Bearded man harvesting beets in an urban communal garden
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Lifestyle Medicine

Article Abstracts
May 12, 2023

Lifestyle Medicine

Gardening for Mental Health

Article Abstracts
Jun 18, 2024

Gardening and yard work can feel good for the body—but did you know they can also positively impact your mental health? Here are five proven benefits of working in the great outdoors.


Routines are essential for mental health, especially during uncertain times. Getting out of your mind and into your body with the physical acts of digging, weeding, and planting can be a holistic way to feel more balanced and stable in a changing world.

Less Stress

Mere exposure to green space can positively impact mental health, lower stress, and even lower the chance of developing a mental health disorder. Studies have found that bacteria in soil may affect the brain in a similar way to antidepressants, activating brain cells to produce more serotonin.

Healthy Body

Gardening counts as exercise, and the varied movements may mean fewer injuries due to the repetitive nature of more structured exercise like running. Lawn mowing (with a push mower) can burn between 250 and 350 calories an hour. For an added benefit, getting adequate exercise boosts the immune system.

Connection and Purpose

In the busy, digital world, it can feel hard to maintain a sense of connection and purpose. Caring for a garden, especially in a community setting, can contribute to a sense of purpose, which can impact both mental and physical health, and has been linked to longevity.


Being aware and in the moment while pruning, planting, and weeding has proven health benefits, and can benefit our emotional regulation. Mindfulness has been shown to benefit depression, anxiety, and even daily stress.


Lambert, J. (n.d.). 7 benefits gardening and yardwork have on your mental health. Blue Zones.

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