10 Depression Quotes To Feel Less Alone In Your Mental Health Journey

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated November 27, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you’ve ever journaled, read an inspirational book, or used a vision board, you may already understand the power of a simple quote. 

Language is powerful. Our words can serve as sources of inspiration, creativity, and clarity, especially during difficult seasons of life. 

Whether you’re living with depression or another mental health condition, the following list of depression quotes can offer guidance and make you feel less alone in your mental health journey.

Looking For Words To Inspire Your Mental Health Journey?

10 Quotes For People Living With Depression

These 10 quotes speak to the difficult realities of depression. At the same time, the quotes also highlight the ability of people diagnosed with depression to heal, connect meaningfully with others, and live healthy, fulfilling lives.  

  1. “Depression is like a heavy blanket. It covers all of me, and it’s hard to get up. But there’s comfort in it too. I know who I am when I’m under it.” – Unknown

While this depression quote comes from an unknown source, the words powerfully express the weight and familiarity of this condition, particularly for people who experience chronic depression. 

There are several types of depression, including persistent depressive disorder (PDD): defined by chronic, low-level depressive symptoms lasting for two or more years. PDD is distinct from major depressive disorder, which is characterized by shorter but more intense depressive episodes.

If you’re living with PDD, your symptoms may feel familiar and perhaps even like a part of your identity. With proactive and ongoing treatment, however, you can enhance your quality of life and ability to engage in everyday activities. 

  1. "I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again." – Nina LaCour, We Are Okay

In We Are Okay, a young adult novel about grief and friendship, one of LaCour’s characters reflects on feeling “okay” and their ability to continue healing and growing – even against the backdrop of depression. 

Depending on the type of depression and severity of symptoms, “recovery” from depression and symptom management looks different for every person. Promisingly, depression has a high treatment success rate, and many people manage their symptoms with a combination of psychotherapy, anti-depressant medication, support groups, and/or personalized coping strategies.

  1. "Things to do today: 1) Breathe in, 2) Breathe out." – Ned Vizzini, It's Kind of a Funny Story

If you’re living with depression, you may choose to look to literature for a spark of creative inspiration. This is another quote from a famous author, whose story about a teen’s experience in a psychiatric hospital moved readers of all ages and backgrounds. 

Sometimes, one of the most powerful ways to cope with a depressed mood is to simply tune into your breath, as this quote implies. Several studies suggest that deep breathing exercises can reduce depressive symptoms by alleviating the physical effects of stress, which often contributes to depression.

  1. “Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more - it can provide a way, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.” – Oliver Sacks 

Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and author, said this quote about the healing power of music for his patients. People living with depression may listen to or create music as a coping strategy, or even consider music therapy to supplement talk therapy and other traditional treatments.

Studies have found that music therapy can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, and that simply listening to a favorite song or relaxing tune for a set amount of time can reduce depressive symptoms. 

  1. “Art is a wound turned into light.”- Georges Braque

If you’re struggling with symptoms of depression, visual art may be another source of solace and healing. As a painter and the originator of this quote, Georges Braque viewed art as a vehicle to express and transform pain into something beautiful. 

Even if you have limited experience with the arts, tapping into your creativity only requires simple materials and a willingness to try something new. Some people enjoy craftier activities like knitting, collaging, or scrapbooking, while others gravitate toward detailed drawings, expressive paintings, and other forms of fine art. 

If you’re looking for more guidance, a licensed art therapist can help you find fun, innovative ways to express yourself through art. Art therapy can support people with depression, anxiety, and anyone else seeking to build their self-esteem through visual expression.  

  1. “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” — John Green

Award-winning author John Green includes this quote in Turtles All the Way Down: a novel of love, resilience, and lifelong friendship. 

When you’re experiencing depression, you may feel hopeless or uncertain about your ability to recover from a depressive episode. Although these thoughts and feelings are real, they won’t last forever. With the support of loved ones and potentially a psychotherapist, you can challenge and overcome unhealthy patterns of thinking in favor of positive, healthy thoughts. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common intervention to help individuals understand and change unwanted thought patterns, especially in the context of depression. Some studies find that CBT can treat depression as effectively as antidepressants and other psychiatric medications. 

  1. "You say you're 'depressed'—all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective—it just means you're human." — David Mitchell

In this quote from Cloud Atlas, a science fiction novel, one of David Mitchell’s characters celebrates the humanity and resilience of people living with depression. As this quote implies, depression is an inevitable reality of being human for many people. 

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with depression or have supported a loved one through a depressive episode, many people encounter this condition at some point in their lives. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting approximately 280 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. 

  1. “I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it.” — Dwayne Johnson

Wrestler and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson opened up about his experience with depression in a series of interviews. In recent years, more celebrities and public figures have candidly discussed their mental health journeys, supporting efforts to destigmatize mental illness and help people feel less alone. 

Loneliness and depression are often interlinked. In a complex cycle of emotions, loneliness can lead to feelings of depression, or vice versa. Regardless of which feeling comes first, both depression and loneliness can make you feel isolated from friends, family, and acquaintances. 

Fortunately, loneliness – and, relatedly, depression – can often be combatted with the power of old-fashioned human connection. 

If you’re feeling depressed and disconnected from other people, you may be surprised by the power of a 10-minute phone call with a family member or a short walk with an old friend. However small, these moments of connection offer long-term benefits for your mental and physical health.

  1. “It's not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.” — Stephen Fry

In his memoir, Moab Is My Washpot, comedian and writer Stephen Fry explores how his mental health and personal struggles shape his life, identities, and creative ventures. 

When reflecting on your mental health history, you may gain unexpected lessons from past experiences with depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. To connect with more people, some writers and artists explore their pasts and use those lessons to inform their creative work.  

  1. “Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.” ― Andrew Solomon

In this quote from The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, Andrew Solomon outlines some of the fundamental steps for managing his depressive symptoms.

Because depression ranges widely in severity and personal experience, every person’s steps toward recovery will look slightly different. That said, some of the most basic acts of self-care can have the biggest impacts, like eating a nourishing snack or taking a walk around the block with a friend or pet. 

Looking For Words To Inspire Your Mental Health Journey?

Take The First Steps Toward Healing: Online Therapy For Depression

Psychotherapy is a common and effective treatment option for people diagnosed with depression. While some prefer to start therapy in-person, others appreciate the convenience of an online therapy platform like BetterHelp.

BetterHelp therapists are thoroughly vetted and offer years of experience and expertise. Many help clients manage symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions, and patients can message their therapists at any time: a feature that may be especially valuable for people experiencing a wide range of depressive symptoms or other challenges throughout the week.  

A significant body of research highlights the potential and effectiveness of online therapy, including a 2019 randomized controlled trial of an internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (iCBT) program for adults with symptoms of depression. In other studies, iCBT has shown similar effectiveness for treating depression compared to face-to-face CBT, and this study reaffirms these findings. The severity of participants’ depression symptoms reduced significantly over 8 weeks, coupled with significant improvements in their anxiety symptoms, work and social functioning, and resilience. 

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Although depression can be an isolating experience, these 10 quotes illuminate the power of finding others who can relate to your feelings and offer encouragement as you continue your healing journey.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, a therapist or another mental health professional can offer additional words of wisdom, backed by empathy and years of professional training.

Depression is treatable, and you're not alone

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