Jerry Seinfeld Opens Up About Depression and the 2 Tools He Uses to Address It

Jerry Seinfeld can make light of all the daily human frustrations. He did it for nine seasons on Seinfeld and he continues to do it in his standup comedy. Seinfeld can get real too. He discusses coping with Depression, but he has two practical tools for addressing it in his own life.

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Jerry Seinfeld | Jeffery Neira/Netflix

Seinfeld was a guest on The Tim Ferris Show podcast on Dec. 8. The comedian shared two methods that anybody could try to cope with Depression. 

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The comedian is honest that some bouts of depression are inevitable. There’s no 100% solution to eradicate them permanently, but he found a way to make peace with them. 

“I still get ‘em,” Seinfeld said. “The best thing I ever heard about it was that it’s part of a kit that comes with a creative aspect to the brain. A tendency to Depression seems to always accompany that. I read that 20 years ago and that really made me happy. I realized I wouldn’t have all this other good stuff without [Depression]. That just comes in the kit that you have a tendency to Depression. I think it’s fair to say that I don’t know a human that doesn’t have the tendency. I’m sure it varies.”

2 tools Jerry Seinfeld uses to cope with Depression 

Seinfeld said that he has two practices that help balance his moods, and free him to write. The comedian is committed to weight training and practices transcendental meditation.

“I think your body needs that stress, that stressor and I think it builds the resilience of the nervous system,” Seinfeld said of weight lifting. “Transcendental meditation is the absolutely ultimate work tool. I think the stress reduction is great but it’s more the energy recovery and the concentration fatigue solution. “

Jerry Seinfeld coffee
Jerry Seinfeld | Netflix

Seinfeld says he uses meditation to restore himself when he’s burned out.

“As a standup comic, I can tell you my entire life is concentration fatigue,” he said. “Whether it’s writing or performing, my brain and my body which is the same thing, are constantly hitting the wall. If you have that in your hip pocket, you’re Columbus with a compass.”

How often should you lift weights and meditate?

Seinfeld says everyone should start out with an amount that’s comfortable for them. At this point, he meditates twice a day.

“I do it at least twice a day but I will do it any time I feel like I’m dipping,” Seinfeld said. “If I sit down and the pen doesn’t move for 20 minutes, I know I’m out of gas. Why isn’t the pen moving?”

He works out almost daily, following Bill Phillips’ Body for Life program..

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Jerry Seinfeld | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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“My weight training routine is three times a week for an hour a session,” Seinfeld said. “It’s three times a week of weights and three times a week the interval cardio training. There are a lot of days I want to cry instead of do it because it really physically hurts, but I just think it’s very balancing to the forces inside humanity that overwhelm us. We’re overwhelmed by our own power and you’ve got to put that ox in the plow. Make it do the stuff that it doesn’t want to do. Put it in the harness.”

The workouts may be tough, but they minimize Depression.

“I don’t like getting depressed,” Seinfeld said. “I get depressed a lot and these routines [help], these very difficult routines, whether it’s exercise or writing, and both of them are things where it’s brutal.”

How to get help: In the U.S. and Canada, text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to reach a crisis counselor for support.