10 Books for a Happier You

After a marathon few months, I’m headed into a much needed hiatus from all things work. Until then, I wanted to leave you with a selection of books to help you mentally settle into these unsettling times. I ingest the wise words of others during troubled times always helps me re-center. Here are 10 Books…

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“Depression Isn’t a Choice,” And Other Lies I Believed

Brooke Siem on the beach

During my decade and a half of deep depression, my mother often said to me, “Honey, you can choose not to be depressed.” To which I responded, seething, “Depression isn’t a choice. Why would I choose this? I can’t just turn it on and off.” And then I’d huff out of the room and stew…

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How Your Vision Affects Stress And Anxiety

grey waterfall with rough waters

This week, I wanted to draw attention to the work of Andrew Huberman, an American neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Huberman specializes in the visual system and how it affects brain development, neuroplasticity, and neural regeneration and repair. Our eyes, as it turns out,…

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Three Science-Backed Apps for Better Emotional Health

view on the calm lake waters and white mountain peak

  One of the pitfalls of depression is that because it tends to come in waves, the habits we gather while we’re feeling okay often fall by the wayside when we’re feeling rough. And while I’m a huge advocate of forcing yourself to maintain those habits during times of darkness, I know that sometimes, it’s…

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The 51% Theory, or, Factual Optimism

Brroke Siem on green-yellow bike

Healing Depression through Factual Optimism How do we find happiness when we are still depressed or in antidepressant withdrawal? We don’t. At least, we don’t aim for big changes. Instead, we go for getting it right 51% of the time. If we quantify happiness onto a scale that ranges from 0% happy to 100% happy,…

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Your Life Purpose Isn’t Always What You Think It Is

I went for a walk this morning like I almost always do when I’m home in Nevada. My house is tucked up against the rolling desert, with trails zig zagging through the sagebrush. A small creek flows through the valley, prompting cattail to grow in the damp soil and mountain bluebirds to sing in the…

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How to Begin Healing from Depression

Back during my days of deep depression, one of my unconscious coping techniques was to put down the little things that brought other people joy. The phrase “that’s stupid” fell out of my mouth like a tick. Nothing and no one was safe. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Stupid. Just donate money without the attention.…

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Breathwork With Taylor Somerville of Symmetry

“The calmer and quieter you breathe, the larger your blood vessels open, enabling better circulation and distribution of oxygen throughout the body, including the brain. Oxygenate the brain—breathe less.” – Patrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen Advantage In 2018, two years after I’d taken my last antidepressant, I found myself still struggling to remain steady in an…

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Gratitude is not the first step.

Gratitude. Oh how I loathed that word for so many years. Throughout the depths of my depression, gratitude taunted me like a schoolyard bully sniggering at the poor kid’s hand-me-downs. What was there to be grateful for when my world was nothing but darkness and pain? Why be grateful for the basics of life — food, water,…

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What does it mean to be big?

My mother always told me that I was born to do something big. This idea sprouted just a few months after I was born, when my parents took me to an astrologist my father had been working with for years. According to the planets and the stars, the astrologer said, it would never be enough…

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