Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  10,471 ratings  ·  338 reviews
The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other "black holes" of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life. Now, in this updat...more
Paperback, 706 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Avon Books (first published 1980)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Steve
Many years ago I had a confluence of tragic events in my life and I decided to see a psychologist for a while. One day the psychologist told me that I needed to "deal with my feelings". I told him in frustration that I heard that many times before, but that I did not understand what that meant. I asked him what exactly do people do when they "deal with their feelings". He was silent for a few moments and then he wrote the name of this book down on a slip of paper. This book will tell you how to...more
Jamie
Dec 31, 2011 Jamie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone that wants to help alter their moods
Shelves: self-help
A therapist recommended this book to me. It is basically about how you choose your moods based on how you choose to respond to different situations and events. It really helped me to be in a better mood more often and be more positive about things. You must read this book with an open mind; there is no point if you are skeptical from the start. But it can definitely help you become a happier person.
Jennifer Anders
Need to change your thinking? Need to find the will? Need to find hope? Need to find your worth?

This book doesn't do that for you.

But it teaches you how to change your thinking so YOU can discover these things that were there all along. I'm depressed... super-depressed and when I'm in a good frame of mind nothing is all that bad. But when I am in a slump, it's hard to even see the point in trying. Much less reading a stupid book. But this book even shows you what to do when you don't even want t...more
Mike
Yeah, I'm reading self-help books now. Surprised?

There are a lot of components to Feeling Good that still grated on the self-help misanthrope-hopeless-fuckface-jaded-dickhead that I usually am, and it's mostly in David Burns's overtly assertive and "it's-so-simple" prose styling. Sometimes it's great because he's gifted at taking highly nuanced and sophisticated concepts about cognition and psychiatry and making them digestible and applicable; other times the tone sort of crosses into the sort...more
Daniel Slabodar
When you feel bad, you go to a doctor, doctor looks at you and gives you pills for fixing your hormonal apparatus (which is fine, I promise you). You start taking pills, just for sleeping, then for overcoming depression, and then for something else and etc'. At some point you think, I cannot live without the pills, I'm addicted. But what about the real reason (which was wrong in the first place) your reasoning mechanism you are trying to shut down with pills?

This book is a self-help guide using...more
Michael Alexander
A pile of Seneca, a dollop of Zhuangzi, some good takedowns of Freud and Skinner, some 7th grade reading level and a lot of charts. Put it together, and you get the surprisingly functional methodology that is CBT. Feeling Good is exactly the self-help book one would imagine when reading the phrase "drug-semi skeptic psychiatrist with long history of clinical work writes highly structured, accessible cognitive therapy book for the lay audience." If that sounds a little less than utterly transform...more
H.A.
Jan 30, 2011 H.A. rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one -- get a newer edition
I wanted to enjoy and recommend this book, but I suspect they must have extensively rewritten the newer edition. I don't see how any self-respecting person can get far being called "delusional" and "silly" among other things, over and over again. The tone of this edition is just horrible, and the "blame the victim" mentality on top of the dismissal of often life-saving medications, forced me to just give up on this book before I was even through the first three or four chapters.

As a former psych...more
Billie Pritchett
David Burns' Feeling Good is about the science of cognitive therapy. The theory states that your emotions are caused by your thoughts, and most negative emotions are caused by distortions in your thoughts, a series of illogical thoughts. They are:
(1) All-or-nothing thinking: Everything is perfect or everything is imperfect; everything is good or everything is evil; everything is correct or everything is incorrect; etc.
(2) Overgeneralization: One instance of something is used to explain all other
...more
Jan
I seriously love this book. I've referred to parts of it multiple times throughout the last 8 years or so of my life. This is the first time I've read it all the way through - in the past I've felt better about halfway through and quit reading. I don't recommend you do this - read it all!

Dr. Burns is a cognitive behavioral therapist who uses this book to teach you how to use your own thoughts to improve your moods. The basic premise is that all of our feelings are created by our thoughts, and ou...more
John
A great way to learn the essence of cognitive therapy. The central premise: depression is rooted in overly negative, illogical thought patterns ("cognitive distortions") that pervade the thoughts of those who suffer from it. These are the typical depressed thoughts that sound so cliche when made explicit: I'm a failure, I don't deserve , I'll never improve, etc.

