We all have times when we’re feeling down, whether that being from the weather, family loss or for unknown reasons. Don’t worry we have you covered with these 30 scientifically backed, natural mood boosters that you can implement within minutes!
Let's jump right in.....
1. REDUCE ALCHOL INTAKE
Sorry, we thought we would start with one of the less fun ones…
Alcohol is one of the most potent drugs within our society for causing depression and unhappiness. Although alcohol can cause a temporary alleviation of mood, it is a natural depressant and changes the chemical makeup of the brain. Sometimes we utilise alcohol as a form of self-medication or as a coping mechanism, but it can reduce energy levels and effect the function of our central nervous system and make your mood fluctuate in every direction.
2. GET PLENTY OF DAYLIGHT: GET AN INSTANT MOOD BOOST!
Depending on the time of the year, this can be easier said than done! The reality is that sunlight is a great instant mood booster. What many people don’t know is that sunlight and darkness have chemical influences on the brain. Sunlight triggers natural serotonin that naturally lifts mood and makes you more focused.
Next time you’re feeling low and fancy staying in doors on a bright, sunny day, get yourself outdoors and it will really help lift your mood.
See how darkness affects you on point 8…..
3. HOW TO GET A MOOD BOOST WITH MEDITATION
Meditation is a real quick mood booster and when performed correctly can iron out minor issues that caused your mood to fluctuate. Normally very small things cause mood change and sometimes we don’t even know the reason as to why our mood changes, we simply feel irritated and unsettled. Meditation is great for identifying the reason to why we are in a bad mood, understand our emotions better and help build mental and emotional resilience to bad moods. Mindfulness meditation is a natural mood booster technique used to release stress from the body, put your mind into a relaxed state, reduce blood cortisol levels and anxiety.
Here is how you can boost your mood at home through mindfulness meditation:
- Sit or lie down on the floor
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in and out in a natural state
- Focus your thoughts solely on your breathing
- As your mind starts to wonder, bring it back to focusing on your breathing
- Perform this for 3-4 minutes
- Extend these time periods when you get more familiar with the practice
4. TRY BRAINWAVE AUDIO
One of the best mood boosters and most understated is using Brainwave Audio. Some people believe brainwave audio is a load of rubbish, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Brainwave audio has been studied for over a century and huger volumes of scientific studies have supported the harnessing of brainwave audio as a mood booster for depression. Our brainwaves are unique to each mood and brainwave technology replicates the brainwave pattern we feel when we are happy through the medium of sound. Brainwaves audio’s are cheap and well worth the investment to instantly lift your mood.
- Ensure you’re in a quiet environment
- Keep the lighting low
- Sit down as oppose to lying when listening to brainwave audio
- Listen to 15 minutes per day
- Find a time in the day to fit it into your daily routine
- Results will improve the more you use it
5. ACTS OF KINDNESS IMPROVES YOUR MOOD
Did you know that random acts of kindness actually have a big impact in your overall wellbeing? Kindness is heavily linked to contentment ad happiness. Performing kind acts, however big or small causes empathy, gratitude and a shift in our mental state that leads to reduce anxiety, boost our immune system and replaces negative thoughts with compassionate ones. Chemicals within the brain such as dopamine and opioids are released when we do a compassionate act, this is what makes us feel good when we help another individual.
Get an instant mood lift by doing something good for your fellow man today by:
- Letting Someone through in a traffic jam
- Saying hello to your elderly neighbour
- Acknowledging someone who is living on the street
- Helping someone with their shopping to the car
- Offering someone your brolly when it’s raining
6. HOW TO LIFT YOUR MOOD WITH A LONG BATH
Looking for a ways to improve your mood fast? You need to start jumping in the bath more!
