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The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions--Today

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,197 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
We're in a bad mood epidemic, but Julia Ross's plan provides a natural cure. Drawing on thirty years of experience, she presents breakthrough solutions to overcoming depression, anxiety, irritability, stress, and other negative emotional states that are diminishing the quality of our lives. Her comprehensive program is based on the use of four mood-building amino acids and ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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My naturopath recommended this book to me. There's some good info in here about supplements and exercise. But I REALLY hated the way she kept dissing vegetarians/vegans. Apparently, you just can't be healthy nor happy being veg. I'm living proof that's not true!
Oct 19, 2012 fr0zen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mom sent me this book and two supplements (5-HTP and L-Tyrosine) after I had admitted to her that I was using alcohol to self-medicate my depression and anxiety. She told me to start taking the 5-HTP immediately, even before I read the book.

I've read the book and it really does make a lot of sense. I've stopped drinking for a week. The cravings are still there, but right now I only have the two supplements my mom sent, the others are in the mail.

The 5-HTP makes me feel better within about 15
May 18, 2010 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book not only for people struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD, that type of thing, but also for overstressed, overwhelmed people, and for people with mild depression- sort of low-energy/apathetic type of feeling. I think everyone should read it because the chances are extremely high that you will need the things you learn for yourself at some point in your life or for someone you love. You might even be suffering needlessly, telling yourself it's "normal" and that you ...more
Dez Hanna
Feb 14, 2013 Dez Hanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Mood Cure was just what I was looking for. At 53 I started experiencing insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, high blood pressure spikes, food cravings, etc. I thought I was losing my mind and not really sure where to turn,after going to my doctor who put me on ativan, which is a benzodiazepine, and has a really bad history of addiction, this book literally put me back on the right track & saved my life. I was looking for a natural approach to my health crisis, and I found It with this book. I ...more
Andrea James
I picked up this book for three reasons: 1) I've been feeling extremely tired and run down and hence I'm broadening my scope in looking for ways to fix my body 2) I'm interested in learning about factors that can affect our brain's function, our moods etc. because these in turn often have an effect on our decision-making, which is what I work on 3) the book had great reviews

The first couple of chapters seemed alright - the author lamented about the decline of good nutrition and she highlighted t
Jennifer Jaynes
Dec 21, 2011 Jennifer Jaynes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone struggling with depression and/or anxiety
Shelves: nutrition
I read this after reading "The Diet Cure," and I'm SO glad I did. Julia Ross knows her aminos and how powerful they can be when it comes to mood. This is information that few, if any, conventional doctors will mention... which is too bad.

I'm now on a regimen of l-tryptophan, l-tyrosine, GABA, DLPA, B-Complex vitamins, calcium/magnesium and quality proteins--and I feel better than ever.

I noticed improvements almost immediately and HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who is struggling with depr
This book filled in a lot of knowledge gaps for me between nutrition facts that I sort of knew before, such as that people need plenty of serotonin and other neurotransmitters to maintain a good mood and that low-calorie diets usually backfire. I've tried some of the recommended eating patterns (less sugar, less refined flour, more protein, not worrying about fat) and I do seem to be feeling better. Hubby made me steak with vegetables and potatoes last night and I woke up this morning feeling mo ...more
This looks like a self-help style quick fix book, but its actually realy good if you are interested in natural remedies for any kind of emotional stress, instability, lack of motivation, anxiety etc etc. I have been looking for a good book on the subject of dealing with depression and anxiety through diet and natural means FOR YEARS. Many other books were either too vaque or so complicated that I had to just put it dowm. This is easy to read but detailed enough to take seriously. I learned a lot ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Michał rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read most of the book. I'm so so soooo happy I got it. I have suffered from depression for about 2 years and it never really made sense why I was feeling this way. I have a wonderful group of friends, family, I go to a great school. I was going to therapy and although I made progress I still felt like there was something wrong. I actually found this book because it was recommended to me by one of my favorite authors Marci Shimoff who wrote Happy for no reason and Love for no reason. After g ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Imibroccoli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is AMAZING. As a psychotherapist working amongst statutory settings, I must say I can really see the limitation of 'standard treatments' or CBT, and conversely the power of nutritional therapies. Julia Ross's dietary guidelines are in line with the currently popular Paleo/ Low Carb Diet, which I personally see as legitimate. For those who feel like they are in a deep dark tunnel have exhausted every way out, I strongly recommend this book.
Dec 25, 2009 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a miracle. Can't say enough. Who knew that a fifteen-year anxiety problem could be caused by a dietary problem. I made a few changes to my diet and took some amino acid supplements, and the problem went away. It's a quick read, and the explanations make so much sense. This is one of those books that you wish you could share with everyone.
Nov 20, 2016 Petergstrom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Current popular ideas about depression frequently center around “low serotonin” and are the remnants of the outdated monoamine hypothesis that originated in the 1960s and stems from the (perceived)efficacy of monoamine reuptake inhibitors in treating depression. However, despite that fact that the human body is not as simple as the monoamine hypothesis would make it seem, it is still potentiated. Many “health” websites still perpetuate this theory in a way akin to the humor theories of the Greek ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Jeslyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got a LOT of excellent information from this book, but I held off any review until I put the regimen into actual practice for at least a few weeks.

