, the couple’s OWN reality series “Chad Loves Michelle” was still on-air. Needless to say, it was a dark time in her life.
But these days, Williams, who checked herself into a mental health facility last July to seek help for her overwhelming depression, is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And while the physical benefits of working out are nice for her, there is something greater happening internally—something others recognize, too.
“Two women walked up to me today and said ‘you have such a light and an inner peace.’ I shared my story. It wasn’t always light and peace coming out of me!” Williams told her nearly 900K Instagram followers. “There was anger, disappointment, depression and shame just oozing out of my pores but I had to take control. You have to make yourself a priority or your circumstances will kill you!”
Williams’ never-say-die resilience, strong faith in God, and determination to fight for her mental health, has turned out to be rewarding for her. But she doesn’t want to be the only one reaping rewards. This is why Williams is recommending that others begin their own fitness journeys as well.
“Work out, make your circle smaller, pray, eat good, be kind, go to therapy and mind ya business,” she said. That, for Williams, “is the start of a healthy mind and heart!”
You don’t have to just take her word for it. The aforementioned study, which analyzed 1.2 million American men and women, showed that participants that were physically active a few times per week were happier than those who weren’t.
So grab your mat, light weights, and a bottle of water, and get to sweating.