Top 8 Books That Can Help With Overcoming Depression

By Dominica


Last Updated: November 30, 2022

Depression is quite common, affecting over 20 million people in the United States alone.

Feeling sad or depressed can really affect your life in a negative way. Even simple chores or tasks like getting out of bed or going to get groceries can feel like an enormous task. Experts state that clinical depression is marked by deep sadness that doesn’t go away.

If you’re feeling depressed, you may have no energy, feel deep grief, cry, have trouble focusing, isolate, and lose interest in things you once enjoyed doing.

One of the best things you can do if you’re dealing with depression is to see a qualified therapist. They have the knowledge and tools to be able to assess your unique situation and provide you with tools and a recovery plan to help you decrease symptoms or overcome them.

In addition, you can begin educating yourself on the topic.

As you learn about depression – its symptoms and treatments, you may help alleviate some of your symptoms. Education can be empowering, so be sure to check out the following 8 books on depression, as they may help you in overcoming sadness or depression.



Top 8 Books That Can Help With Overcoming Depression

1. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

This book by Dr. David Burns is a national bestseller with over five million copies sold.

Burns is a psychiatrist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In this book, he shares many techniques that can help those struggling with depression feel better and live a happier life.

He covers how to address guilt, mood swings, anger, self-esteem, and positive feelings. Reading this book and using the techniques will give you a good idea of what it's like to have sessions with a CBT therapist. (But cannot replace working with a professional)


2. This is Depression

Psychiatrist Diane McIntosh helps you understand depression more in this popular book entitled, This is Depression.

Diane goes into detail as far as symptoms and treatment options and she does so with compassion and a bit of humor.

What’s nice about this book is that it’s comprehensive and written in simple language for anyone. She also shares real-life examples of those who struggle with depression and those who have gotten better.


3. Learned Hopefulness

Dr. Tomasulo helps those struggling with depression using positive psychology. He addresses the roots of depression, as well as treatments, primarily using talk therapy. The book helps you identify your strengths and focus on them from a place of “learned hopefulness”.


4. Overcoming Depression: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques

Professor Paul Gilbert shares helpful cognitive behavioral techniques (CBT) in this popular book.

He also introduces more compassionate ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving in terms of depression. There are helpful case studies, as well as practical steps toward decreasing depressive symptoms.

One five-star review reads:  

It gives you all the information that you need about depression and helps you to understand why you feel the way you do. It also puts across an important message that depression is not your fault and is an illness that can be beaten.”


5. Depression Relief Journal: Creative Prompts & Mindfulness Practices to Release Negative Emotions

Maggie C. Vaughan is a licensed family therapist that created this guided journal to help those struggling with depression.

Using mindfulness as a tool, Maggie encourages you to disrupt negative thoughts or patterns that contribute to depression. There are prompts in this journal that help you remember to be mindful, as well as explore what’s going on under the surface in your mind.

As you progress through the journal, you’ll understand better what depression is, how it arises in your life, and learn creative tools for managing symptoms. You’ll also learn several mindfulness techniques that will help you stay in the present moment, which can help you feel fewer negative emotions.


6. Your Happiness Toolkit: 16 Strategies for Overcoming Depression, and Building a Joyful, Fulfilling Life

Enjoy 16 effective strategies for overcoming depression and creating the kind of life you truly desire with this book by professional counselor Carrie Wrigley.

After 30 years working in the mental health field, Carrie presents her favorite and most powerful emotional recovery techniques and tools. Whether you want to prevent depression, or overcome it, this book is a must-read.


7. Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts

Depressive thoughts are intrusive thoughts.

This book by psychotherapists Sally Winston and Martin Seif will help you take back control of your thought life and trade intrusive thoughts for positive, empowering thoughts.

Sally and Martin teach you the brain science around frightening, disturbing thoughts, as well as skills to help you cope, manage, or overcome them.


8. An Atlas of Depression

Andrew Solomon’s book, An Atlas of Depression, is a bit different than most books on depression, and it’s being praised by many.

Andrew examines depression with wit and candor, from a personal, cultural, and scientific lens. One thing that he gets across well is how debilitating depression can be.

He doesn’t hold back when it comes to talking about the suffering that people feel when they’re depressed. He also talks about treatments and his own story of battling and managing depression.



Overcoming Depression

Be sure to check out these books if you’re struggling with depression. Hopefully, as you do, you’ll feel encouraged that there is hope to overcome depression and live a happier, more peaceful life.

Photo by Leah Kelley


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