Mood issues like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders are severe problems in today’s society. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around 18% of the adult population, or about 40 million people aged 18 and older, suffer from one of these mental conditions each year.
Elsewhere in the world, the situation isn’t that much different. According to statistics from the World Health Organization, as many as 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
Plus, these figures only account for people with more severe, medically noteworthy mood issues. It does not consider the occasional blues that almost everyone has to go through at some point.
Depression and anxiety disorders may stem from any combination of a complex set of risk factors.
Some underlying issues that may cause these mood disorders include genetic problems, hormonal imbalances, brain chemistry, extreme life events, and the person’s life situation and personality.
Hence, if you consider yourself suffering from a severe case of any form of mood disorder, your best bet is to visit a qualified healthcare practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment.
With these alarming statistics on mood issues like depression and anxiety, it is no surprise that the cost of mental healthcare in America is continuously rising. According to one 2016 report, In 2013, the cost of handling mental disorders was the highest of all medical conditions, totaling an estimated $201 billion.
Plus, standard treatment options for anxiety and depression do not come without problems. In addition to the costs of treatment, which can be prohibitive, antidepressant medications can sometimes pack a host of side effects or stop working for patients over time.
Hence, it is no surprise that the search for more natural cures for mood disorders like anxiety and depression is rising.
Besides incorporating positive lifestyle habits like exercise, rest, and proper dieting, specific natural herbs, vitamins, and other supplements can act as mood enhancers that help uplift your frame of mind and improve your well-being.
Best Supplement Types for Better Mood
The world of health-boosting supplements is not an easy one to navigate. Here, you will find everything from old herbal formulations to mixes of minerals, vitamins, and plant extracts bearing marketing information that make outrageously bold promises.
The market for mood enhancers is no different. You will find both FDA-approved and unapproved products that promise to improve your mood drastically and help fix dopamine issues.
So, are any functional mood-enhancing supplements, or is this one massive snake-oil market?
For some products, the scientific consensus is positive. For others, the studies show mixed results, while researchers have shown some formulations to be potentially harmful. Furthermore, research into many of the top “mood-boosting supplements” is still relatively minimal.
Based on our review of the available scientific literature, here are some of the most influential mood-enhancing supplement groups you can try.
Tip: Natural Methods for Boosting Your Mood
You do not have to rely solely on supplements to improve your mood. Some of the most effective ways to enhance your mental well-being and guarantee longer spates of positive emotion are natural pill-free lifestyle habits that we can adopt today.
Get Outside: Spending time in the sunlight (even more potent is spending time in nature) is a proven way to reduce the risk and effect of depressive symptoms.
Socialize More: Our societies are becoming increasingly disconnected, and this is at the forefront of the loneliness epidemic and the rise of depression across the world. Call a friend, visit one, go out more.
Volunteer: for people who are short on friends (most of us), volunteering can be an excellent way to socialize, which provides some good for society. Here, you can get a double dose of positive emotion in one swoop.
Research also backs the unsurprising fact that volunteering can help enhance physical and mental health.
A significant proportion of how we feel during the day stems from diet and the state of our digestive system. Hence, it is no surprise that probiotics are one of the most popular supplement options for improving your mood—amongst other things.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that line portions of our digestive tract, serving critical functions like aiding digestion, breaking down medications into absorbable forms, creating vitamins, and fighting the harmful bacteria that make us sick.
Consequently, getting the right probiotics can be vital to improving the state of your gut, and by extension, your mood and overall well being.
The gut has strong ties to the brain, especially the regions that manage our fight-or-flight response and other responses to stressful events. When our nervous system encounters stressful, anxiety-causing stimuli, the gut is one of the first regions that receive its warning signals and enters fight-or-flight mode.
The strong link between these two regions is why we often feel responses in our stomachs to many forms of emotional and mental stimuli. You can get butterflies in your stomach from nervousness or feel nausea as a result of anxiety.
This channel works in the opposite direction as well. Digestive issues like an upset stomach and other gut-related problems can also lead to increased anxiety, moodiness, and the onset of depressive symptoms.
Consequently, an extended state of anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with digestive problems like constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
Some of the best ways to introduce the needed probiotics are consuming fermented foods like yogurt, pickles, kombucha, or kefir. However, you also get a healthy dose of probiotics from dietary supplements.
However, the scientific consensus is not out yet on the mood-boosting powers of probiotics. Nevertheless, several preliminary studies show some promise.
One recent 2019 study ran a series of tests on 38 healthy volunteers to assess probiotics’ effectiveness in lifting the respondents’ mood. For this study, the researchers assigned the experimental group a daily dose of a probiotic mixture for six weeks.
The researchers assessed the subjects four times (before starting the study and at the beginning, middle, and end of the test period). The experimental group respondents showed a significant reduction in anger, fatigue, depressive mood state, and a boost in sleep quality compared to the control.
Although this study is a small one, the findings corroborate the positive impact of probiotics on mood state and psychological well-being.