My friend Natalie also recommended this book, and noted that she regularly saw improvements to her energy/focus level within MINUTES, which was very intriguing to me.

I found that assessment to be true as well - attention, energy, SOUND sleep, alertness on waking all have marked improvement in a very short time span after taking the amino acid supp
Mar 11, 2012 Zana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be lifechanging. Unfortunately, I also find myself wanting to give it to other people who I know have trouble with depression and tell them, "This really works! Try it!" with the sort of wide-eyed fanaticism that I know will make them back away slowly.

It intuitively makes sense, though, that instead of tinkering with the reuptake processes of the brain in order to get there to be more free serotonin, you just take the precursors to seratonin.

My only caveat to the "This is fa
Don't let the title and subtitle put you off - this book is based on solid science and clinical experience. If you've always had serious "mood" problems and found that intensive efforts to think positively, meditate, rest and go through therapy only helped marginally, this is probably what you need to confirm which biochemical balances you suffer from and find out how to fix them. The reason why I'm not giving it five stars is my hypersensitivity to lectins, which has caused various health probl ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Anastacia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this and, along with her other book, The Diet Cure, she basically puts you on a regimen of herbal supplements. I spent about $200 on various herbs (GABA, St. John's and some others I can't remember now) that I had to remember to take at various times of the day (and which to take when). It didn't work for me, I was out the cost of the books, all the money I spent for the pills and my urine smelled like it was a biohazard. TMI. And I sort of lost my pride (see: $200). Some people may prefe ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Alysia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read a borrowed copy from the public library and decided to go ahead and buy my own copy so I can follow it to hopefully kill the depression I've struggled with since 4th grade.
C.A. Gray
Jul 21, 2015 C.A. Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd heard that the drugs we're prescribing for mental health issues may very well be to blame for the veritable epidemic of mental health disorders (especially just plain depression and anxiety) but I hadn't heard this angle before, at least not in so many words: we're not getting the building blocks our bodies need in order to produce our neurotransmitters because our food is so adulterated. It's definitely true that most of our food these days isn't real food, but it's fascinating to note that ...more
Jan 30, 2008 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to improve their physical & mental health
Recommended to Carrie by: Kirsten Swanson
This is one of those books that made me say "ah-ha" a dozen times. It will have a steady place on my bookshelf as a reference that I will religiously re-read.

After close to 10 years of average health, and consistent battles with insomnia, poor nutrition, caffeine addiction, and the "blahs" this book is reads like a journal of my symptoms...and gives all natural remedies.

It is VERY easy to read and follow. All of the recommended supplements can be found at your local Health or Whole Foods Grocery
Lisa C
May 19, 2014 Lisa C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Interesting read on the connection between nutrition and mood health. A must-read for anyone suffering from various types of mood disorders. It recommends dietary changes, but also amino acid supplements to help you "catch up." Once you are caught up with those deficiencies, you can just continue on the new diet without the supplements.

I would love if general practitioners and mental health practitioners would read this book because the information has the potential to help far more people than
Apr 02, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-food
I started implementing the recommendations in this book, and I'm feeling better in less than a week! I only started with one supplement so if I improve, then I'd know exactly what was working. There's one more I want to try now.

This is the first time, since starting my antidepressants in 2001, that I have hope of getting off or at least significantly reducing those meds.

