How to Love Life Again

Depression isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience, and we’ll each interact with it in our own way. At Barn Life Recovery, we firmly believe that each of us holds the power to feel better. Whether you’re experiencing temporary sadness or prolonged symptoms of depression, you can – and deserve to – love life again.

Why Depression Manifests

Depression is a symptom of long-term exposure to a life not aligned with the soul. It arises from negative emotions that have existed for an extended period of time. Without the proper coping mechanism or appropriate ways to allow these emotions to pass through, the feelings accumulate and further separate the individual from their essence.

How to Become Happy Again

While rediscovering your happiness may not be a simple journey, all it takes is one definitive step. Below are our team’s top tips for bringing more happiness into your life. Try one or several to see what has the most positive impact on your mood.

Set an Intention to be Happy

“Not being depressed” is not the same thing as “being happy”. You won’t become happy if you don’t specifically want to become happy. Set an intention to do what it takes to bring more happiness into your life. You’ll get significantly better results from the practices below if you go into them genuinely wanting to achieve the goal of feeling happier.

Be Honest about What Makes You Happy (and What Doesn’t)

Have you found yourself on a career path you hate? Spending time with people who drain your energy? Live in a city (or weather) that doesn’t bring you joy? External factors have a tremendous impact on how we feel and can even lead to burnout. Rather than simply trying to cope with these conditions, assess whether you might need to make some big changes in order to feel happy. Give yourself a fighting chance to love your life!

Reach Out to a Friend

We know it’s tough, but try not to withdraw from the people in your circle. Take time to yourself, but be sure to stay in touch with friends and family who could provide a positive lift in mood when you’re feeling down. But be sure to choose your company wisely, prioritizing people who naturally lift your spirits!

Surround Yourself With Others (from Afar if Necessary)

Can’t muster the energy for one-on-one get-togethers? Simply get out into more public spaces. Work from a local coffee shop, read your book at the park, or go to the movies, instead of doing these activities at home alone. Even if you don’t engage closely with others, being in their presence can help lift your mood.

Begin a Gratitude Practice

Gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. It helps us feel more positive, build stronger relationships, and better handle life’s challenges. It can even improve our sleep, mood and immunity! A simple way to create a gratitude practice is to start a gratitude journal. Each day, simply jot down three things you are grateful for.

Try Massage Therapy

You’ve likely heard the expression, “we hold our issues in our tissues.” Trauma and negative energy can accumulate in our body, and can benefit from release techniques. Massage therapy is great for the body and for the mind. For additional benefits, seek out a practitioner who specializes in tissue manipulation, traumatology and channel point therapy.

Channel Your Inner Artist

Our creativity helps us tap into our innate power for growth and healing. Art therapy is a powerful form of self-reflection and self-expression, allowing us to more easily channel emotions and express the deepest parts of our soul. Creating through art can help improve positive emotions, reduce symptoms of anxiety, boost confidence, and make us feel more connected to the world around us.

Sound Healing

The ancient meditative practice of sound healing helps reduce stress and improves mental health by incorporating sound into a meditative practice. From Tibetan singing and quartz crystal bowls to gongs tuned to healing frequencies, sound healing amplifies the present moment and promotes a grounded and centered view of life.

Get Busy

When we have too much time on our hands, it’s easy to focus on our negative thoughts. Keep yourself busy by engaging in your favorite hobbies or putting in extra time at work. Giving yourself a break from repetitive thoughts can make a world of difference.

Take in Some Sunshine

Exposure to the sun is critical to boosting our levels of Vitamin D and serotonin, which help to elevate our mood. Even just 10-15 minutes can go a long way! If you live somewhere with limited sunlight, sun lamps and lightboxes are a good option for getting in natural light.

Get More Sleep

No one will ever tell you to get less sleep. No one! Quality sleep helps with the regulation of stress hormones and gives us more energy to tackle what the day throws at us. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your burnout symptoms will only get worse. Aim for 7-8 hours nightly for optimum health.

