Music and Mood

People naturally turn to music to change or improve their moods. There are surprisingly few studies on this. But those studies that do exist confirm what we already know, music can definitely affect our mood. Enough of the science, if we know music affects mood, how can we use that knowledge to “moodsurf” better? One thing that we have discovered …

Kay Jamison

If you do much thinking about moods and how they affect us, you eventually run into Kay Jamison. She has dedicated her life to understanding mood and its impact on us. She teaches at Johns Hopkins, but she is not just an academic, she is also a brilliant writer and compelling lecturer. She is the co-author of the best one …

Natural Supplements for Depression

There are many, many supplements that people have suggested are effective treatments for depression. How do you decide what is worth trying? Here we will list the much smaller list of supplements that have been shown to be effective in clinical trials. S-Adenosyl Methionine. SAMe was recently shown in a well designed (but small) clinical trial to help people who …

Riding the Waves

MoodSurfing is about the idea that the ups and downs of mood are normal (we aren’t trying to achieve some elusive “stability”).  But dealing with moods requires focus, discipline and some common sense. You can’t go to Maverick on your first day surfing and not get hurt (see photo to the right). The first step for many people is to …

Mood Charting Part 2: Monitoring Mood

What is monitoring and mood monitoring? Monitoring is way of becoming aware of what is happening in a certain circumstances. For example, a parent may monitor how much milk the child is drinking, a person who is dieting may monitor what they are eating or a person exercising may monitor how much they exercise a day. All these people have …

What is Hypomania?

What is hypomania (“a little mania”) and what changes when you are hypomanic? Depending on where you sit it can be the most desirable state conceivable or a mood that is terribly destructive to relationships. We often say that hypomania is a symptom that rarely motivates people for treatment, but often motivates a spouse or partner to insist on treatment. …

Having Kids

Having kids is always challenging, a source of joy but also a source of anxiety. And having depression can add to the challenge. And yet many, many women that we have worked with have had successful pregnancies and raised wonderful, healthy, happy children. One key to success is paying attention to how mood can influence not only ourselves but also …

Books on Bipolar Disorder

One of the things that we want to do on this site is share resources that have been helpful to others. Below is a very brief list highlighting the books that we have most often recommended to others. Please let us know what you think in the comments below. Feel free to recommend any other books or readings that you …