Share on Pinterest
Getty Images/Yang Cao/EyeEm

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

The following books are written either by professionals in mental health or by people who have managed and conquered depression in their own lives, giving them expertise on the subject. The books also have high customer ratings, and some are featured on bestseller lists.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $15
  • $$ = $15–$18
  • $$$ = over $18

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs

Price: $

It’s not a coincidence that depression rates have gone up in our modern, fast-paced society.

In “The Depression Cure,” Stephen Ilardi, PhD, reminds us that human minds and bodies weren’t designed to function well with poor sleeping and eating habits and long work hours.

He takes us back to basics, using examples of techniques to combat depression that are inspired by populations like the Kaluli of Papua, New Guinea, who are still untouched by modern technology.

His program is based on years of clinical research and revolves heavily around lifestyle changes.

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

Price: $$$

Mindfulness is a Buddhist philosophy that began about 2,600 years ago. Psychologists believe real mental health benefits can come from breathing and being in the moment.

The authors of “The Mindful Way Through Depressionemphasize how trying to simply “snap out” of depression can lead to more negative feelings, and they explore other methods of defeating those bad feelings.

They explain how mindfulness works to combat a negative thought process and how you can use it to help with depression.

The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time

Price: $$$

There’s science behind how depression works. In his book “The Upward Spiral,” neuroscientist Alex Korb, PhD, explains the process in your brain that causes depression.

Using this information, he outlines tips for how you can apply neuroscience research to rewire your brain toward healthier, happier thoughts.

This book is great for people with depression, or for people who just want a better look at how our brains function and deal with different emotions.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking

Price: $$

This is a self-help book for people who hate self-help books. Not everyone is wired to respond to the promise of positivity.

The Antidote” takes a more existential approach. This book explores how embracing some negative feelings and experiences as a part of life can actually be uplifting.

Many people are aware that certain aspects of life such as money, romance, and family don’t always make a person happy, and this book is made specifically for people whose happiness doesn’t revolve around those things.

Depression-Free, Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue, and Anger from Your Life

Price: $$

It’s been said that you are what you eat. Nutritionist Joan Mathews Larson, PhD, believes imbalances and deficiencies are the cause of depression and anxiety.

In “Depression-Free, Naturally,” she offers tips for emotional healing and suggestions for foods, vitamins, and minerals to boost health and keep depression at bay.

The book allows for self-screening for certain behavioral symptoms, followed by a guided plan to help naturally heal your mind and body and become healthier overall.

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

Price: $$

Depression isn’t a one-size-fits-all mood disorder.

In “The Noonday Demon,” author Andrew Solomon explores it from several angles, including his personal experiences.

Learn why depression and its treatments are so complex according to doctors, policymakers, scientists, pharmaceutical companies, and people living with it.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Price: $$

Certain negative thought patterns, like guilt, pessimism, and low self-esteem are fuel for depression.

In “Feeling Good,” psychiatrist Dr. David Burns outlines techniques to help break out of these patterns by recognizing them and dealing with them.

The book helps guide you into thoughts that help with addiction, mood swings, guilt, hostility, and other negative feelings.

The latest edition of this book also includes a guide to antidepressants and more information on treatment options for depression.

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

Price: $

You can teach an old dog new tricks and you can retrain your brain, too. We are able to change our thought patterns. It just takes work.

In his book “Change Your Brain,” psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen uses scientific evidence to provide “brain prescriptions” that help you retrain your mind. For depression, he offers tips to diffuse automatic negative thoughts (ANTs).

He gives tips on a number of mental health concerns, from depression, anxiety, anger, as well as many others.

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You

Price: $$$

Undoing Depression” takes a practical approach to taking on depression. Richard O’Connor, PhD, a practicing psychotherapist, focuses on the aspects of this condition that are within our control: our habits.

The book offers tips and techniques for how to replace depressive thought patterns and behaviors with healthier approaches.

Full Catastrophe Living

Price: $$

In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to overlook the amount of stress and the profound effect it can have on our moods and well-being.

Full Catastrophe Living” teaches mindfulness habits to help you live in the moment and ease daily stress. The book combines mind and body approaches, like meditation and yoga, to help you reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Price: $

Furiously Happy” is derived from author Jenny Lawson’s years of firsthand experience with depression and other conditions.

While living with severe depression, Lawson manages to find light in the darkness, and she shares that with her readers. The book highlights depression and mental illness, as well as Jenny’s focus on the joy she’s found.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Price: $

Exercise does more than keep you fit and prevent heart disease. It’s actually a powerful ally against depression and anxiety.

Spark” explores the mind-body connection to explain how and why aerobic exercise is effective in reducing symptoms from several mental conditions.

The book strives to help readers not only eliminate depression but also increase intellect, enhance memory, lift mood, and conquer stress.

Reading about depression can help you understand your own thoughts and feelings.

The books listed here can help you understand how to overcome some negative thoughts you may have, and help you discover how to change your thought process.

Keep in mind, these books aren’t meant to replace the advice and care of a mental health professional. If you find managing your mental health overwhelming, schedule an appointment with a licensed professional.