Top Essential Oils to Support Mood
by Ashley Grano
Imagine yourself in the middle of a garden, surrounded by fragrant blooms. Almost immediately, you may feel a sense of calm and relaxation as you inhale the fresh, sweet scent of the flowers. Next, envision yourself in the kitchen, squeezing oranges to make juice. The clean, uplifting citrus scent provides an energetic boost to the morning. These examples show the transformative way that scent impacts our mood, and with essential oils, replicating these pleasant experiences becomes easy and attainable anytime, anywhere. Check out our top picks to support mood below.
Lavender has been found across numerous studies to be an effective natural remedy for helping alleviate anxiety and depression, relieving stress, and improving sleep. With no known side effects, which are common with conventional treatments for these conditions, lavender is an easy and safe way to calm your mood. For best results, add a few drops to your pillow or bed sheets, or use a diffuser near your bed or desk.
Frankincense is a common aromatherapy essential oil that offers a variety of health benefits, including helping relieve stress and anxiety, reducing pain, and boosting immunity. Its warm and slightly spicy scent is said to transmit messages to the limbic system of the brain, thereby influencing the nervous system. It is best used with a carrier oil or lotion, and applied as needed, with no risk of negative side effects like drowsiness.
Lemongrass essential oil has a light, fresh, citrus aroma that provides a rejuvenating and stimulating experience, boosting inspiration and improving mental clarity. With these great properties, it is ideally suited for tackling the dreaded mid-afternoon slump, or used before a presentation to help promote confidence and ease any mild stress.
Peppermint essential oil is a favorite of aromatherapists for its uplifting, invigorating properties. A hybrid of the watermint and spearmint plants, peppermint provides a cooling effect due to its high menthol content. Use peppermint oil in a foot bath to soothe tired, aching feet, or for an uplifting self-massage. To instantly soothe a headache, apply a bit of oil mixed with a carrier directly to the temples.
Ylang ylang essential oil is derived from the sweetly aromatic tropical ylang ylang tree, and is a popular floral perfume ingredient, likely because of its ability to curb negative thoughts and stress. Use a carrier oil or lotion, and rub a few drops of the oil directly on the wrists, neck, feet and behind the ears (trigger points) to improve mood and reduce feelings of irritability.
Sandalwood is a great choice for those who are seeking a warm, woodsy scented essential oil. It promotes mental clarity and focus, making it ideally suited to use during meditation. In addition, with a strong therapeutic effect on the brain’s limbic system, sandalwood helps balance emotions for a natural lift in mood. With a carrier, rub into the palms and inhale deeply by cupping your hands around your face, or use as an all-over massage oil to promote relaxation.
Basil essential oil is a refreshing and uplifting scent that is known to revitalize energy levels and alleviate chronic fatigue, as it works to stimulate the adrenal glands. It is great mixed with peppermint essential oil in a diffuser to energize and uplift mood.
So if your mood needs a quick pick-me-up or a calming effect, try one—or several—of these essential oils for natural solution.