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154 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a healed sceptic
Like the other reviewers, i cannot praise this book enough. The effect it's had on me - more specifically, my mood - feels miraculous. It's premise is based on the theory that depression is caused by distorted thinking and if my experience is anything to go by, this is totally accurate. The author emphasises writing your thoughts down and he's absolutely...
Published on 18 Feb 2006

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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas but not very user-friendly
When I first looked at Feeling Good by David Burns, I thought it was an excellent book. It's packed with practical ideas for improving mood and breaking out of depression. Unfortunately, when I tried to use the book's suggestions when actually depressed, I found them of little use. The theory behind the exercises is sound (as I know from successfully using CBT in other...
Published on 29 Feb 2008 by Amazon Customer


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154 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a healed sceptic, 18 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
Like the other reviewers, i cannot praise this book enough. The effect it's had on me - more specifically, my mood - feels miraculous. It's premise is based on the theory that depression is caused by distorted thinking and if my experience is anything to go by, this is totally accurate. The author emphasises writing your thoughts down and he's absolutely right to do so. When i translated my thoughts on to paper, it was amazing to see how utterly negative, and frankly ridiculous, they sounded. Using the techniques the author explains, the reader - and writer - is able to dissect the thoughts and so arrive at a more realistic, and calmer, frame of mind.
Whatever your 'level' of depression i really believe this can be of help. Put it this way, if it worked for me it can work for anybody.
You may think the idea sounds simple, and one you can perform without the aid of a book. The insidious thing about depression, in my view, is that you often don't realise how bad you are and therefore don't enlist the help you need. This was certainly the case for me - i didn't realise how destructive my thoughts were until i analysed them.
I'm not exaggerating when i say this has transformed my mood - i feel like i've had a brain detox!
If you have depression, even if you think it's very mild, i'd recommend you read this book - what have you got to lose? On the other hand, you may have an awful lot to gain.
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would give this book 10 stars!!!, 25 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
Fantastic book. I bought this book after I has recovered from one of my many depressive episodes. I was determined NEVER to get depressed again and if I did know what to do about it. This book meet my needs and more. It alloed me to find out how depressed I was in the past (a few times I was serverly depressed) and it got me to see how some of my thinking was causing me to get depressed over again. It has questionaries for you to follow and an extensive section afterwards to expand on your questionare results.
It has now been over 5 years since I have not had a depression and I would say that this book has been to blame for that.
If you are depressed or could get depressed in the future then get this book.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas but not very user-friendly, 29 Feb 2008
By 
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This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
When I first looked at Feeling Good by David Burns, I thought it was an excellent book. It's packed with practical ideas for improving mood and breaking out of depression. Unfortunately, when I tried to use the book's suggestions when actually depressed, I found them of little use. The theory behind the exercises is sound (as I know from successfully using CBT in other contexts) but the way the book is written and laid out does not seem to have the depressed reader in mind.

Burns clearly wanted to pack in as many helpful techniques as possible, but that is actually the book's failing. The reader is bombarded with things to do that are often not described in very much detail. When you are depressed, you may find it hard to concentrate, have trouble making decisions, get overwhelmed easily, and above all struggle to find energy and motivation. Feeling Good doesn't take any of these factors into account. I think if the book had presented fewer ideas and taken me through them step by step, it would have been helpful. Instead, I was left feeling as though I should be doing all these different things, I didn't know which one to try first, I wasn't quite sure how to go about some of them, and faced with the mountain of exercises, I gave up.

Judging from the other Amazon reviews, many people have found this book helpful. I would guess it's extremely good for milder depression, where you don't have so many of the issues I described above. If you're interested in CBT but more severely depressed, I'd recommend Mind Over Mood by Greenberger and Padesky instead. It's more of an introduction to CBT, but it takes you through everything slowly, with lots of blank worksheets to fill in, and the techniques described really do help.

If you do buy Feeling Good, treat yourself to a nice notebook and pen as well, and above all, pace yourself.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on fighting depression, 29 Nov 2005
By A Customer
Too many self help books have been written, and too many people have been disappointed by the limited effects. This one stands out from the crowd. The methods provided are very simple and very effective. This is a compassionate, but hardheaded no-nonsense book. I bought my book in 92 when I experienced a severe depression. My copy is worn out. Burns has a convincing personal style to his writing. The central idea of the book is that depression comes from distorted thinking. He presents a list of common distortions. Using simple tecniques, you learn how to lift your mood within minutes by talking back to your distorted thoughts. The book is written in a common sense style, accessible to everyone (This is the kind of book Frazier Cranes father could have written). Apart from the talking back part, you also learn how to find the deeper causes for certain self defeating attitudes. You don't have to be clinically depressed to find use for this book. It is also good for dealing with everyday disappointments.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book!, 2 Jun 2007
This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
"Feeling Good" by Dr. Burns really helped me to manage depression and to better understand how my thoughts contributed to it. I've realized through this book the profound influence of thinking on my mood. Dr. Burns allows you to map ten cognitive distortions that maintain negative thinking and emotions. Once we can eliminate these distortions then our mood can improve and the depression or anxiety will start to lift.

