Given the multitude of risk factors for depression in modern society and given the negative consequences of depressive problems for successful ageing, investigating resilience in relation to depression may help identifying entry points for reducing the burden of morbidity. Research on resilience begins with the realisation that individuals may demonstrate good physical or psychological functioning despite being exposed to risk experiences that can have serious negative impact on functioning. Interest in investigating resilience within ageing research has been increasing. Among the approaches toward investigating resilience are so-called a priori approaches, where criteria for inferring resilience are established a priori. In this editorial, we highlight some of the advantages of taking a priori approaches to the study of resilience and we touch on the implications for a priori approaches for the topic of resilience and depression. We argue that depression should take a prominent role in resilience research, because depression is strongly associated with opportunities for successful ageing.