Posted on

Benefits of Hula Hooping for Mental Health

hula hooping behavioral health
Author Payton Ruth Horn discusses how hula hooping has many benefits to one’s mental health


Hula hooping is such amazing exercise for your body, but it also has endless benefits to your mental health too! Since beginning my hoop journey in August 2015 I’ve been able to remove all the prescription medication I was taking from my life completely! I’m diagnosed schizophrenic so it’s a huge deal for me to be med free and completely stable. Whether you’re hula hooping on your waist or hoop dancing, the benefits really can be life changing with some dedication!

  1. Releases happy chemicals

Hula hooping releases chemicals in your brain called serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals are what make you feel calm, balanced and fulfilled! After a good hooping session, I always feel more upbeat and energized. A quick hooping session is a great way to start the day! I wake up and almost immediately stretch and then hoop for 15 minutes. It helps wake me up and shake off the sleepiness, and it always leaves me feeling good and ready to start the day.


  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Hooping is a great way to relieve stress. The hoop gives you something to put all your feelings into, and a healthy outlet to handle and release those feelings. I’ve hooped myself through panic attacks, and out of general funks. Throwing on a good playlist and dancing with your hoop for a while can really lift your mood and calm anxiety. I get anxious quite often and I can usually shake off the tension with my hoop. I have PTSD as well, and surprisingly I can even usually hoop through a flashback. I’ve never found anything else that I can use to get through these other than the meds I used to take. I take a hoop almost everywhere for this reason!


  1. Gives you goals

I’ve tried so many things, hobby wise. I’m an artist at heart, but I take long hiatuses in between short phases of constant creativity. It’s never been a true passion that I continually worked at and put my whole soul into. I’ve tried playing instruments and different sports with absolutely no luck in finding a hobby that truly inspired me like hula hooping has. I look back on videos of me from when I very first started and get a rush of pride and satisfaction as to how far I’ve come. I have so many goals I want to reach in my hoop dance and I keep those in mind and make time to practice every day. I was never very goal-oriented before I discovered hooping, and it’s made me more conscious of goals in my daily life too!

  1. Boosts confidence!

This is an important one when it comes to increasing daily happiness. Hooping has given me more confidence in myself than I’ve ever had. I had my son about 6 months before I started, so I had some leftover baby weight that I wanted to get rid of. Within about 3 months after I started hooping, I was 5 pounds less than I was before I got pregnant! I fit into my old jeans and I felt so good about myself! I can go outside (I live in an apartment complex) and dance, without caring what people think about me. It’s a freeing feeling, and I wouldn’t have come out of my shell like I have without my hula hoops.

  1. Unlocking your flow state

When you really put all of your heart, soul and focus into something and that thing seems to happen effortlessly, that’s your flow state. Anything can flow, but I’ve never felt it like I do when I’m hooping. Since unlocking and opening up that state of my being, I can find a flow much easier. Even cleaning the house is almost flowy for me now! I feel as though I execute daily life things with much more accuracy, efficiency and grace.

  1. Moving meditation

Sometimes it’s crucial to just shut out the rest of the world and meditate on the things you need to. I can flow in silence and just let all my feelings be expressed through my movements, while I keep my mind calm and centered. Hula hooping on the waist is great for this as well. You can put all your focus on your meditation and grounding yourself. I’ve never been able to get into a “meditative state” while sitting still in the traditional manner, but hooping while doing it works wonders!

Hooping is a great exercise and outlet for those that struggle with things like depression and anxiety. Whether you hoop every day or once a week, every minute you spend up and moving will make you a happier person! Sometimes in everyday life, we forget that we deserve to have fun. Hula hooping has brought so much fun and childlike happiness back into my life! Life is beautiful with plastic circles.

If you are inspired by this and would like to start hooping, please check out ShelLED Hoop’s shop for beginner, workout, dance, and LED Hoops!