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

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,729 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Are you a part of the bad mood epidemic? Here are the answers you've been looking for!

Julia Ross’s plan provides a natural cure for your mood. 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
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 30th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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May 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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! ...more
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Natalie Cardon
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
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
Nov 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
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
Dez Hanna
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. It is ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Sharon by: my nutritionist
Shelves: stopped-reading
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.
Jun 30, 2010 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
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dec 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Mar 11, 2012 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
C.A. Gray
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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 rated it did not like it
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
Le Chuck
May 18, 2010 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Annette Fuller
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I appreciate this book for putting me on to 5-HTP, which has really helped my depression. But I think I also would have gotten there with my naturopath eventually, so if you can afford to see a naturopath doctor I'd recommend that instead (or if you're in WA state where some insurance plans cover naturopaths as primary care physicians!).

This is a good book to recommend for people who are struggling with mental health issues so much that they can't bring themselves to get professional help yet. S
Angela Castille
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like that the author stated something along the lines of, "This book won't heal you. It is a tool to use with conventional medicine and therapies." She focuses on different types of amino acids to help with major mood disorders but gives lists of foods in which those amino acids exists. The author includes a quiz at the beginning to help the reader decide which type of amino acid he or she is lacking. ...more
Gina Briganti
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 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. ...more
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"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!
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“If you are a vegetarian, you’re at a greater risk of developing tryptophan malnutrition. Even if you never touch a piece of meat, you do get some tryptophan from foods like nutritional yeast, milk products, nuts, seeds, bananas, and pumpkin. But other than the milk products and yeast (which many vegetarians don’t eat), most vegetarian foods contain much less tryptophan than animal-derived foods do. And that’s important to remember, because decreases in the amount of tryptophan you consume can so easily prevent your brain’s serotonin stores from increasing.” 0 likes
“Surprisingly, though, many of the modern-day stressors that trigger these excessive reactions have nothing to do with upsets, injuries, anger, or fear. For example, a high-sugar, low-protein diet can trigger stress reactions without our even realizing it, and so can any severe or chronic infection.2 So can caffeine and environmental chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Whatever the cause, constant exposure to elevated stress hormones not only keeps us in an overamped emotional state, it can also lead to significant physical problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, dampened immune function, and Alzheimer’s disease. It can destroy cells in the center of the brain responsible for the storage and transfer of memory as well. See why I take stress so seriously? And so should you.” 0 likes
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