Don’t Worry, Be Happy: The Ten-Minute Cure


Okay, so let’s start from the fact that depression and other mental illnesses can lead to cognitive dysfunction and decline. Let’s add in the fact that even the tiniest amounts of exercise––as little as ten minutes a day!––can have outsize effects on levels of human happiness.

So. Are you having a bad day? We’ve all been there. Here’s a quick tip: go outside. Right now. Yes, even if it’s raining or snowing or too hot or too cold. Once you’re outside, set a timer on your watch or phone for ten minutes. Now walk. Walk anywhere. Go to the store, to the water, toward the mountain, down the street, to a neighbor’s house, wherever. You can run, if you want, too, or bike or whatever it is your body feels like doing, so long as it is in motion. When you hear that ten-minute buzzer go off, do you feel...better? Even just a little bit? Science tells us you will. And your brain will thank you, too.


  • Medalia, A., & Revheim, N. (2002). Dealing with cognitive dysfunction associated with psychiatric disabilities: A handbook for families and friends of individuals with psychiatric disorders. New York State Office of Mental Health. -Zhang, Z., & Chen, W. (2019). A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Physical Activity and Happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(4), 1305–1322. doi: 10.1007/s10902-018-9976-0