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The Feeling Good Handbook

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  5,261 ratings  ·  148 reviews
Make life an exhilarating experience!

With his phenomenally successful Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, Dr. David Burns introduced a groundbreaking, drug-free treatment for depression. Now in this long-awaited sequel, he reveals powerful new techniques and provides step-by-step exercises that help you cope with the full range of everyday problems.

* Free from fears, pho

Paperback, Revised edition, 729 pages
Published October 28th 1999 by Penguin (first published 1989)
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Vera Levi Considering the length of this book, I wouldn't recommend it. The Feeling Good Handbook is THICK.
Now that I'm half-way through, I also recommend buyin…more
Considering the length of this book, I wouldn't recommend it. The Feeling Good Handbook is THICK.
Now that I'm half-way through, I also recommend buying it because you'll want to refer back to it for weeks after you finish.
That said, here's a link:

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  5,261 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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Roy Lotz
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unlike with previous Burns books, I read this one while I was feeling relatively normal and untroubled. I did this because I sensed myself relapsing. Cognitive therapy, as you might know, is based on the premise that your thoughts control your moods and emotions. Thus it works by changing your beliefs and even your values in order to alleviate depression, anxiety, and problems with relationships. In my own experience, this can have a remarkably liberating effect. The problem is that, when the re ...more
May 31, 2008 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Yulia by: a family member
Shelves: non-fiction
I haven't read this yet, but was recently directed to a list included in this book on page 76 of distorted thoughts, or cognitive distortions, that people make:

1) All-or-nothing thinking: You look at things in absolute, black-and-white categories.
2) Over-generalization: You view a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
3) mental filter: You dwell on the negatives and ignore the positives.
4) Discounting the positives: You insist that your positives don't "count."
5) Jumping to conclus
Jan 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Do not read this book if you are severely depressed. This book has helped a lot of people -- people who are mildly or moderately depressed. For people who are severely or chronically depressed, not as much.

I bought the book after three years of clinical depression and then had the book for four more years of depression, and I only got a few chapters into it. In fact, it really stressed me out. I took it to my therapist's office several times with me feeling upset, brokenhearted, like a failure,
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. I am now able to recognize my mental patterns and decide if they're beneficial to me or not, and discard the unproductive, depressing, anxiety creating thoughts in favor of good thoughts or no thought at all. It's a workbook & the exercises must be done to get the full effect.

I recently bought this handbook again because I lost the first one and I realized I'm in need of its way of putting my thoughts on paper and weighing/sorting them out.

I recommend this book to ev
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I am not ashamed of reading self-help books, or of liking them despite the fact that they do not possess the subtlety or nuance or pacing of the classics. "Show, don't tell" kind of disappears: you are being told more often than you are being shown in these sorts of reads about how to deal with feelings and emotions, which can be off-putting to like-minded fiction buffs, but I feel like my readings in fiction led me here. This is in part because I was seeking counseling in my fiction: counseling ...more
Nov 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
hopefully, I can get through this very thick book, but I LOVE the premise, and heard about it from an Education Week talk on battling depression. The speaker was a 20 year or so experienced Psychiatrist who now works w/ LDS Social Services, and rarely uses medication more than very short term, and has seen TONS of non-relapse success with cognitive therapy--anyway, that's what this somewhat older, but still best-selling book is about--except in extreme cases, he gives lots of tools for controlli ...more
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for people with anxiety disorder. Contains some worksheets as well as great tips for making it through panic attacks.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am currently reading the book. I think that the book is really good and is very on point with different kind of issues. The book really tackles many issues that we face everyday.I think that the book is really helpful for figuring out what is bothering you and how to solve many problems such as depression and other different kinds of phobias. The book has taught me several things so far on how to express my feelings and how to get to the bottom of what ever is bothering you. I think that anybo ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!
Recommended to Jacqueline by: A dear friend, who is a Social Worker
SUCH a good book! I was given this by a friend who has shelves upon shelves of self help books, and I was very skeptical at first. To me, all self help books are just fluff, I mean can it be that easy to improve your life just from reading a book? YES! This book is pretty intimidating with its large size but it is absolutely chalk-full of amazing information and ways to deal with the everyday stresses of life. I will recommend this book to every person who wants to change their life for the bett ...more
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the newer edition of THE book that was used in the clinical trials comparing antidepressants to cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which, believe it or not, they were found equally effective. I wish I had learned about this book in medical school! Not only have I found it extremely helpful on a personal level, but I can't think of a single person I've ever met who shouldn't read this book. What a helpful way of untwisting all the horrible things we and our minds do to ourselves.
Nov 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
I don't know. So far, I'm not finding this very helpful. Say it's the depression talking if you will, but I feel like I should be on the waiting list for the Oprah show when I'm reading this. I'll finish it... but I have a "good feeling" that $20 I spent on it would have been better used somewhere else.

