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Hope Molecules

By: Michael Blankenship |

“If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.”

-Robin Sharma

Imagine you could snap your fingers and protect yourself from future physical and mental health illnesses. 

That’d change everything, wouldn’t it? 

Well… it turns out you do have an “internal pharmacy” you can access anytime you want with just a little bit of work. 

Kelly McGonigal explained this on the Rich Roll Podcast…

“I think this is the most interesting finding of the last decade in all of science. And this is the insight that your muscles are basically an endocrine organ that secrete hormones into your bloodstream, that [then] affect every system of your body. 

Your muscles, they secrete chemicals and proteins when you exercise that are also really good for your brain health. And one of the first papers almost 10 years ago that was published explained that when you contract your muscles they literally secrete these proteins into your bloodstream that make you resilient to stress and can protect you from depression. 

The scientists call them ‘hope molecules,’ this idea that literally your muscles are manufacturing antidepressant molecules and the only way to get them into your bloodstream where they can then travel to your brain is you have to contract your muscles. That’s it. It’s like a pharmacy in your muscles. And anything you do that contracts them — walking, hiking, running, dancing, weightlifting, swimming, anything — you are going to be dumping hope molecules into your bloodstream that when they get to your brain they work as an antidepressant and they also help people recover from trauma. That’s like a miracle.”

You NEED to move your body if you want to be mentally and physically healthy. It’s a requirement of being human. 

Start somewhere — anywhere

No amount of forward progress is too little.

If you need help building a regular exercise habit, check out James Clear’s super simple guide here — develop a ritual, start ridiculously small, and focus on the habit (not results). 

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