Can Depression Be Conquered?

Depression is seen as something that happens to you, thus, we see it as a curse. Can we, then, work at enacting some power or control over this evil?

The following books will help you do just that.

The purpose of a ‘self-help’ book is to show you how to help yourself. Too many such categorized books, don’t do this. I’ve read books from the self-help section in the book store that don’t in any way deal with reality.

They’re filled with fluff and nonsense. They’re written to make you feel good so that you’ll buy another one of their books, but they don’t actually give you any guidance to solve your own problems.

The truth is, we have far more power and control over our lives than we realize. We think things happen to us, neglecting to see our role in how we respond to the event.

The goal of every man should be to live a good, flourishing, powerful, audacious life. We should all aspire to be of value. If you’re down in the dumps, depressed, surrounded by darkness, by all means, talk to someone, seek help, but, as a man, also aim to figure things out for yourself.

No matter the problem, you can be the solution.

The following books aren’t filled with the aforementioned weightless, feel-good nonsense. They’re rooted in logic, science, and truth.

To be at your best you have to see your life as it is, not as you wish it to be, nor as you perceive it as, but how it is. From there, from a place of reality, where you see the good, appreciate what you have and work to get what you don’t, you can begin to rise.

1. The Depression Cure

I was sceptical about this book because of its title. When I started reading, however, I was proven wrong.

The premise of the book is that depression isn’t a natural human state, but a construct of our only recently ‘modernized’, industrialized, technological society. It wasn’t a premise that was born and then sought out to be proven, but one that came as the result of an interesting finding.

The research found in the book focuses on modern hunter-gatherer societies, where the scientists found no cases of depression. Studied for up to a decade, none of these societies in Africa, New Guinea, and elsewhere, who have to hunt their food, who have no money, no technology, and live in huts and tight-knit communities, suffered from depression.

Compare that to the most affluent areas in our biggest cities, where everything that one needs is within the click of the mouse or a quick drive, where depression is rampant.

It appears that we’re still genetically programmed to live like hunter-gatherers. That is, we need the high amount of omega 3’s found in game meats. We need the close connection of a tribe. We need the struggle of surviving in rural parts of the world. We need the daily exercise we get from hunting and fishing with primitive tools.

Technology is great, but it allows us to avoid what we need to do to live a mentally healthy life.

The book isn’t just findings, but solutions as well.

It gives you things you can do to climb out of the depths. The tough part is actually doing them, but that’s where we separate the men from the weak. It’s when you’re at your darkest that you have to stand up and move.

Click here to buy The Depression Cure

2. Man’s Search for Meaning

If men can find meaning in the darkest, most evil place the world has ever seen, then we have to be able to find meaning in our own suffering.

Viktor Frankl formed his ‘logotherapy’ in the Concentration Camps of the Second World War, where men and women and children were imprisoned and tortured and murdered for their race and ethnic background by the millions. There’s no sense or logic to such evil, so quitting, giving up and throwing your hat in amidst such evil actually makes sense.

Some did, many did. Frankl saw others, however, who – even within such darkness – found meaning. Rather, they created meaning.

Everyone should read this book. No matter what evil has happened to you, you still have the power to choose how to respond to it. There is no circumstance where you’re powerless.

Click Here to buy Man’s Search for Meaning

3. Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot

James Stockdale was a fighter pilot who was shot down during the Vietnam War and placed in a torture camp. These guys didn’t treat prisoners of war like they do in America. They were subjected to mental and physical torture that Stockdale talks about in the book.

The beauty of this book is how it shows the reader how to endure. It talks about truth and how to find truth when the lines between right and wrong are incredibly difficult to see.

Do you do as your captures want you to do and get fed, clothed, and cleaned? Or do you stand by your values and continue to get tortured?

How does someone know what’s right when pitted with decisions like that?

Incredibly, there’s clarity, and Stockdale helped other prisoners of war find said clarity.

If they’re able to find clarity amidst the blur of a torture prison, how can we not find clarity in our daily lives?

Read this book.

Click Here to buy Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot

4. Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius

If Stoicism could be confined to an idea, you could say it’s the ability to determine what demands your attention and thoughts, and what doesn’t.

How should you respond to crisis? What’s under your control and what isn’t and what can you do about what’s under your control and what should you do about what isn’t under your control?

We spend so much time focusing on things that we shouldn’t focus on. We fret over things we don’t control and ignore our role in events.

Choose all of or one of the following books and set out to read just a few pages per day. Read, then give what you’ve read the time and respect needed to mull it over, contemplate what it means and how to enact it in your own life.