Piyush Zambad
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this book extremely insightful. This is a self-help book, usually intended for someone struggling from longstanding and tough emotions and feelings, such as depression, guilt, anger, stress, anxiety, relationship trouble etc. However, I feel this book is a good-read for anyone and everyone who is proactive about mental health and wishes not to become victim of his/her own thoughts. The book points out common distortions in thought that each one of us is vulnerable to in the face of tough ...more
Marianne Wallace
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, self-help
Overwhelmed? Stressed? Feel like you're ready to slide into a dark abyss?

This is the book version of a cognitive behavioral therapy session with a psychiatrist. The examples, advice and exercises help you step back from your feelings, thoughts and behavior and take a clearer, more factual look at what's really going on in and around you.

It's a tome at just over 700 pages and covers topics such as Why People Procrastinate, Social Anxiety and Five Secrets of Intimate Communication, all divided int
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
See my review of the book. This is a great handbook and there probably is more info in it. But I would suggest that you don’t need this handbook. I think the book is plenty helpful and only $5 on Amazon. Just my two cents.
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: new adult mental health diagnosis
Recommended to Gina by: Health care provider
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cheri by: Dr. Michael Sheehan
The Feeling Good Handbook outlines cognitive errors that people make, and it is so helpful in cognitive therapy. It makes things clear and easy to understand. I also have The Feeling Good book... but I found that this handbook was much easier to follow along with, it had a better layout, and an easier format to continually refer back to. It says I read it 5 times, that wasnt' cover to cover, this book just is so handy to keep going back to.
Jyotika Varmani
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is not an attempt to hard sell. It is a sincere, genuine effort to provide us with exercises that really work. This I can say from personal experience. David D. Burns is a champion of Cognitive Psychology, and he has reached out to the general population with the simplest way with this book. This book is simply a must read, and practice. It is a classic.
Heidi Lynn
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Can't afford counselling? Well, they've actually studied this book and found it has clinical effectiveness very similar to a course of cognitive behavioural therapy. I found the bit about interpersonal communication especially helpful. Find the truth in complaints against you. Who knew?
May 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
727 pages. Donated 2010 May.

Revised with up-to-date information on the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs, "The Feeling Good Handbook" has sold more than 500,000 copies in previous editions.

Somehow I expected more. The book seemed kind of patronizing.
Luc Reid
A friendly, step-by-step approach to applying Rational Emotive-Based Therapy (REBT) to your own life. Does a very good job of showing the connections between our thoughts and our emotions.
Aug 21, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: self-help
this one is so good for me that its hard to read, if you know what I mean.
Feb 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Stupid book gave me anxiety about how to fix my anxiety. I gives you a guilt trip in the beginning about not taking the exercises seriously enough. I got rid of it.
Eike Post Preischaft
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is a great book in that it give strategies and real world examples on how a self analysis can lead to chaning thought patterns which can lead to being happier.

