As a person with a mood disorder, I am always searching for new ways to improve my mood, so I am pleased to share these natural mood boosters with you. If you suffer from depression, like me, you will want something that can help increase your mental wellness but not interfere with your medication.
It is important to focus on the natural ways to boost mood, as if you are taking medication, you don’t want to add more chemicals to your body.
In my opinion, a natural mood booster is food, exercise or alternative therapy, so I’ve only included those within these categories. I have included supplements as sometimes there is a particular food I don’t like the taste of and prefer to take the tablet form of it.
Natural Mood Boosters
Any chance you get, you need to feel the sunshine upon you, even if it is a winters day; if you see the sun, get out there and get your daily dose of Vitamin D. an excellent mood booster and not only that you feel better with a bit of warmth on your face.
If the weather is miserable and the sun is lacking during the winter months, you can use a sunshine lamp to get your fix of sunny weather; I use one in the mornings on winter days. I also take Vitamin D supplements during the colder months.
I don’t think you can beat aromatherapy for giving you the feel-good factor; from massages to meditation, you can use essential oils in numerous ways. I like to burn aromatherapy candles from [AF] St. Eval in the winter, and in the summer, I sit outside and inhale the lavender bushes in my garden.
The best oils for naturally boosting your mood are citrus, patchouli, jasmine (can be overpowering), peppermint and Ylang Ylang. You can use a diffuser, or another of my favourites is to use the blended oils from [AF] ESPA, put them on my pulse points, and you can read my aromatherapy routine.
This is a new discovery for me, and it works wonders in helping me reduce my depression symptoms. Very easy to do and you don’t need any special equipment, just the knowledge of where to place pressure. See images below.
4. Brazil Nuts
Packed full of nutrients which are shown to improve the effects of depression. You can eat a small handful of these daily and know you are taking care of your mental health. Those who suffer from depression need all the help we can get, and brazil nuts are natural mood boosters.
They contain potassium, calcium and magnesium, which all go towards improving mental health; they are also full of antioxidants that keep body inflammation down, which then goes on to help serotonin levels in your body. They are also high in selenium which helps promote serotonin.
I love a massage, and it can boost your feelings of wellbeing; you can self-massage or, as a special and much-needed treat, seek out an Ayurvedic massage therapist, super special. But you can do this yourself. I have an article on it here. You can also massage yourself with aromatherapy oils.
When we receive a massage from another, be it a loved one or a professional masseuse, it releases feel-good chemicals with us, as we all need the human touch, which helps lift depression. The reduction in depression could last a couple of days; well, it does for me. Hopefully, it will work for you too.
There are plenty of ways to meditate, and you can meditate for free, and it is a natural mood booster. You can search for videos or apps to help you with meditation, or you can use another tech-based meditation system where you are immersed visually and aurally. [AF] See MindPlace
This is a quick meditation to try, and you only need to do it for five minutes.
Get comfy and close your eyes, breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, each in and out breath counts as one. Do this ten times and start again. Focus on each breath and how it feels to breathe this way. If you go past counting to ten, it shows that your mind is wandering, refocus and begin again.
There are plenty of apps to boost your mood using hypnotherapy. I use a few now and again, and after using them, I feel better within myself, and the feeling lasts for a week or so. I use the free versions. It may work for you, or you may need to try others as some work for some and others don’t. It took me a while to find apps that worked for me.
You can also be treated by a professional but hypnotherapy is not cheap, although I have heard that it works well for those with low self-confidence and self-esteem issues.
Getting a good nights sleep is essential for boosting your mood, and I have trouble sleeping, but since I discovered Melatonin, it has made my sleeping pattern a little more normal. It works by telling your body that it is sleep time, and unlike a sleeping tablet, I don’t get a hangover from it.
I use a company called [AF] Piping Rock to buy my supplements as they are good value for money. Your body naturally produces Melatonin. However, the supplements are synthetic as they would have to come from animals pineal glands and are deemed unsafe for fear of contamination, so they use a synthetic one.
There has been research regarding affirmations, and the studies seem positive:
self-affirmations can restore self-competence by allowing individuals to reflect on sources of self-worth, such as core values…NCBI
10. Dark Leafy Greens
Considered to be super-foods, dark leafy greens are a natural mood booster; they are jam-packed with nutrients, and much of them all work towards improving mood. Ideally, you would have a portion of these vegetables each day to gain the benefits from.
The nutrients are iron which, if too low, can cause depression and calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which help to combat a low mood. I like to add greens to my stir-frys; although some people make green smoothies, they go well with strawberries.
After eating raw garlic, my mood increases; I must admit just the smell of raw garlic can improve my mood, I know it’s pungent, but garlic is a great way to boost your mood. You can, of course, take supplements, and you don’t have to have it raw like me, but it is wonderful in a pasta, peanut, olive oil and chopped garlic meal with lots of freshly grated black pepper.
You can buy garlic oil capsules, but evidence suggests chewing on garlic has greater health benefits for you, especially for your heart.
Music can lift your spirits from classical to upbeat dance anthems; try listening for half an hour per day to uplifting music, and no doubt, you will probably start tapping your feet and may even get up and have a little boogie. Many people swear by listening to their favourite tunes to lift their mood.
Research suggests that it can affect our emotions and ward off depression, which is even more reason to play your favourite tunes.
13. Fish Oil
If you are not a big fish eater, taking a regular supplement of fish oil will help benefit your brain and improve your mood. I take krill oil which I buy from [AF] Piping Rock, and I have noticed a difference in the duration of my brain fog.
It is rich in Omega-3, which helps fend off the decline in brain function and is also good for the heart. You only need to take one capsule a day, and if you do it first thing upon waking, you can then forget about it.
14. Ditch The News and Social
Too much taking in of negativity can put us in a bad mood, so make sure you give yourself a break from the news and social media for at least one day. By doing this, you can boost your mood, especially if you use this time to speak positive affirmations to yourself.
The news is designed to bring us bad news, and it is a constant whir of negativity, and social media has also been in the headlines recently for pushing negativity; whether this is true or not, I don’t know, but the more time you can spend off it the happier you will be.
If you have taken on board the listening to music, then doubt you will already be shaking your booty to your favourite tunes. Dance is a great mood booster, and it releases feel-good endorphins making you feel great.
Any form of exercise will have this impact, but there is nothing more fun than giving in to wild abandonment in your living room and dancing. If you are depressed, then summoning up the energy to dance might seem impossible; I know I have been there. But I force myself to stand there while the music is playing, and even if I sway, I start moving and getting into it soon enough.
I’ve possibly saved the best till last; chocolate is a natural mood booster. This is great news, and the reason it is good for us is because it contains antioxidants, but it must be dark chocolate for you to gain the benefits. The antioxidants help to reduce inflammation in the body, which allows the production of serotonin.
You want to eat 70% cocoa or higher chocolate, but you don’t need a lot of it; four squares are the perfect amount, and as it contains caffeine, you won’t feel too wired after eating this quantity.
Introducing several of these suggestions into your day will help boost your mood, and aside from one, everything is natural. If you are on antidepressants, then these extra actions should help you improve your depression. I know that it helps with my bipolar depression.