Behavioral Activation

Behavioral activation refers to doing something actively rewarding (e.g., going for a walk, cleaning one’s room, playing a game) in order to address fatigue and low mood that are a part of many people’s experience of depression. It is an evidence-based component of cognitive-behavioral depression treatment. The idea is that if we can get ourselves to do something active or productive, even if it doesn’t sound good in the moment, it often results in improved mood.
Age range: Best for young children–preschool through kindergarten, maybe first grade.
Age range: Preschool through 3rd grade. It has a story that younger kids will understand and enjoy, but there’s enough complexity that older kids will connect with it too.

I Feel…Meh

Written and illustrated by DJ Corchin
Age range: Preschool all the way through elementary school.
Evidence-Based Practices: Behavioral activation

When Sadness Comes to Call

Written and illustrated by Eva Eland
Age range: Preschool through elementary school. It’s simple on the surface but the message is profound.
Evidence-Based Practices: Mindfulness, Behavioral activation
Age range: 1st grade through 4th grade.
Recommended for: This book is ideal for a child whose sibling is going through a depressive episode and seems “wolfish” (i.e., irritable and grumpy). It is particularly well-suited for a child who might be worried that they no longer matter to their sibling due to a sibling’s irritability or withdrawal from family interactions.