The Best Jobs For People With Depression

Updated September 12, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Coping with depression is no laughing matter. If you feel cranky, exhausted, sad, low energy, or empty, you may be living with depression. If you do struggle with depression, you are far from alone. In 2020, approximately 14.8 million U.S. adults ages 18 or older experienced at least one major depressive episode, representing 6% of all U.S. adults. Types of depression include clinical depression, major depressive disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

By law, employers are required to offer accommodations for workers who experience depression and other mental health conditions. Even if you get support at work, you may find you need to make adjustments to the position you currently hold or begin to look for new employment. And, whereas employers may provide accommodations for their employees with depression, you may find yourself yearning for job options that can better support your mental health. 

Ahead, we’ll discuss the impact that certain jobs can have one’s mental health and which jobs are statistically the “best” and “least” optimal for people living with depression.

Can Work Make Depression Worse?

Ever Wondered About The Best Jobs For People With Depression?

Depression is not the same thing as grief, sadness, or stress. These experiences can all set off depressive episodes, but symptoms of depression can make you susceptible to feeling sadness, stress, or guilt with greater intensity. The following are risk factors:

  • Personality
  • Environment
  • Genetics and family history
  • Personal biochemistry

Symptoms of depression are readily treatable, with a combination of psychotherapy and/or medication proving to be a helpful remedy for depression in most people. But working in a suboptimal environment can make depression harder to treat and make symptoms more severe. 

You could ask for reasonable accommodations on the job. If you have difficulty concentrating, these accommodations could include breaking your job down into smaller parts and having your supervisor check in with you more often, for instance. Another option could be to find a job that can help improve your mental health and the ways depression impacts you.

The Best Jobs For People Who Have Depression

If you have been struggling in a desk job, you may find that another nontraditional setting could help you improve mental health, alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms, and achieve a healthier work-life balance. Let’s discuss some of the best jobs for individuals who are experiencing depression.

Librarian Jobs For Individuals With Depression

If you have a passion for books, a library position could be among the best occupations for you. Most full-time librarian positions indeed require a master’s degree in library science. Still, most libraries hire library technicians to work the circulation desk, shelve and organize books, scan and upload documents and assist patrons in finding books and resource materials.

In libraries, there are lots of opportunities for interaction with other people. If you are a history buff, you can work in the archives section, help students with school projects, or help people look up their genealogy. If you love to work with children, you can help organize reading days or school events. Libraries and librarians are pillars of the community. As a person who loves books and helping others, you could find the work highly rewarding.

Dog-Walking And Pet-Sitting Jobs For Individuals With Depression


Spending time with animals can be very therapeutic when managing symptoms of depression. As a dog walker, you can get outside for regular exercise (a boon for mental health!) and spend time with dogs who will be glad to see you. Pet-sitting offers you quality hours with animals that require support and care, including feeding, playing, and snuggling.

If you are in a living situation that doesn’t allow pets, dog-walking and pet-sitting provides a job opportunity to be near animals. Lots of apartments maintain strict prohibitions on pets; your spouse or child may have allergies to animals, or you may find that keeping a pet of your own is too expensive, but many people need help managing pets, which may be right up your alley.

Dog walking is a great job where you can set your own hours, or you can pet sit seasonally, which frees up time to unwind and seek out psychological support.

Computer Programming Jobs For Individuals With Depression

If you have a mathematical mind or love working with computers, you can learn to code, obtain a good-paying entry-level job, and gain meaningful employment. If you prefer working solo, freelance programming might be for you. But if you prefer working on big teams, large software companies are always advertising for programmers.

Learn programming languages like PHP, Python, HTML, and C++, or specialize in particular types of computer programming so that you can gain industry expertise in a short amount of time.

Coding jobs may be high-stress and have long hours. Many computer coders choose employment with large software companies and then begin to manage projects, start their own business, freelance from home, or obtain work consulting with other companies. With a few years beneath your belt, you can discover your niche and tailor your work to your mental health requirements.

