Beyond the Holiday Blues: 5 Self Help Activities for Teen Depression


Sometimes it’s not just the holiday blues. If your depressed teen is struggling more than usual through this time of year, know that there are things that they can do to combat symptoms of teen depression. At our boarding school for girls, we offer many activities students can do themselves to better deal with the symptoms of teen depression. This includes physical activities, art and drumming. The list below will help to empower your depressed teen to get help and help themselves as well. This can be especially challenging for those dealing with mental health issues like depression and anxiety through the holidays. Know that these tips can work at home for your teen as well.

Here are a few things they can use that we use at our boarding school for girls.


Physical Activities:


Exercise comes in many forms, but no matter what, it can help your teen. Exercise increases the levels of endorphins in the brain, which tell us to be happier. This induces a positive mood during and after the exercise. Maybe go on a run before family gatherings to increase energy level, or do some active stretching afterwards to increase energy flow in the body.


Walking is a form of exercise, so endorphins levels increase as you daughter does it. However, it’s also a slow activity, which means that other activities can be incorporated into it. During the walk, teens can take pictures, listen to an audio book (or online lecture, podcast,) participate in a scavenger hunt, or take pictures.


Troubled teens often have a lot of energy that, if not directed in the right way, can result in some negative, self defeating behavior patterns that make symptoms of teen depression worse. Sports are one easy way to keep your teenage girl active and motivated, while also giving her an outlet to use that energy toward something positive. If she participates in a team sport, there’s a chance that she’ll create close friendships that could help ease her anxiety and depression. While this step may be good to put in place before the holiday season, there’s no better time to call up some friends for a game or too while school’s on break.

Artistic Activities:

Consider investing in your daughter through artistic supplies, or maybe enrolling her in a therapeutic arts program. While she may not enjoy painting or drawing, other avenues exist that may peak her interest, such as digital art, animation, clay, pottery and sculpture. Art provides her with a way to express how she is feeling without having to find the right words for it. She can paint her emotions or create them out of clay instead. This may help her better understand her feelings and eventually be able to express them to you or to a therapist. Could be a great gift for her, don’t you think?

Musical Activities

Troubled teens with symptoms of teen depression may find it easier to express their feelings through music. There are many different types of musical activities she can participate in, such as choir, band or even learning a new instrument. At our boarding school for depression, all of the girls participate in African drumming. In recent studies, the drumming has been shown to be both beneficial to the body and to the mind. One study found that drumming helps increase cells capable of killing cancer.

Other studies show drumming can:

  • – Reduce anxiety and stress
  • – Assist in controlling chronic pain
  • – Improve the immune system
  • – Help get rid of negative feels and blockages
  • – Help individuals deal with emotional trauma

Helping your daughter with her mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, may not be easy, but there are some self-help activities she can participate in to help relieve the emotions associated and increase positive feelings. Some may be a great gift idea as you worry about her wellbeing, others may be great to implement in the coming year to help empower her and move passed these difficult symptoms.

If you’re unsuccessful at directing your daughter through beneficial self-help activities, consider our boarding school for girls as the next step for both her therapeutic needs and education.

Want to learn more about how we empower depressed teens?

Give us a call today and empower your daughter into a brighter future.