The 6 Best Mood-Boosting Essential Oils to Help With Depression: Uses, Benefits, and More

One holistic wellness approach to combat depression is through the aromatic health benefits of mood-boosting essential oils. Chemicals in essential oils trigger receptors in your nose that eventually affect parts of your brain that control your mood. Aromatherapy has also been studied for its effects on relieving symptoms of depression.

Depression is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, a traumatic experience, genetic disposition, or a combination of factors. It affects the mental, emotional, physical, and social aspects of a person’s life. It can deeply impact an individual’s way of living and plans for the future.

It is crucial that a depressed person gets help from a healthcare practitioner, from friends and family, or a support group. It sometimes takes a holistic approach to bring back the light within a person who has struggled through dark and tough times.

Here at Aroma Foundry, we help you bring back your light through our essential oils. Certain essential oils and blends can trigger your brain to release feel-good hormones and ultimately help you battle depression. We created this article as a guide for all the information that you may want to know about essential oil benefits. We also created the Mood Booster Collection, a set made up of the best mood-boosting essential oils. 

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

Brands comparison

 

Mood-Boosting Essential Oils for Depression

1. Bergamot

bergamot essential oilIt takes a lot more than just a handful of bergamot fruits to produce bergamot essential oil.

 

Bergamot has positive benefits for your mental and emotional health. It helps fight feelings of anxiety and depression by promoting the secretion of hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. It has alpha pinene and limonene, which act as an antidepressant and hormone balancer.

If you’re feeling low, use bergamot essential oil to make yourself feel fresher and happier. The characteristics of the oil, along with its fragrance, make it a natural solution to achieving a positive mood and happy disposition.

 

Bergamot Essential Oil

 

Blending with other essential oils: Bergamot oil blends well as an equalizer, modifier and enhancer with other essential oils. The essential oil blends especially well with eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, lemongrass, lavender, cedarwood, patchouli, and ylang ylang essential oils.

Learn more about bergamot essential oil benefits.

 

2. Lavender

lavender essential oilLavender essential oil has a plethora of benefits for both the body and mind.

 

Lavender essential oil is perhaps one of the more well-known mood-boosting essential oils. It has various mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits that can improve your overall well-being.

Aside from its mood-lifting and stress-relieving benefits in aromatic applications, lavender oil has also been used as an ingredient in Silexan. Silexan is a medication that comes in gelatin capsules made to treat different anxiety disorders. The International Journal of Psychiatry has found that Silexan has anti-anxiety and anxiolytic effects on patients within 2 weeks of the conducted study. Researchers have also found that patients who were exposed to lavender scent had lower levels of anxiety compared to others who didn’t.

Lavender Essential Oil

Blending with other essential oils: Lavender blends well with bergamot, black pepper, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, mandarin, marjoram, patchouli, peppermint, rose, rosemary, tea tree, thyme and vetiver essential oils.

Learn more about lavender essential oil benefits.

 

3. Ylang Ylang

ylang2The light and pleasant scent of the ylang ylang can help you to release negative feelings because of its calming effects on your brain – without the negative side effects.

 

Ylang ylang is a well-known essential oil that helps fight negative emotions and depression. Inhaling this essential oil through a diffuser or aromatherapy inhaler can remedy depressive moods and promote positivity. It can also help you release negative emotions and improve self-esteem. Use ylang ylang when you need to relieve stress and induce relaxation.

Ylang ylang essential oil is known to be highly effective in balancing hormones, which can relieve stress and cortisol levels.

For spiritual purposes, ylang ylang is used in gratitude rituals. Promoting the feelings of gratitude within oneself can help in life transformation. It also enhances self-love and confidence.

Blending with other essential oils: Ylang ylang blends well with bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon,  litsea cubeba, mandarin, marjoram, neroli, patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver essential oils.

Learn more about ylang ylang essential oil benefits.

 

Which essential oils work well with ylang ylang essential oil?

 

4. Grapefruit

grapefruit essential oilGrapefruit got its name because the fruits grow close together in clusters, much like grapes.

 

You don’t have to eat grapefruit to reap its mental and emotional benefits. Like other mood-boosting essential oils, grapefruit essential oil can help lower stress, anxiety, and depression. This essential oil is utilized in essential oil blends to pump up your mood, energy, and mental clarity -- especially when you use it at the start of the day. It can also help you succeed over whatever emotional shifts you experience daily.

Note: Do not ingest grapefruit essential oil, especially not without the guidance of a licensed medical professional. Do take note that grapefruit juice or other citrus fruits shouldn’t be taken alongside antidepressants. A number of drugs have serious side effects when grapefruit is ingested.

Grapefruit Essential Oil

Blending with other essential oils: Grapefruit essential oil blends well with basil, bergamot frankincense, geranium, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and ylang ylang essential oils.

