This Is How to Boost Your Mood—Without Antidepressants

by Erin Jahns
PHOTO:

Madewell

As someone who originally hails from the arctic depths of Minnesota, I’m no stranger to bone-chilling temperatures and perpetually dark and gloomy cloud cover. Growing up, the cold months were brutal (think GOT “winter is coming” panic in the months preceding), and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) wasn’t uncommon. Though not immune, I was generally able to stomach the colder temperatures and ice-covered roads with less chagrin than some of my fellow Midwesterners. However, last winter (post-college graduation, pre-definitive post-college plans), I struggled. Life felt messy, stressful, and overwhelming, and I felt like I needed support or a mood boost if you will.

Depression is a beast of all shapes and sizes, and since I fell on the milder side of the spectrum, I staunchly resisted my GP’s suggestion of going on a popular antidepressant and opted instead for natural mood boosters. Before doing so, I made an appointment with a well-known doctor who specialized in integrative and alternative medicine. Not surprisingly, I learned a lot—the majority of which coincided with recent, buzzworthy research regarding the tie between mind, body, and gut-health.

As it turns out, nature totally has our back when it comes to managing stress, anxiety, and mood. So whether you need a light mood boost or you’ve just been feeling uncharacteristically blue as of late, there are plenty of natural options for you to explore that don’t involve a prescription (though you should always talk with your physician before starting a new regimen of supplements).

Keep scrolling for our favorite, research-backed alternatives!

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