Witchy Chicken Soup for the Depressed Millennial Soul
April 16, 2018 5:48 PM   Subscribe

My best friend is going through some hardship. I'm trying to help her find relatable, inspirational, spiritual books about dealing with depression. Details inside.

She is not a capital-c Christian, but was raised in a very fundamentalist Evangelical church. Overtly Southern Baptist or otherwise fundamental preachings turn her off. Her own spiritual views can be summed up concisely as "witchy," but not in a formalized Wiccan sense. She strongly prefers female authors. Eastern thought is not unwelcome. She is interested in Pema Chodron, but hasn't read anything of hers yet. We would prefer to avoid anything too "self helpy," anti-rx, or gimmicky, favoring relatable stories about facing depression through a combination of spirituality, therapy, and medicine. She likes bell hooks, Sylvia Plath, and Rupi Kaur. She loves poetry, and reading good poetry helps keep her writing, which in turn helps her feel better. Thanks in advance.
posted by landunderwave to Religion & Philosophy (8 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
The Hyperbole and a Half book by Allie Brosh. One of the stories is a (imo relatable) description of the author bring depressed and starting to heal, another is about unhealthy coping mechanisms, the rest are just straight up hilarious descriptions of her dogs and her being a weird kid. It's my go-to book to cheer up. No spirituality, however.
posted by momus_window at 7:03 PM on April 16, 2018 [11 favorites]

Anne Lamott really comes to mind here. She's so prolific, you could browse through her Amazon, but here's a collection of essays that might hit the spot.
posted by velveeta underground at 7:14 PM on April 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Jenny Lawson!!! she has 3 fantastic books that talk a lot about dealing with anxiety and depression, but are also wonderfully entertaining and hilarious. One is even an inspirational colouring book.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Furiously Happy
You Are Here
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:47 PM on April 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Dream of a Common Language?
What the Living Do?
Bright Dead Things?
posted by athirstforsalt at 8:10 PM on April 16, 2018

She might enjoy Kathleen Norris. Start with Amazing Grace.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:46 AM on April 17, 2018

The poetry of Mary Oliver.
posted by edithkeeler at 7:47 AM on April 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times is an extraordinary anthology of contemporary poetry. The poems are organized by theme and they accessible even to people who do not generally enjoy poetry, but they're also good literature. I cannot recommend it enough. I have hundreds of books of poetry, but this is the one I turn to again and again and again when I need the kind of life-giving perspective that a good poem can provide in a single page.

Being Alive and Being Human, also edited by Neil Astley, are also worthwhile but they're not nearly as good as the first.
posted by xylothek at 8:20 AM on April 17, 2018

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
posted by woodvine at 11:02 AM on April 18, 2018

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