Her simple explanations of the science behind amino acids are extremely helpful. Our brains create serotonin from 5-HTP which i
Le Chuck
We're in a bad mood epidemic alright, but I don't think it has as much to do with diet than, say, the economy, overcrowding, our deteriorating environment, etc. This book is an interesting take on our current epidemic from the dietary perspective, regardless of how off base it may be at times. The impact of low protein, low fat diet on mental health, in mind, is the most believable. Also- the use of amino acid supplementation to increase endogenous neurotransmitter levels in lieu of SSRIs is gre ...more
Hallie Brown
Jan 23, 2015 Hallie Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book because I want to be a nutritionist. I knew somewhat about the effects of our diets on our moods, but discovered they were more important than I anticipated. The Mood Cure clearly addresses every part of the average person's dietary intake explaining what the good mood foods are, what the bad mood foods are, and when you need to eat them. Today, many people are not getting the necessary nutrients and therefore have created a vicious cycle for themselves. Ross addresses ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sharon by: my nutritionist
Shelves: abandoned
Stopped reading this when the author started advocating homeopathy.

Then, found a review on Amazon that goes into detail about the problems with this book, including blood type diets and a claim that "casein can be as addictive as gluten." What? There's also no citation for the slams against vegetarianism and veganism.
Apr 30, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This definitely gave me the jump start I needed. Followed up with The Happiness Project and I'd say I'm a different person today. Ross's 4-step program helped me get some specific health counsel from my doctor that I never would have asked about and she never would have thought to address. As a result, I'm sleeping better, eating better, and feeling great.
Elisa Ferrari
Mar 28, 2016 Elisa Ferrari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Julia Ross's plan is down to earth, proven by science and experience. Good-mood foods such as protein, healthy fat and certain key vegetables get you started in a feel better day to day path that includes all types of dietary choices: omnivore, vegetarian, even vegan. Not difficult, not expensive, easy to understand, completely doable. And you can feel the results within a day or less.
Jan 03, 2010 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We're in a bad mood epidemic." -- Julia Ross

A practical, simple, and healthy approach on using natural remedies to improve your emotional well-being. Even if you have no "need" for this book, READ it. The information is overwhelming, fascinating, and surprising!
Tanya Hakala
Interesting read. Covered a lot of information I've read in other places. I didn't care for how much she dissed the vegetarian diet. Also, the style of writing was kind of annoying to me, but it was a quick enough read that it wasn't bad to get through.
This book is incredible! Great review of hormones, supplements, and helpful dietary changes. I can't wait to integrate this information into my practice.
Well, I didn't finish this technically - though I did read and skim a lot of it. This book doesn't read very well, and I made the mistake of picking it up as a book to be read cover to cover. It's definitely not that kind of book.

It is more or less along the lines of many natural health guides we've seen be published over the years, and nowadays you can get just as much, if not more information, from sites like Reddit.
That said, it is refreshing to have a lot of knowledge condensed into one book
Amanda Satchwell
Sep 09, 2014 Amanda Satchwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Talk about comprehensive. If this book didn't help cure my moods, it certainly changed my supplement habits--in that I now take about 7 different types a day, mostly amino acids, minerals, proteins, and a select grouping of vitamins. But only after exhausting this and about 4 other books on supplements during my summer family vacation this year. Of the books I read, I felt like I learned the most practical lessons and the most complete understanding of what happens/causes "bad moods" from this r ...more
Gina Briganti
Apr 04, 2014 Gina Briganti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don’t you just love reading a stellar book? Julia Ross’s research for The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of your Emotions - Today is inspiring. As a Holistic Health Consultant, I’ve learned more from her about amino acid therapy than I did when I earned my degree in applied nutrition. The Mood Cure is filled with recipes, resources, and practical information. Is it a substitute for qualified care? Not in my opinion. Still, learning what this book has to offer will empower readers t ...more
Kalin Rheanne
May 13, 2014 Kalin Rheanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read for every person.

Everyone experiences fluctuations in moods and at one point or another may experience difficulty sleeping, anxiety, irritability, etc. without it being to the point where they see a psychiatrist. This book will be very useful to the general population, but especially to those who have "diagnosable" "mood disorders." (I use quotes for my own purposes, but you can feel free to ignore that.)