Dr. Burns recommends that a cognitive therapy approach be used to allow for coping skills. He adds that when drug therapy is combined with cognitive therapy, the results are often better and offer long-term solutions because the person wanting to change their mood is self-empowerment with understanding and awareness. I believe this was the best part of "Feeling Good" book: It allowed me to take inventory of my thoughts and emotions.

One example of cognitive distortion is All-or-nothing thinking. This involves thinking in absolute terms. Through this distortion, you see everything in black-and-white. Either you're an absolute success or a complete failure. Even if you are successful in many areas of your life, with this distortion you will dwell on that one instance where you see yourself as a "failure" and then believe you are a failure in everything. This type of thinking leaves no room for a balanced perspective, you can only have extremes.

This book really helped me and I also found "Nexus: A Neo Novel" by Deborah Morrison and Arvind Singh very helpful. It's the intimate portrayal of Logan Andrews' struggle with depression and despair. His cognitive distortions are explored at a spiritual retreat where people struggle with personal pain. "Nexus" offers many helpful ideas for someone going through depression and it deals with depression in an honest way, not shying away from the lows that accompany anxiety and depression. I highly recommend "Feeling Good" with the psycho-spiritual story "Nexus: A Neo Novel."
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life saver, 23 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
I have struggled for many years trying to work out what the problem is, why do I always eventually foul up? Reading this book settled years of unclear, frustrated and bewildered thinking. Here's the good news, I am not ill in the sense that the matter is something beyond my control. As I always suspected my thinking past and present dictated the outcomes in my life. But I didn't know for sure, or how, or how to correct it. After reading this book I see the illogical way I think about myself, life and others and the inevitable effect and consequence this has. This book teaches me about the problem and then offers me an alternative way of understanding/thinking. If you feel hopeless then this book can give you logical enlightening hope. I have read and searched for 22 years and this book was recently recommended by my psychotherapist. It's the best I have come across. It's logical, realistic and believable.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, helpful - wish I read it years ago!, 9 Jun 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
Before buying this book I had received both short term therapy and had tried anti depressant medications, but was still struggling to overcome depression.
I bought this book after it was recommended to me on a message board on the topic of depression, and have found it to be a book which was a real eye opener on the first reading, and which I have come back to many times since.
The book begins with a clear explanation of cognitive therapy, which explains that our feelings are not created by things that happen to us, but are the result of how we think about what happens in our lives. This means that we can each be in total control of our emotional lives because we can learn to be in control of our thought processes.
The book then goes on to explain what I felt were excellent practical steps on how to deal with a range of problems which can cause depression, including anger, guilt, procrastination and dependency. There are also plenty of case studies which helped me see how the ideas in the book related to my own life.
The real message of this book is that you can't change the world, but you can change the way you react to it. This may sound like obvious, common sense advice, but once you read the book, you realise how powerful this knowledge can be.
I found that although this book was not a substitute for seeing a therapist, it helped me understand my own problems to the point where I could use the time with my therapist more productively, as I already had a good idea about the areas I needed to work on. I would particularly recommend this book to people who are depressed but who are reluctant to go to their GP or see a counsellor. It will either help you solve your problems yourself, or help you come to the realisation that you need outside input.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked for me!, 30 April 2010
By 
Mr. Gareth J. Hughes "garethhughes81" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
There's a lot of reviews on this little yellow book so I'll keep mine short. Basically, within a couple of weeks of reading the book and applying the work suggested I had noticed a huge improvement in my mood and have been almost completely depression free since then, some 2 years ago now. Others have also commented on the positive change over that time! While I acknowledge it likely won't work for everyone, the theory and methods are simple to follow and apply for the vast majority of people. At the price of the average lunch and with no medical side effects or trips to the doctor, giving this book at least a try seems like an obvious first step to anyone struggling with depression.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the whole story, 18 Mar 2008
By 
S. Platt - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (Mass Market Paperback)
A book that describes the link between what we feel and what we think. Even though the book helped me recognise the way I looked at things, I do not think that there was enough emphasis on the way one has to cultivate a gentle approach to oneself. I would also recommend books by Dorothy Rowe. She approaches depression from the emotional, instead of the thinking, aspect of the brain. Together I think that both approaches compliment one another.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS SUPERB... IT IS A LIFE-SAVER, 27 Jan 1999
By A Customer
I first encountered this book three years ago, after a traumatic personal event. I had been suffering from increasing depression for several years before that. This book changed me, in a way that counselling or medication never could. First, it made me see how it was my mind, and my mind only, that was creating my own personal hell. Second, it taught me numerous practical (largely written) exercises for turning my thought patterns around. I learnt how to view life positively. And the depression lifted, overnight. Sure, it comes back sometimes, my intrinsic personality would seem to be susceptible to depression. But this book has given me 100 % confidence that I can overcome such moods. And the result is that in the last three years, I haven't suffered from depression for more than a day. As I said, a life-saver. Heartfelt thanks to the author.
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Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D., M.D. Burns (Mass Market Paperback - 5 May 2000)
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