You could try Hitchhiker's guide to galaxy. Its scifi but I am always cheerful when I read those books.


Hmmm A Lee Martinez's Too Many Curses is on the edge of what you're asking for. It's about the servant of an evil wizard trying to keep all of the cursed people (who have been change into creatures and items and monsters) in his castle happy and healthy in his absence. It's got the miserable scary castle and (as the title says) a ridiculous number of curses and the spirit of genuine helpfulness.


I have to agree. If you are looking for someone helping to pull others out of hard situation that is depressive, handled in a fun way this is a good recommendation. If you are looking for a deeper book with real depression, maybe not. Side note I recommended this book to my niece, 13 yrs old. She hasn't tried yet so can't help there.


You my friend are looking for the Stormlight Archive. Kaladin is One Sad Boi and he regualrly deals with depression and is often helped by friends.


There's definitely some of that in the Hands of the Emperor by Victoria Goddard, but I'm not sure it's the best entry point into fantasy for most. Great book, though


It’s more strangers pulling them out of it, but Dragonslayer by Duncan M Hamilton and the Bone Ships by R.J. Barker both have the main characters in a pretty low place at the beginning of the book, and are pulled out of it when, in both cases actually, they have to go hunt the first dragon seen in centuries


*Gone South* by Robert McCammon (oddball crime novel, a bit grisly, but also hopeful like a lot of McCammon's work) *The Drowning Girl* by Caitlin Kiernan (claustrophobic post-modern gothic novel about spiralling inwards due to mental illness and finding a way out again)


Hm.... maybe Howl's Moving Castle by Jones?


This is *100% not what you're looking for right now and you should not give it to her*, but you should throw **Mexican Gothic** at her once she's old enough. Extremely similar premise, extremely similar setting, but a somewhat happier ending. If you're looking for something more child-friendly along similar lines, **Down Among the Sticks and Bones** by Seanan McGuire has a horror-world backdrop but is much lighter, with more age-appropriate themes of rebuilding and being yourself. It doesn't really have the hero-coming-to-their-depressed friend theme though. If she likes it, it's a decent segue into a whole series. If you're looking strictly for pulling a friend out of madness/depression/addiction, **Fire Logic** by Laurie Marks might be a good choice for her. I think (?) the only content warning is for a bit of (non-graphic, off-page) torture in the first chapter, which the protagonist is rescued from. Not gothic, so the setting isn't a good fit, but it definitely has some of the thematic aspects you're going for.