How to improve your mental wellbeing

Useful ideas and resources to help you improve your mental wellbeing.

Looking after your mental health

We can all experience difficulties with our mental health at times. What this feels like, and how we cope, varies from person to person and often from moment to moment. 

As well as recognising and responding to any difficulties with our mental wellbeing it is important that our lifestyle includes elements that help us to maintain good mental health.

Try these tips to improve your mental wellbeing.

Practise the five ways to wellbeing

Research shows that there are five main ways we can improve and maintain our mental wellbeing:

  1. Connect: with the people around you
  2. Be active: regular physical activity is linked with lower rates of depression and anxiety for people of all ages
  3. Keep learning: try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course
  4. Take notice: be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual
  5. Give: do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time

Improve your mental wellbeing

Connecting with other people can help to support your mental wellbeing.

Having someone to talk to - whether that be a member of your family or a friend - can make all the difference if you are feeling isolated, worried or confused. It might be that you start by sending them a text, arrange to go for a walk, or go shopping.

It can be helpful to have an activity to focus on, or to talk side to side if this feels more comfortable than facing each other.

Recording things like feelings, thoughts, moods, worries, events and behaviours can help you to understand them.

If you have contact with a mental health practitioner you can also take it to your appointment to talk through.

Beforehand, think about what you want to focus on or ask at your appointment and make a note of the things that are most important to you.

Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and keeping active are all important in order to look after physical health.

Make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep too. It is important to make space to relax and unwind in the evenings. This includes time away from a screen and avoiding caffeine and exercise just before going to bed.

Find ways to relax by maybe trying some yoga, relaxation music or mindfulness.


There are lots of helpful, free apps available, such as:

  • SAM: an award-winning app offering information, activities and tools to help you understand and manage your anxiety

  • Samaritans self help: keep track of your mood and get suggestions to help you feel better

  • Headspace: offers a range of guided audio meditations

  • Calm: mindfulness-based relaxation exercises, some targeting specific difficulties such as stress, anxiety and sleep

We have plenty of online advice on how to make changes, handle cravings, cut down on alcohol, stop smoking cannabis and more.

See our advice on drugs and alcohol.

Bear in mind that it may take time to work – sometimes more than four weeks.

It is important to take any medication in line with the advice of the prescriber and not to stop taking medication without first talking to the person who prescribed it.

What to do in an emergency

Keep a list of numbers you can ring if things get difficult and you need help urgently. You could:

  • call your GP or NHS 111 if you're unable to manage your symptoms and feel unsafe or, for immediate, life-threatening emergencies, call 999 or go to A&E

  • call Samaritans free on 116 123 or email

  • call Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) for men on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm – midnight)

  • call Papyrus for people under 35 on 0800 068 41 41 (10am – 10pm)

  • visit the Mind website for useful information