Gift Guide For Your Depressed Friends



Nothing says “I don’t care anymore” like sweatpants in public, and nothing says “Here you go, depressed friend” better than a gift-wrapped nod that you’re okay with them giving up. A dresser full of sweatpants is just what your depressed friend needs for her daily trips to the downstairs Dunkin’ Donuts.


Book: Brief Interviews With Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace

You don’t have to be depressed to enjoy DFW’s story collection Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, but depressed people can definitely relate. See: the story in the collection called “The Depressed Person.” Brief Interviews is full of the circular, overthinking head-throbbing analysis paralysis that so often plagues your friends who are serial flakers because they want to drink alone tonight.


Every album by Elliott Smith ever

Misery loves company, and Elliott Smith’s music is the perfect companion for your depressed friend. XO, Roman Candle, Figure 8 and his self-titled album are maybe the most depressing of the lot, so consider these especially to help your melancholy pal along the way.



Have you ever realized the melancholy oneness of the universe while happening upon a homeless woman peeing in plain view on a downtown sidewalk? Or the intrinsic beauty in the experience of having a cup of espresso while smoking a rolled cigarette? No? Maybe you’re not depressed. But you know you have a friend who is, and whose existential angst is so great that they’d really benefit from having a Moleskine to carry around, to compose poems about the sad romance of it all.


Deep fryer

A gift that pairs perfectly with sweatpants, a deep fryer will make it so that he or she won’t have to eat deep-fried carb-heavy chicken, burritos and onion rings while sobbing in public anymore. And if your depressed friend is looking to get creative, throw in a deep fryer recipes book so they can make their own sadness plates!


Sleep mask

Sleep masks are the ultimate accessory for depressed people — nothing says “I’m too sad to be at this party” than putting on a sleep mask mid conversation. Also good for flying, riding the subway, and hanging out at the park with friends, sleep masks virtually eliminate all visual stimuli which might cause your depressed friend existential distress.


Richard Yates, by Tao Lin

Richard Yates, a novel by Tao Lin, is a book about two relatively depressed lovers who do bleak, depressing things together, like spend all night in a 24-hour grocery store, fight one of their moms, and yell at children. The depressing dialogue is melancholy and interesting and will likely make your depressed friend feel less alone in the world.


Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York is the bleakest movie EVER. A depressed playwright examines his own existence for a solid two hours and ends up in a very dark, irredeemable place. There is no redemption in this film, aside from maybe death, which is not portrayed in a very redeeming fashion. There is no happiness here. Your depressed friend will love it.



Depressed people live on chocolate. It’s fattening, has lots of sugar, and soothes the melancholy soul. Pairs perfectly with Synecdoche, New York, the deep fryer, and sweatpants. Pretty sure everything on this list pairs perfectly with the deep fryer and sweatpants, actually.


Love’s Executioner, by Irvin D. Yalom

Love’s Executioner is a great meditation on people who are seriously depressed (which, if your friend is actually depressed, get your friend an intervention or a gift certificate to a therapist, not anything on this satirical list!). Written by a psychological practitioner, the author recounts some of his most memorable patients’ struggles and how he helped them carry on.

You should like Thought Catalog on Facebook here.