9 Surprisingly Simple and Powerful Depression Treatments

How simple routines can improve depression

John Halstead
5 min readApr 23, 2022


Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Researching depression is a depressing task. There are so many different treatments, medications, levels of depression, and so much that we do not know yet. Depression can leave you feeling hopeless, exhausted, paralyzed, and apathetic to the things you used to love.

Depression also has different triggers and unknown causes that are likely different in each person. Now there is a new phrase I am seeing passed around; treatment resistant depression.

With all this in mind you can imagine that I was quite cynical when I approached this topic. The following are simple but surprisingly powerful treatments that work along with therapy and medication. During an internship at an inpatient facility I was able to witness the miraculous power of the following treatments. I have come to wonder if they should be the base therapeutic interventions and the medications and drugs as the supplementary treatments.

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

1. Get in a routine.

Depression erodes the structure of normal life. There are no meal times, no sleep times, or other routines. I have seen how a daily schedule can lift depressed patients up and get them back to being themselves. At first it is quiet at meal time and the depressed walk around lost at bed time. Slowly after a few days of this routine run life they begin to talk and socialize more, there is laughter, and complaints that they are eating too much. They have not eaten this much in years and what they have been eating lacks nutrients.

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

2. Set goals.

There is a saying in A.A., one day at a time. With depression it is one minute at a time. You have to start very small and allow the patient to be successful. If you set too difficult of a goal and they fail to achieve it you have just added immensely to the shame and guilt they already feel about not being able to do the most…



John Halstead

I grew up in New York, lived in Vermont for a decade, and then moved to Texas for twenty years. I am currently a school teacher a blogger and a podcaster.