This article provides a list of some of the best books on overcoming depression. Often, the best way to overcome depression is what they call “bibliotherapy,” which is just therapy that comes from books. There are a large number of books that have been written on the subject of depression. I have read many of them. I have read other articles about books on overcoming depression in researching this article, and I suspect that most people writing their articles did not have time to read every book on the list.
For example, the book, The Noonday Demon, by Andrew Solomon. This is a book that has won prizes and it is very well-written and interesting. It is a great book about the experience of depression. However, it is not a therapeutic book in my opinion. In fact I believe it is the opposite. Although some might find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in the often crushing despair of depression, some others might find that having it described in painstaking detail only reminds them of their suffering and keeps them “stuck”. I would recommend this book highly to friends and family of someone who is depressed! It is a great book for understanding what a depressed person experiences.
So, that being said, what WOULD I recommend? I’m so glad you asked. This is sort of a short list, but these are the books that I believe really are the best of the bunch. There are a large number of books available, but these are the ones that I think can really help turn things around for people who are depressed. That is not to say other books could not also help, but these are the best that I know of.
Best books on overcoming depression:
- The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness – This book is about using mindfulness based cognitive therapy to overcome depression. That may sound complicated, but it is really not. It is an excellent book with its roots in Eastern philosophy, but explained in a Western way. Personally, my favorite format of this book is the CD only or Audible version because I think that, for many depressed people, it might be easier to just listen to a book than to read one. The link is to the regular paperback version with guided meditations on CD. If you only buy one book on depression, buy this one.
- Keys to Unlocking Depression: An Internationally Known Depression Expert Tells You What You Need to Know to Overcome Depression by Michael Yapko. I have to admit that I have not read this one. Instead, I read Breaking the Patterns of Depression also by Michael Yapko. However, I am excited about his new book because it is very short and promises to deliver only the essential elements that a person needs to recover from depression.
- The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns. This book is a classic on overcoming depression and anxiety. It explains cognitive behavioral therapy methods and has a lot of wisdom to offer. I highly recommend it, particularly to those in a mild to moderate depression.
- The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb. I have not had a chance to read this one yet, but I have heard very good things. This book has been well-reviewed by critics and by people suffering from the illness of depression. Once I have read it, I will come back with an update.
Those are the best books on overcoming depression that I know of. If you know of any other good ones, please write about it in the comments section below. There are, of course, many other books about depression, but I wanted to boil this list down to the very best books that would be most helpful to someone who is suffering from this illness. I hope they help.