Creative Jobs For Individuals With Depression

You may find it satisfying to make art or crafts. If your interest extends beyond being a hobbyist, you can earn a living with an internet presence that’s engaging people. For example, if you make hand-made soaps, you can build a website with an online store, open social media accounts to show off your work, and obtain a craft fair or farmers market booth.

You can make your own hours and have the enjoyment of working with your hands. Get a feeling of satisfaction when people admire your skills. Attend conferences and meetups with like-minded people, so you can make the acquaintance of people who understand and appreciate your hard work and successes.

Writers and artists find writing, illustration, graphic design, and other work types through online job platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. You can make your own hours, work from home, and please clients you love.

With the flexibility of working freelance, you’ll have the time to prioritize managing your depression. This could include exercising, attending therapy or support groups, and getting sufficient sleep.

Gardening Jobs For Individuals With Depression

If you are feeling depressed, consider a horticulture position, such as working in a greenhouse, gardening, landscaping, or even employment in a local gardening center. These are all great jobs for people struggling with depression. You get to work outside, getting your vitamin D fix, and engage in moderate exercise.

You have the choice of establishing your own business or working as an employee for home goods or gardening company. You can work seasonally and set your own hours.

When you work in gardening or landscaping, you should be prepared to lift heavy items and hold specific physical positions. This means it’s important to take care of your physical health. The rewards include growing lovely plants or creating beautiful gardens. If you are a fan of the outdoors, gardening is a great job opportunity.

Park Ranger Jobs For Individuals With Depression

Like horticulture and pet care, a park ranger job lets you get out into nature where you get regular exercise and are surrounded by lovely scenery. You might opt for a summer internship, which would pay you a stipend and free room and board.

A park ranger’s main responsibility is to supervise designated outdoor areas. Park rangers patrol park grounds to ensure that hikers, campers, and other visitors follow the rules -- such as fire safety rules -- and do not disturb fellow guests or the natural environment. They may also work in a visitor’s center, providing guests with maps and outlining off-limits areas to park visitors.

Among other skills, you can learn forest management, environmental sustainability, and essential survival skills. If you get a professional park ranger job, you will frequently be in nature by yourself, but you will have lots of opportunities to work with the public, educate adults and kids on ways to preserve parks, and be happy in the great outdoors.

Accommodations For Individuals With Depression

No matter the type of job you pursue, you are legally entitled to reasonable accommodations if you struggle with depression.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was expanded to include mental health and psychiatric conditions, so employees can petition employers for assistance in managing workplace conditions with paid time off or additional forms of support.

How Regain Can Support You

Ever Wondered About The Best Jobs For People With Depression?

If you continue to experience depression, it is vital to seek professional help. You may choose to visit a counselor face-to-face, but thanks to Regain, you can get reasonably priced help right away. 

Regain works with your schedule. You can choose to chat discreetly via text or, if you prefer, on a video chat or over the phone. You can meet with your therapist when it is convenient for your schedule, eliminating potential stress by removing the need to take off work early or miss out on a separate priority. There’s no need to make the commute to an in-person therapist’s office, either. You can meet virtually with your therapist from any location with a secure internet connection.

Online therapy has helped many people overcome their symptoms of depression. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of 39 studies involving 9,751 participants with mild or more severe depression, researchers sought to examine the efficacy of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) as an approach for treating related symptoms. Overall, guided iCBT was associated with significant benefits up to a year after treatment. 


It can be hard to leave a job that gives you personal and professional fulfillment in many respects, yet causes you to feel an enormous amount of stress even when you are outside of the office or work environment. Ultimately, it is important to consider all your options that are available. An online therapist can work alongside you in a nonjudgmental, loving manner to explore your options and help you move forward from depression. When you’re ready, reach out to a licensed therapist on Regain to start feeling better.

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