Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Bob Rich’s Self-Therapy Guide: Creativity

Bob Rich’s book From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide is therapy in your pocket. Depression, anxiety, and other forms of suffering are all too common in our crazy world. Bob teaches you how to rise from that to “normal,” which is the walking wounded, then far above that, to inner strength enabling you to cope in any situation.

Like Charles Dickens did with his novels, Bob has converted this book into a series of posts, free on this site, because he wants to be of benefit. In the sixth post in his series, Bob shared some tips with readers on how to have fun while depression tries to stop you from having any. The following is the 7th excerpt from his book and it lists some of the creative activities that can fill daily life’s moments with happiness.


One reason for the high incidence of suffering in technological society is that so many people stop doing creative things for months, even years at a time. They go on day after day, week after week, year after year, round and round the same treadmill of routine and boredom. Get up in the morning, commute to work, go through the motions, come home, veg out in front of the idiot box, go to bed… who wouldn’t be depressed? And these are the lucky ones who have a job.

For many people, life is drab. Housework is a chore. Kids are an unending stream of problems. Work is a chunk out of your life. And when you go on holidays, you come back so exhausted you need to recover from them.

creative activities

Introduce creative activities. Here are a few examples:

  • Whatever your work, find ways of doing it with enthusiasm, seeking new ways, learning new skills, aiming for new achievements.
  • Attend a course. This could be anything from learning the skills for a new hobby to a Ph.D. My first client was a lady who enrolled at University for a degree in Divinity. That’s how I knew she no longer needed my services.
  • Play music.
  • Some people get a lot out of gardening.
  • Cooking can be highly creative, even cooking for one person.
  • Housework can be done creatively. Spend a couple of hours cleaning a room, then enjoy its welcoming feel.
  • Outdoor activities like walking, cycling, fishing, nature observation can be highly creative if done in the right frame of mind.
  • Then of course there are the activities usually thought of as creative: painting, making things with your hands, writing poetry or stories, composing music.

Where do you find the time for such things? Engaging in something like an item from this list gives you MORE time rather than less. This is because creativity recharges your inner batteries, and you’ll be more efficient at everything you do.

– Dr. Bob Rich

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