Learn more about grapefruit essential oil benefits.

 

5. Basil

basil essential oilBasil may be known as a flavorful ingredient in many dishes, but its essential oil can offer so much more.

 

Basil has a deep, warm, and spicy aroma that has been widely used in aromatherapy for centuries. It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. It can also help reduce stress-inducing radicals with its antioxidant properties.

Mood-boosting essential oils are well-known for helping reduce anxiety, fear, nervousness, and tension. Basil essential oil is no different. When diluted and applied to the temples and back of the neck, it can greatly help both mind and body. The oil’s calming qualities make it perfect for helping reduce overwhelmed emotions, stress, and fatigue. It may even help a person in their efforts to overcome an addiction. Regularly using this essential oil can help with maintaining mental strength and clarity.

Basil essential oil is known to be able to uplift and renew. You can diffuse it in your home to deal with stressful situations, or to relax and unwind. This can also work quickly as a natural headache reliever. Mix one or two drops of basil essential oil with a carrier oil, then massage the mixture onto your feet or over your adrenals every night.

Blending with other essential oils: Basil essential oil blends well with other essential oils, including the following: bergamot, cypress, cedarwood, fennel, geranium, helichrysum, grapefruit, lavender, lemongrass, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, white fir, and wintergreen.

Learn more about basil essential oil benefits.

 

Which essential oils work well with basil essential oil?

 

6. Tangerine

tangerines3The smell of citrus fruits like tangerine can help improve your mood, and reduce the effects of stress and anxiety.

 

As a relaxing agent, tangerine essential oil is able to soothe irritated nerves. It is a sedative that relieves nervousness, anxiety and depression. You’ll feel a release from tension and emotional imbalances while using this essential oil. You can also use tangerine essential oil to promote healthy sleeping patterns.

Just like its citrus cousins, tangerine is known to uplift a person’s mood. It helps you connect to your inner child and bring out spontaneous creativeness. You’ll feel happier and more playful, thus getting you out of your head and enabling you to be more light-hearted. Thus, whenever you feel stuck, overwhelmed, heavy-hearted, depressed, cranky, or overworked, diffuse this essential oil in your room or office for that instant pick-me-up!

tangerine essential oil

Blending with other Essential Oils: Tangerine blends especially well with bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, wild orange, and roman chamomile essential oils.

Learn more about tangerine essential oil benefits.

 

Precautions

Consult a health care practitioner first before using any essential oils alongside with your medication or treatment.

For All Essential Oils

  1. Patch Testing: Make sure you do a patch test on your skin for sensitivity prior to using on more areas of your body or for a long term period. Make sure to do the patch test on your feet or forearm to ensure you don’t experience irritation like redness, burning, hives, or allergic reactions. Keep the essential oil away from your eyes and the insides of your ears or nose.
  2. Pregnant or Nursing Women: These essential oils should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women as it can have an impact on hormonal levels, muscle condition, or nerve function.
  3. Infants and Children: Keep out of reach of children. Avoid using the essential oils on infants and young children.
  4. Ingesting Essential Oils: Even though essential oils are made from all-natural sources, that doesn't mean that they're safe to ingest. Thus, you should avoid ingesting any essential oil. 
  5. Treatment: Repeated studies are needed to ensure that these essential oils can truly treat depression and other illnesses. The essential oils are referred to as supplements that can be used alongside doctor-prescribed treatments. Therefore, you should not use essential oils as an alternative treatment to therapy and medication.

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Particular Cautions for Each Essential Oil

  • For Bergamot Essential Oil: May cause photosensitivity. Apply sunscreen after using blends or formulas that use bergamot oil. It can also lower your blood sugar levels way too much that it can be potentially harmful. You should stop using bergamot oil at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. 
  • For Lavender Essential Oil: Possible skin sensitivity might occur. Do a patch test first to check for skin irritations. Lavender may also cause nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, diabetics, and people with allergies should avoid lavender oil. Do not ingest.
  • For Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Possible skin sensitivity might occur. Do a patch test first to check for possible skin irritations.
  • For Grapefruit Essential Oil: Causes photosensitivity. Avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours after applying this essential oil on your skin. Apply sunscreen after using blends or formulas using grapefruit oil. Do not ingest grapefruit essential oil if you’re taking medication. Take note that grapefruit juice or other citrus fruits shouldn’t be taken along with antidepressants as it can have serious side effects.
  • For Basil Essential Oil: Basil shouldn’t be ingested or used by people with epilepsy. Avoid contact with sensitive areas, ears, and eyes. Basil also shouldn’t be used by pregnant women.
  • For Tangerine Essential Oil: Tangerine essential oil can cause skin sensitivity. Do not apply it on your skin if you’ll be exposed to ultraviolet light or direct sunlight within 12 hours. Do not use tangerine essential oil near sparks, heat, or open flame.

