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The Upward Spiral Workbook: A Practical Neuroscience Program for Reversing the Course of Depression (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

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Positive life changes lead to positive brain changes. Drawing on the huge success of his groundbreaking book, The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb offers actionable, step-by-step skills to help you reshape your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life. Depression is defined by a collection of symptoms. You feel crappy most of the time. Not Positive life changes lead to positive brain changes. Drawing on the huge success of his groundbreaking book, The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb offers actionable, step-by-step skills to help you reshape your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life. Depression is defined by a collection of symptoms. You feel crappy most of the time. Nothing seems interesting, and everything seems overwhelming. You have trouble with sleep. You feel guilty and anxious and have thoughts that life isn’t worth living. Each symptom reinforces and inspires new symptoms, and this is a sign that your brain circuits are caught in the downward spiral of depression. So, how can you reverse it? In his first book, The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystified the intricate brain processes that cause depression and outlined a practical and effective approach for getting better. Based on the latest research, this evidence-based workbook takes the theory behind Korb’s breakthrough book and distills it into concrete, actionable exercises and skills. Just as one small trigger can drag you down, an effective intervention can start enough momentum to carry you back up. Exercise, attention to breathing, gratitude, sleep hygiene, and positive social interactions are just some of the offerings in this workbook that can help alter activity in specific neural circuits, setting you on the path toward an upward spiral to happiness and well-being.


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Positive life changes lead to positive brain changes. Drawing on the huge success of his groundbreaking book, The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb offers actionable, step-by-step skills to help you reshape your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life. Depression is defined by a collection of symptoms. You feel crappy most of the time. Not Positive life changes lead to positive brain changes. Drawing on the huge success of his groundbreaking book, The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb offers actionable, step-by-step skills to help you reshape your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life. Depression is defined by a collection of symptoms. You feel crappy most of the time. Nothing seems interesting, and everything seems overwhelming. You have trouble with sleep. You feel guilty and anxious and have thoughts that life isn’t worth living. Each symptom reinforces and inspires new symptoms, and this is a sign that your brain circuits are caught in the downward spiral of depression. So, how can you reverse it? In his first book, The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystified the intricate brain processes that cause depression and outlined a practical and effective approach for getting better. Based on the latest research, this evidence-based workbook takes the theory behind Korb’s breakthrough book and distills it into concrete, actionable exercises and skills. Just as one small trigger can drag you down, an effective intervention can start enough momentum to carry you back up. Exercise, attention to breathing, gratitude, sleep hygiene, and positive social interactions are just some of the offerings in this workbook that can help alter activity in specific neural circuits, setting you on the path toward an upward spiral to happiness and well-being.

30 review for The Upward Spiral Workbook: A Practical Neuroscience Program for Reversing the Course of Depression (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I did not read the Upward Spiral book and as a result, I come to the Workbook with a “clean slate.” I can say that this workbook stands on its own in that everything is fully explained and complete. In other words, you won’t feel like you are missing anything if you have not read the book. I was very impressed with the Upward Spiral Workbook for multiple reasons. First, I love the concept of an upward spiral because it so aptly describes the process of recovering from depression. It is important I did not read the Upward Spiral book and as a result, I come to the Workbook with a “clean slate.” I can say that this workbook stands on its own in that everything is fully explained and complete. In other words, you won’t feel like you are missing anything if you have not read the book. I was very impressed with the Upward Spiral Workbook for multiple reasons. First, I love the concept of an upward spiral because it so aptly describes the process of recovering from depression. It is important to remember that there is no magic bullet or cure to instantly make you feel all better. It will take time and it is an ongoing endeavor. Furthermore, it speaks to the fact that there isn’t just one area to focus on to Improve your mood. Rather there are many different areas one can tackle and the sum will be greater then all its parts. Korb explains that making small changes in behavior and thought will lead to modifications in brain chemistry which will then facilitate more small changes. Thus, it is a spiral, feeding upon itself and growing bigger and stronger. I never thought of depression or anxiety as downward spirals but do believe that perfectly describes the experience and will resonant with many. The Upward Spiral Workbook is divided into chapters addressing 11 different spirals. These spirals are not discrete but rather they all interact with one another, thereby adding to the power of the spiral upward. These spirals are: (1) understanding and awareness, (2) activity, (3) movement, (4) breath and body, (5) sleep, (6) social, (7) goals and decisions, (8) mindfulness and acceptance (9) habit, (10) gratitude and compassion, and (11) continuation. There are quizzes, exercises, tips and suggestions throughout the book. The reader does not have to do it all but rather should pick and choose that which resonates most with him/her. Korb has conducted an extensive review of the research on depression and presents the relevant information. For instance, he cites the research for why a certain activity or exercise that he is suggesting will help with depression. Within each chapter, the material is divided up into small sections labelled to explain what one will be reading about. This is definitely beneficial for someone feeling anxious and/or depressed and it will help in preventing feelings of being overwhelmed. There are many new things to learn in this book and it will benefit many people. For example, while I know a lot of psychology, given my extensive post-graduate studies, I was unaware about the benefits of increasing one’s body temperature, whether by a hot bath/shower, sauna, drinking a warm drink, wearing heavier clothes or wrapping a blanket around oneself to assist in lessening feelings of depression. There are fascinating tidbits throughout this book — for example. did you know that squinting in bright sunlight may increase feelings of anger and hostility? I was most intrigued with the activity spiral because of the delineation of the five different activities — enjoyable, achievement, meaningful, physical and social. I have not made the distinction between enjoyable, achievement and meaningful activities but can see that it is a useful way to distinguish among various kinds of beneficial actions. Korb stresses that the goal here is to try to do more of these different activities and he provides numerous examples of each kind. I do believe that The Upward Spiral Workbook is the most up-to-date and comprehensive self-help book available on depression. The Upward spiral concept, while new to some, will be a constructive way to think about becoming less depressed as it shows that there are many different strategies that are all interconnected. Many thanks to New Harbinger Publications and NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Madison MacGregor