The reason I rated the book 4 stars and not 5 is that it only talks about one aspect of fighting depression and ignores other aspects completely.
Other aspects are:

1. Environment (important but not covered)
-less stressful environment
-more nature
-people around that love you

2. Physical (important but not covered)
-enough sleep
- good nutriti
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing


What are the Xanax Bars?
These are pill size Xanax tablets which are the most common method of taking drugs. A patient can buy Xanax online from any of the online medical websites. You may divide the Xanax bars into doses of 2, 1, .5 and .24 mg doses. It is basically a benzodiazepine which helps in treatment of anxiety disorders. This medication works by enhancing chemicals in the brain known as GABA. Ultimately, the body gets relaxed and the individual finds immense relaxation.
Though the
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
The thoughts you have, no matter how distorted, create your emotions- which feel real no matter how distorted the thought is.

I love his notion on should statements, because setting yourself up for feeling like a failure usually starts with should statements. By using alternate wording you can significantly improve your thoughts and thereby your mood.

I like his idea to write down the thoughts that led to the negative emotion, such as always or never statements. Then uncoil these distorted statem
Erica Garcia
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this on my mom's recommendation. Aware of how much I can't stand new-agey "power of positive thinking" crap, she knew I would really benefit from and enjoy the very concrete, no-brainer techniques Dr. Burns offers to combat a myriad of cognitive issues like anxiety, procrastination, poor self-talk, etc. It took me a little over a month to get through the whole book- it's HUGE, but the last 200 pages or so are really only necessary for practicing psychiatrists and therapists since they dea ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book overall. It gave me several techniques to think through my own distortions and to rationalize them. But, what I did not like was the way the author keeps saying that CBT is not a miracle and needs real hardwork but when he provides examples of his own patients, it sounds like a miracle happened. People that went into his office and boom! One session and the depression is gone!
This book is really good for people with borderline to mild depression and anxiety. But I don’t think
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've experienced major depressive episodes in the past and have been doing well for some time now. While I can't say this book would have helped me during my darkest days, I'm enjoying it and finding it useful to maintain my recovery. It has a lot of the same content I worked through in professional CBT therapy so if you're on a long waitlist for therapy this could help you get an idea of what to expect. I hope this book can help others in their recovery. If you don't find it helpful, don't desp ...more
Joanna Evans
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's a classic. This is my go to book for clients in need of strategies to change their mood, or relationship dynamics. Though some may comment the examples are a little dry, they illustrate the point and do their job. I find this reference guide to be succinct and full of relevant applications. The summaries at the end of each chapter are helpful ways to review otherwise unwieldy tips and the strategies for effective communication are priceless. I've been in practice for decades and have not fo ...more
Rue Koegel
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the kinda basic stuff that everyone should learn about throughout elementary school.

So, if you didn't, this is one of those books you should definitely read... less you read something similar, or took college level courses of human development and basic psychology.

Readers can also skip over the last half of the book, less they need to know everything there is to know about anti-anxiety or anti-depression meds... This means the primary book is only about 380pgs, IIRC.
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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

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12 likes · 7 comments
“The secret of successful treatment is not to become a perfect, shining star or to learn to be in complete control of your feelings. These strategies are doomed to failure. In contrast, when you accept yourself as an imperfect but eminently lovable human being, and you stop fighting your emotions so strenuously, your fear will often lose its grip over you.” 10 likes
“Bir şeyi istemekle ona gereksinim duymak arasında fark vardır. Oksijen bir gereksinim, sevgi ise bir istektir.
Sevgi erişkin bir insanın gereksinim duyduğu bir şey değildir. Diğer insanlarla sevgi dolu ilişkiler kurmak istemek doğaldır. Bunda yanlış bir şey yoktur. Sevdiğiniz birisiyle güzel bir ilişki içinde olmak çok keyiflidir. ancak, yaşamak veya mutluluğunuzu tepelerde yaşayabilmek için dıştan gelen onaya, sevgiye ve ilgiye gereksiniminiz yoktur.”
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