 

How to Use Mood-Boosting Essential Oils

aromatherapy1The aroma of mood-boosting essential oils is carried from the nose and directly to the brain, which explains its ability to positively influence your mood.

 

Are you ready to try out these essential oils in your daily life? If you’re wondering how you can take advantage of each essential oil’s benefits, here’s what you can do.

 

1. How to Use Bergamot Essential Oil

Antidepressant: Mix 2 -3 drops of bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil. Put a few drops of the mixture onto your palms then rub your hands together. Cup your mouth and nose with your hands and breathe deeply. You can also rub the oil mixture on your abdomen and feet too.

 

2. How to Use Lavender Essential Oil

Restful Sleep : Add a few drops of lavender oil to beddings, blankets or pillows for a good night’s sleep.

Mental and Emotional Balance: Use lavender essential oil aromatically to feel more focused and grounded. It can help improve concentration and mental clarity. Add 2 - 3 drops of lavender essential oil to an air purifier, cool-air diffuser, or oil burner. You can also add a few drops of the oil with a carrier oil and inhale whenever you need something uplifting. Directly inhaling from a lavender essential oil bottle also works.

Topical Application: Mix a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil. Rub the oil blend behind your ears and wrists to promote emotional balance.

 

3. How to Use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Relaxing Bath: Mix ylang ylang essential oil with Epsom salt and pour in your bathwater for a relaxing soak.

Uplifting Perfume: Put diluted yang ylang oil on your wrists for a sweet and floral scent.

For Emotional Balance: Mix with a carrier oil and apply on your chest for emotional balance.

Topical Application: Rub a few drops of ylang ylang essential oil behind your ears, neck, wrists, and feet to reduce feelings of irritability and improve your mood.

Ylang ylang Essential Oil Blends

4. How to Use Grapefruit Essential Oil

In the Shower: Add a few drops of grapefruit essential oil to your shower or bath water to instantly rejuvenate yourself whenever you’re feeling low.

Aromatherapy: Pour a few drops of grapefruit essential oil to your diffuser whenever you need to get extra motivation to finish your work, studies or project.

 

5. How to Use Basil Essential Oil

Aromatherapy: Add a few drops of basil essential oil to your diffuser to uplift the mood, energize the body, and revitalize your being.

 

6. How to Use Tangerine Essential Oil

Uplift Mood and Energy: Put 1 - 2 drops of the oil on your palms and rub it between your hands. Cup your hands over your nose and mouth for 30 seconds to get an instant lift. You can also diffuse it in your room. Diffuse it anytime during the day, especially when you’re feeling stressed.

Winter Blues: Diffuse tangerine oil or mix it with a carrier oil to make your own massage oil blend. This can be especially helpful during colder months. It can help alleviate the blues and warm your spirit. It can also promote a more upbeat and positive aura within you even when the weather around you is cold and dark.

Massage Oil: Mix a few drops of tangerine essential oil with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to abdomen or flex points to calm your senses.

7. Aromatherapy Blends for Mental and Emotional Health

aromablends1Aromatherapy is one of the most popular treatments that can improve a person's mood. The calming effects of the essential oils help soothe both your brain and muscles.

 

7.1. Lavender Bliss

These mood-boosting essential oils can help you gain feelings of calm and security. Add the following drops of essential oils to your diffuser at home.

  • 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 6 drops pf lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop of bergamot essential oil

7.2. Mood Boosting Massage

Massage this blend on your stomach, wrists, and feet to elevate your mood and promote relaxation.

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • Carrier oil (coconut or jojoba oil)

Instructions: In a dark glass bottle, pour the required drops of essential oils. Top with your choice of carrier oil. Store in a cool, dark place and use within 3 months.

7.3. Enriching Blend

Add the following mood-boosting essential oils to a diffuser or oil burner whenever you need to lift your mood and enrich your senses.

  • 1 drop of lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 3 drops of grapefruit essential oil

7.4. Mood Lifting Air Freshener

Spritz your room with this mood enriching blend to clear your space of bad vibes and bring in a positive aura.

Ingredients:

  • 6 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 18 drops of grapefruit essential oil
  • 50 ml fine mist spray bottle
  • 1.5 fluid ounces distilled water
  • 1.5 fluid ounces hydrosol or high-proof alcohol like vodka

Instructions: Fill the spray bottle with 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled water and 1.5 fluid ounces of hydrosol or vodka. Then, add the required amount of essential oils. Mix well before use. If you need a stronger scent, add more essential oils according to your preference.

7.5. Rejuvenating Bath Salts

Add this rejuvenating blend to your bathtub to chase the blues away and give you that much-needed relaxation. You can make this spa bath recipe at home using the following.

