6 min read

Natural mood booster tips for a clearer state of mind

mood booster - a white man and a woman of color smile and stand close to each other after sports
Content Editor & Ecotrophologist
While completing her studies in ecotrophology, Alisa spent all her time in lecture halls and labs learning about everything the body needs at a physiological, psychological and social level to stay healthy and high-performance.

Waking up in the morning with zero motivation to get out of bed and start your day? We’ve all been there. Getting up on the wrong side of the bed may put you in a bad mood. The good news is that what you’re experiencing is totally normal. Most of the time, it will improve on its own. But a jump-start mood booster can’t hurt, can it? Find out more about natural mood boosters below. 

Our mood influences our behavior, decision-making, thoughts, and how we reflect on our own memories. If you’re in a bad mood, there are tons of different ways to help yourself feel good again. Read on for everything you need to know about seven natural antidepressants that can boost your mood.

Disclaimer: This article contains valuable tips for regaining inner balance. The natural antidepressants that we propose here may help anyone who needs a mood booster.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that a natural antidepressant is not a substitute for medical treatment when it comes to depressive episodes and general depression. If you or someone close to you has been affected by symptoms of depression (such as fatigue and bad moods) on a daily basis for several weeks, consult a doctor to find out the best course of action. Warning signs of a depressive episode include but aren’t limited to: changes in or lack of energy, constant fatigue, irritability, apprehension, sleep disturbances, loss of desire, apathy, and loss of appetite1.

Eine Frau lächelt und gibt high five
©Luis Alvarez

The link between mood and hormones

All of our feelings can be explained by the chemical interactions taking place within our bodies. They’re linked to the release of important neurotransmitters, but the science is still not totally clear. The past several decades have seen numerous studies on the chemical mediators responsible for well-being and mood, like enzymes and hormones. What they’ve found is that the following neurotransmitters can have a considerable influence on your mental health, whether good or bad.

  • Serotonin: Serotonin causes feelings of calmness and serenity. It also influences the perception of physical pain.
  • Endorphins: Endorphins have a painkilling and euphoric effect. The body typically releases these hormones during intense physical activity, like during a strenuous exercise. They’re also responsible for the high you might get after a difficult sweat sesh.
  • Norepinephrine: The body responds to stress or danger by releasing this neurotransmitter to enable you to cope with the difficult situation by increasing concentration. Large amounts of norepinephrine can generate restlessness and anxiety.
  • Dopamine: Too much dopamine can lead to hyperactivity, and too little can result in lower energy levels. Dopamine is the driving force behind motivation and concentration.
  • Cortisol: Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is essential for life. In stressful situations, it protects the body by activating the metabolic processes that provide energy. Unfortunately, there is a correlation between a significantly high cortisol level and depression and depressive episodes.

What can cause a bad mood

There are so many things that can put you in a bad mood, including pressure at work, existential anxieties related to finances, burnout, illnesses, and bad luck.

Even feelings of loneliness can lower your morale.

Everyone reacts to outside influences differently. What may be stressful for some people may bring joy to others. Coping mechanisms can also change greatly from one person to the next.

In the winter, some people suffer more frequently from low morale than in the summer because less sun means less mood-boosting vitamin D.

The way we live our lives can also have a big impact on our overall well-being. What you eat, drink, or do, like smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, may be having more of an effect on your mood than you realize.

If you think that what you eat or how much physical activity you’re getting may be the cause of your bad mood, it might be time to consider making a change to help you feel better. At foodspring, you’ll find all the nutrition and workout info you need to find both an eating and fitness plan that works for you, whatever your goal may be.

  • A medium-skinned woman smiles as she jogs in an outdoor urban area wearing a sports bra and leggings
    ©ljubaphoto

What are natural antidepressants?

If you don’t think your bad mood is bad enough to warrant medical attention, there are a handful of natural antidepressants that may be enough to improve your mood. Below, we explain what they are and how they work.

