Exercise is often promoted as a healthy way to boost happiness levels. It releases feel-good hormones, such as endorphins, increases energy levels and reduces feelings of stress or anxiety. It’s so well recognised as a form of therapy that The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that those suffering from mild to moderate depression should clock three, 45- to 60-minute exercise sessions a week for 10-14 weeks. Sounds good? Well, there’s a curveball. Recent research from the University of Portsmouth suggests that the mood-boosting benefits of exercise may run out for those who work out at a high level. In fact, the scientists discovered that elite athletes are just as likely to suffer from depression as those who don’t do any sport. ‘There are a number of reasons elite athletes might suffer from depression – the demands of competition and training, dealing with injury and recovery, and the increasing pressure to win,’ explains lead researcher, Dr Paul Gorczynski. So give yourself a pat on the back and allow yourself some time off from your training.