Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

How Breathwork Helps You Heal from Depression


Suffering from depression can be isolating. Feelings of despair, hopelessness, and a lack of energy can be hard to shake off, and the dark cloud can quickly take over your life. With around 1 in 6 adults in the UK experiencing depression, this rate is a cause for concern. Can breathwork help?

While many treatment options can help mask the symptoms of depression, they may also come with side effects that can be life-altering. Instead of concealing the symptoms, what if you tried healing from within?

Breathwork may be the answer.

Why Breathwork

Breathwork offers a unique approach to managing and healing from depression.

With breathwork, you are in control. Learning to breathe through difficult situations, focusing on a singular thing, and showing up in daily practice help you create self-efficacy, which can improve your mental health.

Breathwork and Depression

Talk therapy is beneficial and breathwork is an excellent tool alongside it. But what happens when you are in between therapists or can’t get to the office? 

Breathwork has even been proven to help alleviate depression in individuals who did not respond to antidepressant medication in a study by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Practicing Breathwork

When you begin to dive into breathwork, it can feel intimidating, especially if you are new to mindfulness or meditation. However, breathwork is a really simple and effective tool that can help enhance all areas of your life. 

Can Anyone Practice Breathwork?

Breathwork is an exercise that requires no special equipment using something you already do all day, every day— breathe. 

Sessions can range from focusing on your breath, taking longer, deeper inhales and fully exhaling, to guided breathwork meditations. Breathwork takes a little time before practitioners begin to see results. You must be consistent, similar to any new lifestyle change like diet or exercise. Daily breathwork sessions are the key to creating a fruitful and successful practice, so be intentional.  

Almost anyone can practice and benefit from adding breathwork sessions to their daily lives.

Breath pattern changes may aggravate underlying conditions like asthma, COPD, cancer, or other chronic illnesses. So if you have these, it’s best to consult your doctor before practicing breathwork.

Where Do You Practice Breathwork?

Breathwork can be practiced just about anywhere. 

Have you ever been at the doctor’s office when they ask you to take a deep breath? Or have you been advised to focus on your breathing under a stressful situation? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an ingrained set of skills that could take over as you subconsciously begin a deep and healing breathwork?

To fast-track your brain and teach your bodies to deep-breathe subconsciously, make an effort to learn how it’s done. Luckily, a home breathwork routine is simple and easy to commit to.

Many think that breathwork must be practiced by sitting on the floor in the lotus position. While this yoga asana can be comfortable for some, any seated or even lying posture is safe for practice. Some people prefer to sit on a chair, while others like to lie on their beds.

In addition to posture, wear comfortable clothes that allow your stomach to extend fully without restriction. Deep breathing involves your stomach more than most realize.

Can You Do Breathwork Alone?

Yes. But like almost everything in life, working with a trained professional will help in many ways. 

Learning a new skill can be a bit scary. Professionals are trained to help break things down for you, ensure you are in the correct posture, and guide you through some more challenging sessions.

Are Breathwork Sessions Hard to Find?

Finding a trained facilitator doesn’t need to be daunting. Many yoga studios are offering breathwork. Breathwork studios are also opening up around the world as interest in this life-enhancing therapy is growing.

However, not all facilitators are the same. It’s important to find a trained professional you trust and vibe with. Finding and taking online therapeutic breathwork classes is also a great way to try out multiple instructors and allows you to connect with people globally.

Beyond Managing Depression

With the adoption of Eastern alternative therapies like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness rising in the West, breathwork is following and becoming a staple in people’s lives. 

Through breathwork, people are learning to control their emotions better, live calmer, and enhance their cardiovascular health, helping them reach their fullest potential.


With a skill as simple as breathing, you can change your world. So, slow down and feel the life-changing power of breathwork today.



About the Author

Niraj Naik is a certified pharmacist turned holistic health and breathwork expert, professional musician, serial entrepreneur, founder of Soma Breath, and one of the world’s most sought-after spiritual ceremony facilitators. | |


Image by Rachel Scott from Pixabay