Today, I want to talk to you about a little bit controversial topic. And that is, is running therapy? We'll see a lot of people say, “Oh, I use running to de-stress, I use running to clear my mind, I use running to do all these things mentally.” And even I talked about these things on this channel, the mental benefits of running, but recently, I spoke with somebody who has a very strong opinion that it is not therapy. So, I'm Jesse Funk, and on today's episode of Runner’s High, we're going to talk about specifically, is running therapy.
Now, that conversation I alluded to before the intro is actually my interview with Mike Haggadone on the Smart Athlete Podcast. If you haven't seen that, subscribe to the channel, hit that button, then go check that out. If you want the audio only version, you can get it on iTunes as well. But if you want to watch us chat, it is available here on the YouTube channel.
Now, Mike has had his own history of mental illness that he's had to deal with through therapy, through going to a clinician and actually going through the process of therapy. So, when somebody says, running is my therapy, it kind of brings up an interesting point. Is it therapy?
I actually side with Mike on this, and I say, no running is not therapy. One of my undergrad majors was psychology. So, I am not a therapist or counselor even though I was accepted to a counseling program, I decided not to do that for my masters. However, I do have a little bit more insight into what you know, a clinical setting or a therapeutic setting is. What does that actually look like? And I think running has a lot of benefits for you.
There are a lot of positive things that come out of running, but we have to separate the two ideas. That running is therapeutic, and that running is therapy. I would say running is not therapy. Therapy is a very pretty, you know, set prescribed method, depending on which school of thought you're going to, cognitive behavioral therapy is very popular right now.
So, we can kind of use them as an example. What do you go through when you go to a clinician or therapist that is trained in CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, they have a certain way, a certain methodology of helping you through particular issues. Running, on the other hand, is generally very unstructured. It is great for stress relief, you get those positive hormones in your brain from running. You know, it can build your self-esteem. I talked about this in another video, some of the benefits of running. You can build your self-esteem that make you feel better about yourself. That's awesome.
Both of these things are very therapeutic, but they're not therapy. It's not a methodology to help you through that. So, I'd love to hear your comments. Would you, are you, running is therapy? Or do you side with me and just say it's therapeutic? It's an argument of language. But I'm going to stick with Mike on this one and say, it is not therapy, but it is therapeutic.
Mike and I actually get a lot deeper into this conversation, we have a whole hour. So, like I said, if you haven't seen that, subscribe to the channel, then go check that out n the Smart Athlete Podcast, my episode is with Mike Haggadone. I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.