Leonard Cohen on writing songs after his depression lifted: “The work isn’t easier. You know, lifting boulders isn’t easier when you’re in a good mood.”

State of Grace by Doug Saunders. Globe and Mail: Sept 1, 2001. Originally posted June 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“One dare not complain — except in a good, sad song” Leonard Cohen

How could I dare to complain [about my life]? Because I think the appropriate and legitimate response would have been, ‘What have you got to complain about?’ When you recognize that you’re living in this incredibly privileged, tiny pocket of mankind, where there is the luxury to discuss these questions, one dare not complain — except in a good, sad songquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001. Photo by Gabriel Jones. Originally posted Jun 4, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Everything I’ve done – you know, wine, women, song, religion, meditation – were all involved in that struggle to somehow penetrate this depression that was the background of all my activities.” Leonard Cohen

leonard-cohen3-courtesy-of-leonard-cohenAlso see Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution

From Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents by Mikal Gilmore. Simon and Schuster, Nov 11, 2008. The interview with Cohen from which this quotation is drawn took place in 2002. Photo by Anjani Thomas. Originally posted Aug 6, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Effect Of Prozac, Paxil, Speed, & Zen On Him


Prozac seemed to put a floor on how low I could go, but it also put a ceiling on how high I could go. It kept me in a very narrow range. I tried Paxil, and it put me into a terrible funk. Finally I just cheered up on my own. From time to time, I’ll take a little speed, and it makes me feel great. But I think Zen meditation, that kind of intimacy you develop with yourself, has been most effective. I took to it naturally.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen by Neva Chonin (Rolling Stone: December 11, 1997)

Also see Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution

Credit Due Department: The image atop this post is from www.e-magineart.com and is used under Creative Commons license.

Leonard Cohen on his “depression so bleak and anguished”

My depression, so bleak and anguished, was just crucial, and I couldn’t shake it; it wouldn’t go away. I didn’t know what it was. I was ashamed of it, because it would be there even when things were good, and I would be saying to myself, ‘Really, what have you got to complain about?’ But for people who suffer from acute clinical depression, it is quite irrelevant what the circumstances of your life are.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From A Happy Man by Mireille Silcott, Saturday Night, Canada. September 15, 2001

A summary of Leonard Cohen’s depression, its treatment, and its disappearance is available at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution

All posts dealing with Leonard Cohen’s depression can be accessed at


Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Life In The Chelsea Hotel, His Depression, & Meeting Lou Reed


In these previews to the broadcast of Leonard Cohen’s never-been-released conversation with Bill Flanagan at Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel in 2006, hear the Canadian singer-songwriter talk about his early career. The broadcast of the full interview airs Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 pm ET on SiriusXM VOLUME (Ch. 106). 

More information at Hear Bill Flanagan’s never-before-heard interview with Leonard Cohen

Life In The Chelsea Hotel


Leonard Cohen On Meeting Lou Reed

Leonard Cohen On His Depression

Credit Due Department: Photo by Historystuff2 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons