Today is the first day in a long time that I’ve been depressed. I mean really really depressed. Like don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed depressed. And then, when I do get out of bed, not-wanting-to-do-anything depressed. So I stay home. I stay home and drink a cup of coffee while reading email. Then I take a long walk…I put on my ear buds and selected the happy song play list from iTunes. The music plays but I barely hear it. It is white noise in my ears…On my way back home I stop at Ace Hardware for some dish soap because we’re out and I haven’t done dishes for three days. I do the dishes, and rinse away the dirt. I don’t feel better. I feel worse because I broke a wine glass. And when I’m depressed, I accidentally break things. I don’t know why I’m depressed. Something takes over my mind and I wonder what is the point? 

So begins Janna Marlies Maron’s book.


Not all of us experience depression at a diagnosable level, still, we know its finger tapping us on the shoulder, its whisper in the back of our mind, its crouching in the shadows. It knocks the wind out of our sails and keeps us nearly immobilized. It causes us to lose all energy and motivation. It prevents us from making healthy choices that enable us to turn the tide. Its voice drags us further and further down. Janna knows all of this and then some. And she speaks of it in incredibly vulnerable ways.

How to Manage Depression Without Drugs is Janna’s telling of her depression. But far more, it’s a profound and empowering story of coming out of the darkness; about how story, music, food, and ritual saved her.

I met Janna a number of years ago. We sat in a bustling restaurant in Sacramento, eating lunch and hearing each others’ stories. We talked of her recent engagement, her business, her writing, her past. She was (and is) engaging, passionate, and delightful. But even then, she was hurting. Reading her book reminded me (again) that all of us live stories that not all of us see; stories that need to be treated with such tenderness, kindness, and care; stories that even if not heard, need to be acknowledged and honored. And reading her book invited me into places of healing and strength for her, myself, and others in incredibly practical, do-able ways.

Janna is a brilliant writer, a gifted storyteller, and a woman who offers honesty and hope.

I cannot recommend Janna’s book highly enough. Her writing swoons with integrity, courage, and hope. She offers a surprising and unorthodox prescription that ushers in light and life.


I believe so passionately in the power and gift inherent in transforming our stories (and those of the ancient, sacred narratives I love). Janna believes this too – and lives it in passionate, powerful ways. She invites you to the same within these pages, within these practices, within her transformed story.

Click here to read more about her book at her site. Preorder on iTunes. Preorder at Barnes & Noble. Preorder on Smashwords. Buy. Read. Apply. And step into a story of strength and beauty. You deserve that. And Janna deserves to be the one to take you there.