Meditations – Marcus Aurelius 

Art of Living – Epictetus 

On the Shortness of Life – Seneca 

5. Unbroken

One thing we each have to realize is that we can endure far more than we can even comprehend. Each of us are survivors, and each thing we push through, break through, and survive strengthens us.

Unbroken is an example of a man who endured senseless torture, who was targeted by an evil bastard in the Japanese prison camps of the Second World War, and yet came out of his years-long ordeal, as a better, kinder man.

Louis Zamperini is one of the greatest men you’ll read about, and we can all benefit from having models who’ve gone through far worse things than we have but found a way to rise out of them with a positive attitude.

Click Here to buy Unbroken

6. The Obstacle is the Way

Sometimes the thing that brings us the most grief is the solution. Sometimes our greatest obstacle, very thing we think is preventing our happiness, can get us closer to peace and meaning.

Ryan Holiday, the book’s author, does a great job of bringing timeless ancient wisdom and presenting it in a way that the reader can immediately implement.

When we can begin to see the route to what we want through the obstacles that we think we’re cursed with, clarity ensues, and we’re able to truly take control of every aspect of our lives that we can possibly have control over.

Click here to buy The Obstacle is the Way

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



You can’t stop.

Life’s highs can be exhilarating, they inspire us, allow us to be in the moment and forget about the things that worry us, scare us.

But life also has lows, and they can be crippling. They bring our lives to a halt if we let them. They stop our progress, make us curl up into a ball of sorrow where our pain is compounded; it becomes our entire world. (Read This: 21 Things Modern Men Need to Stop Doing)

We stop.

We follow the road of sorrow often into solitude and pity.

Why me?

Why can’t I just get a break with x or y?

It consumes us. Darkness all around and hope nowhere to be found.

The moment when the slide begins is the moment you can stop it. And you can stop it. The depths are a choice. If you don’t want to get out of them you don’t have to, but you’re going to merely exist in a dark purgatory avoiding life and light.

The way out is up and forward.

Motion is the cure for sorrow and sadness and depression.

Doing something is being something, it’s creating something, earning something, giving reason to why you’re here, a purpose to the breaths you take in and the beats of your heart.

I’m working my way through, The Depression Cure, in which the author highlights the fact that depression doesn’t exist in modern hunter-gatherer tribes who’ve been studied for decades. It’s lower in the Amish population in the States than in any other sub-sect of that great nation.

The lives we live are out of line with the lines we’re genetically programmed to live.

We’re not meant to sit and glare at a screen, nor are we designed to live in a box, alone, nor drive instead of walk nor buy instead of hunt.

We eat in a way that’s out of line with how our DNA demands we eat.

With all of this, however, let’s talk merely about sorrow, about those moments when we get down, the beginning of what can become depression.

It’s A Tragedy, Wasted Talent Is.

The greatest tragedy in life is wasted talent.


De Niro says that line a dozen or more times in the movie A Bronx Tale. He hammers it home over and over again to his son in the movie, but also to the viewer, and if you’re a young kid watching that movie hopefully it hits you.

That line has stuck with me into my 30’s.

This article is that motion I mentioned earlier. I found myself getting down about something, something irrelevant, an obstacle that didn’t need to be an obstacle, but a way. Instead of turning the TV on and watching football, a Sunday routine for the past decade of my life, I went to the gym, then I sat down and started writing.

I’m the kind of guy that has to reason something out, I have to find the lack of logic in the state, then move it out of my system.

What I see and here in the multitude of emails and comments I get on this site and others are guys who are taking steps down that hole, they’re allowing emotion to carry them to a state that will lead to tragedy.

Once inaction takes hold, once you’ve sunk into sorrow and you’ve stopped marching forward it puts you in handcuffs and preventing you from realizing the potential, using the talent, living the life. (Read This: How to Deal with Sorrow Like Theodore Roosevelt)

Motion, getting up off your ass, working, doing something, using the gifts you have and the gifts you’ve earned, stops the free fall into darkness.

What you have to understand, as do I, is that even a moment spent in darkness is a waste. And even seconds, a single thought can lead you to a place where you become not only utterly useless to those who depend on you, but destructive to the man you have to become for them.

Fuck you. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s not about the individual. When we think only about ourselves it compounds the justification for feeling sadness and sorrow. When you have something or something to work for, live for, hustle for, even if it’s an idea, something or someone in the future that isn’t yet in your life, you have something pulling you rather than pushing you.

Know that moment.

Know the source of the sorrow, the thought and the emotion that threaten your existence and fight.