Get Active

Exercise has a direct impact on our mood and overall happiness. Whether it’s a quick walk or more formal exercise, a workout will definitely boost your endorphins – the feel-good hormones! For an extra mood-boosting effect, try a walk in nature or yoga – both will increase your mind-body connection in addition to getting you moving.

Practice Good Self-Care

Find activities that bring you peace, like meditation, yoga, or time in nature. Eat healthy meals and get plenty of rest. “Self-care” means different things for everyone, so do what makes you feel at ease. Taking care of yourself is key during this time.

Get Mindful

Oftentimes, the thoughts and feelings running through us aren’t even our own. Be mindful of what you are watching or listening to, as well as who you’re spending time with. You can also put a stop to the negative thoughts going through your mind with meditation or breathwork.

Join a Support Group

While our friends and family might know us best, they don’t always understand what we’re going through — and might not be the sympathetic ear we need. Find a local support group to meet people who can empathize with your unique situation and help you discover new ways of coping.

Speak to a professional therapist

It can sometimes be difficult to open up about our depression to the people closest to us. Seek out a licensed therapist who can be a supportive presence and help you find an appropriate treatment plan, if that’s the path you’d like to take.

Need help getting happy and loving life again? Our licensed, clinical team and holistic treatment model allows our clients to explore how to accept and embrace the inevitable hurdles, trauma, and pain that accompany depression, in order to fully heal and triumph. Learn more about our intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs.

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Hear From Those We've Impacted

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Barn Life is uniquely special. As someone who has had long stretches of sobriety with "traditional" communities and methods, Barn Life stepped in when I started struggling during the pandemic and said "traditional" methods failed to help.The staff here are exceptional. This is a truly subjective statement, but it is my honest opinion that the people from the owner (Hi Matt!) to EVERYONE else works there because they believe in the work and want to share the tools they found.Barn Life and their little sibling, Peer Mental Wellness were the launchpad from a shell of an existence to person with self-love/respect, and a life-mission of personal development.

Steven D.
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Best for someone looking for spiritual healing in addition to their mental health healing.

Luka P.
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Barn life is probably one of the most amazing facilities you could ever attend when it comes to mental illness. This was the first place that popped up when I was searching for help and I’m so thankful that it did. The environment is very therapeutic, the staff is awesome, and the group discussions and activities were so helpful in me understanding what I was experiencing. Do not hesitate to be a part of this place. It’s literally a game changer. I was only there for 6 weeks but I wished I stayed at least 6 months. Ever since returning home, I’ve been much happier and my perspective has changed dramatically. I’ve done things and participated in events at my college that I never thought I would be able to do. This place is truly amazing and I’m forever grateful that I found this place.

Ariana E.
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Through trial and error of trying to stay sober this program is definitely the most caring and supporting of them all if anyone needs help and is willing to help themselves I suggest barnlife they will for a fact give you the push you need and the tools to keep you going

Mason T.
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My daughter has been at Barn Life Recovery now for two months. It was my last resort to send her 9 hours away from me. She has been in drug and mental health rehabs in and out for two years. This was my last stitch effort to save my daughter and get her back to herself. Alyssa and I spoke multiple times before deciding. Their willingness to do everything for her and the different teams they have work with them is amazing. My daughter is happy again and clean and sober. She loves it there in their outpatient program. They restore your faith in humanity. They help restore someone who is broken in so many places to themselves. They have put the light back in my daughters eyes. They are committed to helping each person who truly wants the help. They assist in helping them get jobs and be responsible members of society. I recommend their program to anyone wanting to recover from drug, alcohol and mental health.Thank you to all the people at Barn Life who have made my daughter smile and bring the light back to her eyes. I am truly grateful.DawnaLee

DawnaLee W.
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I am alumni from Zen Recovery Path / a great place , and live a happy healthy life ever since / great peaceful place to recover // Namaste

Michael M.

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