18 Feel-Good Workouts That’ll Boost Your Mood, Stat


When it comes to exercise, one rule is paramount: you’ve got to enjoy what you do, whether that’s hitting balls playing padel, swimming or dancing. Whatever your movement, study after study confirms that the more you enjoy exercising, the more likely you are to continue. These six trainers champion feel-good workouts and will inspire you to move more in a way you truly enjoy.

Kirsten Johnson

Kirsten Johnson feel-good workouts

Everything about Kirsten Johnson’s workouts screams joy. Her dance-inspired workouts are all about rejoicing in the way your body can move.

An ex-dancer and founder of the Find Balance Kindly workout app, a series of dance-inspired functional workouts, she muses: “Growing up in the harsh dance industry, I was very aware of how words, comments or corrections could either encourage or deflate me as an artist. The classes on my app are all real-time, follow-along workouts so that I can encourage and motivate through positive affirmation.”

Why Does Kirsten Love Feel-Good Workouts?

“I believe that movement is medicine,” says Johnson. “Being able to move your body every day is such a huge blessing and showing up for yourself, even on the hard days, is an act of self-love and gratitude, which is something I think we should practise daily.”

Try Kirsten’s Workouts

READ MORE: 20 Fitness Apps To Kickstart Your Wellness Journey

Teal Hogg

Teal Hogg

Teal Hogg’s workouts are all centred around lifting heavy while treating your body kindly. That also means tailoring your workouts around your menstrual cycle to accommodate your body’s ups and downs. Find her workouts on her Hustle Fit app. How’s that for feeling good?

“Learning to understand and work with, and not against, the natural hormonal fluctuations as a woman has been the most empowering thing I’ve ever done for myself – and for other women as well. Instead of shying away from the stigma of periods, we’re starting to honour the beauty of the female body.”

Why Does Teal Love Feel-Good Workouts?

“Not only is it nice to feel good from working out but it’s actually essential for women to train according to how they feel, because of our continuous hormonal fluctuations,” says Hogg.

Try Teal’s Workout

READ MORE: Tone Up The Fun Way With This Strength And Cardio Dance Workout

Nomvula Khuzwayo

Nomvula Khuzwayo feel-good workouts

Nomvula exploded on our Insta feeds some time ago with her always-happy dance moves. She also champions tough-as-nails workouts, while doing it with a smile. Who doesn’t love a challenge?

“I dance – a lot! I don’t have to preach anything to my followers, they can see from the joy I exude in my videos that the lifestyle I live has a positive impact on my life. They love that and they too want to have that kind of energy.”

Why Feel-Good Workouts Work For Nomvula

“The more people feel good, the more motivated they are to live, work and be present members of society,” says Khuzwayo. “Most of the workouts I post are full body, which allows those with busy lives to get a workout in without having to focus on one muscle group at a time.”

Try Nomvula’s Workouts

READ MORE: The Best Back Stretches To Tackle Upper And Lower Back Pain, From A Yoga Instructor

The Movement Lab

Jessica Mandel The Movement Lab

Pilates is having a hot moment. But Pilates with upbeat music? Now that’s even hotter. The Movement Lab, with trainer Jessica Mandel at the helm, offers this in buckets: fun, feel-good Pilates set to thumping good tunes. We’re sold – and we’ve been for a while!

“Feel good movement is at the heart of each of our classes. Our repertoires are designed around functional movement patterns – ensuring we can move through life confidently, pain-free and efficiently. We want people to find joy and fun in their workouts,” she explains.

Why Jess Loves Feel-Good Workouts

“For years, I didn’t consider myself sporty or fit because I hadn’t found an exercise routine that I loved,” reflects Mandel. “It wasn’t until I did my Pilates Instructor Training that I fell in love with movement. I leave every class feeling better than when I walked in and I look forward to moving my body.”

A Peek At The Movement Lab’s Classes

READ MORE: Step Into Your Best Shape With The WH Walking Challenge


Takkies feel-good workouts

Cover star Takkies stole our hearts when she entered the WH Next Fitness Star competition back in 2016. Years on, her dance classes, centred on self-love and body positivity, continue encouraging women to love their bodies in all shapes and forms.

Find her workouts at a Rockingnheels studio in Joburg, with a team holding down the fort while she runs the London classes. “I create a safe space where women can come, let go and just be. There’s so much power in being in a space where you feel comfortable enough to be yourself, accept yourself or even to be able to find out things you love about yourself,” she says.

Why Does Takkies Love Feel-Good Workouts?

“I feel that you have a more positive approach to life, people and all that you do when you feel good,” says Takkies. How you feel contributes so much to what you pour out into the world. I also believe that we can tackle anything that life throws at us a little better when we feel good.”

Try Takkies’ Workouts

READ MORE: Here’s How To Make Weight Loss Goals That Will Actually Stick in 2024

Lisa Raleigh

Lisa Raleigh

Lisa Raleigh literally bounces for joy. Her workouts, called bounti, which take place on the rebounder, will have you feeling like a kid again – while working all the major muscle groups on one tiny feel-good tramp.

Find her classes in Joburg.“bounti rebounding takes you right from the absolute basics of, not just rebounding, but fitness as a whole. Rebounding is a low-impact, totally enjoyable way of becoming fitter, stronger and happier! We’re literally guiding our clients towards jumping for joy,” she enthuses.

Why Lisa Loves Feel-Good Workouts

“Movement that heals, not harms is our business mantra when it comes to downloadable workouts, programmes and classes,” Raleigh explains. “The goal is restorative exercise that gives you an effective workout, while also being kind to your body. Who said no pain means no gain?”

See Lisa’s Workouts

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