It’s hard to build a life we love, and doubly so when we’re going through depression. In my conversation with Dr. Rachel Hershenberg, we talk about her recent book, Activating Happiness: A Jump Start Guide to Overcoming Low Motivation, Depression, or Just Feeling Stuck.
Rachel’s book goes way beyond the simple idea of “doing more activities” to combat depression. As we discuss, certain kinds of activities are more antidepressant than others, and those are the ones where we want to focus our finite energies.
I had a great time learning more about Rachel’s approach to treating depression; we covered topics including:
- The effectiveness of behavioral treatment compared to medication for depression
- How to start as small as necessary to get the ball rolling
- The big effect of seemingly small decisions
- Our difficulty in predicting what’s going to make us feel well
- What drives procrastination (it’s not laziness!)
- How to build habits that serve us well
- Effective ways to cultivate gratitude
Early in the episode I mention an article Rachel wrote; here’s the blog post where I report those findings: How “Daily Uplifts” Can Counter Depression.
Rachel Hershenberg, PhD, is assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, where she also serves as director of psychotherapy in the Treatment Resistant Depression program. She’s a productive scholar (see her profile on PubMed) and she received the Career Development Leadership Award in Clinical Research from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.