How to Treat Depression without Medication

If you suffer from depression, you know how devastatingly hard it can be to cope. Whether your depression treatment includes medication or not, it's also important to know some steps for managing depression.

Cut refined sugars out of your diet as much as possible. Depression is often linked to low serotonin levels in the brain, and sugars give a temporary boost to serotonin. It's no wonder that many people crave sugar when depressed! But the boost is only temporary and you will crash later. Don't be tempted by sugary foods.

Eat the proper foods and take a multi vitamin. If you eat a well-balanced diet, your body is more likely to feel good and function properly.

Exercise regularly. Exercise gives you a natural high and adrenaline rush, which can boost your mood for hours at a time. Try to exercise on a regular basis.

Get some sunlight. Research has shown that daily sunlight helps boost your mood. Even if it's just for 15 minutes, go outside and get some sunlight and fresh air!

Look into a light box if the sunlight is sparse in your area. If the day is frequently overcast or you simply never get a chance to go outside, a light box may be a solution for you. Just a few minutes of light from the light box can help depression immensely.

Get enough sleep every night. Lack of sleep contributes to poor body function, irritation, and depression. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep (7-9 hours) can improve your mood drastically. Take a small nap during the day if you need to.

Journal your thoughts and moods. If you regularly record your moods and the triggers that caused you to feel that way, you may begin to see patterns in what is causing your depression. In addition, journaling or blogging your feelings can help you work through them.

Seek out friends. Depression can make you want to hide from the world, but that will only make the depression worse. Call a friend or make plans to do something social with a friend. Even a small chat with a friend can help improve your mood.

Pray. Meditation or prayer has been shown to improve moods, so give it a chance. Take just a little time each day for quiet reflection or prayer.

Seek professional help when needed. Don't ever be ashamed of taking advantage of professional resources. That's why they're there! Talk to a doctor, pastor, therapist, or psychiatrist for additional help and information when needed.


  • Don't be discouraged if you don't notice results immediately. It may take a few days for your depression to improve, so hang in there! Don't wait until you feel depressed to implement these tips - do them now in order to maintain your mood. Remember that you are not alone and that there are many people out there who know what you are going through.


  • If you are currently receiving treatment for depression, don't stop! Use these tips along with the treatment you are already receiving. If you have depression, it's important to talk to a doctor or counselor for expert help and treatment.