Other older studies like this one in 2013 with probiotic-infused milk products and another similar study in 2017 also found similar results to varying degrees. Plus, there is an abundance of ongoing research on the subject that will most likely produce more positive results soon.
Vitamins and Minerals
Eating a balanced diet rich in all of the essential nutrients is one of the most effective ways to fight stress, regulate your endocrine system, and ensure more spates of positive mood. With the right foods, you fuel your body with the nutrients essential to keeping you stable and happy.
Hence, unsurprisingly, many people often turn to vitamin and mineral supplements to elevate their mood. In addition to combating nutrient deficiencies, these supplements can often provide you with the boost you need to upgrade your mood and improve cognition.
For many of these nutrient supplements, the research into their mood-boosting properties is still limited. However, preliminary investigations into the effect of many of these minerals and vitamins show some promise.
Plus, with nutrient supplements, you are boosting your diet profile, which is a surefire way to enhance well-being, and by extension, elevate your mood.
Some of the most popular vitamins and minerals for improving your mood include:
This year’s pandemic and the lockdown brought vitamin D into the limelight. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that our body produces naturally on exposure to sunlight. This vitamin plays a crucial role in the regulation of neurotransmitters like dopamine that modulates positive emotion.
Research into the mood-boosting effects of vitamin D is still minimal. One study of vitamin-D-deprived mice showed a considerable increase in dopamine levels after providing them with vitamin D3 supplementation.
The B vitamins are all essential for the proper maintenance of your nervous system. Hence, getting sufficient supplementation with a B-complex can be an excellent way to improve your nerve cells’ stability and function, which can boost your mood and overall well-being.
One 2018 study found that in male tertiary students, moderate to high levels of vitamin C in the body is associated with elevated mood levels. Several animal studies also point to a similar result, indicating that vitamin C may play a vital role in combating depressive symptoms.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in our body, and it’s for a good reason.
This mineral is a cofactor in over 300 different enzyme systems. It is fundamental to regulate a host of biochemical reactions, including blood glucose control, muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation, energy production, and glycolysis.
Plus, although magnesium deficiencies rarely occur, a magnesium deficiency may cause depressive symptoms like apathy, anxiety, delirium, and anxiety.
While research into magnesium’s effect on mood is still limited, preliminary animal studies show magnesium supplementation may have a dopamine-boosting antidepressant impact.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Some clinicians have proposed omega-3 fatty acid supplementation as an additional treatment for patients suffering from major depressive disorders. In one 2016 meta-analysis, researchers found that these supplements provided overall beneficial effects to patients.
Other Natural Supplements
The $40-billion-a-year world of nutrient supplements is a mostly unregulated one, and as such, hundreds of products exist that promise to be a cure-all for your problems. When it comes to supplements for your mood, it’s the same old story.
Whether from your mom, well-meaning friends, or money-hungry late-night ads, the chances are that you have heard about a host of “natural” remedies that will have you feeling better in no time. While most of these recommendations simply do not work, there is a handful that shows some promise.
Some of the best (and safest) natural remedies you can try for elevating your mood include:
- Velvet Bean (Mucuna Pruriens): a tropical bean often available as a dried powder dietary supplement. Mucuna Pruriens contains L-dopa, a chemical base from which the nervous system produces vital mood-affecting neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline.
- Green Tea: In addition to its antioxidant properties that can boost well-being, green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that preliminary studies show may increase dopamine production.
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin that may improve dopamine release and produce antidepressant effects.
- Oregano Oil: Studies show that carvacrol, the active ingredient in oregano oil, may promote dopamine production and forestall the deterioration of the neurotransmitter in the bloodstream. Hence, oregano oil, a staple in many Mediterranean diets, may induce positive effects on mood.
- Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo Biloba): Ginkgo biloba is an ancient tree native to China that has featured in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure-all remedy for centuries.
While research into its effectiveness for mood alteration is inconsistent, researchers in one study recorded long-term increases in rats’ dopamine levels after a series of ginkgo Biloba supplementation.
- Ginseng: Ginseng is another staple of Chinese medicine that practitioners tout as an effective way to boost mood, behavior, and cognitive function. Several animal studies suggest that there may be some validity to this claim.
- Caffeine: People worldwide use caffeine daily in the form of coffee or energy drinks to boost their cognitive performance and increase alertness. One positive side effect of this process is its favorable impact on the production of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine.
- Lavender, Other Essential Oils, and Aromatherapy: Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful influencers of our mood and psyche.
Hence, it follows that sweet-smelling herbal extracts like lavender oil may help to boost mood, reduce depressive symptoms, and enhance the feeling of well-being. Several studies back this claim, albeit to a limited degree.
7 Best Supplements For Better Mood: Detailed Reviews
We had to look up hundreds of supplement offerings on the market that promise mood-boosting effects during the research for this report.
Subsequently, we screened these products for their marketing claims’ genuineness, the quality of their manufacturing process, the probability that you are getting what is on the label in the correct proportions, and the available scientific literature on its mood-boosting constituents.
