8 Tips That May Help Depression Symptoms

Wondering how to cure depression? There are a number of effective lifestyle strategies you can take.

exercise may help depression

Meditation and yoga are both great daily activities you can do to help fight depression.

© Alexey Poprotskiy | Dreamstime.com

If you’ve been feeling down in the dumps for an extended period of time, you may be suffering from depression. You’re not alone, as millions of other Americans experience this common disorder. The bright side is that there are a number of effective lifestyle strategies you can take to fight depression.

Here are eight steps to help you find a cure for depression:

How to Cure Depression Tip #1: Exercise

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and promote nerve cell growth. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can be just as effective at relieving symptoms of depression as many medications. Research also suggests that even moderate exercise can help, such as taking a light walk or gardening 20 to 30 minutes a day.

How to Cure Depression Tip #2: Eat Healthy

Many processed foods and fast foods contain trans fat; a diet high in trans fat may increase your risk of depression. A study found that participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fat had a 48% increase in the risk of depression compared to participants who did not consume the same fats. Opt instead for a diet rich in foods with healthy polyunsaturated fats, such as fish and vegetable oils.

How to Cure Depression Tip #3: Get Adequate Sleep

Understandably, some people suffering from depression may have trouble sleeping due to stress and anxiety. On the other hand, some may find it difficult to get up in the morning, opting instead to stay in the comfort of a warm bed and dark room. The optimal amount of sleep for individuals from 18 to 64 years old is 7-9 hours a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Aim to get that much rest on a daily basis.

How to Cure Depression Tip #4: Manage Stress

This may be easier said than done. Try to avoid negative people or environments that can trigger a stressful situation. A proven approach: Find an enjoyable, relaxing activity when you feel your stress levels getting too high. Go for a walk, take a bike ride, or meditate—and take a vacation or at least a long weekend when needed. Take a step back, regroup, and continue.

How to Cure Depression Tip #5: Let It Out

Don’t keep your feelings inside. Bottled-up grief or anger can build up until finally exploding. Talk to a family member, friend, or therapist, or even write down your thoughts in a journal. A good cry can also be very therapeutic.

How to Cure Depression Tip #6: Try Natural Remedies

There are multiple natural health remedies you can take to fight depression. St. John’s wort is a flower extract available in most pharmacies and health food stores. It can be helpful in relieving mild to moderate depression. However, some studies have shown mixed results in treating depression when compared to a placebo. Dopamine supplements can help increase your feelings of motivation and pleasure. Dopamine is naturally produced and released in the body when you approach and reach goals. When dopamine is released, it comes with a good feeling and a boost of energy. Supplements, such as L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola, Mucuna, and L-theanine, can help your body naturally produce dopamine. As is the case with traditional medication, natural supplements can also produce negative side effects. Consult your doctor before trying any natural depression remedy.

How to Cure Depression Tip #7: See a Specialist

You may have a close bond with your general practitioner; however, he or she may not be the best option for treating your depression. A psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, social worker, or therapist may be better suited for your needs. Find one in your local area and make an appointment, or ask your primary care doctor for a suggestion. There are also organizations that offer support groups, such as Anxiety and Depression Association of America and Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Local religious or community centers in your area may also offer support groups. The American Psychological Association offers a psychologist locator on their website. If you’re concerned about a loved one who may be suffering from depression, one way to help may be to compile a list of local resources that can offer help and give them gentle encouragement to seek it.

How to Cure Depression Tip #8: Medication

Doctors sometimes prescribe medication to overcome depression. These medications are most often used to adjust the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that lead to depression. The most common are antidepressants. Antidepressants are broken down into several classes, such as selective serotonin ieuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), and reuptake inhibitors and receptor blockers. Your doctor will be able to prescribe a certain type of antidepressant based on the symptoms you are experiencing as well as your family history.

If your healthcare provider prescribes a medication to treat your depression symptoms, make sure you ask questions about possible side effects. Read more about depression medication here.

