Five Books To Read When You Feel Low Or Depressed


Life is not a never-ending party that always brings joy and elation. Even the most successful people have experienced streaks of bad luck which have resulted in moral breakdown and emotional exhaustion verging on frustration. Whenever you feel low or depressed, just turn off every source of possible negativity and start reading one of the books. . . and then another one until you feel much better.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Beware, this is not a jolly book that will tell you a number of uplifting stories. This is a dark and rather unsettling read about the author’s life as a prisoner in a concentration camp during the rule of the Nazis in Europe. Some might say that it is not very appropriate reading for those in depression, but this book is not a mere depiction of the horrors that took place in these camps. It is more of a glorification of the ability of human beings to overcome suffering by finding meaning in their lives even in the ghastliest of situations. Victor Frankl, a prominent Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, wrote, “Even more people today have the means of life, but no meaning to live for.”     The main message of this book is filled with hope. It is an appeal to readers to search for reasons to live even in the most miserable, painful, and insufferable moments. The harsh realities of Auschwitz taught Frankl that comprehending the meaning of life is the real driving force that makes those in desperation grasp at the last straw and overcome every imaginable and unimaginable torture. This book will make you analyze your troubles seriously and will bring you to realize that they are only a tiny fraction of the suffering which millions of other people have experienced. Even in the darkest moments of the history of humanity, these people managed to find meaning in their lives. So can you!  

Feeling Good: the New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns

This book should be a part of the popular treatment that is called bibliotherapy. Certain clinical studies have shown that after reading this particular book, and comprehending it in a proper way, patients who underwent Cognitive Behavioral Therapy displayed a drastic improvement in their mental health.

In his book, David D. Burns describes proven methods that will help practically anyone to climb out of a depressed state, to become more optimistic, and to acquire a taste for life again. Feeling Good: the New Mood Therapy is based on the work of Aaron T. Beck, who has developed an effective treatment method that helps patients to deal with their sense of guilt, to slough off their addiction to approval, and to build a healthy self-esteem. This wonderful and helpful book contains three main theses:

  1. All our moods are created by our thoughts.          
  2. If a person is in a state of depression, his/her thoughts are overwhelmed by pervasive negativity.
  3. The negative thoughts which are the main cause of depression almost always contain gross cognitive distortion.

However, it is only a tiny tip of the psychoanalytical iceberg that is packed into this book. Read it, and your depression will sink like an infamous British liner.

Hide Your Goat: Strategies to Stay Positive When Negativity Surrounds You by Steve Gillard

            This book is for all those frustrated people who raise their hands to the sky with a howl of despair, asking why it is happening to them. If you feel that problems of all kinds are making you stumble at every step, your life is overfilled with problems, and dealing with negative people has turned into your daily routine, then you should immediately rush to the bookshop or to the e-book store and buy this amazing piece of writing. The main concept of Hide Your Goat is built around six main principles:

  1. The courage to realize your true nature
  2. The strength to accept your life experiences
  3. The wisdom to understand where you are going
  4. The knowledge to acquire what it takes to get there
  5. The awareness to get rid of those who are stopping you
  6. The power to change the things that hold you back

The expression “get one’s goat” means to get on someone’s nerves, to make the person really angry. Our dynamic stress-filled lives and the impositions of overly demanding or stupid people can easily get our goat. This entertaining book will teach you how to deal with negativity and how to maintain a positive attitude at all times.

Contagious Optimism: Uplifting Stories and Motivational Advice for Positive Forward Thinking by David Mezzapelle

David Mezzapelle has gathered stories of different writers, motivational speakers, successful entrepreneurs, and ordinary people and has compiled them into one of the best mood-enhancing books of all times. Once you open the first page, you are immediately brought under the influence of an unstoppable optimism, and your mind is filled with positive forward thinking. There are authors who are able to supercharge their readers with emotions and motivation, and David Mezzapelle is certainly one of them. The combination of success stories and methods of achieving success will lift your spirits from the deepest abyss of depression. Readers are encouraged to share the experiences of others, keep their flag of self-esteem flying high above the clouds, and to enjoy life at any given moment. Contagious Optimism is a wonderfully composed book that has everything one needs to lift the spirits. It is filled with sophisticated humor, useful tips, and practical exercises. Enjoy this book, and then infect some of your friends with an unstoppable optimism. 

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord         

This novel was written by a psychiatrist about a psychiatrist who discovers that he is unhappy with his work because, while having an excellent professional record from the point of view of traditional medicine, he can’t make his patients happy.

Therefore, Hector embarks on a quest to find happiness or rather to understand the exact foundation of happiness. He travels to China, Africa, and the United States with a small notebook, where he writes down all the most valuable lessons he learns. During his travels, Hector gets into many interesting and sometimes awkward situations: he meets a monk in China, a drug dealer in Africa, and even gets kidnapped. However, he never stops pondering about the meaning of happiness.

Overall, it is an easy-to-read book that will serve as nice and smooth concluding phase of your depression relief program.

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