Through proper diet and supplement programs, as well as lifestyle c
Nov 20, 2015 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
This book shows the role amino acids play on your moods and health in general. Somewhat US-centric and a little bit out of date, I would love to see an updated version of the book. I was not a fan of the whole "i'll tell you later" approach the author uses at times, it seems more fitting for lectures, not in book form. However that's not a deterrent from the usefulness of information in the book. I can speak from personal experience it works, since figuring out which amino acids I'm low on, my m ...more
Amelia S.
May 02, 2015 Amelia S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I only have good things to say about this book. I have also read its companion "The Diet Cure." This book has helped me keep my depression and anxiety in check for the last 2 years. Amazing.
Oct 16, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not going to work for me. Did some genetic testing and found out I have some issues that are too
complex to work through on my own, even with this book. May attempt to find a nutritionist through her website though.

I got about 1/10th of the way through the book and what I did read was helpful. Sometimes vague, but it looks like she went into in depth in later parts I might not have made it to. One thing that was frustrating was references to "if this, then see other section on page #". At one tim
I believe a lot of how we feel relates to our diet. This book stresses that but it also pushes the use of supplements which I don't like. I really prefer eating appropriately then going to supplements if necessary and only under the guidance of a nutritionist or a doctor. This book seems to say that if you take all the supplements it suggests (and you'd need a bag just to carry around each days amount!) you will cure yourself. I don't think it's quite that easy (if taking tons of pills and mixes ...more
Laura Manderino
**Edited and updated review**
This review just includes the recommendations for supplements and amino acids. I do not necessarily agree with the author's diet recommendations and believe any extreme diet changes need to be discussed with a physician to ensure it is safe and correct for your body chemistry. I believe individuals can take control of their symptoms and feel empowered in doing so, however this review just addresses the amino acid and vitamin recommendations, as I don't agree with the
I skimmed this book. It had very interesting facts about the influences our diet has on our moods. I can attest to the positive effects of eliminating gluten, processed foods and sugar/high fructose syrup. I don't think I'll be running to my pharmacy or health foods store to grab all the supplements considered in this book (I've heard from medical professionals that some of the side-effects of i.e. 5-HTP are awful). But I have found pro-biotics, and fish oils to be helpful. Eating more fish and ...more
Nov 24, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that I want to have on my shelf as a health reference book. It is full of useful information, and she included entire nutritional plans. The heart of the book revolves around how to treat depression and other mood issues with supplements and nutritional therapy, namely through the use of amino acids. I found it extremely helpful. I was able to better understand what exactly has been going on with my thyroid, hormones, mood, and so on.

Ross has a "mood-type quiz" that y
Moab Lopes
Jan 18, 2016 Moab Lopes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book addresses an unconventional and underestimated approach to treat mood-related problems: the nutritional path. Through many references and an extensive experience, the author shows how certain aminos and others nutrients can restore the depleted reserves of neurotransmitters of our stressed brains. Furthermore, Ross reveals how some chemicals like caffeine, sugar, starch, tobacco, alcohol, among others, associated with a stressful lifestyle can destroy our so wanted neurotransmitters. T ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Corrine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be amazing! I read it in one sitting. I really resonated with a lot of what she shared in the book. A lot of their insight comes from clinical work with years of working with their process with their clients. Hence, it's full of case studies from clients. There are 4 different types of "Moods" she tries to cure...including seratonin depletion, dopamine, depletion, GABA depletion, etc.. Also she discusses what foods we eat on how they affect the brain.
Jul 01, 2010 Jasmyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this lady's main premise: we all experience emotions, some good and some bad. Usually those emotions are connected to something (your dog dies and you feel sad, it's your birthday so you're happy), but sometimes we have "false emotions" that don't relate to anything and we need to find out why our brains are sending those signals, even when they're not connected to anything.
If you have waves of sadness or discouragement and they're not caused by anything, they're probably false and you s
Aug 04, 2016 Patti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I absolutely recommend this book to anyone with Depression/Anxiety concerns or mood in general. This should be required reading before going on anti-depressant's. Not because it paints them as the bad guy (which it really doesn't) but because it explains in detail the different kinds of depression and how it can be not just combatted but overcome fairly easily. Love love love. It has changed my family.
Feb 21, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, much of the advice about amino acids is quite useful. On the other hand, the author also recommends things like homeopathic remedies, which are complete bullshit. It also sometimes reads like an infomercial. I think that possibly the best way to use this book is as a stepping stone to determine what might be helpful to you so that you can look into it further from other more scientific resources.
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