A number of studies have shown that relaxing in the bath could help combat depression. Results have shown that participants demonstrated sustained levels of lift to their mood, espescailly with baths taken in the afternoon. It is thought that this could be due to baths helping to restore the balance of our circadian rhythm of temperature, which is often disturbed in people suffering with depression. The circadian rhythm influences the daily fluctuations in behaviour and biochemistry tall our internal organs, including the brain. The temperature of our core is what tells opur body what time of the day it is. Depression suffers often have distorted or flatter core temperatures which can prevent them from falling to sleep and waking up proprely. Baths and long hot showers help to raise the core temperature and some of the results have even been more impressive than the results shown from perfomring exercise, which is utilised as a form of therpay by general practioners to patients with depression.
7. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP: ONE OF THE BEST NATURAL MOOD BOOSTERS
Our next best mood booster is sleep. Sleep is one of the most understated commodities that helps shape our overall mental health and wellbeing. Lack of sleep can make you irritable, unenergetic, anxious and when insomnia becomes chronic lead to depression.
Get more sleep by:
- Decreasing nicotine intake
- Do not nap in the early afternoon
- Exercise before a few hours from sleep
- Got to bed at the same time each night and wake up the same time each morning
- Make your bedroom really dark to increase natural melatonin in your brain to help you sleep
- Reduce blue light exposure late at night
- Turn off anything noisy
- Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature
8. LAUGH AND SMILE MORE TO LIFT YOUR MOOD
A great mood booster for depression is just smiling and laughing more! Yes, it may be fake laughter at first, but laughter actually decreases stress hormones and triggers the release of endorphins, the brain’s major and is probably the quickest mood booster on this list and best of all, it’s free!
Here are some ways to make you laugh more:
- Go to a comedy show
- Watch a Funny film, Sitcom or Videos
- Read a Funny Book
- Listen to a funny podcast
- Socialise more with your funniest friend
- Make laughter part of your daily routine
9. DRINK MORE WATER TO GET A NATURAL MOOD BOOST
Water is the source to most things positive and is also a great natural mood booster. Even slight variances in water consumption can influence your mood. We all know that severe dehydration can be you unhappy and very ill at the same time, but not many of us know that studies have suggested that even smaller consumption differences can boost our mood, with temper levels, confusion and tension levels decreasing in study subjects.
Ways to get more water in your daily routine:
- Have a glass with every meal
- Add flavour to your water
- Get a Marked Water Bottle for Tracking
- Always top your water bottle up so it’s never empty
- Keep a water bottle at work, at home and wherever else
- Create a target for how much water you will drink per day
10. LOOK AT OLD PHOTOS TO LIFT YOUR MOOD
We all love to reminisce, and it actually has scientific backing too as a natural mood booster. A study conducted by the Open University, which compared the mood boosting effect of chocolate, music, alcohol and looking through old photos found that candidates looking through old phots lifted mood more than the other three variables. Next time your feeling down and want a mood booster for depression, grab the old photo album and start flicking through.
Here is how you can utilise this this best, all natural mood boost to maximum effect:
- Upload photos to your phone and tablet so you have portable access
- Dig out photos you may have filed and put them in every room of the house
- Ensure you have a go to photo for lifting your mood at your place of work
- Allow yourself 5-10 minutes when you’re feeling low to indulge in old photos
- Take photos at every opportunity that you can look back on and reflect
11. HOW TO BOOST YOUR MOOD WITH DAILY AFFIRMATIONS
Harnessing daily, positive affirmations is a great way to get an instant mood boost, especially when written down. As often we can all be our biggest critic and have insecurities, we can also be our biggest advocate and affirmations to achieve and a great way to boost your self-esteem. Affirmations are based on psychology theory and like many mood boosters on this list require practice and routine to see the real benefits. Affirmations are based around reinforcing positive thoughts and thinking processes to ourselves to maintain our sense of self integrity.