  1. In pharmacies, there is a wide range of products that can purportedly improve happiness levels. Herbal concoctions that include extracts of St. John’s wort, lavender, and passionflower can release the neurotransmitters responsible for our emotional state. How does it work? St. John’s wort extract, for example, interacts with dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin by altering the transmission of information to the brain. If there’s an imbalance between different neurotransmitters, they may restore the balance2.
  2. Spending a day under the sun is the original mood booster. That’s because natural sunlight promotes the release of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. In addition, sunlight causes us to produce vitamin D, which can have positive benefits on the psyche. Taking vitamin D supplements is often recommended during the winter months when the days are short. And our Vitamin Drops D3K2 make it easy to get what you need.
Discover our Vitamin Drops D3K2
  1. Which exercise is right for me? Find a physical activity that brings you pleasure. Exercise can improve your mental health by reducing anxiety and negative moods and increasing your self-esteem4. Not sure where to find workouts? We have you covered. Whether you’re interested in a HIIT session or a short workout for just your abs, we have options for every fitness level that will boost your mood.Find your workouts
  2. Yoga is both a great mood booster and exercise option. Poses like downward facing dog and pigeon and crow pose have been shown to have an especially positive influence on mood. Anyone who has become familiar with their yoga mat surely knows the feeling of inner peace that sinks as they soak up the benefits of their workout during savasana.5 Tune in on Thursdays for our ongoing series of deep dives into yoga poses. We’ll wind down with a few flows to help you find the perfect style of yoga for you. We’ve kicked it off with the ultimate classic: the downward dog.
  3. Eating is about so much more than simply providing our bodies with fuel. Eating is about connecting the body and mind. In fact, research has shown that our gut flora also interacts with serotonin and dopamine. And certain foods promote the release of these hormones, like many fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, and whole grain products, which are rich in fiber, protein, complex carbs, and fatty acids. The Mediterranean diet is packed with many of these types of foods and meets a lot of the criteria for a mood-boosting diet. Don’t forget: eat good food for a good mood!
  4. Remember how we mentioned that cortisol is the hormone that helps you fight stress in your daily life? But chronic stress is also caused by regularly increased cortisol levels and can result in concentration and sleep problems. If you suffer from chronic stress, it’s important to find ways to truly relax, and therefore lower your cortisol levels.
  5. Meditating has greatly grown in popularity because of how much it can improve mood. Sitting comfortably and observing your breathing, feeling the air coming in and going out is undeniably relaxing. The reason? Regular practice of this mental exercise can lead to the formation of new neurons in the brain (neurogenesis) as well as new connections between existing neurons (synaptogenesis). All of this leads to the release of more antidepressant neurotransmitters6. Of course, there are many different meditation methods, so it’s up to you to find out what works best for you.
A white woman sits on the floor of a white-walled studio. She is closing her eyes and sitting in a half-lotus position, using meditation as a mood booster
©LightFieldStudios

Natural mood boosters: Our conclusion

We all wake up in a bad mood some days. But don’t stress, because it’s completely normal!

  • In addition to prescription medications—which are primarily used to treat depressive episodes or depression—natural antidepressants can help improve overall feelings of well-being, especially when you’re feeling blue.
  • Natural antidepressants influence the release of hormones from the nervous system, which are responsible for the reactions in your brain.
  • The most popular over-the-counter medications are herbal preparations that contain extracts of St. John’s wort, lavender, and passionflower.
  • Additionally, sunlight, a healthy and balanced diet, and regular physical activity can also positively influence your mood. Supplementing vitamins like vitamin D may be necessary when sunlight is not as accessible.

And don’t forget: Talk to a doctor if your lack of energy, feelings of exhaustion, and loss of appetite haven’t shifted on their way for at least two weeks.

Article sources
We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • 1https://www.neurologen-und-psychiater-im-netz.org/psychiatrie-psychosomatik-psychotherapie/stoerungen-erkrankungen/depressionen/fruehsymptome/

  • 2https://www.laif900balance.de/ratgeber/stimmungsaufheller/

  • 3Rathish Nair and Arun Maseeh (2012): Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/

  • 4Ashish Sharma, M.D. et.al. (2006): Exercise for Mental Health.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

  • 5Divya Krishnakumar, Michael R Hamblin and Shanmugamurthy Lakshmanan (2015): Meditation and Yoga can Modulate Brain Mechanisms that affect Behavior and Anxiety-A Modern Scientific Perspective.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4769029/

  • 6Simon N. Young (2007): How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/

Related Posts