Stuck in a rut? Looking for that spark of insight to lift you out and set you on the right road? Or just need to give someone a Christmas gift idea?
I don’t normally read “self-help” books because, while they’re well intentioned, I find many of them are wishy-washy, or they’re preachy, or they’re just full of peppy hyped up bullshit that tries too hard.
But these three books are essential reading and/or listening if you have depression. Or even if you don’t, they’re still brilliant for helping you to improve you.
What you need before you even start
After more than three decades with depression, I’d become so cynical that I thought the last thing I needed was a self-help book.
I was wrong.
What I needed was to open my mind. Staying on the same mental pathway was holding me in the depths, so I had to change that. I did some serious work with a psychologist who helped me get started on this journey to help my depression.
So, please open your mind and see a mental health professional for your depression. Hell, go see one even if you’re fine, just for a “check up”.
Okay, the books…
Claim Your Power by Mastin Kipp
I found Claim Your Power in my local library by pure accident. Or maybe I was guided. The first time I picked it up, I saw that it required 40 days, thought “Ugh!” and put it down. But I came back to it a week later and gave it a try. I knew I had to open my mind to different things, so I went into it with no expectations.
Two words: game changer.
Like no other book, this amazing work will help you identify:
- your primary emotions that guide you in life
- your true purpose.
You will see clearly what’s troubling you – at the core, not just the depression which is a symptom – and also what’s awesome in your life. It then provides amazing tools and encouragement to release old wounds and move forward more positively.
Simply read one chapter per day over 40 days and make notes. I used an exercise book. Some days you make lots of notes, some days hardly any. With Kipp’s guidance, you will lay out clearly the problems that are holding you back, the good and bad memories from your life, and your strengths and loves.
You end up with a collection of tremendous reflections and thoughts that you can refer back to many times over.
Listen to Kick Ass by Mel Robbins
This isn’t a print book. You have to listen, which is great because you can hear people’s profound, visceral reactions as Mel coaches them and helps them confront what’s been holding them back. In minutes, she gets these people to go beyond what they thought was their problem and find the true issue. All of them find themselves blown away – in a good way! It’s funny, it’s inspiring, it’s emotional.
Above all, you find yourself gaining insight from each person’s segment because you can see pieces of yourself in every story.
Mel is direct, insightful, brutally honest, and yet extremely caring. She’s one hell of a coach. You’ll wish she was interviewing you.
If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, you can get this one free by signing up to Audible. The first audiobook you order is free. This was mine.
Zero Limits by Joe Vitale and Hew Len
Be advised that saying this book’s four key phrases over and over can stir up huge emotions and also huge change. But that’s what we depression sufferers need. We have to find a way to work through the difficult emotions and learn how to release the discomfort.
You may think that the words you say in the mantras are just words – and most people think it’s stupid and resist doing it – but they have power beyond what you think.
- Forgive me.
- I love you.
- I forgive you.
- Thank you.
It’s all based on the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono. Psychologists have done a lot of work on how powerful forgiveness is, so much that there’s even a department at Stanford University just on forgiveness.
If you’ve had trouble getting through the grieving process of depression and forgiving the people around you – and forgiving yourself – this book is another game changer.
Just do something
It doesn’t matter which book you start with. It doesn’t matter what order you do things. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re ready or not. Just do something to get yourself on a different road. You’ve been down the old road of depression too many times. You know where it goes and you know that it sucks.
Get reading. Get listening. The sooner new ideas take root, the sooner you can start growing and changing.