Gwyneth Paltrow has opened up about how she dealt with her postnatal depression.
The actress reveals she turned to natural measures to overcome postnatal depression rather than prescription medication.
However, the actress – who recently tied the knot with Brad Falchuk – noted she would’ve considered using antidepressants had the other remedies not worked.
How exercise and sleep helped Gwyneth Paltrow beat depression
In a new podcast commemorating the 10-year anniversary of her lifestyle website, Goop, Gwyneth says: “I thought, ‘Well, what if I went to therapy and I started exercising again, and I stopped drinking alcohol and I just gave myself, like, a period of regeneration, and I slept more?’”
“It really broke me out of it.”
Gwyneth – who is mum to Apple, 14, and Moses, 12, with her ex-husband Chris Martin – did acknowledge that antidepressants are “lifesavers for certain people.”
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It’s hard for me to believe that 10 years ago today, I sent the first, heartfelt, whimsical, lo-fi goop newsletter from my kitchen in Belsize Park London out into the world. And what a ten years it’s been. I have learned so much. I have learned about community and trust and conviction and authenticity and perseverance and self-belief. I have learned about leadership and culture and management and excel and wordpress and (multiple) e-commerce platforms. I have learned how to finish the days work at the kitchen table while my kids work on geography and geometry, that balance is elusive, that start-up life and motherhood are sometimes difficult bedfellows. Goop started as a place for me to collate and aggregate things that I had the good fortune to learn about; recipes, travel tips, doctors, healing modalities from foreign lands. When I look back, I see that I wanted to be a connector. I had a passion to connect interested people to interesting things, myself included. Our mission has evolved and keeps evolving. In these ten years that will follow, we hope to continue serve as a conduit to great information, and to make product that we always stand behind. We hope we will always remain unafraid to push boundaries, to introduce new ideas. We will always try to create a space where questions are sacrosanct and shame has no place. I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of goop. We are so grateful for your engagement, for what you reflect back to us. Thank you for the most extraordinary journey thus far. Love, gp
Gwyneth was in a ‘dark place’
In an April podcast, the Iron Man star revealed she was in a “dark place” following the birth of her son.
“It was really shocking to me because I never thought that I would be a person who got post-natal depression,” she admitted.
“I was so euphoric when Apple was born, and I assumed it would happen with Mosey and it just – it took a while. I really went into a dark place.”
How exercise helps with depression
We all know just how good a workout can make us feel – even if it’s a struggle at the time! Those post-exercise endorphins are an all-natural high that can be pretty addictive, but can it actually help us with depression?
According to Harvard Medical School, the review of studies dating back to 1981 have proved the link. In one study, more than 150 men and women with depression were divided into three groups:
- Group one took part in an aerobic exercise program.
- Group two took Zoloft (a drug used to treat depression and anxiety)
- Group three did both – exercised and took Zoloft.
After 16 weeks, the depression had eased in all of the groups, with up to 70 per cent of those in each group no longer classed as having major depression. It does indicate that for those who don’t want to take medication for depression, exercise may be just as helpful.
Why does exercise help?
Another study found that walking also has a big impact on our mood. It found that walking fast for 35 minutes a day, five times a week – or walking for 60 minutes a day, three times a week, had a ‘significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms’.
There are a couple of theories on why exercise is so helpful when it comes to depression. Of course, there’s the release of endorphins which may help put you in a happier place.
There’s also another theory, that being active stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which may directly improve mood.
Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge has a heap of exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Join our Healthy Mummy support groups for support through other mums, judgement-free!
Find the help you need
One in seven women in Australia suffers from postpartum depression and one in ten new fathers also experience postnatal depression, says Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA).
If you or someone you know is struggling, then remember you are not alone. Have a look at our story on what every mum who has experienced PND needs to hear as well as our postnatal depression archives for ways to get the help you deserve.
PANDA National Helpline – 1300 726 306
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636