Everybody struggles with mood issues at some time or another. Maybe you’ve been stressed about something, or it’s been ages since you’ve gotten a good night’s rest.
Recently, I’ve found myself struggling to stay in a good mood. If I’m being completely honest, I feel somewhat justified for my grumpy moods since I’ve been dealing with illness along with prolonged stress. Admittedly, however, I’ve let it get the best of me.
The truth is, there are so many factors that can affect your mood. Some of them include:
- Lack of quality sleep
- Poor diet
- Not enough exercise
- Toxin overload
Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to change your mood. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as flipping a switch—if only! Many times, we need to be proactive and make lifestyle changes or even start implementing stress-relieving habits.
The Best Essential Oils for Mood
Along with being more intentional with my health and stress, I’ve also been turning to mood-boosting essential oils more and more. If I’m feeling down in the dumps or dragging a bit, I pick a couple of essential oils that have mood-boosting properties, and I start diffusing away. It’s like adding the icing on the cake to help get me in a better mood.
When inhaled, essential oils can interact with the limbic system—which is linked to our mood, emotions, and so much more [source]—so they contain the unique ability to positively affect your emotional state. But that’s not all!
There are so many essential oils to choose from that can help boost your mood. Below, I’ve listed 10 of the best essential oils to help get you into a good mood—and stay there!
If you’re anything like me and your low mood is due to stress or anxiety, then lavender has you covered! Research shows that inhaling the aroma of lavender essential oil can have a positive effect on stress, anxiety, and depression [source]. These benefits can also promote better quality sleep, which can definitely help your mood!
2. Clary Sage
Over the last year, I have been intentionally working more with clary sage, and I’ve found that there’s just something about the aroma that draws me in. Not only is the fragrance appealing, but it’s also great for boosting your mood as well.
One study found that inhaling the aroma of clary sage lowered cortisol levels and had antidepressant effects [source], while another found that patients felt more relaxed and their systolic blood pressure decreased after they inhaled clary sage [source].
3. Sweet Orange
I’m a huge fan of using citrus oils for boosting your mood. The fresh, bright aroma can help your mind feel more energized and put a nice pep in your step. Sweet orange, in particular, has been found to have antidepressant effects when the aroma is inhaled [source]. As an added bonus, the soft aroma of sweet orange works especially well in blends.
Bergamot is another great citrus oil for boosting your mood. Like I mentioned above, I am of the opinion that just about any citrus oil can help your emotional state, but bergamot really stands out when your glum feelings are due to tension, anxious thoughts, or depression.
While animal studies show that bergamot has anxiety-reducing properties [source], this study found that bergamot essential oil had positive effects on the mental well-being of patients in a mental health facility [source].
While studies on frankincense essential oil are sparse, numerous people are drawn to its warm, woody aroma. Many find it to be very calming and grounding when they feel stressed or overwhelmed.
And while there has not been much research done on its mood-enhancing properties, a recent review article elucidated its effectiveness when used as aromatherapy for relieving the anxiety (and even pain) of women in labor [source].
6. Ylang Ylang
Ylang ylang is another fantastic essential oil to help boost your mood. Not only does it smell incredible, but it’s also considered to have relaxant effects.
In fact, some research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy has found that participants who inhaled ylang ylang essential oil had a decrease in both blood pressure and heart rate and experienced a sedative effect [source]. So, if you’re feeling wound up and tense, consider diffusing a drop or two of ylang ylang to get you calm and relaxed.
Peppermint essential oil is great when you’re feeling sluggish or having a hard time focusing due to mental exhaustion. The crisp, cool aroma is invigorating and can help you feel refreshed and energized.
A study looking at the effectiveness of essential oil aromas on cognition found that volunteers who inhaled peppermint essential oil reported enhanced memory and increased alertness [source] (and also supported the findings on ylang-ylang as a relaxant).
The strong, earthy aroma of vetiver can help you feel more grounded when you’re out of balance. It has a long history of use in perfumery and to promote feelings of relaxation.
In fact, an animal study looking at the effects of sedatives on particular areas of the brain suggested that vetiver has anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties similar to those of diazepam [source]. So, next time you’re having trouble sleeping or need help chilling out, try using some vetiver to help balance out your mood.
Patchouli is another grounding essential oil that can help when your mood is all out of whack. It has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac and mood-boosting herb. While also discussing its many health-promoting effects in detail, a recent review article explains the body of research revealing its calming properties and use in aromatherapy [source].
Rosemary essential oil is super refreshing and energizing. In fact, a research study demonstrated that inhaling rosemary oil had a stimulating effect on volunteers [source]. Participants were found to have increased activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. If you’re feeling mentally or physically exhausted, grab the rosemary and diffuse away. It’s especially refreshing when combined with peppermint!
As you can see, there are numerous essential oils that can be used to help you get in a better mood. Some can calm you when you are anxious, and others are refreshing when you’re feeling down.
Regardless of what is contributing to your off moods, there is most likely an essential oil (or two!) that can help support your feeling more emotionally balanced. So next time you find yourself too stressed out or down in the dumps, reach for the essential oils, and start diffusing your way into a better mood!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board-certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.100