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Self-help books on Depression


There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.

Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.

Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.


The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.


Date of information: Jan 2006, updated Feb 2010

Dealing with Depression
Trevor Barnes, Vermilion, 1996

Drawing on The Samaritans' 40 years of experience, this book offers self-help strategies for coping with depressive states and aims to bring hope to the lives of the mentally ill and the despairing, as well as their friends and families.

An Introduction to Coping with Depression
Lee Brosan and Brenda Hogan, Robinson, 2007

A CBT self-help booklet introducing you to some strategies that you can use to cope with depression.

Feeling Good: the new mood therapy
David Burns, Avon, 1999

A drug-free guide to curing anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other depressive disorders uses scientifically tested methods to improve mood and stave off the blues.

Potatoes Not Prozac
Kathleen Desmaisons, Pocket Books, 2001

For many who suffer mood swings or depression, or who frequently feel bloated or exhausted, the problem lies with their body chemistry. The author offers a nutritional plan designed to maintain the correct balance between seratonin, beta-endorphin and blood sugar.

Overcoming Depression
Paul Gilbert, Robinson, 2009

A CBT self-help book describing ways in which you can overcome your depression.

The Compassionate Mind
Paul Gilbert, Constable, 2009

A self-help book designed to enable you to address stress and depression through the use of compassion.

Overcoming Depression - A Practical Self-Help Guide to Prevention and Treatment
Dr R. Gillett, Dorling Kindersley, 1991

A self-help guide intended to prevent and treat depression.

Mind Over Mood
Dennis Greenberger, et al., Guilford Press, 1996

This guide seeks to draw on the authors' experience as clinicians and teachers of cognitive therapy to help clients understand and improve their moods.

Full Catastrophe Living: How to cope with stress, pain & illness using mindfulness meditation
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Piatkus Books, 2001

How to handle potentially stressful situations. How to use mindfulness meditation to help you: relieve physical and emotional pain, reduce anxiety and panic, help improve your health and your relationships, and much more.

Depression & How to Survive It
Spike Milligan & Anthony Clare, Arrow, 1994

Anthony Clare charts the development of Spike Milligan's illness and the strategies he uses in dealing with it.

Down With Gloom
Brice Pitt, Gaskell, 1993

Anxiety & Depression - A Practical Guide to Recovery
Robert Priest, Vermilion, 1996

A self-help guide to recovery from depression and anxiety. Covers methods intended to reduce stress and offers explanations for causes and effects of anxiety and depression.

I Don't Want to talk about it
Terence Real, Newleaf, 1998

Real teaches us how men can unearth their pain, heal themselves and restore relationships. He offers great wisdom, hope and practical guidance for them and their families.

Depression - The Way Out of Your Prison
Dorothy Rowe, Routledge, 1996

Dorothy Rowe offers a potential way of understanding depression, allowing us to take charge of our lives. She suggests that it is not an illness requiring drugs in all cases, but a defence we may use to hold ourselves together when we feel our lives are falling apart.

The Mindful Way through Depression
Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel V Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Guilford Publications, 2007

A self-help guide offering helpful relief from your depression.  This book explores depression and it's anatomy and the place and practice of mindfulness and cognitive therapy in breaking through the depression cycle.