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Dr. Marku's picks

These are resources and habits that I have personally found helpful to maintain my well-being and happiness.


Too much work, caregiving, screen time, hedonism, materialism, food, alcohol, anything really, can be bad.  Find balance.  Be gentle with yourself while striving to meet your goals.

Perfect for a quick break at work on desktop or smartphone, it provides an engrossing image and/or sounds to help reduce stress.


No hyperlink here.  I cycle, play basketball, and lift weights.  You can do whatever you like that keeps you coming back.  Any form of exercise is helpful.


A state of mind and body in which an activity is engaged at a degree of difficulty that poses challenges overcome by your level of mastery of the activity.  It results in complete absorption and focused attention and a feeling of flow which increases happiness even after the activity is completed.  TED Talk.


I've done the introduction but I'm sure the paid subscription is also good.  This is more for someone looking for a guided introduction to meditation and can be a good source of motivation.


There is some evidence that coffee, chocolate, and healthy food may improve mental health.  There are obvious caveats (see "Balance" above) with these but moderate amounts seem to be a good thing.  

insight timer app 

A great source for guided meditations, platform to track your meditation, and a customizable timer.

meditation and mindfulness

A non-religious mental state that brings about a sense of calm, wellbeing, and clarity.  It is actually very simple to do and the more you do it the better it becomes and the more you benefit.  Mindfulness requires no time commitment as you can incorporate it into your daily life during any activIty.


Whether getting away to relax or doing a rim-to-rim-to-rim Grand Canyon epic, getting into nature is restorative, meditative, and relaxing.  You will see a lot less rattlesnakes than you think, if any.


If you bike, hike, or run, Strava can be a great way to motivate by tracking your own workouts, comparing your performance to yourself or others, and connecting to others with similar interests.


Yoga is a great way to get exercise and enter a meditative state.  I have enjoyed Yoga with Adriene which is a series free on You Tube for all levels of practice.

other great resources

These are resources that are valuable sources of information to learn about mental health problems and treatment and are widely recommended.


Alcoholics Anonymous Phoenix 

Al-Anon (Support for family members of people with addictions)

National Institute of Drug Abuse

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence


Adult ADHD



alternative medicine

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health


anxiety disorders

Anxiety and Depression Society of America

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David Burns 



CBT-I Coach - Augments therapy to help with insomnia

Mood Kit - CBT-based tool for changing dysfunctional thoughts, tracking moods, motivate activity, etc.  



An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison - A book by a woman with bipolar who is a leading bipolar researcher.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Mood Chart -  An easy way to monitor mood, sleep, and lifestyle choices.  


cognitive behavioral therapy

The Beck Institute



Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Light Therapies For Depression

Light Therapy Instructions

Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger

Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay

Winter Blues by Norman Rosenthal MD


Can What You Eat Affect Your Mental Health? - Web MD


Crisis Response Network - Call here for psychiaitric emergencies particularly when anyone is in danger due to psychiatric symptoms, for instance uncontrolable suicidal or violent thoughts.

Warm Line - Staffed by others who have recovered from mental illness, this line can be called at any time for support and someone to talk to.  

evidence-based medicine

Quackwatch - A great site to find out if the "miracle cure" is actually miraculous

Cochrane Database - Wonderful analyses of clinical evidence

general mental health

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health America

American Psychiatric Association



CBT-I Coach - App to help learn sleep hygiene ideally used while engaged in therapy for insomnia 

Sleepio - Evidence-based online therapy program for a fee that improves sleep without medication or psychotherapy.  

Shut-IEvidence-based online therapy program for a fee that improves sleep without medication or psychotherapy.

National Sleep Foundation


meditation and mindfulness

Books by Jon Kabat-Zinn - Accessible and instructive books on how to use meditation to enhance life and deal with stress.


obsessive compulsive disorder

International OCD foundation


personality testing

International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO PI-R™ - Free online test to identify how you score on the "Big-5" personality characteristics.  This may be used in treatment to better understand your character.  There are a lot of personality tests but this is one based on good science.

positive psychology

Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman

Authentic Happiness Website

Univ of Penn Positive Psychology Center


Post-traumatic stress disorder

Mental Health America


Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

LactMed - Database of medications and other chemicals in breast milk 

Psychiatric Disorders During Pregnancy


"Winter Blues" Norman Rosenthal MD

Light Therapies For Depression

Light Therapy Instructions

Dawn Simulator instructions

Light Boxes:

- Sun Ray II (Sun Box Company) distance 23 inches

- North Star 10,000 (Alaska Northern Lights) distance 24 inches

- Day-Light Classic (Model DL930; Carex Health Brands) distance 12 inches

Dawn Simulators:

Lighten Up Model 205

- Lighten UP Model 308

- Philips Wake-Up

schizophrenia and psychosis

Divided Minds, Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn S. Spiro, MD -  Book by twin sisters, one a psychiatrst and another with schizophrenia. 


Women's mental health

Mass General Center for Women's Mental Health


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