Book Review: From Depression to Contentment

I just finished reading From Depression to Contentment by Bob Rich, PhD. “Reading” is probably a misnomer. From Depression to Contentment is a practical guidebook to revamping our behaviors as a means of changing our inner life. It is not only engaging; it is meant to be engaged with.


I received the book roughly a week ago after a string of back-and-forth emails with the author inspired me to want to experience his work. I loved the book! It’s not perfect. One thing I find problematic about it is that I do believe that, in a small number of cases, depression requires medical intervention and the book seems to present all depression as a repetitive loop of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. But, that said, this strikes me as incredibly helpful for anyone who wants to feel better about their experience of life. It takes complex concepts and synthesizes them down to actionable items, bolstered by memorable anecdotes. I’d have devoured it in less than a week except that, as mentioned, there are to-do exercises that I want to say “slowed me down” but that actually speed up the path of my emotional uplift.


The practices in Bob Rich, PhD’s short but substantial book, are something that I hope to integrate into my life on an ongoing basis and I highly recommend this book as a resource for anyone struggling with depression. Or not! This book can help even those of us who feel pretty good about life. Some of its practices are intuitive and others aren’t, but intentionally incorporating more joy into our lives seems to me to be something that can and will benefit anyone!


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