12 Things That Make Depression Worse (Common Habits)

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In all honesty, there are probably a number of things you’re doing that make your depression worse.

In my many, many years of battling depression, I’ve picked up a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms.

At the time, I thought they were helping me.

When you’re struggling with your mental health, it might be helpful to talk to an online therapist. I always recommend Online Therapy, because it’s a complete online counseling toolkit, and you can get incredible therapy from the comfort of your own home.

But now that I’m into my recovery, I realize that some of my “coping” mechanisms were actually causing my depression symptoms to get worse.

They kept me feeling down longer, because negativity feeds negativity.

Here are 12 things you should stop doing if you want to lessen your depression:

What Makes Depression Worse


Healing your inner child can be a crucial aspect of addressing and managing your depression.

This is because unresolved trauma or negative experiences from childhood can contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental health ailments.

Signs you need inner child healing ⤵️

💔 Intense feelings of chronic shame
💔 Low self-esteem
💔 Difficulty regulating emotions
💔 Withdrawal and isolating yourself from others

You can find more signs you need to heal your inner child here.

How do you heal your inner child?

By working to heal your inner child, you can address and process any unresolved emotions or traumas from your past.

Healing involves:

🦋 Identifying and acknowledging any negative experiences

🦋 Practicing self-compassion and self-care

🦋 Working with a mental health professional to develop coping strategies and tools to manage any ongoing symptoms or challenges

Healing your inner child also involves activities such as journaling, meditation, or creative expression — which can help you to connect with and understand your emotions and experiences on a deeper level.

Speaking of childhood trauma, have you downloaded your free inner child healing workbook yet? 👇

Read more on childhood trauma:

👉 11 Ways to Heal Childhood Trauma Spiritually (and Awaken Your Inner Child)


Ever since I was about 13, one of my go-to things do to was curl up under a blanket and watch crime documentaries.

But the more I watch them, the more I notice my mood shifts.

When I think about it, it makes so much sense.

True crime documentaries have everything to do with murder, assault, everything that comes with pain and heartache.

Why true crime is bad for depression:

1️⃣ True crime is often graphic, violent, and disturbing.

2️⃣ Exposure to true crime content can exacerbate symptoms of depression.

3️⃣ It can lead to increased feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, or fear.

4️⃣ It focuses on the worst aspects of humanity — which can create a sense of despair or cynicism

It’s important to prioritize your mental health and to be mindful of how certain types of content affect you.

If you feel like true crime is negatively impacting your mental health, it may be helpful to take a break from it.


Listening to sad music might feel like a way to cope. It might make you feel like you’re not alone.

However, listening to sad songs drains your spirit even further.

They aren’t positive, and they don’t give you a sense of hope for the future.

Instead, the lyrics focus on emotional pain and turmoil.

Why sad music worsens depression:

🎶 Emphasizes negative thoughts and feelings associated with depression

🎶 Evokes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair

🎶 Solidifies negative thought patterns and behaviors, such as rumination or self-criticism

If you find that listening to sad music worsens your depression, it may be helpful to listen to more uplifting or calming music instead.

Try these songs instead:

👉 10 Best Positive Songs to Hear to Help Depression


I know what you might be thinking.

You want to stay in bed. You have no energy to even get out of bed, and staying in bed helps you feel better.

I wish it did, but it doesn’t.

When you stay in bed all day and night, you become a zombie.

Why staying in bed worsens depression:

❌ You might feel more isolated and disconnected from the world

❌ Disrupts your sleep patterns

❌ Decreases your energy

❌ Reinforces negative thought patterns and behaviors, such as lack of motivation and low self-esteem

If you’re having one of those days where you absolutely can’t get out of bed, try stretching a little bit.

I know this helps me to get my body moving and the circulation back through my limbs.


I know, eating junk food (or fast food) is so convenient and tasty — especially on those intense depression days.

But gut health has a big impact on serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that contributes to wellbeing and happiness.

It’s estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. 

That’s why it’s so important to get your nutrients in.

Watching what you eat means:

✔️ Drinking lots of water

✔️ Eating plentiful fruit and veggies

✔️ Increasing your beans, nuts, and seeds consumption

I know when I eat more junk food than usual, I notice my energy levels decrease.

