Practical Remedies Against Melancholy – By Sydney Smith

“Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done, so I feel for you.” Writes the English Sydney Smith (1771 – 1845) to a woman dealing with low spirits, giving her a list of 20 things that might help her. Sydney  was a writer and a preacher. He was well known for his humour, below you can read two short writings by him on the topic of melancholy:

Make your surroundings as cheerful as possible

“Cheerfulness and good spirits depend in a great degree upon bodily causes but much may be done for the promotion of this turn of mind. Persons subject to low spirits should make the rooms in which they live as cheerful as possible; taking care that the paper with which the wall is covered should be of a brilliant, lively colour, hanging up pictures or prints, and covering the chimney-piece with beautiful china. A bay-window looking upon pleasant objects, and, above all, a large fire whenever the weather will permit, are favourable to good spirits, and the tables near should be strewed with books and pamphlets.

To this must be added as much eating and drinking as is consistent with health; and some manual employment for men, — as gardening, a carpenter’s shop, the turning-lathe, etc. Women have always manual employment enough, and it is a great source of cheerfulness. Fresh air, exercise, occupation, society, and travelling, are powerful remedies.”

Resist melancholy steadily through little pleasures

“Never give way to melancholy; resist it steadily, for the habit will encroach. I once gave a lady two-and-twenty recipes against melancholy; one was a bright fire; another, to remember all the pleasant things said to and of her; another, to keep a box of sugar-plums on the chimney piece, and a kettle simmering on the hob.

I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true it is that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better than higher and more exalted objects; and that no means ought to be thought too trifling which can oppose it either in ourselves or others.”

From: The wit and wisdom of the Rev. Sydney Smith; a selection of the most memorable passages in his writings and conversation.

And if you enjoyed reading this, I think you might like these things as well:

Treasure Hunt: Find Beauty Where You Don’t Expect It.

I believe that this world is full of hidden treasures. There are so many things...

Not a Dancer? Try This Instead

Follow Napoleon Dynamite's example

“Let’s Be More Real With Each Other.” – Interview with Thirze

I would love it if we would communicate more of what we really think and...

Turning Sadness into Joy – Vincent van Gogh’s Life

He was very poor, got heartbroken several times, got betrayed by friends, had a complicated...

This Relient K Song Will Help You To Let Go Of Your Heart Aches

When life feels hard or when you don’t understand why things are happening, it is...

Does It Have To Be So Hard?

Jesus wants us to stick with Him through the awkward learning parts so we can...

Van Gogh’s Advice on Dealing With Suffering

Vincent van Gogh suffered a lot in his lifetime. He was very poor, didn’t have...

What I Learned From My 90-year-old Friend

When we got to know each other we were surprised at how similar we were,...

Tell Him What You’ve Never Dared to Say Out Loud

You can end up having all you desire, yet end up lonely anyway. You can...

Walking on the Edge of the Abyss

but I don’t feel scared, really. Rather amazed, every day, that I am still standing...

I Am Not Who I Am (Rembrandt And I)

God says “I am who I am.” But with human beings it should be: “We...

Watch this Video in Which People Share Their Secrets

The things that happen when you ask people about their secrets


Find my way back to the light through light

The Man Who Turned Pain into Ecstatic Beauty

Dr. Who is a time traveler and in this episode he takes the painter Vincent...

Finding Beauty in Grieving

Grieving over someone who died is painful. But in this experience there are also places...

What If Life Was Meant to Be Seen?

What if Life was meant to be seen? Our only job To notice the bird...

0 0 votes
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Reacties
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments