The camaraderie and support that I received was a huge part of my recovery. I was dealing with a period of depression that was affecting every part of my life. While attending Mood Active classes, I began feeling stronger physically but also, emotionally. I was better able to make decisions and feel more confident. Cam and the Mood Active team are highly knowledgeable about depression and mood disorders – I could not have gotten through that extremely difficult time of my life without them


Cam, I can bang on forever about Mood Active helping me take control of my mental illness. And the more classes I attend the more aware I am of the role of exercise, so even now new stuff pops into my head as to the benefits of the program! I can honestly say a turning point in my recovery was finding Mood Active. Having you welcome me and everyone else with respect and dignity was probably the most important thing for me… I’ve since delighted in watching other people come through Mood Active too, getting stronger within themselves and re-investing in life… Now when I train on my own, on days when it’s not so easy, I recite your words “anyone can do it when it’s easy – can I do it when it’s not?” Thank you for all the light and fun you’ve brought to my recovery. I’ll be forever grateful for your help and support.


I was diagnosed with post-natal depression after my second child was born and I was looking for a program that would target depression through exercise. Initially I felt nervous and “exposed”, but soon I felt comfortable thanks to the inclusive and supportive attitude of the trainers and other participants. Regular exercise sessions made a big impact on my mood and helped build my self-esteem as well. Joining Mood Active was the best decision I made for my mental health wellbeing.


Note: Andrea completed a Tennis Australia workshop in Sept 2015; she is now an accredited coach and runs Mood Active classes.
My name is Jon and I'm living with depression – sounds like a 12-step meeting or group therapy doesn't it? I was diagnosed last year with clinical depression. I wouldn't get out of bed, had insomnia, racing thoughts, lost my appetite (and 15kg). I couldn't face work, I couldn't go to a shopping centre, and a gym was just too busy & noisy. My self-esteem & sense of worth were at an all-time low. I started on medications that were giving me fuzziness in the head, lethargy & shakiness. I was seeing my GP, psychologist and psychiatrist weekly but not feeling better. So I started to trawl the internet for help. There were websites offering advice about diet, sleep and exercise, but I couldn't absorb information that I didn't have the motivation to act on by myself anyway. At one stage I was referred for admission to a mental health clinic (which completely freaked me out), but I decided to join one of their day groups, and that's where I picked up a Mood Active flyer. I started with cardio tennis, and once I found that exercise was a key to my recovery, I started attending circuit fitness and yoga classes as well. The main motivators for attending Mood Active sessions for me have been:
  • knowing there are others there with problems similar to mine
  • having a reason to get out of bed
  • it’s cathartic being able to discuss symptoms & treatments with others
  • the tennis drills & games keep my mind from ruminating
  • during a class I notice my mood lifting
  • afterwards I feel good that I have made the effort & accomplished something for myself
I believe there should be more funding for physical therapies like cardio exercise and yoga, and these should be linked to mental health websites so those in need can access them more readily. I hope this is something that will happen in the near future.


Note: as well as returning to full-time work, Jon passed his Tennis Australia coach certification course in Sept 2014; he now runs Mood Active cardio tennis classes.

I have found Mood Active to be such a positive addition to my management of depression and anxiety. Initially I was dubious I could commit to the three sessions required, but it is easier than going to classes at a gym because you are encouraged and supported along the way. I have also met some fantastic people, people who can empathise with the struggles you are going through.


I was in a position of weighing 124 kg and leading a very reclusive life. My psychologist suggested I contact Mood Active, which I did. At first it was a real battle just to turn up to class. Cameron was very open and has fostered this openness with the group. I have been able to maintain and increase my regular exercise. My motivation has been so much better. I now weigh about 118 kg. I attribute increased confidence, weight loss, higher motivation, increased social activity, to Mood Active. It enabled me to climb out of a very deep hole! As a male it can be a real battle to speak about mental illness. Being amongst people who are living with mental health issues, enables an opportunity of free expression. The Mood Active team has shown itself to be a caring group.


In a cardio tennis class there are lots of things to focus on – what my hands and feet are doing, how I hold the racquet, watching the ball. I shift into the present moment, and for that one hour, I am far away from my ruminative thoughts. Unlike gym or yoga, I am learning how to play a sport - something I’ve never done before. An achievement in itself! It’s a good feeling to learn new skills. There’s a real sense of community in these classes and this has helped me feel more connected and less isolated.


I was so happy and surprised that I was able to commit to the program and actually enjoy exercising. I improved my fitness despite struggling with weight owing to the side effects of medication. It has really changed my life for the better and I know it can help other people too.


Especially in the midst of tough times battling bi-polar depression, I’ve relied on exercise to lift my mood and reduce anxiety. Whether it's running a few beach laps with my best mate, an hour on the tennis court or in the gym, a game of touch footy, squash, a yoga session, or just biking from A to B, it's been my always-reliable stick for chasing away the Black Dog. It still is today.


Cameron is Founder & President of Mood Active.