5 steps to health and wellbeing

University of Leeds
4 min readSep 17, 2021


BSc Sports and Exercise Sciences student Bethan Partridge explores the NHS’ recommendations for staying happy and healthy.

Looking after yourself will help you make the most of your time at Leeds. Here’s how the NHS recommends you stay happy and healthy and here’s what you can do in and around campus to make sure you’ve got all five covered.

1. Connect with people

Join a group

Groups are great to join in order to connect with a lot of people. Some ideas of groups could be your faculty or course group chat, your accommodation group chat or Facebook page (if you are a first year), the Leeds Student Group on Facebook or the Current Students Facebook group run by the University of Leeds. Don’t be afraid to post in these or reply to others posts, you never know you may find a future friendship, gain advice, or find your new favourite coffee shop.

Visit a café on campus

Why not meet someone from your tutorial or seminar, your society, or halls for a coffee on campus? There are so many great spots to grab a drink on campus highlighted in this blog.

Two students chat over lunch in one of Leeds’ shopping arcades.
Making time for a coffee and a chat can really help put things into perspective.

2. Get active

Join a sports team

Whether you are verging on becoming a pro athlete or never played the sport in your life, there are societies and clubs for everyone! For competitive sport you could join the performance sports club or attend their give it a go and for social sport you can represent your faculty or join the dedicated social sports teams.

Park Run

There is a weekly free 5k park run in Woodhouse Moor every Saturday at 9am. You could challenge yourself to do it alone or get a group of friends together. Click here for more information.

Join The Edge

The Edge is the University of Leeds gym which is included in your halls accommodation in first year. As well as the main gym itself and the swimming pool there are plenty of classes to get involved with from body pump to spin to yoga, there is something for everybody.

3. Learn new skills

Join a society

There are so many societies at the University of Leeds making it easy to learn new skills that are of interest to you. Whether you are interested in learning to bake, play chess, stage combat or life drawing there is something for everybody. Click here to search a full list of societies.

Learning courses

Whether you want to learn new skills to enhance your employability or simply want to learn something new out of interest Linkedin, Hubspot and FutureLearn offer courses in digital marketing, Excel, social media and many more. You can even learn a new language with FutureLearn to explore new cultures.

4. Give to others

Give blood

Leeds has its own blood donation centre which is always looking for volunteers and donations from a diverse range of cultures, backgrounds, and ages. It’s so easy to sign up to donate and you’ll be helping to save lives. Click here to sign up.


There are so many ways to volunteer at the university and within its community. You can join a volunteering society at the university for example, BEAT, Bedside Buddies or the Conservation Volunteers, help out with the Birdcage and Woodhouse Moor clean up with coffee on the crescent or volunteer at the Rainbow Junction Café to help feed hungry people and build the community.


Charity events are so important to societies at the university which makes it so easy as a student to get involved and give to local and national charities. Whether this is by attending an event, donating money or donating food to local charities and food banks your generosity will go a very long way.

5. Be present


Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app that takes you through guided meditations, animations, and videos to improve health and happiness. Sometimes university can be slightly overwhelming and result in a build-up of anxieties and so taking some time to yourself to relax and focus on yourself is essential. The great thing about Headspace is that you can do it anywhere you feel comfortable and don’t even need to leave the house.

It’s okay to say NO!

University can sometimes be very ‘go go go’ especially when you are trying to adapt to finding your feet balancing studying, socialising and living on your own in a new city. It is always okay to say no to plans or friends if you are feeling overwhelmed. Your friends will understand, and it will give you more energy to do more of the things you love without burning out.

Read the Gryphon newspaper

The Gryphon is the official newspaper of the University of Leeds, there to hold the university and the union to account where possible, as well as providing content of interest to the students of Leeds. It is a great way to stay aware of local issues and updates within the community as well as read pieces on Science, Sport, Business and many more.