TED-Talks cure depression


Art by Lauren Acevedo

After fanatically watching almost all 3,500+ acquired TED-talks on the TED Youtube channel, I’ve come to the conclusion that TED-talks do in fact cure depression. By delving deep into your moral compass and all your existing flaws, they break you down and put you back together until you experience the euphoric glow up of your own soul. This out-of-body experience is too good to keep to myself, so I compiled a list of TED-talks that have personally-- truly-- cured my depression.


“What I learned from 100 days of rejection | Jia Jang”

"What I learned from 100 days of rejection" - Jia Jang (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

After purposely seeking out rejection for 100 days — whether it be from asking for “burger refills” or borrowing $100 dollars from a stranger — Jia Jang recalls what he learned from the experience.


This is one of the best TED-talks that I’ve ever watched (and that’s big, considering that I definitely watched all 3,500+ of them [not lying]). What I learned from Jang is that rejection comes with many pains, and sadly, there’s no way around it; you can only persevere through it. Personally, I’d rather spare the rejection training (seriously, asking for a “burger refill”?! I’d be so embarrassed…), though Jang would say otherwise.


“How changing your story can change your life | Lori Gottlieb”

"How changing your story can change your life" - Lori Gottlieb (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

Therapist Lori Gottlieb reflects on the importance of human narrative, and explains how changing your story can change your life: “We are all the unreliable narrators of our own lives.”



In being a self-obsessed dogmatist with always one side to any story, watching this made me completely rethink all of my life choices. As Gottlieb says: “Life is about choosing which stories to listen to, and which ones need an edit.” I can’t help but think, maybe the problem is me?! What story of mine needs an edit — perhaps a wider perspective?


“The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight | TEDxCoconutGrove”

"The Magic of Not Giving a F***" - Sarah Knight (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

In this not-so-profane TED-Talk by Sarah Knight, we explore the power of our “f***s” and the life changing influence of simply not giving any. This consists of having a f**k budget, doing some mental decluttering, and using the “not sorry” method.


Besides the slight bit of profanity, this TED-Talk is absolutely brilliant. Who would’ve thought simply not giving a freak (in school-friendly terms) could have such a big impact on your life? Goodbye to people-pleasing, hello to not-sorry, no-f**ks-given (but in a nice way)! You should watch this one if you want to do the same.


“The power of vulnerability | Brené Brown”

“The power of vulnerability" - Brené Brown (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

To understand the power of vulnerability, researcher storyteller Brené Brown breaks down her six year research project on expanding perception and understanding why vulnerability is so deeply important, coming to a contradicting conclusion.


“I know that vulnerability is kind of the core of shame, of fear, and of a struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it is also the birthplace of joy, of creative belonging, of love...”

This TED-talk is nothing but an absolute wrecker. In watching it, I was faced with a hard truth: vulnerability is a necessity of life. I guess I need to start embracing my imperfections from now on … how fun. Definitely check this one out if you lack confidence and self-love (don’t we all)!


“How to stop screwing yourself over | Mel Robbins | TEDxSF”

“How to stop screwing yourself over" - Mel Robbins (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

Mel Robbins, professional relationship expert, explains the horror behind the word “fine,” and the secret behind getting everything that you want: “We’re all in this category. One out of four trillion!” Each of us has life changing ideas for a reason, so turn off the inner snooze alarm.


Guys, this one really nailed it. I now realize that I indeed am the problem, and quite possibly simultaneously the solution (?!). What I mainly got out of Robbins’ talk was this: to not screw yourself over, force yourself to be uncomfortable, and don’t lie in wait for motivation! If you need some real hard truth and advice on how to be more productive in life, definitely check this one out.


“The Super Mario Effect - Tricking Your Brain into Learning More | Mark Rober | TEDxPenn”

"The Super Mario Effect - Tricking Your Brain into Learning More" - Mark Rober (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

Infamous inventor and Youtuber Mark Rober talks about how he hones success in his day-to-day creating, and how this mostly involves what he calls the “Super Mario Effect” — looking at life like a video game.


With this one, I have finally found the key to ending all lack of motivation: deception of the mind. Because let’s face it, life is too hard to bear without such deception. I suppose from now on I’ll have to deceive my mind to look at life like a video game: reward instead of punishment, and growth instead of fixation when it comes to dealing with all my failure! Minus the uh … minimal consequences … like death — in real life, we don’t have any second chances after that one ... (that part is kind of unrealistic, I guess).


“The Skill of Humor | Andrew Tarvin | TEDxTAMU”

“The Skill of Humor" - Andrew Tarvin (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

Stand-up comedian Andrew Tarvin probes deep into the world of humor, and how humor is not a born-with trait, but a skill that can be developed. Learn more about how Tarvin went from unfunny to funny-ish, and how humor is actually an essential part of society.


The bottom line of this TED-talks is this: just be funny, it’s not that hard. Someone with humour > someone who is unfunny. If you’re looking for a chuckle or two (as you must be in need of, if you’re reading this article), check Tarvin’s talk out! (Also, notice how I said “a chuckle or two” because ironically, that was all this one got out of me).


“Overcoming hopelessness | Nick Vujicic | TEDxNoviSad”

“Overcoming hopelessness" - Nick Vujicic (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

Nick Vujicic, the Australian limbless legend, talks about how he overcame hopelessness in his own life, highlighting the power of choice; being grateful versus being wishful, and the distinction of degrading lies versus the faith that things will be okay.


“Think of the three biggest discourages in your life. They’re not your biggest discourages. You are.”


Wow. I am now 100% fully convinced that I am the problem — there is no question, not at all. Thanks Vujicic for such a revelation! But in all seriousness, Vujicic’s talk is beyond influential and completely moving. At the end of the day, hopelessness may seem to stump us, but there is always a way out! If you’re just skimming through my recommendations, STOP, and be sure to watch this one; it’s a real goodie.


“The gentle power of highly sensitive people | Elena Herdieckerhoff | TEDxIHEParis”

“The gentle power of highly sensitive people" - Elena Herdieckerhoff (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

Empathic entrepreneur mentor Elena Herdieckerhoff discusses the gentle power, and likewise the substantial value, of highly sensitive people in society. Sensitivity grows empathy, which then blossoms into action for change.


Contrary to my previous belief, it seems that I may in fact not be the problem (?!), but rather, just a highly sensitive person in a cruel world … I’m confused now, but I guess yay for self-worth! This one is for all my fellow highly sensitive people out there! Realize that you are worth something, and that you do matter! Wipe away those happy tears! :’)


“Depression, the secret we share | Andrew Solomon”

"Depression, the secret we share" Andrew Solomon (TED-Talk Youtube Channel)

In this profound TED-talk, Solomon dives deep into all there is about depression, using his personal research on the disorder, and the stories he’s compiled over the years.


Guys, this one lowkey made me sad. Starting with a quote from Emily Dickenson, Solomon’s articulate words couldn’t have described the presence of depression any better. It didn’t help that Solomon sounded like what I imagine the grim-reaper sounding like (old-timey and semi-sociopathic), either. Though mundane and borderline more depressing than motivational, what Solomon has to say is too good to miss out on. Watch this one. That is all.


Every TED-talk listed above can be found either on the TED or TEDx Talks Youtube channels. I manifest that you are now able to click off this article in peace, having experienced a euphoric glow up of the soul. Goodbye!



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