Gail F. Woods

Author Gail Woods lived 38+ years under the guise of a smile mask. Her revealing memoir, Smile of Depression… brings to life the author’s truth-revealing journey of searching first to understand and then to begin the process of healing from her undiagnosed clinical depression.


A sensitive child, born to stoic parents, with an unknown genetic disposition for depression, creates a story that crescendos into a powerful perfect storm. Especially in a medical world that does not yet understand this disease.

Smiling depression may read like an oxymoron, but now doctors recognize it as very real. That mask becomes a part of you, a shield used to survive.

A pathway toward emotional mindfulness is possible. Anyone who has pretended to be someone they are NOT should open the front cover and begin reading. Join the author on her journey to healing….



Now Available...

Smile of Depression…

‘Learning to savor the strawberries and flush the shit!’

Smile of Depression is a candid memoir shining a light on a life lived totally through a mask. Conditioning as a child to ‘be a good girl,” mushrooms into years of undiagnosed clinical depression. In between, there are countless ‘is this normal?’ jaw-dropping moments growing up in a family of four-then five children…with stoic parents. 

Begun as a story that needed to be told for her grandchildren’s generation, Smile of Depression turned into a timely story about the vital importance of ‘communication matters,’ ‘radical mindfulness,’ and the necessity of truthfully sharing our stories. Anyone who has pretended to be someone they are NOT should open the front cover and begin reading. 

        “I invite you to accompany me as I share this authentic pilgrimage into the questions of Who, What, When, Where, and How contributed to both my descent into, and ascent out of, the depths of depression.”

Blessings, Gail 

Book Review

Behind every mask, there is a face, and behind that, a story” – authentic and empowering words, the focus of Gail’s book – Smile of Depression. We have all worn that “smile” at one time or another. Perhaps it wasn’t a permanent fixture for us as it was in Gail’s case, but it was there – pasted on for all to see.

          Behind each smile is a story—your story, my story—this happens to be Gail’s story. A quarter of the way into “Smiles …” I recognized myself behind the mask and the fake smile. Gail’s method of writing a letter to the players and herself through her adult eyes to address those past situations is invaluable. Having ripped away my mask, I still find that ‘smile” crops up occasionally. Using Gail’s letter-writing tool, I have addressed childhood experiences I hadn’t understood until now.

          In removing your mask and finding your authentic smile, an empowering story emerges – yours. Earth Angels are all around us. Gail is my Earth Angel; she didn’t even know that until now. I didn’t realize I needed an Earth Angel; I wasn’t depressed, or was I? Smiles challenges you to remove the mask behind the smile, eat the strawberries, and this time, let your smile and story shine for all to see. As Gail did me, I challenge you to find your own Earth Angels and thank them as you recognize a depression you didn’t know you had.

          An amazing book written by an Earth Angel named Gail F. Woods, who teaches us how to eat the strawberries and flush the shit.


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