Wellness Resources @ Cal

Strawberry Canyon Swimming Pool

Strawberry Canyon Swimming Pool


Physical, Nutritional, & Mental Health Resources at Berkeley

Do you know about all the health resources that UC Berkeley has for students? There are many more services and facilities than you might think. And yes—it is possible to make time for health and wellness in your busy college schedule! 

Getting started: making time for health and wellness. Even though you might have a long day of classes, studying, and work, it’s important to carve out some time for your well-being. If you are struggling to fit in self-care, work towards your health goals, or manage your nutritional health, try this time management handout from University Health Services (UHS). These practical tips are perfect for Berkeley students.

Physical Health Resources

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Equipment at the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF). Photo by Student Affairs Communications.

These free resources can help you de-stress and find ways to work on your physical goals.

Let’s start with getting to know what’s available through Recreation & Wellbeing. The department is well-known for its main building, the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF), but the programs and tools extend well beyond what is available at the RSF. There’s something for everyone, wherever you are on your self-care path.

  • For those who want to work out in a class setting with an instructor, there are in-person classes free of charge at the RSF throughout the week for students and staff. They also offer online live Zoom classes as well.
  • For anyone who has gotten used to exercising at home during the pandemic and prefers to work out at home or on their own schedule, there are free online exercise videos. 
  • If you are the adventurous type, they offer a range of self-guided outdoor adventures for students to go out and explore nature in the Berkeley area. From going to the Oakland Waterfront to hiking on Mount Diablo, there are a variety of different activities to explore!
  • For a person who loves the water, Berkeley has a wide variety of outdoor pools open for students. Whether you want to take a swimming class, do some laps to work out, or even swim for fun, there are four different pools available on campus. The Strawberry Canyon Pool is even open during the summer for students to lounge and swim recreationally.
  • If you enjoy using recreational or sports facilities, explore 7 basketball courts, 5 tennis courts, 4 swimming pools, 3 fitness and wellness centers, and 1 mind-body meditation and yoga space.
  • There are also many job opportunities for students through Recreation & Wellbeing with over 500 student staff members every year!

Bonus! Low-cost services, certifications, and physical therapy for students.

  • For those who want a more personalized experience, you can access personal trainers who are available for inexpensive appointments to discuss your personal goals and ensure you are working out safely with proper technique. They also have duo sessions so you can work out with a friend or partner!
  • For those who want to learn practical lifelong skills or skills that are helpful if you teach recreational sports, Berkeley offers adult first aid and CPR classes for a small cost.
  • If you have recently gotten injured or are experiencing pain and need physical therapy, UHS offers these services as well. For those who have the Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), they may cover some of these expenses for you. If you don’t have insurance that covers physical therapy, the university’s programs are still available to you at a reasonable price.

Nutritional Health Resources

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Salad bar at Crossroads dining commons. Photo by Student Affairs Communications.

Besides physical health, we want to maintain nutritional health to help fuel us well for keeping up with coursework and studying for exams.

  • Recreational Sports has free nutritional services, seminars and counseling sessions, available for all students. Additionally, UHS has robust nutrition resources available for students.
  • If you want to work on eating habits or have questions for a nutritionist, UHS has free Drop-In Nutrition Counseling where you can talk with a dietitian for fifteen minutes over Zoom. There is also a list of healthy recipes for students that you can check out and make! Cal Dining also has some nutritional tips for eating healthier in the dining commons on campus as well!
  • UHS offers Medical Nutrition Therapy for those who have been referred by their medical professional or therapist. For those who are suffering from an eating disorder, there is also an eating disorder clinic through UHS.

Mental Health Resources

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Entrance to the University Health Services Tang Center. Photo by Student Affairs Communications.

College (and life in general) can be stressful sometimes, and there are numerous mental health resources that UC Berkeley provides for students in need.

  • The RSF has spaces for wellness resources, like a Relaxation Enhancing Study & Tranquility Zone that has massage chairs for you to relax in after your workout. They also have the Mind-Body studio with dim lighting and dropped ceilings which make for a perfect space for you to relax or do yoga!
  • The UHS list of apps and online courses is available for students to help their mental health and is perfect for those who want to implement more daily self-care or learn more about their own mental health.
  • The Recalibrate wellness website allows you to find resources based on how you are feeling at the moment, which can really help you find the things you need without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Berkeley Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) also has a bunch of different counseling options, including group counseling, free brief counseling sessions, career counseling, and even couples counseling.

Last but not least, the Berkeley Life social media team also collected these tips and resources for students:

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health and wellness resources here on campus, which is why you should explore some of these websites and links to find something that is right for you. We hope this list helps you find something that will help you excel at taking care of your well-being while you’re at Berkeley!

Samantha is a recent graduate who majored in English and minored in Journalism and Creative Writing.

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