• • • • • • •

If you or a loved one are suffering from depression, it can be difficult to overcome. The first step, and most important, is recognizing and admitting that there is a problem. It’s also crucial to remember that there is no surefire cure for depression and certain treatments may work for some, and not others.


For some of us, pets are not only loyal friends, but worthy stress-relievers. According to HelpGuide.org, dogs “can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.” The site points out that according to studies, “Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.” Dogs help us to find meaning and joy in life, stay connected with others, and boost vitality. And Academia.edu tells us, “Simply interacting with a cat can improve a person’s mood and help make them feel better in general.”

It may surprise some, but our pets can experience depression, too. Our sister website for cat owners, Catster.com, offers an article called “Cat Depression—Signs, Causes, and How to Treat It.”

For related reading, check out these posts:

Originally posted in 2016, this post is regularly updated.

As a service to our readers, University Health News offers a vast archive of free digital content. Please note the date published or last update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UHN Staff

University Health News is produced by the award-winning editors and authors of Belvoir Media Group’s Health & Wellness Division. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., with editorial offices in Florida, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, … Read More

View all posts by UHN Staff

Comments Comments Policy
  • I do not like the title of this article, or the content. It is misleading and inaccurate. I’ve had depression since the early 1970s and have tried everything that this article claims will “cure” it. Why aren’t I cured?

  • I did not know that not getting enough sleep could lead you to have depression. My sister has been suffering from something like this the past few weeks and I want to make sure I do a little research so I know how to help. Personally, I think that taking the time to educate yourself on the matter can help you come up with the best plan of action and get the results you need. http://www.drkuris.com/

  • I can’t believe authorities are still claiming that psychiatric medications help with mental illness. It just baffles me. Especially when it has been proven they do nothing but cause more problems. They are synthetic chemicals that were never ever meant for human consumption. I often wonder who writes these articles. I personally was disabled by psych medications. And there are millions damaged by these drugs. Please get the real facts before publishing these kinds of comments.

  • For anyone suffering from depression, I recommend the Destroy Depression System  by James Gordon. He is a former depression and PTSD sufferer, and teaches a totally natural 7 step process which he used to cure his own depression.

  • Hello
    I agree with you completely and I stand by with everyone those who are undergoing depression and are in a state of worry!
    Being a Mental Health Advocate, it cringes me when I get cases where people undergo stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and mental illness! For improving the world, we shall all stand together and take massive strides in humanity!
    Depression is a deadly disease and it needs a lot of gut and a lot of self-believe to take it out!
    What I do is I study the cause of depression and what I believe is one should go for medical treatment but when You can help YOURSELF so, why go to someone else? Realising self-worth and importance is the need of the hour.
    So, to help people get rid of depression, I’ve mentioned 7 Easy Ways to do so! I hope you’ll definitely take a glimpse and feel free to share.

    Lets reduce the stigma! Have a nice day!

    Warm Regards,

  • They are excellent tips and I am delighted that someone cares about helping people with this serious problem that is depression, something that I advise and help me a lot even if it seems funny is to take a shower every day, when I lost my job I wanted nothing and although I did not have to do it, taking a bath made me feel important to me and when I was dirty I felt really bad, and I also recommend the James Gordon system as someone mentioned it, talks about the negative effects of medications, the tragic link between depression and suicide that is the most important thing that any person does, I wish you all success and remember that to attract good things in our life we must first feel good about ourselves

  • I like how you mentioned that one way to help is to eat healthy because a study found that participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fat had a 48% increase in the risk of depression compared to participants who did not consume the same fats. I have suffered from depression since high school, and recently it’s gotten really bad, and I want to be able to find a way to decrease it so I can have a better quality of life. I will definitely keep all of your tips and information in mind when trying to find a treatment that can help with my depression. https://www.teresamandersonmd.com/services

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.