Is it possible to treat depression through exercise? According to psychiatrist Jill Taube it is. Taube’s book “Själ och kropp” (Soul and body, 2011)focuses on the connection between moving your body and psychological well-being, and how the body can heal the soul and vice versa.

“We know today that many people feel pain in both body and soul when they are depressed. Yet we still just treat one part at a time,” Taube says. “Instead we ought to use the self-healing powers we all have inside of us. There are substances formed in the muscles that can help the brain think faster and make better decisions. If you exercise you can better handle stress and panic attacks.” T
hough most doctors are aware that exercise is good if you have high blood pressure and diabetes, for instance, few have the knowledge that exercise can actually cure psychological illnesses. Instead they are quick to prescribe sleeping aids or antidepressants – both of which can cause weight gain and fatigue - this without even discussing exercising as an alternative or at least a complement.


Enter Jill Taube, who now tours Sweden and talks about psychological illness, during her tour she also promotes writing “physical exercise” as a prescription.

In a 2012 issue of “Runner’s World” (a Swedish version of the globally circulated monthly magazine for runners), Maria Andersson talks about how she avoided almost all problems related to her chemotherapy through running. She had a wise doctor who realized that running was good for Andersson, and just as important as the drugs she received. In 2010, she was told she had six months left to live. That’s two years ago. “I run for life,” she says now. It’s not just the disease itself that must be cured, one must also handle everything that comes with it: Worry, lack of sleep, anxiety, depression and even grief. Our bodies and our brain were made to move.

Sadly, More and more young Swedes use tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs. Increase in use of antidepressants in young

Själ och kropp
Brombergs Förlag, 2011
ISBN13: 9789173373128
Available, in Swedish only, through e.g.,,