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 9 drops of grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 cups sea salt (other options: Himalayan Pink Salt, Epsom Salt or Dead Sea Salt)
  • 1 tablespoon carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, or fractionated coconut oil)
  • Solubilizer (Solubol or Polysorbate 20)

Instructions: Mix your essential oils, carrier oil and solubilizer in a small bowl. Mix your salts in a separate bowl, and then add the oil mixture to it. Mix all of the ingredients well with a fork or spoon. Add this mixture to an airtight jar to preserve the aroma. You can mix the ingredients again after a day to make sure that the oils are well incorporated. Pour this mixture into your bath water for a mood-boosting and relaxing soak.

7.6. Emotional Release Massage Oil

  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 6 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 1 fluid ounce carrier oil (sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, or jojoba oil)
  • Airtight glass container

Instructions:

Pour the essential oils in your glass container and then top off with the required carrier oil. Mix your ingredients well. Massage the blend onto flex points, chest, or tense muscles. You can also rub this massage oil into your palms, then cup your nose and inhale for a sense of instant relief. This recipe can also be doubled or tripled by multiplying the amount of ingredients accordingly.

If you’re looking for high-quality glass bottles and jars that will prolong the shelf-life of your essential oil blends and recipes, check out Infinity Jars for the perfect solution.

 

Check out a variety of essential oils you can use in these recipes. 

buy essential oils

 

Summary

It takes a holistic approach to deal with depression. Medications or therapy may not be enough – after all, we may need something that can just take us from one minute to the next. If you need extra support to get through depression, try aromatherapy to give you that much-needed boost or pick-me-up whenever you need a mental, emotional, or spiritual lift.

Consider aromatherapy as a complementary form of treatment. It will help improve your mood, relieve stress, and promote better well-being.

Aroma Foundry’s Six-Pack Set of Mood-Boosting Essential Oils includes bergamot, lavender, ylang ylang, grapefruit, basil, and tangerine essential oils. Each oil has a myriad of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits. Try them for yourself, or give the collection as a gift to someone special. It might just be what you or a loved one needs to gain mental clarity and emotional stability during tough times.

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Bibliography

  1. 18 Best Essential Oils For Depression and Blend Recipes | Healed with Herbs - http://healedwithherbs.com/essential-oils-for-depression/
  2. A Review on the Effects Of Aromatherapy For Patients with Depressive Symptoms. V Yim - A Ng - H Tsang - A Leung - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19216657
  3. An Orally Administered Lavandula Oil Preparation (silexan) For Anxiety Disorder and Related Conditions: an Evidence Based Review. Siegfried Kasper - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13651501.2013.813555
  4. Aromatherapy: Is It Worthwhile? M.D. Bauer - https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566
  5. Aromatherapy Bath Salts Recipe | Aroma Web https://www.aromaweb.com/recipes/bathsalts.asp
  6. Aromatherapy For Depression: Methods, Benefits, and Risks - https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/aromatherapy
  7. Aromatherapy Massage Oil Recipes | Aromaweb https://www.aromaweb.com/recipes/massageoil.asp
  8. Aromatherapy Recipes For Depression | Aroma Web https://www.aromaweb.com/recipes/depression.asp
  9. Depression | World Health Organization - http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/
  10. Depression: Facts, Statistics & You | HealthLine - https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic#2
  11. Essential Oil Room Spray and Air Freshener Recipe | Aroma Web https://www.aromaweb.com/recipes/rafresh.asp
  12. Juicy Fruit: 6 Unexpected Health Benefits Of Grapefruit. Lizette Borreli - https://www.medicaldaily.com/juicy-fruit-6-unexpected-health-benefits-grapefruit-293512
  13. Lavender: Health Benefits and Uses. Joseph Nordqvist - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265922.php
  14. Lavender Song Essential Oil Blend. Modern Soapmaking - http://www.eocalc.com/blends/lavender-song/
  15. Major Depression | National Institute of Mental Health - https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml
  16. Relaxing Effect Of Ylang Ylang Oil on Humans After Transdermal Absorption. T Hongratanaworakit - G Buchbauer - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16807875
  17. The Effects Of Lavender Scent on Dental Patient Anxiety Levels: a Cluster Randomised-controlled Trial. M Kritsidima - T Newton - K Asimakopoulou - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19968674
  18. Top 15 Essential Oils For Depression (and 3 Uplifting Blends) | UpNature - https://www.up-nature.com/blogs/news/top-15-essential-oils-for-depression-and-3-uplifting-blends
  19. Why Antidepressants and Grapefruit Don't Mix. Jerry Kennard - https://www.healthcentral.com/article/why-antidepressants-and-grapefruit-dont-mix
View all resources

 

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