How to Make a New Year’s Resolution Work
Are you contemplating a significant lifestyle change this year? Quitting smoking for good, or really getting fit, not just losing a few pounds and gaining them back later? Research shows that making real changes in life is not just a matter of motivation, commitment, or not being “lazy”. Change requires skills and knowledge that can be learned and applied for successfully carrying out the most rigorous of New Year’s resolutions. In his 2016 book Changing to Thrive, James Prochaska summarizes his 40 years of research into change processes that really work for people’s lives. He identifies five stages that people go through when making a successful lifestyle change: Precontemplation (Not Ready for Change) – People aren’t planning on taking action ... Read More
Effective Strategies for Insomnia: Stimulus Control Therapy
Disrupted sleep rhythms often increase mood instability.  And, sleep and insomnia are some of the most frequently cited problems of people seeking help for mood disorders. But what works to help you sleep better and more restfully?  Sleep Medicines Aren’t the Answer Generally, research has shown that most frequently prescribed medications are not very helpful – they may lengthen sleep times by only about 15 – 20 minutes per night and often reduce deep sleep. The reason people feel they work may have more to do with the fact that they disrupt memory, so we don’t recall the periods of wakefulness at night, than with their effects on sleep. A Specific Type of Therapy is Helpful Cognitive Behavior Therapy for ... Read More
Change Talk
For many years I thought that if I berated myself enough for not making some positive change in my life it would motivate me to make the change. A colleague with an interest in motivating people to make big changes got me thinking about this strategy… He would often ask people “how did that work for you?” and after years listening to him I came to realize that self criticism is often a barrier to positive change. He introduced me to the notion of “change talk.” Change talk is the way people talk about things when they are getting ready to do something. “Should” does not show up in change talk. Change talk focuses on the potential benefits of making ... Read More
How to Survive the Holidays
Holidays. Family. Cheer. Giving. Stress. Conflict. All of the above… Fasten your seatbelt, December is here again, and it’s time to plan for defusing holiday stress. Over the years, we’ve developed a few pointers towards strategies that come up again and again. Take a deep breath. You can do this! Let it happen. All human cultures from the dawn of human history have had and continue to have seasonal celebrations and festivals. It’s a chance to break from “reality” and have fun. People eat too much, drink too much, and yes, spend too much money. You want to maintain your perspective and keep your eye on the long goal of a healthy life, but it’s also OK to let go ... Read More
Herbal Medicine
A recent study on the use of cannabis extracts to treat mental illness got us started thinking again about the whole field of herbal and “natural” medicine. Cannabis is currently experiencing an explosion of interest and some robust research is being done. However the interest is running far ahead of the available data about real uses and effects of various extracts of the cannabis plant. Cannabis A review of 83 high quality studies found little evidence of positive results in the use of cannabinoids for common mental illnesses. The authors write: “there is scarce evidence to suggest that cannabinoids improve depressive disorders and symptoms, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis. There is very low ... Read More
Can a Change in Diet Cure Psychological Illnesses?
Can a change in diet cure psychological illnesses? What dietary changes or interventions may be effective in treatment or management of mental or mood disorders? Diet is more than weight loss, and has been invoked, modified and studied for a wide variety of physical and mental ills and conditions. Yet there is surprisingly little hard data available to tell us what diet changes may affect our minds and our moods. A recent literature review from the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP) looked at a range of dietary interventions and studied the evidence available for each one. The authors reviewed five models of interventions that have attracted attention in recent years: Adding something to the diet (eg vitamins or supplements)Removing ... Read More

About MoodSurfing

Welcome to, the site that highlights strategies for living creatively with moods and coping with depression. This site is for people with bipolar, depression, cyclothymia, and others who experience powerful moods and want to figure out how to integrate these experiences into successful lives.

Although most of us are mental health clinicians of one kind or another, this site is not about providing people with medical or clinical advice (see below). We hope that we can help you cope with depression, maybe even allow you to live well with moods. 

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We have done a series of interviews with people who have interesting things to say about different aspects of living creatively with moods. You can find those under the heading “Conversations.


This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this site and linkages to other sites, Moodsurfing provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Moodsurfing is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.

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