Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “Sex, Drugs and Meditation” by Mary-Lou Stephens


Best Spirituality Book for Depression: Sex, Drugs and Meditation: How One Woman Changed Her Life, Saved Her Job and Found a Husband by Mary-Lou Stephens

Ah, how I love a good memoir. Particularly one on the topic of spirituality. There’s just something about knowing that every harrowing, nauseating, triumphant moment described in the book actually happened that is so satisfying as a reader.

Can this book help me overcome depression?

Possibly. I found it helpful to read about a woman going through an emotional crisis who makes a bold plan to address it–then actually carries it out. An inspiring read, to say the least.

Does it address depression specifically?

The memoirist does discuss her own depression, but the book is certainly not prescriptive.

What does it say that can help?

Once upon a time, Mary-Lou Stephens wasn’t the spiritually aware woman she is today. She was a hard-partying codependent rock star. Here’s the story of her first (difficult!) ten-day meditation retreat, all the stuff that got her there . . . and how it changed her life completely.

A few of my favorite parts of the book are:

  • When Mary-Lou discusses the role of meditation: “My roaming mind becomes more productive and comes up with a piece of true brilliance. Vipassana is a technique for the overcoming of craving. It teaches us to observe craving without reacting.”
  • When Mary-Lou describes a true law of attraction success story about finding her calling–her long and distinguished career in radio. A quote: “Within a week of discovering my true vocation I was being offered a gig on air. Another sign. A miracle! I said yes.”
  • When Mary-Lou describes an awesome meditation experience, the kind all of us meditators are looking for: “I keep breathing and observing sensations. As the heat and pain build within my body the strangest thing happens. Energy courses along the routes I’ve been mapping with my mind, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I feel as though I’m sitting under a gushing tap. It’s extraordinary and overpowering. The force almost knocks me sideways. I’ve never felt the power of the energy in my body like this before. It pours through my skin, wave after wave starting in my scalp, running through my arms, body and legs, down through my toes. A constant stream of sensations that I have access to for the very first time. Perhaps this is it, the mystery of Vipassana.

Can this book help me overcome depression?

Not hugely. But there are some great practical meditation tips, and it always helps to read about someone else’s emotional struggles and how they eventually worked through them.

Depression effectiveness rating: 3 on a scale of 1-10

Where can I find it?

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Goodreads

Mary-Lou Stephens’ Website and Blog

Mary-Lou Stephens’ law of attraction success story: “I found my calling in radio


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