The book starts by discussing these thought patterns, along with tools and techniques to recognize when you're having an overly self-cri...more
Jane
This book can help you identify twisted thinking and then change it to something more realistic. It was amazing to me to discover just how twisted, unhelpful and just plain irrational my thinking was! Most negative thinking falls into these categories. But so does "positive thinking" and affirmations -- they can be just as black and white, twisted and unhelpful. Feeling Good teaches you how to identify what Burns calls cognitive distortions and replace them with more rational and reasonable thou...more
Declan
Read this as Carey Tennis off Salon had recommended it. Its basically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy you can do on your own, so like Cognitive Behavioural therapy it basically consists of totally avoiding any depth or introspection, and constantly screaming at yourself "Im utterly happy, Im the best me I can possibly be!"

If the way human beings felt inside themselves had any connection at all with the statements they makes, this might be a good approach. As humans are infinitely more complex tha...more
Tatiana
Jan 28, 2010 Tatiana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ANYONE struggling with depression or anxiety
Recommended to Tatiana by: Infinite PhDs and Counselors
This book saved me from the brink 5 years ago, by helping me to take control of my own negative spinning thoughts and applying Cognitive Rationale to them one at a time. It helped me go much farther in life and now, according to my new therapist, I have to revisit it. Bah!! Will i never learn to stop my catastrophic thinking permenantly? Anyways, whining aside, it's a much better option to do these simple exercises than drive myself to the madhouse for good. And the relief of not being a slave t...more
Shannon Simmons
I credit this book with helping to save my life! I'm sure I was at a point where I was ready to hear and put into action the advice in this book which made it easier for me to receive and incorporate the advice into my life. But I think anybody would benefit from the advice and exercises in this book.

Our thoughts shape our perspective and there for shape our lives and our experiences. Changing those negative thoughts that form and turning them into positive ones are the key to success. This boo...more
Breanna
This book changed my life.

Dr. Burns is really easy to understand, and funny too, though I'm not sure if he means to be. I got through the book fairly quickly for its size, and I have currently been reading and re-reading it. It has become my bible. It comes with me everywhere. Once I read through it once, it became even easier to go back and find a certain subject if I felt I needed a little catch-up on something, so it is really excellent even after you do your initial reading. I wish I had th...more
Natalie
This book helps people get over depression by realizing your thoughts sometimes lie to you, exaggerate or basically make no sense. For example, all or nothing, discounting the positive, or magnifying the negative. I can't believe how frequently I did this. The author is so persuasive and easy to read. This is literally one of the top life changing books I've ever read. I would definitely recommend it for depressed people AND average every day people.
Sheila
Oct 15, 2013 Sheila added it
This book is basically CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) in a box; I read it a couple of years ago in conjunction with a therapy program and picked it up again for a refresher. The anti-drugs bit is almost as annoying as I remembered, although he doesn't argue you should never take drugs. He's just not a fan. The actual CBT part is what I read it for.
Valerie
This was recommended to me by a therapist I respect greatly, who has studied with Dr Burns - a pioneer of Cognitive Therapy. However, i found the book very difficult to digest.
I think his style far too wordy and analytical for me, altho Burns is clearly an expert in the field and has definitely pinpointed the 'cognitive disfunction' or distorted thinking that leads to depression and loss of self-esteem or self-defeating behavior. He defines 10 main categories of Cognitive Distortions: All-or-Not...more
Michael
This book provides an introduction to the methods of cognitive therapy, which starts with the idea that all feelings/moods are created by cognitions a.k.a. thoughts, and thus tackling distorted thoughts will improve one's mood. This methodology has a very modern and empirical ring to it; its insights are consistent with other (neuro)psychology books (e.g. Thinking, Fast and Slow) in that the latter books demonstrate our thoughts are filled with all sorts of distortions which lead to suboptimal o...more
Courtney
"Feeling Good" outlines cognitive techniques for battling depression in the early chapters, then in the final 200 pages engages in a fairly in-depth discussion of brain chemistry and prescription drugs.

I came to this book already as a convert to cognitive behavioral techniques as a successful tool for conquering depression and anxiety, and author David Burns does a good job of explaining how these concepts work. The underlying idea is that people can overcome even severe mental health problems...more
Suzy
May 08, 2008 Suzy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who get depressed
Recommended to Suzy by: my old therapist in Brooklyn
All-time best all-around self-help book!

This book identifies some very common errors in our thinking that lead to depression, helps you become aware of them and arms you to defeat them. Some of them, using the author's terms, are All-or-Nothing Thinking, Disqualifying the Positive, Should Statements, and Labeling and Mislabeling.

For example, you tell yourself (even without realizing it), "I didn't do a perfect job on that project, it was a failure. I never do anything right." These thoughts actu...more
Elaine
I use David Burn's techniques from this book sometimes weekly, sometimes daily. I was familiarized with this book about 10 years ago and I still flip to page 40 to sort out "cognitive distortions." He has ways to pinpoint the thought processes that lead to sadness, anger, frustration, low self-image-- it is a logical and empowering tool to know how to quickly put out mental flares.

