Bob Ross and his depression (How it inspired others)

This article will discuss the impact the painter Bob Ross has had over time. It will explain why his show became a soothing presence on American Tv, and how younger generations have made him a pop sensation and are benefiting from his knowledge.

Bob Ross: how he helps people with depression 

Bob Ross was a Tv presenter that had a show called “The Joy of Painting”. It aired between January 1983, and May 1994 on PBS. In the show, he taught people techniques on how to oil paint landscapes.

Back then the show, which had a low production value, called attention to the soothing ways Bob Ross displayed his techniques. And people began to watch it as a way to handle their emotional turmoil. The way Bob Ross spoke, sounded like a very intimate conversation and made people feel at home with him.

He always had some positive one-liners to share, and was one to encourage people to make mistakes, and look at the good that could come out of it. It seemed like he was creating a way for people to escape from the negative things in their lives. And even though he died in 1995, his legacy lived through.

Recently younger generations got in touch with his work and found it was extremely beneficial when dealing with mental health issues. He became a pop sensation having shirts, and mugs made about him. Netflix and Hulu also got his show in their streaming.

Nowadays he has even made a form of autonomous sensory meridian responses, or ASMR, which can cause a positive physical feeling in the person. And through that, his voice and his words have been helpful for people dealing with anxiety, depression, and many other conditions. 

His compelling attitude in which he never assumes he will teach others something, but that he will learn together with his viewers, made him this beacon of hope and tranquility for people coping with depression. 

What is depression?

Depression is a mental illness that can affect all aspects of a person’s life. It can make them experience intense sadness. But not only that, it can cause the person to lose their sense of purpose, and interest even in things they used to love.

When depressed, people may feel empty, hopeless, guilty, and ashamed. It leads them to become less energetic and to have a hard time focusing. It can also cause people to isolate themselves, and go through crying spells.

When a person is depressed, their self-esteem and sense of self-worth will go down, and they may even consider harming themselves. Finally, in some cases, it can lead to thoughts of death and even suicidal thoughts.

Learnings people have taken from his show 

Younger generations have rediscovered Bob Ross, and by watching the show they have taken some lessons from it when it comes to coping with depression. Here are some sayings that can help people with depression.

“If you do too much, it’s going to lose its effectiveness” 

This has a lot to do with how people with depression may feel. They usually feel so overwhelmed and want to do so much. They may want to have control of things, but it may be important to take a step back and focus on yourself, and even let others take the wheel.

“Just let go- and fall like a little waterfall” 

This can also speak about control and is an extremely important way. You should let your feelings flow. Allow yourself to feel, and express those feelings. It is okay to cry and to feel sad, those are common human emotions. Just remember that this is not a place to be forever. 

“Don’t forget to tell these special people in your life just how special they are to you” 

Depression causes you to isolate yourself. It can be hard to talk to people and feel comfortable sharing. But remember how important it is to allow yourself to tell others how important they are to you, and how connected you can feel by letting them be close to you.

“No pressure. Just relax and watch it happen” 

Going through depression may cause you to want to get better right away. And that is completely understandable. Who would want to keep feeling like that? But try to keep in mind that pressuring yourself to be positive, or to not feel how you feel will only make you worse. 

Take care of yourself, be active in your treatment, but understand that it is all a process. Don’t expect too much of yourself to not add on even more suffering.

“It’s so important to do something every day that will make you happy” 

This is one of the hardest lessons for people coping with depression. You may feel so lost, with no interest or joy in anything. But doing a little something each day that warms you can help you feel a little better each time. 

Don’t focus on that finish line of not being depressed anymore. Look at the daily line, and find each day something that can make your mood a little better.

“Go out on a limb- that’s where the fruit is” 

This is a way of looking out of your comfort zone. So by opening yourself up to new things, you may find good fruits. It doesn’t need to be some crazy adventure, but allow yourself to experiment with something. And even though depression can make it hard to do that, allow yourself to try.

“We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents” 

This is a great way to look at mistakes and frustrations. Depression may cause you to constantly feel guilty about things, but if you look at it from a different perspective, you will notice that there is a chance something good can come out of those accidents.

“Got to have a little sadness once in a while so you know when the good times come.”

This line shows us how life is full of its ups and downs. And surely depression is a difficult moment in your life. But it is important to have just that in mind, this is a moment. You were not born depressed and won’t live like this forever. But when this is done, you may look at your happy moments with brighter eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How has Bob Ross helped people with depression? 

Why did Bob Ross speak so calmly? 

Bob Ross’ calm way of speaking may be related to his life story even before he started the show. He served as part of the Air Force before, and it seems that the calming tones come as a result of that period in his life.

It has been said that this was such an intense moment in his life, so stressful, in which people usually communicated in such a rough way, that he decided he didn’t want to bring this to the next moment in his life. 

From then on, and all the while he was presenting The Joy of Painting, he became this beacon of calmness to people that have not only enjoyed his artistic talents, but also his view of the world.

Why is listening to Bob Ross so relaxing? 

It can be that listening to Bob Ross, and seeing him painting, can be relaxing to people. He had a chilling voice, which in itself would help you feel more relaxed. But aside from that, listening to him, and watching him paint those landscapes can lower the person’s cortisol level.

This can cause them to feel more relaxed. It can also make the person’s dopamine level higher. He creates a whole environment in his videos to make people relax.

Can art therapy help you sleep? 

Yes, art therapy can help you sleep, and can even improve the quality of your sleep. This is because it is a meditative exercise that can help you feel at ease, which affects your sleep. 

You may do art therapy in a facility you are being treated in. But even those coloring books can help you get the benefits that art therapy has. It will allow you to express your feelings better, be in touch with your reality, and how it makes you feel.

It may help you accept yourself, deal with fears, and even feel more confident. It can make you feel like you have better control of things, which can make you worry less, also improving your sleep quality.

What is art therapy? 

Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art to engage the person’s mind and body. It gives the person the chance to express themselves, and articulate their emotions through creating art, rather than through their speech as in other forms of therapy.

It gives a chance to the person to sensory, perceptual, and symbolically express themselves, which can make them stronger. Art therapy is now present in many institutions, such as hospitals, psychiatric institutions, schools, clinics directed to veterans’ care, and rehabilitation facilities. 

Why did Bob Ross’s show The Joy of Painting end?

The show Bob Ross presented, called The Joy of Painting, ended in 1994. Being that the last one aired on May 17th of that year. It ended because the presenter was diagnosed with Lymphoma, a type of cancer. The presenter died of the condition the following year, on July 4th of 1995.

And even though the show ended so many years ago, in recent years there has been a process of rediscovery of Bob Ross, his talent, and his show. Younger generations have found out the benefits of listening to him and watching him in action. 

And as a result, some streaming companies have brought on his show as part of their business. Making, nowadays, Bob Ross a popular name once again.

Can art therapy cure depression?

In the strict sense of the word, no. Art therapy can’t cure depression. But that is because depression can’t have a cure. Mostly what happens is that people with depression will go into remission.

And in that case, art therapy may help a person’s depression go into remission. It can be a way for the person to express themselves, and through that, they can deal with the intense emotions brought on by depression, making their mood better.


This article centered on discussing how Bob Ross, the presenter of the show “The Joy of Painting”, helped people soothe themselves back when the show was on. And now, more than 20 years after his death, he has caught the attention of younger generations and is helping people cope with depression.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


In a World Riddled by Anxiety, the Spirit of Bob Ross Reigns Serene

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