There are many daily affirmations you can use, but here are some of our favourite instant mood boosters:
- I am surrounded by loving people
- I am my own person, I do not need to compare myself to others
- My work and my job matters
- I am trying to progress not achieve perfection
- I only concentrate on feelings and people that make me feel good
12. WRITE YOUR FEELINGS DOWN
Moving on from performing daily affirmations is to simply write your feelings down. Ever been really angered by something you heard or saw, maybe something your boss said and then wrote it down, but by the time you have finished you feel better and see things differently? Writing your feelings down in either a journal or a diary can help you understand and gain control of your emotions better, especially when you allow yourself to freely write away. According to studies, by simply writing down our feelings of pain, anger or depression, makes the feelings less intense in our mind and numbs the pain that we’re feeling.
How to get this quick mood booster into your daily routine:
- Make it Accessible - Have numerous pens and pads scattered at work and home
- Take 5 minutes out when you feel down to write down your feelings
- Allow yourself to freely write what is on your mind without pre-empting
13. POSITIVE MUSIC PLAYLIST
We all know how powerful music can be to generating emotions, but very few of us utilise it as a form of natural mood booster. Many case studies have shown that music can be used a therapeutic, mood lifting remedy to promote comfort and pleasure to help combat depression and anxiety. In some case (not all) sad music can even provide an instant mood boost, but better results were seen using up beat and faster paced music. Music therapy is even used to help treat people with mood disorders related to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia and multiple sclerosis.
How to get this mood booster for depression into your daily routine:
- Get some good quality headphones
- Download some high tempo music that resonates with you
- Play music on your commute, when your in the shower or whenever you get the chance.
- You only need one song to lift your mood
14. DAILY STRECTHING IS ONE OF THE BEST NATURAL MOOD BOOSTERS
Stretching is a quick mood lifting activity to get your day starting in the right way. Apart from a few obvious physiological benefits, such as increased flexibility and reduced chance of injury (which is always nice), stretching actually has some other benefits to. Like most forms of exercise stretching helps release neurochemicals like serotonin in the brain, which is the primary chemical associated with joy and elation. You also will get a natural mood boost as you will simply be capable of doing more, which in itself will help give you a lift and make you feel happier.
This quick mood lifter is super fast and time efficent and can be done pretty much anywhere.
- Find a suitable time of the day where you have 15 minutes spares
- Put on some relaxing music (if to hand)
- You want to perform static stretching for relaxation of the mind (over dynamic)
- Perform stretches that affect the largest muscle groups such as your quads or hamstrings if you’re pushed for time
- List of stretches you can try https://www.jenreviews.com/stretchingexercises/
- Hold stretches for around 30 seconds before slowly releasing
15. ACUPUNCTURE: HOMEOPATHIC MOOD BOOSTER
Anxiety, mood swings and depression can be caused by physical illness’ and both chemical and hormonal imbalances. Some of the symptoms associated with the above, such as irritation, headaches and insomnia is what acupuncture helps to treat to prevent the onset of the more serious conditions. This homeopathic mood booster has been around for over 3,000 years and helps enhance endorphin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Acupuncture massage College says “acupuncture balances the energetic qi flow within various body systems minimizes the frequency and intensity of mood swings.
16. SMELLING SCENTS TRIGGER MOOD LIFTS
Our sense of smell is the highest sense for influencing brain activity and particular scents can have more impact as a natural mood booster than others. Olfactory bulbs are part of the limbic systems that directly connect to the part of the brain that is associated with emotion. Many scents of the scents below have calming properties that help control emotional stress and act as a natural stimulant and fight headaches and natural fatigue.
Here are our top 6 scents proven to provide a natural mood boost:
Scattering some of these scents around your house and even taking one or two to work will help give you a lasting mood boost.
17. WEARING BRIGHT CLOTHES CAN GIVE YOU AN INSTANT MOOD BOOST
Always find yourself wearing black, white, brown and grey clothes? You may need to hit the shops as research suggests that wearing brighter clothes makes us happier. Bright colours trigger neurological responses in the brain and causes the hypothalamus gland to release hormones associated with happiness. Visually seeing bright colours such as pink, red and yellow help with the release of dopamine, making us feel happier and also wearing the clothes with blue causes the release of oxytocin making us feel more calm, ideal if you suffer from stress. Get a self-esteem boost by simply putting on the right coloured clothes in the morning and stay away from the blacks and greys!
