Anxiety and Depression

Feeling okay about feeling bad is good for your mental health

David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd

A trio of studies investigated the connection between the ability to accept the negative emotions generated by stressful situations and a person’s long-term psychological health.

Yoga could complement traditional treatment for depression

Marlynn Wei, MD, JD
Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, Contributing Editor

New research suggests that yoga may help with depression when used alongside traditional treatment. Evidence does not recommend any specific styles of yoga, so you can see which style fits best with you and your preferences. Yoga has also been shown to help those with mild depression, but more research is needed to be certain.

Can probiotics help treat depression and anxiety?

Athos Bousvaros, MD
Athos Bousvaros, MD, Contributor

Research is exploring the connection between the brain and intestine and how they affect each other, and whether the use of probiotics can help treat depression or anxiety.

5 things to tell your child about 13 Reasons Why

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

A new series on Netflix about a teen’s suicide has raised concerns that it may encourage similar real-world behavior, but the show presents an opportunity for parents to talk with their children about mental health challenges and how to cope with their problems.

Postpartum depression: The worst kept secret

Andrea Chisholm, MD
Andrea Chisholm, MD, Contributor

Postpartum depression carries an unfortunate stigma, as symptoms of depression affect nearly 20% of new mothers. Early detection is key to ensure the best health for not just women, but for their new infants and family members as well. Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options that can support new mothers during a time that can be both joyous and challenging.

Let the sun shine: Mind your mental health this winter

Dominic Wu, MD
Dominic Wu, MD, Contributing Editor

There are several ways to tackle the changes in mood and energy levels that can arise as the days get the shorter and the weather more dreary. A form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects many people during the winter months. It’s also important to take steps to mind your mental health during the winter months and to know when to seek the help of a medical professional.

Brain science suggests “mind wandering” can help manage anxiety

Srini Pillay, MD
Srini Pillay, MD, Contributor

The wandering mind can get stuck on negative thoughts and start to “react” to a perceived threat that feels very real–and makes you feel anxious. Naming the negative feeling associated with that thought and then helping your mind wander in a more positive direction can help.

Talk to the animals: Animal-assisted therapy offers emotional support

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Interacting with animals can be helpful to people dealing with issues like anxiety and depression. Animal-assisted therapy is used in settings such as retirement communities and hospitals, and can be helpful for those affected by traumatic events.

Can hormonal birth control trigger depression?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

Research from Denmark found an association between the use of hormonal birth control and an increased likelihood of depression. While the risk of depression among women using hormonal forms of birth control was clearly increased, the overall number of women affected was small and was found to be highest in women under 20.

Health benefits of hiking: Raise your heart rate and your mood

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Hiking is good for you both physically and mentally. It provides a great cardiovascular workout, improves balance, and is a natural stress reliever. Hikes can range from gentle strolls to uphill terrain, so there’s always a way to challenge yourself. Look for trails near you by checking out local, state, and national parks.