I feel sluggish and bloated, and I definitely don’t feel motivated about anything.

Purple Carrot is a meal delivery kit that makes eating delicious whole foods much easier!



So many people use alcohol as a way to cope. Alcohol itself is a depressant.

That means, when you drink alcohol, you’re going to feel even worse.

More negative. More depressed.


If you want something to drink, try kombucha.

It’s a fizzy drink filled with so many benefits for your body, like probiotics.

If you want something more soothing, try chamomile or peppermint tea.

More on alcohol:

👉 10 Reasons Why it’s Okay to Never Drink Alcohol


People say that gossip magazines and celebrity news is their guilty pleasure.

I say there’s a much deeper issue here.

Why celebrity gossip is harmful:

❌ Promotes an unhealthy image of beauty

❌ They often don’t hold an ounce of truth

❌ Pins women against women

Oh, and of course, they can be a big waste of money.

More on gossip magazines:

👉 5 Reasons to Stop Reading Gossip Magazines for Better Mental Health


Social media is a blessing and a curse.

It brings people together, but it also brings out the worst in people and humanity.

Why social media is harmful:

❌ It’s not real life

❌ It’s addictive 

❌ It’s time-wasting

On the plus side: when you find a supportive and loving community, it can be beneficial to feel like you’re not alone.

Read more ways social media sucks:

👉 5 Reasons Why You Should Stay Off Social Media


The news is very biased.

It hardly ever focuses on the good in the world.

We’ll see stories of fires, car accidents, and murders, among other crimes.

With all these negative news stories, we’re bound to believe that the world is filled with only evil.

The news creates black-and-white thinking

Only bad people with bad morals and agendas. No good in the world.

So every time you watch the news, you are essentially feeding your mind these negative thoughts.

You may feel like this negative, evil world is your reality.

But the fact of the matter is the news shows only a very small fraction of real life.

Related post about the news:

👉 3 Reasons to Stop Following the News for Better Mental Health


People think they can hide behind their computer screens.

The comment section is often vile.

It’s filled with bullying and criticism and hatred.

You’ll instantly feel your mood drop when you scroll through the comments.

You’ll feel even more hopeless and negative.

Trust me when I say this…Just don’t read the comments section.

How to cope with bullying

👉 4 Essential Ways to Cope with Bullying on the Internet


I believe nature heals. I truly, truly believe that.

But it’s not always possible to get outside, and I know you might not even have the motivation to do so.

That’s why I highly recommend investing in a therapy light. I use this therapy lamp.



Light therapy has been proven to decrease symptoms of winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

They also improve mood, focus, and sleep patterns.

Within the first week of using mine, I saw an increase in my energy levels and mood.


It’s so tempting to isolate yourself.

The thought of using your energy to be around other people might make you feel even more miserable.

You might be faking happiness around other people, and I know how exhausting that can be.

But isolation furthers the feelings of loneliness.

Isolation fuels your depression and makes you feel like nobody cares.

Please remember that depression is lying to you.

You are important, and you are loved.

Things That Trigger Depression

Truthfully, there are things you’re doing that are probably making your depression worse.

Mayo Clinic says that getting help for depression when you first recognize its symptoms helps prevent your depression from worsening.

For me, I try to limit or completely avoid the 12 activities on the list above.

When I do, I notice my mood is much better and my depression is much easier to manage.

Related posts on depression:

Did you know that there is affordable online therapy?

Online Therapy is a complete online therapy toolbox.

Your therapy toolbox includes:

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  • 8 easy-to-follow sections, including 25 worksheets
  • Activity plan, journal, and tests
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What I love about Online Therapy is that there are several life-changing options and therapists available, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.

This means you never need to worry before getting help.

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2 thoughts on “12 Things That Make Depression Worse (Common Habits)

  1. Deborah Johnson

    Hi, you are so awesome I love your blog. I was looking for a good blog to read and yours popped up, yay!. I too suffer from depression and some days it is hard to get basic things done, but I push myself and take it one step at a time. For the days when I just can’t do it I don’t beat myself up, I just pick up where I left off the next day. Also you are so right about watching crime shows and listening to sad songs, they do make you feel sadder. You have found yourself a new follower, thank you for your post.

    • Thank you so much Deborah! 🙂

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