18. MORE REST & RECOUPERATION TO IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Similar to sleep, getting sufficient rest and recuperation time within your lifestyle is directly linked to mental wellbeing. Although there is no direct “amount of time” you should take, ensuring you get what you deem to be sufficient time to relax will give you a natural mood booster. Finding time to relax and enjoy yourself promotes muscle relaxation and can reduce anxiety.
How to increase relaxation in your everyday routine:
- Social Media Detox
- Set your boundaries between work and leisure by blocking time out each day to unwind
- Talk with a friend on a daily basis
- Light exercise in small portions throughout the day
- Take regular mini break during the day to relax your mind
- Listen to soothing music
- Go to a spa day
- Get a massage
19. HOW TO LIFT A MOOD BY EATING MORE FISH
Areas of western culture where fish is a highly consumed food type have less cases of people suffering with depression. In Fish oil there is high concentrations of Omega 3, a fatty acid with two Omega 3 fatty acids in particular, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are prevalent within fish oil, thought to help those suffering with mood disorders. These fatty acids interact with mood related molecules and have inflammatory actions that may reduce stress and depression. Increasing this natural mood booster food type into your diet will organically give you a long-term mood lift. See more on how fish oil can help you relieve depression from the Harvard Health publishing school here.
If fish does not sit well with your taste buds, this natural mood booster is available in supplement format:
1.High Strength Omega 3 1000mg Fish Oil 180 capsules by Capsule Bargains
(Essential Omega 3) Essential fatty acid that supports heart health
20. TIE UP LOOSE ENDS
As a species we are natural procrastinators, maybe you pay bills late, leave difficult social conversations to one side or have a deadline that is looming over you at work. Confronting outstanding tasks head on and overcoming the inertia is actually one of the best mood boosters to provide relief. Studies and scientific authors say that meeting these tasks head on, especially ones that would take 30 minutes or less can provide an instant mood boost, reduce anxiety and stress.
How to lift your mood by confronting tasks:
- Write down or create a list of what loose ends you have outstanding
- Put a time frame that it would realistically take to sort that tasks out next to each one
- Start by addressing the loose ends that take the shortest period of time to solve and work down the list
It also sometimes helps you actually identify the true cause of why you may be feeling stressed or anxious in the first place too.
21. TURN OFF YOUR SOCIAL ACCOUNTS
Social media is still very new to society and although it can have some great benefits to our lives, it can also be detrimental to anxiety and stress. Jacob Barkley PHD and psychology professor has said that taking a break from social media can help with anxiety by not feeling obliged to keep up with constant communication. Studies have additional shown that people who are very active on social media also tend to suffer from depression anxiety. Although there is not a proven direct correlation between cause and effect from using social media due to it being still very new to society and mental wellbeing, it may be worth de-activing them and seeing if your mood boost.
22. CUT OUT ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS
According to Psychology Today, there is no such thing as a “good” artificial sweetener, just ones that are more harmful than others. If increasing the chances of diabetes and cancer is not enough, artificial sweeteners have a direct pattern with anxiety levels and depression. Sugar is one of the most powerful, legal toxins we consume on mass as a society and leads exacerbate anxiety that can also sabotage your mood. Sugar consumption leads to initial spikes in mood, but then dips after several hours leaving you far more de-energised, lethargic and can lead to headaches and increased anxiety levels.
Cutting artificial sweeteners and sugar out of your diet will leave you feeling more balanced and is a one of the best natural mood boosters. Here is how to remove it from your lifestyle:
- Substitute sweet cravings with fruit
- Start a cravings Journal documenting your food intake
- Replace artificially sweet beverages with fruit-infused water.
