The relationship between unemployment and mental well-being has been thoroughly researched. Longitudinal studies have shown unemployment to have negative impact on mental well-being, whereas re-employment has positive impact. This research has however taken little interest in a more complex concept of labour market status than just ‘employment versus unemployment’, or indeed other alternative exit routes from unemployment. In this article, an investigation is made into the impact of different exit routes from unemployment on mental well-being. This is done using a longitudinal and nationally representative survey of 3,500 unemployed Swedes. The results indicate that the mental well-being outcome of exiting unemployment is related to how the new status resolves economic difficulties and the uncertainty faced in the unemployment situation. The increase in mental well-being when re-entering paid labour is differentiated depending on the contractual situation. Exit to permanent employment means a larger increase in mental well-being than exit to temporary employment or self-employment. Exit to university education increases mental well-being, whereas exit to high-school equivalent studies does not. Exit from unemployment to maternity/paternity leave increases mental well-being, exit to sick leave reduces mental well-being, while exit to early retirement pension does not significantly change the mental well-being.