Whether you are looking for laughs, ways to move your body, or other distractions or nourishing activities to help with depression, Denver has a lot of options to help with managing depression.
Yes, the weight of depression can be difficult to manage. It can be cyclical in that once things seem better, they may feel worse. It requires consistent discernment between progress and feeling stuck. It’s not easy, and it is important to have compassion toward yourself when you feel depression coming into your life. Self-love and self-compassion can be helpful anytime, but especially when you feel the dread of depression.
Engaging in activities is one way to help cope with depression. To help you identify some local activities that might be mood-lifting for you, Denver Metro Counseling has compiled a list of things to do in Denver to help with depression including ways to laugh, meditate, do yoga, get outside, enjoy a warm beverage, and give back to the community:
There is no better place to find laughs than with The Grawlix on the last Saturday of the month. Adam Cayton-Holland, Ben Roy, and Andrew Orvedahl humbly dub themselves as the world’s best comedy show, and they don’t disappoint. They blend excellent stand up, live sketches, and video components into their show at the historic Bug Theatre, which is where you can purchase tickets in advance for the normally sold-out shows. Sometimes, giving yourself a little joy can help to ease the sadness. In the meantime, you can listen to The Grawlix through their podcast, The Grawlix Saves The World.
Group meditation can be powerful, and Denver offers a place to do just that. The Shambhala Meditation Center welcomes anyone. You do not have to belong to a certain sect, denomination, or religion to show up. There can be comfort in a collective breath and intention for a group of people, and the meditation center is a shared space to do just that. Though all classes are currently online, there are still ways to connect with the community.
One of our favorite studios in Denver, Urban Sanctuary, has a generous offering of yoga classes. There is a class for anyone and everyone so that you can move your body in a way that feels best to you. The space is low pressure and inclusive. You don’t have to show up as anyone other than what you feel, even if that means you just need space to breathe and feel welcomed.
Colorado is full of places and spaces to get outside. Even though the sun can feel like too much when you aren’t feeling your happiest, there are ways to enjoy the great outdoors regardless. You don’t have to feel guilty about not leaving your house when it is sunny, but you do have options in Colorado. One of our favorite places to explore is Roxborough State Park. It is close to Denver, has a route with less traffic, and is spacious beyond belief. It is $7/day, which gives you access to hiking if you are feeling up to it. If not, bring a picnic lunch and find a tree. It is a low-key way to explore the state.
Enjoy a Warm or Cold Beverage
There are a variety of choices when it comes to enjoying a coffee or tea drink in Denver. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming. One of our favorites, Purple Door Coffee, has a heartfelt mission. They employ unhoused young adults who are seeking to reclaim and sustain their lives. It doesn’t hurt that the coffee is delicious.
Participate in Your Community
Depression can be debilitating, but if you can take steps toward serving others, you can help yourself. This doesn’t mean that you ignore what is going on inside of you. Finding missions that align with your purpose can be empowering. Food For Thought Denver is a nonprofit organization in Denver that helps feed kids throughout the school year. You can pack food bags during the school year, donate, and attend events that support the organization. It is one way to participate within the Denver community in a meaningful way.
Depression exists and can be incredibly heavy. It is helpful to honor wounds that feel like a hindrance for you. If you are feeling stuck, there are supportive ways to connect back to your community so that you can ease your depression. There is not a perfect solution, but you can take steps to feel better about yourself. Denver has many options so that you can put one foot in front of the other again and we encourage you to check out these or find others that might appeal to you as well.
Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC
Denver Metro Counseling is a group of clinicians who provide therapeutic support for teens, adults, parents, and families. We provide supportive therapy for people struggling with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, ADHD, negative body image, and more.