- If you’re going to have sugar, consume natural sugars
- Change sugary treats to healthier choices like Greek yogurt
- Swap sugar loaded cereals with muesli or porridge
- Refrain from adding sugar into your teas and coffees
23. MALE SWEAT CAN BOOST WOMEN’S MOOD
No, we’re not joking! If you’re looking for how to get a mood lift, then men’s sweat is a very natural mood lifter.
Studies have demonstrated that odourless pheromones found in male perspiration can result in a positive mood boost for women. Male sweat is thought to increase the release of the hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle and give a mood lift. Researchers have found that participants were found to be less stressed, anxious and more relaxed.
24. REDUCE HEAVY CAFFEINE INTAKE
There are many similar articles on this topic, that say you should cut out caffeine or that you should take more caffeine to boost mood. They are both incorrect and correct at the same point. Caffeine can affect neuronal development and physiology and protect the brain from neurological illnesses or injuries, but if taken in small doses over a prolonged period of time e.g. 1 cup every 5 hours or so. If you’re consuming a cup of coffee or tea every two hours, this can lead to an increased anxious state and nervousness. Manging your caffeine intake on a daily basis to get a natural mood boost each and everyday is crucial to your mental wellbeing.
25. NICE VIEWS LIFT YOUR MOOD
If you’re thinking on how to boost your mood, you might want get to a nice view spot local to you, looking over the city or the countryside. Many studies have backed up this this theory with exposure to beautiful views having positive effects on both mental and physiological factors such as reduce heart rate, blood pressure and can give an instant mood boost. Just simply staring at a nice view can trigger the brain into a more relaxed state.
Here are a few ideas to getting a natural mood booster:
- Visit beautiful architecture
- Go to the top of a building
- Go to an art gallery – Even art has this effect
26. GET A MOOD BOOST BY GETTING BACK TO NATURE
Getting back to nature maybe more beneficial to our mental wellbeing than we perhaps think. The Journal of Environmental Psychology, noted a phenomenon that may stem from biophilia, that humans have a natural desire to be connected with nature that makes us happier. Other studies have shown that our levels of productivity and sense of wellbeing improves when we get outdoors and back to nature. Our exposure to natural sensory experiences such as the smell of grass, sound of running water or wild animals can reduce stress and relax the mind.
- Get in to the garden more
- Plan a beach trip
- Hit the trail walks
- Visit a National Park
27. HUG A FRIEND OR LOVED ONE OR EVEN THE FAMILY DOG
When you’re looking how to get a natural mood booster. One of the simplest and quickest mood lifter is to just give someone a hug. The act of hugging helps release dopamine, serotonin, cortisol and most importantly oxytocin. Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone” as it is a transmitter that influences the brain’s emotional centre that helps you feel more content. Hugging a loved one, a friend or even the family pet can help facilitate the release of these chemicals within the brain and give you a natural mood booster.
28. PHONE A LOVED ONE FOR AN INSTANT MOOD BOOSTER
We like to feel that our friends and family are always there for us, but very foten we don;’t share as much as we perhaps should. Even just hearing the voice of a loved one is enough to give you a natural mood booster. A study by Dr.Seltzer of the University of Wisconsin showed that just by texting a loved one makes no difference to our mood, but ringing had a positive impact on oxytocin levels and as we have seen from hugging that can have a massive influence on our mood. We live in a society of sending messages, but taking the extra time out to actual pick up the phone and call a loved one will give you extra added benefits.
29. GET UP & DANCE
Dancing is prominent in every society, from all corners of the Globe. But what is it that makes dancing make us feel good? Well, Dr Peter Lovatt of the University of Hertfordshire, said it’s four-fold. “Dancing stimulates us physically and emotionally while there are also cognitive and social elements to it,” He goes onto say that it connects with the emotional centre of the brain causing a positive emotional release that is found to be more powerful than in other forms of exercise with increased dopamine levels being detected.
Whether you consider yourself a terrible dancer or the next Michael Jackson dancing could give you a natural, instant mood boost that you need.
- Join a dance club
- Dance at home on your own with the music on
- Get yourself a night out and take to the dance floor