12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression


12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

If I’d asked you, “Hey buddy, are you depressed,” chances are you’ll most likely give a false grin while reassuring me you’re alright. Despite your answer, there’s a small version of you trapped inside your head, begging me to dig further into what might be bothering you.

Maybe you need someone to talk to and you give clues and signs to cause another person to dig deeper. I get it. Depression sucks because it’s a time you beg for a certain type of attention. A type of attention that cause people to become genuinely interested in your problems. But you sit there patiently as you wait for someone to hear your honest thoughts.

Perhaps you can’t find that special someone to hand your thoughts to, but what helps is to read the struggles of those who dealt with the same situation. Over the years, our minds get filled with false beliefs that’s never true.We generate the belief of what others say is true and this manipulates our destiny.

Maybe you remember what Billy said from second grade about your speaking problems and that still haunts you today. Perhaps your parents said your dreams were pointless and your destiny was to work on a farm. It doesn’t really matter who gave you those negative thoughts. Point is, we all generate something negative about ourselves because of our misconceptions of the world.

People need the right channel to lead them on the right way of thinking. Self development books for depression aren’t meant to get yourself consciously aware of your negative habits. They’re meant to act as a guide and reference whenever dealing with bad thoughts, and you need a quick lesson about the simplicity of life.

You may think you’re alone and no one gives a crap about you, but self development books for depression erase those thoughts because they help you realize you’re not alone. Other people suffered from what you’re dealing with and in these books, they show just how they dealt with them.

I recommend never reading the entire book when you’re feeling down. There’s a good chance you won’t have the necessary energy to completely finish it. Sometimes, all you need is a short passage that can correct your train of thought.


1. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

This bestseller is a must read if you’re suffering from depression, or searching for happiness. Don explains four crucial principals to practice to bring love and happiness in your life. A friend recommended this book to me and I was astonished by the simplicity of it.

Many readers of this book had opened their eyes to a new possibility to adopt a positive lifestyle. They marveled when they saw the possibility for happiness, respect, and love. It was easier self-respecting themselves and letting go of their frustrations and disappointments. 

For those curious, the four agreements are:

Be Impeccable with the world: Speak with integrity and say only what you mean. If you must, pause in between your words before conveying them. Do not fall into the temptation of gossiping about yourself or others. Instead, use your word in the correct format by exhibiting truth and love. This brings a range of positive results into your life. 

Don’t Take Anything Personally: Avoid the habit of assuming the world is out to get you. People will always entrapped themselves in their own reality with little to no intent to inflict yours. When you ignore the opinions and actions of others, it ends your endless suffering and pain.

Don’t Make Assumptions: Never be afraid to ask questions and express what you want. It takes communication and intent to avoid misunderstandings and drama.

Always Do Your Best: Don’t concentrate on the progress of others. Only pay attention to your own goals and accomplishments. Train your mind to be the best version of yourself. Be the best person you can possibly be and it will eliminate self-abuse, regret, and self-judgment.

Each agreement goes into great details about how to master each point. You’ll gain a deep understanding that’ll support you whenever you’re suffering from any of the agreements.


2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

The Gifts of Imperfection covers the research of Brene Brown. After collecting the stories from men and women between ages 18 – 87, she noticed how their was a trend in those people enjoying fulfilling lives after embracing imperfection.

The book focuses on 10 guidelines to help you create a wholehearted life. Each chapter focuses on each of her guidelines that is backed up with relevant research, inspiring quotes and insightful stories.

One aspect that helped many of its readers is the way Brown turns powerful scientific problems about depression and turns them into clear, concise, and interesting stories.

By the end of this book, Brown dispels the myths of perfectionism because it’s only a shield we create to protect ourselves from any potential thoughts. This beautifully written book will guide you to a healthy mindset and you’ll learn to love yourself.


3. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

This book is known to give readers a self-realization awakening because you begin to explore the question, “Who are you?” When you start to explore this question, you begin to realize how big that question is.

You question what type of person you are, who you belong to, your collection of experience and memories, and are you on the path you should be on. Singer explains the importance of tapping into mindfulness so we can dwell on the present moment.

Through that method, he breaks down how it’s easy to open your heart in ways to accelerate your happiness.


4. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

Set during the Great Depression, the story focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by debt, economic hardship, agricultural industry changes and bank foreclosures  focusing tenant farmers out of work.

Just about everything that could possibly go wrong happens to this family, turning from one hopeless situation to the other.

So why read a book that’s filled with depression and despair? Because beyond the suffering and hardship, you also see another characteristic that’s important to learn. Which is the ability to stay extremely loyal to those close to one another despite what came their direction.

The Joads stand as the type of people who won’t be broken by circumstances that conspire against them. At every turn, Steinbeck seems intent on showing their dignity and honor. Overall, you come to understand such as the Joads, you can be brave on the course of your journey.


5. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & … Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Matthew McKay

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

If you deal with or know anyone who deals with borderline personality disorder, this book has been proven to act as an effective treatment. One of the main symptoms people with borderline personality disorder have is suffering from a range of emotions.

Thus, with the guides provided in this book, you can improve your ability to handle stress without losing control and acting destructively. The four skills Matthew helps you take control of is mindfulness, regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.


6. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

A personal favorite because of it wittiness and hilarious views on understanding human nature and how to face depression. Brosh reflects on what happened in her life with both sense of humor and depth to help readers identify depression. Overall, if you own a dog, ever owned a dog, or faced depression, many of her stories will resonate with you.


7. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne PhD

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

Do you suffer from anxiety, panic disorders, or phobias? If so, this book teaches you how to tackle those fears restraining you. The skills this book teaches you to master and restrain those anxious thoughts are: ending negative self-talk, relaxation and breathing techniques, and improving your lifestyle.

Edmund Bourne is a leading expert in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and provides powerful step by step treatments for panic disorders and general anxieties. 

Whether you suffer from anxiety and phobias, this book will provide the latest solutions for overcoming the fears that stand in the way of living a full, happy life.


8. Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

If you’re constantly faced with worry, confusion, depression, or anger, there’s an ongoing battle occurring in your mind. Joyce Meyer helps explain the ways to gain control over your mind and find freedom and peace.

Learn how to recognize those damaging thoughts and stop them from influencing your life. 


9. Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Natasha Campbell-McBride

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

This book targets those who suffer with depression, anxiety, learning issues, obesity, and mood chemistry. Natasha examines how your brain can be affected based on what you eat and the relationships you create.

As a parent of a child diagnosed with learning disabilities, she’s aware of the difficulties facing other parents like her, and provides solutions to help them with their problems. Realizing that nutrition played a critical role in helping children and adults overcome their disabilities, she shares her knowledge to beat those problems.


10. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

Melinda is friendless and an outcast because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Nobody wants to talk to her or even listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether.

Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her.

In Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many disenfranchised teenagers while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.


11. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

Louise L. Hay message is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” The author has a great deal of experience and firsthand information to share about healing, including how she cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer.

What people think about themselves becomes the truth for them. She believes that everyone, including herself, is responsible for everything in their lives, the best and the worst. Every thought people think is creating their future. Everyone creates their own experiences by their thoughts and feelings. The thoughts people think and the words they speak create their experiences.


12. I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” by Brene Brown

12 Helpful Self Development Books for Depression

The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate.

Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.

Dr. Brené Brown, Ph.D., is the leading authority on the power of vulnerability, and has inspired thousands. Based on seven years of her ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, this book tells:

Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.




About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He's traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)

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