    Although I have read this book in its entirety, I keep coming back to it. The lessons and applications feel timeless. Thank you Dr. Korb for taking something complex and making it actionable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Keridwyn Deller

    I had read the book version of The Upward Spiral in 2017 and have applied some learnings to my own work with myself as well as work with some clients. It was nice to revisit the approachable neuroscience and the suggested tools in this workbook edition. The workbook stands on it's own, which is a nice gift from the author. I had read the book version of The Upward Spiral in 2017 and have applied some learnings to my own work with myself as well as work with some clients. It was nice to revisit the approachable neuroscience and the suggested tools in this workbook edition. The workbook stands on it's own, which is a nice gift from the author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Trina

    I read this book in an unedited advanced reader copy from Netgalley. The Upward Spiral Workbook is such a helpful format and clear on concepts that I would use it for myself and for therapy clients. Alex Korb gives simple explanations of complex neurological systems. The book then breaks down all the different things that a person can take to make those neurological systems healthier into easy to manage and highly organized steps. I wanted something that would encourage motivation and activity. I read this book in an unedited advanced reader copy from Netgalley. The Upward Spiral Workbook is such a helpful format and clear on concepts that I would use it for myself and for therapy clients. Alex Korb gives simple explanations of complex neurological systems. The book then breaks down all the different things that a person can take to make those neurological systems healthier into easy to manage and highly organized steps. I wanted something that would encourage motivation and activity. That is exactly what this book does. I would buy a paper copy to benefit from the pieces I missed out on by the book being pre-published form.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    A really interesting read with lots of good advice. I don't know how possible it is to do this and recover without professional help, but this is a more useful book than others I've read. A really interesting read with lots of good advice. I don't know how possible it is to do this and recover without professional help, but this is a more useful book than others I've read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Blanton

    Whenever I am picking up a workbook, I am looking for something that is actionable, and that right from the beginning. What I am not looking for is a standard non-fiction book, that contains some questions or activities laced throughout them. That to me defies the definition of a workbook. This book is sadly, one of the latter. While it contains a lot of information that is useful, it contains less actionable items, that I am used to or looking forward to when picking up a workbook. Searching th Whenever I am picking up a workbook, I am looking for something that is actionable, and that right from the beginning. What I am not looking for is a standard non-fiction book, that contains some questions or activities laced throughout them. That to me defies the definition of a workbook. This book is sadly, one of the latter. While it contains a lot of information that is useful, it contains less actionable items, that I am used to or looking forward to when picking up a workbook. Searching through the text, I was at least hoping that I would find something revolutionary, something I have not heard before from numerous blog posts, books, and articles, and again, I was disappointed. I already know that exercise is a good tool to get out of depression. I also already know that it is better to exercise with others. However, I do not think, that reading this book, will actually motivate someone to change their behavior, and make them get off the couch. I also do not believe that clinical depression can be cured by simply offering some breathing exercises, as described in this book. Sure, they can be helpful, but don't you think, that if the practicing pattern of breathing on a daily basis, would cure depression, more people would stop having depression? I am not sure if this book is contributing to the stigma of "get of the couch, and just do" approach to "cure" depression, or if it is a heartfelt attempt to truly help. However, it is not the book that will help you move from being at the mercy of your neuro-differences, and all of a sudden make you "normal" - whatever the heck that is anyway.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lake Lady

    I'm a bit of a science and psychology geek so this was a fun book. It's also full of very practical ideas about ways to shift gears from a downward depressive cycle to one moving upward. There's quite a bit of reference to particular areas of the brain. Don't let that put you off. Overall it was a quick, entertaining, and informative book. I'm a bit of a science and psychology geek so this was a fun book. It's also full of very practical ideas about ways to shift gears from a downward depressive cycle to one moving upward. There's quite a bit of reference to particular areas of the brain. Don't let that put you off. Overall it was a quick, entertaining, and informative book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Johan Kwok

    Looked like a down to earth compilation of self help articles, backed by science. Not bad, but it feels somewhat scattered, like there's a lack of strong principles guiding the narrative. Will probably check the main book later, to get more in-depth stuff. Looked like a down to earth compilation of self help articles, backed by science. Not bad, but it feels somewhat scattered, like there's a lack of strong principles guiding the narrative. Will probably check the main book later, to get more in-depth stuff.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanee

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vicci

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daniel_neurath

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gretlin

  14. 5 out of 5

    토도끼

  15. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becca

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mel

  18. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maukan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Laine

  21. 5 out of 5

    Martha Obrinteschi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marina E Michaels

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fakhri

  24. 5 out of 5

    Esra

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Green

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daeyoung

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Restrepo

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robert Taylor

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kay

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kimalee

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