The Best Books About Depression


With the word “depression” becoming one of the most buzzed words, unfortunately affecting many of the lives of the Millennial generation, it doesn’t surprise one should find comfort and support in books. As we mentioned in our editorial on the causes of anxiety, constantly being tapping on your smartphone isn’t a healthy habit – and if you have ended up here chances are you are, too, in need of a little digital detox; this means that looking away from screens to get into some good and fun books about depression is a first step into your whole healing process. Reading books is always a healthy habit to pick up to up your relaxation games, but you can add a little bit of useful tips and inspirational stories if start from the best self-help books for depression.

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The author of this insightful guide on how to reduce stress thanks to a program of mindfulness activities, such as yoga and meditation, promotes practices that belong to a new field in medicine and psychology, some you surely have heard as the most effective ones in helping the healing process. Jon Kabat- Zinn is also author of other books on depression, including Wherever you go, there you are and Falling Awake: How to Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Life.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

Are the words author Jenny Lawson uses to describe her take on the mental illness of the century in one of the funniest books about depression out there. Apparently, fans turn up at book signings equipped with their Xanax bottles, so that Jenny can put her autograph on them!

I’ve often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people’ also might never understand. And that’s what Furiously Happy is all about.

The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression by Steven Skoczen

Bluntness is at times the best method against some of the most common human torments, and author Steve Skoczen has put plenty of it in his self-book on depression, a funny yet not gimmicky guide on the different aspects of going through life with what we should coin as ‘ the big D’.

The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb

Written by neuroscientist Alex Korb, The Upward Spiral is the scientific revelation amongst books on depression; scientific findings demonstrate that according to how our brain is wired we interpret and experience life differently on an emotional point of view. His work is also interesting for those who want to get to know how the brain works.

21 Ways to a Happier Depression: A Creative Guide to Getting Unstuck from Anxiety, Setback and stress by Seth Swirsky

Amongst the self-help books on depression, this is the most practical guide to have at hand when your day takes one of those terrible turns, in which your mood fades into negativity and numbness. Simple hacks like making the bed are, according to the author, amongst the things to do to achieve a happier depression.

How to Be Depressed: A guide By Dana Eagle

Is self-irony the best weapon against depression? We should be asking our editor Lisa Hartle if that so. In the meantime, Eagle’s dark humoristic take on depression, based on her personal experience of going through the mood disease, is one of the funniest and wittiest books on the topic.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman

Happiness is overrated, or better, as in Burkeman’s point of view, misunderstood. We stress about all things we should have in life, such as a nice house, a good job, kids or afford to buy things on the Internet. But what if we could be happier if we embraced failure as part of achieving these things?

Ten Ways not to Commit suicide: a Memory by Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC)

Fame and success are not always carriers of happiness, and as it happens with many music artists of the present and of the past, it can all get too overwhelming. Rap star Darryl McDaniels out of Run DMC tells his own battle against depression, addiction and suicidal thoughts. It is also an insight on how suicide rate increased in the years amongst people of black people, becoming the first cause of death.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

This book on depression is a collection of witty illustration that catch intricate emotions with the stroke of marker.

I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:
• Pictures
• Words
• Stories about things that happened to me
• Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
• Eight billion dollars*
• Stories about dogs
• The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Listening to Depression by Lara Honos-Webb

Depression is a gift. Lara Honos-Webb sees depression as the eye-opener on the fact there might something not right in our lives; ultimately, depression is a symptom of something else, and curing the symptom on its own never leads to a full recovery as much as eradicating the problem from the roots. Depression is an opportunity to change and get into a better life for the self.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

What are the traits of depression? Low self-esteem, procrastinating, pessimism, negativity, numbness and so on. But what if there was a way to tackle these issues without drugs? In this self-help book on depression by David D. Burns you will find ways to deal with guilt, handle hostility and criticism and recognise what causes your mood-swings.

Mooncop by Tom Gauld

Mooncop is one of the best fiction books on depression to read, especially if you are a fan of sci-fi. Mooncop is the main character of the story, based on the slowly dying colony of humans populating the Moon. It’s a story that dives into the present as well as the past of humankind, one you can related to in understanding some undisputed truths of who we are.

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'Connor

Psychotherapist Richard O’Connor demonstrates in this book how depression is linked to multiple factors; genetic, biochemical, environmental. But it is also his focus on how  influential our own habits are in triggering depression that makes this one of the best books on depression to read: the methods he suggested are a new breath of life in the array of guide and hacks on the topic.