Stutz and Exercising for Your Mental Health

Your Mental Health is Connected to your Overall Wellness

Isioma Ononye
5 min readApr 10


Photo by Jeremy Stewart on Unsplash

Our mental health impacts our life greatly. When we are in a good state of mind, it affects how we live and function.

One of my favorite things to do to maintain my mental health is to exercise. When I exercise, it helps me to release feel-good endorphins that make me feel happier, relaxed and helps me to have a productive day.

Exercise is beneficial for your mental health. There are other things that you must consider when taking care of your mental health.

This year, I watched the Netflix documentary “Stutz.” The documentary takes us through a conversation between Jonah Hill and his therapist: Phil Stutz. During their discussion, they discuss several important things about how we can all learn to live well.

In the documentary, Phil lets us know some important concepts such as what a tool is. That a tool is something that can change your state. It takes an experience that is unpleasant and turns it into an opportunity.

Jonah Hill said he made the documentary because he wanted to give therapy and the tools needed to as many people as possible.

Some of my favorite lessons from Stutz can be found below.

Your Relationship with Your Physical Body Impacts How You Feel

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One of the most significant lessons that Phil discusses is how we can’t neglect our relationship with our physical body.

Jonah Hill stated that growing up, when he was taught about exercise, it was always about him losing weight and changing his body.

However, what he learned from therapy is that exercise is about more than losing weight but it can make you feel better. It can positively impact your mental health.

“Diet, exercising, and sleeping matters. Doing just 85% of that makes you feel better. Exercise is not just for your physical health but It will impact your mental health”- Phil.

Your Relationship with People Matters

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Next, the therapist Phil discussed how your relationship with others matters. He said that when people get depressed or are in a low state, they start to pull back from their life.

Yet our relationships are handholds to pull ourselves back to life.

There are moments in my life when I have felt sad and have fallen into depression. During those moments, it’s difficult to see the good in life.

What has helped me is my relationship with my parents and siblings. It was helpful for me to keep in touch and converse with them. For them to keep me encouraged and for things to be light-hearted.

Also, therapy has made a huge impact on my life by enabling me to change my thoughts and consider my perception of myself and the world around me.

Phil said that your relationship with others is significant and that it matters to take the initiative like inviting someone out to lunch because it would affect you in a positive way.

Your Relationship with Yourself Matters

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The relationship we have with ourselves is also key to affecting our mental health positively. One of the ways we can endeavor to make our relationship with ourselves better is by increasing our life force to determine what we are passionate about.

Also, you have to understand the relationship you have with your unconscious. One of the ways that you can do this is by writing, by journalling.

The therapist recommends that you pick up the habit of writing because it affects what is going on in your unconscious mind.

For myself, journalling continues to be therapeutic. It is a way for me to express my thoughts and emotions about life.

Journalling is also a way for me to reflect on my life and what I am grateful for.

Part X and the Grateful Flow

In the documentary, Jonah Hill states that his traditional experience of therapy is him talking and the therapist wants to know how you are feeling. The therapist usually doesn’t give you advice. Whereas that is what is needed most. He says that it is your unlicensed friends that would give you unsolicited advice.

He stated that Phil’s approach is different. That he doesn’t want people walking out of his office with nothing.

Phil then tells us about the concept of Part X. That when adversity comes, you face Part X. Part X is the judgemental part of you. The anti-social part of you. It is an invisible force that wants to keep you from changing and growing.

Part X is also the voice of impossibility. You can defeat it temporarily but It will always come back.

Though Part X is painful, we need it in life. The main character needs a Part X because if the main character does not overcome Part X, there is no change, no growth, and no bravery.

Also, the therapist discusses what is called: The Grateful Flow. The Grateful Flow is choosing the positives in life. The grateful flow is the process of creating the things that matter to you.

We have to always incorporate having The Grateful Flow in life because there are three aspects of reality that we can’t avoid such as pain, uncertainty, and constant work.

However, we can be happy in the process of dealing with Pain, Uncertainty, and Work.

That one of the ways that we can do this is to look at all events as having value.

That we don’t get meaning through big things but we get it through small things.

“Happiness depends on accepting that you won’t figure it out because the secret of life is that no one knows how we would figure things out in life,” — Phil.

Final Thoughts

We will all go through trying times. The trying times would look different based on who you are.

The trying times could be in your academics. The trying times could be in your finances. The trying times could be in your health. The trying times could be in your work.

We will all go through challenges and in those moments, we would get sad. It would seem as though we are defeated but we cannot accept defeat.

We have to fight back with the tools we have learned. Fight back by considering your relationship with yourself, your body, and others.

You have to also be kind to yourself. To give yourself a break and to know that there is hope. Find some form of hope no matter how little and continue to keep moving forward.



Isioma Ononye

I write about finding yourself, self-esteem, christianity, mental health and communications. Join my newsletter here: