As winter approaches, it brings shorter days, colder temperatures, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), most commonly known as ‘seasonal depression.’ As the light and warmth fades, so do our serotonin levels. We become more susceptible to fatigue, low energy, irritability, changes in appetite and concentration, weight fluctuations, and an immense desire to sleep.

Seasonal depression can be an emotional storm cloud, casting shadows on our lives. For Black women and women of color, navigating these emotional tides can be an even more complex journey.  

Seasonal depression affects over 10 million Americans each year. But it affects women four times more than men, according to Boston University. However, SAD may manifest differently in Black communities. Influences like how depression is perceived in our community and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency make depression more difficult to handle. Black and Latino individuals are more likely to be at risk for depression compared to their white counterparts. Though these studies attempted to account for historical factors contributing to depression in Black communities, such as racism and economic inequality, Black participants still showed a higher likelihood of being at risk.

But amid these challenges there is hope. Let’s explore five empowering books authored by Black women. Each of these books offers a unique pathway to overcome seasonal depression and celebrate the beauty of our spirit that resides within.

Books That Help with SAD

1. “Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression” by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

Meri Nana-Ama Danquah’s memoir, “Willow Weep for Me,” is a riveting odyssey through her battle with depression. Her words carry the weight of shared experience. She reaches deep into the hearts of those who can empathize. Yet, her story is also one of resilience and rebirth. It’s a story that offers inspiration for those grappling with seasonal depression.

2. “Owning Our Struggles: A Path to Healing and Finding Community in a Broken World” by Minaa B.

 Minaa B.’s “Owning Our Struggles” is a vibrant guide to embracing our vulnerabilities and discovering strength in collective humanity. As a licensed therapist, Minaa B. invites us to explore the empowerment of self-acceptance. And, the nourishment found in community support. Her insights resound with resonance for Black women, providing a safe harbor for navigating the tumultuous waters of seasonal depression.

3. “Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fears” by Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett

Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett’s “Soothe Your Nerves” is an enlightenment of strategies specifically for Black women. It empowers readers to conquer anxiety, panic, and fear. The book provides tools to reclaim emotional sovereignty. Dr. Neal-Barnett’s profound expertise and understanding of the unique challenges faced by Black women make this book an invaluable guide for those on a journey to subdue seasonal depression.

4. “Emotional Self Care for Black Women: A Simple Inspirational Guide to Boost Your Confidence and Start Loving Yourself. How to Overcome Anxiety, Negativity, and Self-Sabotage Behaviors, Starting Today” by Tiara Coleman

Tiara Coleman’s book, “Emotional Self Care for Black Women,” is a dynamic and motivational guide that fosters self-love and confidence. It offers an arsenal of strategies to conquer anxiety, negativity, and self-sabotage. Coleman’s words resonate for Black women, empowering them to stand in the face of seasonal depression and embrace the radiant self within.

5. “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay” by Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson’s “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay” provides a humorous and insightful take on life’s challenges. Robinson, a comedian and writer, delivers her wisdom with wit and candor. She tackles the emotional rollercoaster that is life as a Black woman. Her humor and honesty provide a refreshing perspective, offering a beacon of laughter to pierce through the darkness of winter.

Coping with Seasonal Depression

Each book provides a vibrant array of tools and insights to help deal with seasonal depression and find pieces of joy. Each author’s unique perspectives and expertise make these books invaluable companions on the journey to emotional well-being.

Seasonal depression can be a burden, but with the wisdom, guidance, and stories found in these books, you can find your anchor in the storm. You are not alone, and these resources offer solace and clarity to embrace your strength and resilience. 

Resources for seasonal depression are essential for managing its impact. Many also find relief through light therapy lamps, which mimic natural sunlight. Additionally, seeking support from mental health professionals or SAD support groups can provide guidance and coping strategies for those struggling with this condition. If you or someone you know is in need of immediate assistance, we recommend searching online for crisis hotlines specific to your region or reaching out to a local mental health organization, emergency services, or a trusted healthcare provider.

Aysia Morton, a culture and travel writer, wrote this story.