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15 Quotes That Lifted Me Up When I Was Depressed

Seth Adam Smith
Updated on January 30, 2020
Seth Adam Smith
By Seth Adam Smith
mbg Contributor
Seth Adam Smith is the author of Your Life Isn't for You: A Selfish Person's Guide to Being Selfless.
January 30, 2020

For over 20 years, I have struggled with chronic depression. Along with diet and exercise, working with medical professionals, and developing healthy relationships with others, I have learned that inspired words can be a powerful tool in fighting depression. For while medicines can heal the body, inspired words can heal the soul. Here are 15 uplifting quotes for the depressed heart:

  1. "Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I've made that commitment for my life's sake and for the sake of those who love me." —Susan Polis Schutz
  2. "Once you choose hope, anything is possible." —Christopher Reeve
  3. "A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl." —Stephan Hoeller
  4. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." —Helen Keller
  5. "A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you." —Joyce Meyer, Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies To Win the Battle of the Mind
  6. "Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." —Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground
  7. "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." —Fred Rogers
  8. "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." —Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
  9. "Keep yourself busy if you want to avoid depression. For me, inactivity is the enemy." —Matt Lucas
  10. "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." —Thich Nhat Hanh
  11. "Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light." —Madeleine L'Engle, A Ringless End of Light
  12. "Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment." —Grenville Kleiser
  13. "Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen
  14. "There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind." —C.S. Lewis
  15. "The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being." —Tenzin Gyatso

That last quote expresses an idea that I want to underscore. Sometimes, the most helpful thing we can do for ourselves is to help another person. I can certainly attest to an unseen strength that comes to those who reach out and lift another.

Adapted from an excerpt of Your Life Isn't for You: A Selfish Person's Guide to Being Selfless by Seth Adam Smith.
Seth Adam Smith author page.
Seth Adam Smith

Seth Adam Smith is the author of Your Life Isn't for You: A Selfish Person's Guide to Being Selfless. A survivor of a suicide attempt in 2006, Seth has learned that true healing comes from focusing on others. He frequently shares his mental health story on his website and Youtube channel.