Tips, resources, and in-person support for managing depression.


Unknown experiences or new environments can lead to sadness or a low mood. Sometimes it's possible and normal to feel down without even knowing why.

However, if you’ve been feeling sad or irritable and uninterested in simple activities for 2 weeks or longer and your daily functioning is being impacted, you should seek help for depression.

Symptoms of depression:

  • Low mood lasting two weeks or more
  • Not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Feeling tired or lacking energy
  • Not being able to concentrate on everyday things (e.g., watching TV)
  • Eating too much or loss of appetite
  • Sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep
  • Having thoughts about suicide or harming yourself

If you're feeling hopeless or at risk of harm

If you or someone you know is in crisis or feeling hopeless, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time.


Tips to manage low mood and sadness

Taking care of yourself is especially important when your mood is low.

  • Set small, specific, and realistic goals
    You may feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Check your priorities and set clear, doable goals to help yourself succeed. Meeting your goals can help you feel happier and more in control.
  • Take care of your everyday health and wellbeing
    When you’re feeling down, it’s especially important to exercise, eat well, and get 7-9 hours of sleep when you can.
  • Make time to do things you enjoy
    Set aside time to explore your interests or hobbies. Filling your time with activities you enjoy doing can help you feel better.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
    Drinking alcohol or using drugs to feel better is generally not helpful. Substances are likely to make you feel even worse in the long run.
  • Replace negative thinking with self-supportive thoughts
    How you feel and act depends a lot on your thoughts. When your mood is low, it’s easy to think negative thoughts.

    Instead, think and repeat realistic self-supportive thoughts, like “everyone makes mistakes.” Over time, self-supportive thoughts can help you recover and feel better.
  • Talk to someone you trust
    Staying connected with supportive friends and family makes you less vulnerable to depression, improves your self-esteem, and helps you recover from low moods faster.

    When you feel down, talk to people who care about you.

Apps & interactive resources

These websites and apps have been carefully chosen by counsellors and other health professionals at UBC. They’re easy and accessible tools you can use right away to start feeling better.

Check how you’re feeling and quickly connect to mental health resources and support.

Antidepressant Skills Workbook (ASW)
Manage depression with a step-by-step guide and change the patterns that trigger depression.

If you're a man facing depression, you're not alone. Find strategies for managing and preventing depression.

Mind Health BC
Take a mental health assessment or try a self-help program.

Check if you have symptoms of depression, track your symptoms, and view your progress over time.

Peer support

It might be easier to talk with a trained student. They may understand what you're going through and can offer helpful resources.

Wellness Centre
Trained Wellness Peers can listen to your concerns and provide resources for managing stress, navigating relationships, or figuring out life as a student.

Free, confidential, one-on-one peer support for problems like academic stress, loneliness, and more.

Professional help

If you've tried resources and they aren't helping, or if your low mood has lasted 2 weeks or more and is affecting your everyday life, talk to a health professional about your concerns.

On campus

Student Health Service
Book an assessment with a Mental Health Nurse and/or receive treatment for diagnosed depression.

Choose the right support
Low mood can be caused by many different factors. Choose a help topic for support with academics, finances, immigration, and more.


Empower Me

Empower Me provides counselling and life coaching, free for students on the AMS/GSS Health Plan. Receive support for challenges of any kind, including relationships, depression, anxiety, addictions, finances, stress, work conflicts, and more.

Get help online, in person, or by phone.

Call 1-844-741-6389