motivated when depressed

How To Get Motivated When Depressed – 13 Powerful Ways

It can be quite difficult to stay motivated when depressed. But don’t worry, there are ways to help boost your motivation even when you’re going through a tough time. In this article, we’ll explore a bunch of techniques that can help you feel more motivated, especially if you’re dealing with depression. From being kind to yourself to trying mindfulness, we’ll give you 13 practical tips to get your motivation back on track and make your mental health better.


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This article provides practical methods for boosting motivation amidst depression. Techniques like setting achievable goals, self-compassion, positive self-talk, and creating routines aim to reignite motivation. Incorporating exercise, mindfulness, and surrounding oneself with supportive people enhance mental well-being. Breaking tasks into steps, focusing on controllable factors, and gratitude journaling are explored. The importance of seeking professional help for persistent, severe symptoms is emphasized. Research supports exercise’s effectiveness in enhancing motivation and mindfulness interventions’ positive impact on motivation. Ultimately, this guide offers a roadmap to regain motivation and inner strength in the face of depression, highlighting the possibility of hope and recovery.

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Depression affects brain chemicals and emotional well-being, disrupting motivation. Negative thought patterns, fatigue, and reduced pleasure in activities contribute to the loss of motivation often experienced during depression.
When feeling sad, focus on small, achievable goals. Engage in activities you enjoy, connect with supportive people, practice self-compassion, and consider professional help. These steps can help counter the impact of sadness on motivation.
To boost mental motivation, break tasks into smaller steps, visualize success, engage in positive self-talk, practice mindfulness, and maintain a routine. Surrounding yourself with positivity, setting goals, and seeking professional guidance can also contribute to mental motivation.

13 Tips For Boosting Motivation When Dealing with Depression

13 Tips For Boosting Motivation When Dealing with Depression

1. Set Small Goals You Can Achieve:

Set Small Goals You Can Achieve when you are depressed

Instead of trying to conquer large tasks all at once, break them down into smaller, achievable objectives. Accomplishing these smaller steps will provide a rewarding sense of achievement and gradually uplift your motivation, making progress feel attainable.

2. Be Kind to Yourself:

kind to yourself

Remind yourself that depression is not a result of personal failure. Extend the same compassion to yourself as you would to a friend facing challenges. Embracing self-kindness in times of struggle can ease the burden and nurture emotional resilience.

3. Use Positive Affirmations:

use positive affirmations

Engage in positive self-talk as a practice. Repeat affirmations that challenge negativity, nurturing a sense of self-worth. Through consistent repetition, these affirmations can reshape your mindset, fostering a gradual shift toward more positive and empowering beliefs.

4. Make a Daily Routine:


The upheaval caused by depression can disrupt your daily life. Constructing a structured daily routine offers stability and purpose, acting as a foundation for motivation and mood improvement. This rhythm can restore a sense of control and optimism.

5. Get Moving:

get moving

Engaging in regular physical activity triggers the release of mood-enhancing endorphins. Even brief moments of exercise can ignite a positive impact on motivation and overall mental well-being, providing a natural boost to your emotional state.

6. Try Mindfulness and Meditation:


Incorporate mindfulness and meditation techniques to anchor yourself in the present moment. By managing negative thought patterns and heightening self-awareness, these practices gradually amplify motivation. The reduction of overthinking fosters a clearer, more motivated mindset.

7. Spend Time with Supportive People:

Spend Time with Supportive People:

Surround yourself with individuals who offer emotional support. Opening up about your emotions with loved ones diminishes feelings of isolation, nurturing a more positive perspective. The presence of understanding companions can reignite a sense of hope and motivation.

8. Reward Yourself:

Establish a simple reward system for accomplishing tasks and achieving milestones. These rewards, no matter how small, serve as positive reinforcement. They acknowledge your progress and efforts, solidifying the connection between positive actions and personal gratification.

9. Picture Yourself Succeeding:

Vividly envision yourself attaining your goals. Visualization paints a detailed picture of the positive outcomes you aspire to achieve. This mental imagery can be a powerful source of motivation, painting a clear path toward success in your mind’s eye.

10. Divide Tasks into Smaller Steps:

Avoid becoming overwhelmed by breaking significant tasks into manageable increments. Each completed step fuels a sense of accomplishment, gradually heightening your motivation to tackle more intricate challenges. This progressive approach nurtures a belief in your capabilities.

11. Focus on What You Can Control:

Combat the helplessness that depression can induce by channeling your energy into aspects you have control over. This shift cultivates a sense of agency and competence, empowering you to take decisive actions, fostering renewed motivation.

12. Keep a Gratitude Journal:

gratitude journal

Capture daily moments of gratitude in writing. Shifting your focus toward positive aspects of life fosters a brighter outlook. Regularly acknowledging the things you’re thankful for cultivates a resilient mindset and bolsters motivation through positivity.

13. Get Professional Support:

professional support

In cases of severe or persistent depression, seek assistance from mental health professionals. Therapy and, if deemed necessary, medication offer essential guidance and support. By addressing depression through expert help, you can rekindle motivation and embark on a path to recovery.

Recognizing When to Seek Professional Help for Depression

Recognizing When to Seek Professional Help for Depression

  1. Persistent Symptoms: If feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or lack of interest persist for more than a few weeks and impact your daily life, it’s time to consult a professional.
  2. Interference with Functioning: When depression affects your ability to work, study, maintain relationships, or enjoy activities you once loved, seeking help is crucial.
  3. Severe Symptoms: If you experience intense mood swings, suicidal thoughts, or physical symptoms like changes in sleep and appetite, professional assistance is necessary.
  4. Personal Distress: When depression leads to overwhelming emotional pain, feelings of worthlessness, or a sense of being trapped, a mental health expert can provide the guidance you need.


An article published in the “Depression and Anxiety” journal in 2022 revealed that exercise proves to be a potent method for enhancing motivation among individuals dealing with depression. The study’s subjects who engaged in regular exercise noted heightened motivation and improved holistic mental well-being compared to their non-exercising counterparts.

Similarly, a research paper featured in the “Frontiers in Psychology” journal in 2021 highlighted that mindfulness-based interventions have the potential to uplift motivation in individuals confronting depression. Those who underwent mindfulness training reported increased motivation and a more favorable overall mental state compared to those who didn’t partake in the training.


Dealing with depression might feel like being lost in a maze where finding motivation seems impossible. But the good news is that there are ways to find that motivation again. By using the strategies we talked about, you can start a journey to get back your motivation and inner strength. Remember, it’s important to know when you need professional help. By combining things you can do yourself with guidance from experts, you can find a way to improve your motivation and mental health. It’s like a light shining through the darkness of depression, giving you hope for a better future.


Does depression make you have no motivation?
Yes, depression can lead to a lack of motivation. Feelings of hopelessness, low energy, and altered brain chemistry associated with depression can dampen one’s drive and enthusiasm.

Why am I so lazy and unmotivated?
Laziness and lack of motivation can stem from various factors including depression, burnout, lack of clear goals, or overwhelming tasks. It’s important to explore underlying reasons and employ strategies to address these feelings.

Am I lazy or unmotivated?
Feeling lazy or unmotivated can result from different factors, not just inherent traits. Self-reflection can help identify the root causes and whether it’s related to mood, circumstances, or specific goals. Addressing these factors can lead to positive change.

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