Just a few of these "cognitive distortions" include: All-or-nothing thinking ("you always forget my birthday"), Min...more
Nick
This is one of the basic books for cognitive rational therapy. If you want to be a clear thinker, this book will help you. The work is conceptually simple but difficult to do; you have to stick with it. Highly recommended, and not just for depressed people. It's useful for anyone who wants to shed conceptual thinking problems and think like a champ. Every wannabe high achiever should read it, and act on it.
David
If you ever think "I'm sort of an okay person, why do I feel so BAD all the time?" you'll want to pick this up. An introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that's chatty and entertaining as well as thought-provoking and well-documented. Clearly written, with an endless supply of concrete examples as well as questionnaires so you can start applying the techniques yourself. It's also well structured: After briefly setting out the basic theory and citing research, he quickly gets to the nuts an...more
Susan
Feb 28, 2009 Susan is currently reading it
Distortions:
1. All-or-Nothing Thinking (dichotomous thinking)
2. Over generalization
3. Mental Filter (selective abstraction)
4. Disqualifying the Positive (reverse alchemy) One of
.........the most destructive forms of cognitive
.........distortion.
5. Jumping to Conclusions
6. Magnification (Catastrophizing) Minimization
7. Emotional Reasoning - Negative feelings guide actions ....................(I feel it therefore it must be true.)
8. Should Statements - Create self loathing,shame & guilt ......more
Irina Preda
This is an INCREDIBLE book! It helped me so much change my perspective on things! I will definitely read it again because I feel that I need to integrate better all the helpful info that I found in it but just by reading it one time I learned so much about the various techniques to fight anxiety and depression. People should get educated about this topic and no longer consider it a taboo. Unfortunately anxiety and depression and mental illness in general is still a taboo whether we admit it or n...more
Wendy
Jan 12, 2014 Wendy added it
Shelves: couldnt-finish
I decided not to finish this one. One therapist recommended it, and I eagerly began reading it only to find that it's extremely dry, repetitive, and not all that insightful. The next therapist I spoke to gave me a flyer that had all the information that I'd gathered from the first third of the book all neatly summarized on one page.

I'm thinking that maybe this wasn't the book for me in the first place. I don't think that I'm clinically depressed, even though I do have a lot of the distorted thi...more
Patrick Fleet
This was a good read. I picked this book up, because although I am not depressed, I have some shy streaks that make me not as happy as I could be, and I tend to fall into routines frequently. I liked the advice in this book.
Ryan
Sep 05, 2008 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ryan by: Aaron Wichman
As a social psychologist, the content of this book is not really my area of expertise, but I would still say that this is a great book on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (perhaps THE book on CBT). What makes it so great is that it is written for the user, not for the instructor. That means any person dealing with dysfunction in his or her life can use this as a powerful tool for changing irrational thoughts. Specifically, the book addresses everything from depression to procrastination to perfectio...more
Carlos
Burns provides an easy-to-understand introduction to cognitive therapy and proposes a test that gauges one's mood to determine to what extent the reader is depressed, if at all. Then he goes on with practical advice on how to challenge distorted thoughts. His two-column techniques seem convincing. But he misses the point that emotions have to be welcomed and nurtured, not neglected and contradicted. This is reportedly the most recommended book by therapists, most probably because its ease of acc...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
how can i find the book 6 33 Dec 21, 2013 06:50PM  
Science and Inquiry: Bibliotherapy 7 35 Oct 07, 2011 09:48AM  
  • Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel By Changing the Way You Think
  • Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You
  • The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships
  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
  • Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
  • The Highly Sensitive Person
  • The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
  • A New Guide to Rational Living
  • The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
  • Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
  • The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook
  • Healing the Shame that Binds You
  • Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness
  • Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types
  • The Personality Code: Unlock the Secret to Understanding Your Boss, Your Colleagues, Your Friends...and Yourself!
  • I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It
  • The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
  • Self-Esteem
1498
David D. Burns is an adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the author of the best-selling book Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Burns popularized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) when his book became a best seller during the 1980s.

Burns received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1964 and his M.D. fro...more
More about David D. Burns...
The Feeling Good Handbook When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work Ten Days to Self-Esteem Intimate Connections

Share This Book

“Much everyday anger results when we confuse our own personal wants with general moral codes.” 0 likes
“my anger directed toward someone who has knowingly, intentionally, and unnecessarily acted in a hurtful manner?     2.   Is my anger useful? Does it help me achieve a desired goal or does it simply defeat me?” 0 likes
More quotes…