At the very least, stand up and walk out of the door, get outside and into something, trouble, whatever, just force that little bitch of a voice that we all have within us to shut up and let the warrior, that aspect of you that sees challenges not curses, to rise and thrive.

It’s something that happens in seconds, the way up or the decent down, don’t let that moment pass without you being in control.

Don’t let your emotions carry you to a useless existence. Don’t let your weakness determine who you are.  

Move. Man up and move.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
You can contact him at –

Try This 1 Thing to Defeat Depression

Try This 1 Thing to Defeat Depression

Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value. ~ Albert Einstein

I was listening to a podcast the other day, the Jocko Podcast. It’s run by former Navy SEAL Commander, Jocko Willink. His guest was former Canadian sniper, Jody Mitic. Jody, for those who don’t know, lost both legs in Afghanistan when he stepped on what was essentially a landmine.

The conversation between the two warriors eventually took a turn to those comrades lost after the fighting had ended and these brave warriors were faced, once again, with civilian life. Mitic made an important point, one that every one of us can implement in our daily lives.

Your responsibility isn’t to the world. You may not be here to change the lives of everyone, but each of us have the duty to impact the lives of those around us. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to brighten someone else’s day, to give them guidance, to take a load off of their back, to point them in the right direction, and to even simply make them smile.

Men are the burden bearers. A man without a burden, a reason for waking up in the morning isn’t a man without purpose, but a man with a mind not founded in reality.

Every single one of us has a reason to live and to wake up and that reason can be as simple as the people in our community. If you live anywhere, you have people that need you, even if they don’t know that they need you. (Read This: You Are Your Brother’s Keeper)

Digging Yourself Out

The first thing you have to do is to accept your reality as it is, not how you’d like it to be.

In reading Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot as well as Man’s Search for Meaning, you realize that one of the most dangerous lines of thinking is that of the delusional optimist.

Both Stockdale – author of Thoughts – and Frankl – author of Man’s Search – were prisoners. Stockdale spent 8 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam where torture was a daily ritual, and Frankl was a prison in a Nazi Concentration Camp. In prison, both found that it was the optimist, the man who wouldn’t accept his reality, who’d say to himself, “I’ll be out of here in two months”, placing irrational expectations founded on lies he’d tell himself, that was most likely to crack.

Those men, however, that accepted where they were, saw the reality of the situation, were then able to see what they could control, and what we can always control is our decisions, our reactions to events, but not always the events themselves.

Few men see this incredible power we have to make the best out of any situation. Instead they pity themselves, they’re overcome by guilt, choosing to look at everything they can’t control instead of what they can.

Before you can impact your world you have to realize what your world is instead of wishing it were something different. If you’re constantly lost in the future, in where you’d like to exist, in who you’d like to impact, you won’t have an affect on those who need you to influence them.

Ignoring those who depend on you without even knowing they do depend on you will leave you constantly chasing, running from more than running to. You’ll miss the fuel, which is being a man of value and purpose, that gives your life meaning worth getting up for. Ignorant and foolish optimism will leave you wanting what cannot be or what you don’t yet have, which is bad. It leads to envy and self-pity. What may be worse, however, is that it prevents you from being of value to those you can help.

People need you. You may not see it and they may not see it, but they need you. They need you to be a burden bearer and in doing so your own burden becomes insignificant. When you carry that which torments others your own sorrows dissolve. You’re now tasked with aiding someone else in their time of need, even if that need isn’t life-shattering, and what afflicts you becomes none of your concern.

Your World

Your responsibility, then, isn’t the world, but your world. And it’s not an option, but a duty. That duty comes from both your view of what it is to be a man and to be good at a man – the protector, the defender, the caretaker – and the acceptance that, no matter what has happened to you in this life, no matter who you’ve lost, that life is a gift that can be lived in honor of those you have lost, but to waste it is to not only ignore the gift, but to ignore the sacrifice of those who have lived before you, and to not honor their life and their death.

The gift is repaid in service. It’s repaid in getting off your ass and pursuing improvement; that daily process of trying to become better at something, anything, because to stay as you are is to lose.

Each day is a challenge, not in that it’s arduous or a chore to simply rise out of bed, but it’s a challenge in that you have to improve everyday. You also have to improve someone else’s life. As a burden-bearer, as a man, you have a lot on your shoulders, and to want anything less isn’t just cowardice, but giving up on those things that will make you happy, those things that will give your life purpose, as well as those you impact.

Have some kind of positive influence every day. That’s it. Just do something to insure you’re here for a reason. A reason for living isn’t something you seek, it’s something you create.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
You can contact him at –