How to Make Your Mental Health a Top Priority With Peloton Instructor Kendall Toole

Kendall Toole, Episode 58 of The Verywell Mind Podcast

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews experts, authors, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Kendall Toole

Kendall Toole is a Peloton instructor whose inspirational and motivational messages have helped her attract more than 400,000 followers on Instagram. 

While she talks a lot about physical health, she also speaks openly about the importance of mental health. She’s an ambassador for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and a strong advocate for mental health. 

Why Kendall Toole Is Mentally Strong

Even though Kendall shares a lot of inspirational and motivational messages with her followers, she’s open about her own struggles with mental health issues. 

She makes it clear that while her OCD and depression were treated, she doesn’t consider her journey with mental health over. She continues to make her mental health an ongoing priority in her life and she shares the strategies that work for her.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • Why it’s never convenient to work on your mental health
  • How physical fitness is like mental fitness
  • How to motivate yourself to take action when you don’t feel it
  • How Kendall got treated for OCD as a child and severe depression as an adult (including her experience being hospitalized after having thoughts of suicide)
  • How to find the courage to ask for help when you need it
  • Why you aren’t either completely mentally healthy or mentally ill—and the spectrum in between
  • The difference between the scarce mind and the abundant mind
  • The one thing Kendall tells herself that helps her have more compassion for other people
  • Why it’s important to have a toolbox filled with healthy coping strategies
  • How Kendall monitors her mental health now and how she knows if she needs to invest more time into working on it
  • How she takes her own advice as she motivates others 

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

There’s a stigma that still accompanies mental illness. Sometimes people believe that mental health problems are a sign of weakness or that someone with a mental health issue can’t be successful. 

But the truth is, no one is mentally healthy all the time. Everyone struggles to deal with their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors at some point.

Mental health is a continuum. And on any given day where you fall on the spectrum shifts a little. Some factors of your mental health you can control—like how much time you put into self-care. Other factors you can’t control—like your genetics. 

Building mental strength can improve your mental health and even prevent some mental health problems. But big mental muscles don’t guarantee you won’t ever develop a mental illness.

Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses aren’t a sign of weakness. Most mental illnesses are treatable but getting treatment requires us to be brave enough to say we need help.

If you’re having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988. The hotline provides help to callers over the phone and via chat services. The network also has options for those with hearing impairment; you can use the chat or you can use your preferred relay service. If you are a veteran, there's a text service available for you. Send a text message to 838255 or visit the website to chat.

Quotes From Kendall

Kendall Toole

I've found physical activity and physical fitness to be such a fantastic tool to help me with my mental health and vice versa.

— Kendall Toole
  • “The act of investing in yourself—even if it is for 2 minutes or 5 minutes or a full hour or an hour and 30 minutes—that's a brave move.”
  • “When I need that motivation, I always remind myself to just commit to it for 2 minutes or 5 minutes or 10 minutes maximum.”
  • “Continue to find better tools and better mechanisms and better ways to help yourself.”
  • “I kind of wrote a note to myself and said, ‘It's so funny because two years ago you wished you had these pressures on you. You wished you had these opportunities. You are growing, you can handle this.’”

More About the Podcast

The Verywell Mind Podcast is available across all streaming platforms. If you like the show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.