Here are the options we recommend:
1. Lifted Naturals Bifidus Mood Boost Probiotic
- Four mood-boosting bacteria strains and anxiety relief and enhanced mood
- With Prebiotic GOS fiber for gut stabilization
- A strictly regulated manufacturing process
- Vegan, Non-GMO, Dairy-Free, and Gluten-Free
- No histamine or D-lactate
- 30 Billion CFU
- 60 Day Supply
- No refrigeration required
Anxiety, depression, and other mood issues do not stop at the nervous system.
In most cases, depressive symptoms typically extend to other body regions, stalling their proper function. Besides the brain and neural pathways, one part of the body most affected by mood disorders is the gut.Probiotic supplements like the Bifidus Mood Boost Probiotic from Lifted Natural pack many of the beneficial bacteria that can help fix this region, solving digestive issues, and in turn boosting the state of the digestive system, immune health, and mood.
The Bifidus Mood boost features four bifidobacteria strains (B. Bifidum, B. Longum, B. Breve, and B. Infantis) that offer support to your digestive, immune, and nervous system. Consequently, this supplement can help with anxiety and mood enhancement.
Since Lifted Naturals is a GMP Certified Manufacturer, you can rest assured that with the Bifidus Mood Boost Probiotic, you are getting contaminant-free content that is true to the label—4 healthy bacteria groups in a 30 Billion CFU formulation.
This probiotic is also histamine-free and does not contain any lactate. Bifidus Mood Boost is also gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan-safe.
With each package, you get 60 capsules that equate to a 60-day supply.
2. Jetson Mood Probiotic
The gut is often called “the second brain” because of how fundamental it is to the proper function of the body.
An unhealthy gut can lead to a host of issues, including indigestion, immune system weakness, boating, chronic inflammation, fatigue, and poor sleep. All of these symptoms can directly or indirectly lead to bad moods and depressive symptoms.
With Jetson Mood Probiotic, you get a formula that promises to be the end-all solution to all your gut problems. This formulation is a blend of probiotics and vitamins designed to counteract gut issues and moodiness in one fell swoop.
Jetson Mood Probiotic packs three clinically-validated probiotic bacteria strains—Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium longum that work to stabilize your gut, boost metabolism, improve sleep, and combat anxiety and other stress-related issues.
Furthermore, this formula also includes vitamins like vitamin B12, vitamin D, L-theanine, all of which have minor studies backing their effectiveness for mood regulation and stress relief.
What more? With Jetson Mood Probiotic, you can rest assured that you are getting only the good stuff. This supplement formula is free from sugar and all preservatives. The probiotic is also non-GMO and vegan safe.
Plus, Jetson also offers a unique subscription service with Jetson Mood Probiotic that gives you a 17% discount on the purchase and slightly varies the formula with the changing seasons to provide you with the nutrient supplements that work best with seasonal changes.
- Three clinically-validated probiotic bacteria strain for improved mood regulation
- With L-Theanine, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin B12 to combat stress and anxiety
- Subscription service with 17% discount and seasonal variations to the formula
- Proprietary capsule delivery with strong resistance against stomach acid
- 31 capsules for one month supply
- 10 billion CFU
- No sugar or preservatives
- Vegan, Non-GMO
3. Moody Bird
Every woman knows the term “moodiness from hormonal imbalance” because it hits close to home for us.
Whether it’s the gloominess that comes with your monthly PMS cycle, the post-birth blues, or the irritability that menopause brings, we all know how intensely our mood can be thrown out of whack by our hormones.
However, you do not have to bear the full brunt of these god-given spates of moodiness. Moody Bird by Hum Nutrition is a simple herbal formulation that aims to curtail symptoms associated with PMS and other hormonal mood disorders.
The formula Moody Bird is as straightforward as it gets. With each single capsule serving, you get 300mg of chaste berry tree extract and 150mg of dong Quai root extract. However, it would help if you didn’t underestimate the potency of this uncomplicated mixture.
Studies show that chaste berry may increase the secretion of luteinizing hormone, which can help ease symptoms of PMS and menopause. Preliminary research into the effect of dong Quai use also shows the possibility of effectiveness for counteracting menstrual cramps and menopausal hot flashes.
Consequently, this formula promises an effective way to combat symptoms like cramps, cravings, and irritability. You can also expect fewer acne breakouts, clearer skin, improved hormonal balance, and enhanced mood.
Each package of Moody Bird contains 60 vegan capsules that equate to 1 month supply.
- With chaste berry and dong Quai herbal extracts for reducing PMS and menopausal symptoms
- All-natural formulation with no added compounds, additives, or preservatives
- 60 capsules, two capsules per day
4. Florassist Mood Improve
Clinical studies show a clear connection between the gut and the brain via the gut-brain axis. This complex neural network links both sections of the body, creating a situation where endocrine issues can cause severe upsets in the stomach’s ecosystem.
However, this extensive influence is also true in the opposite direction. The available scientific literature indicates that gut microbes can play crucial roles in influencing mood and behavior via the gut-brain axis.
Florassist Mood Improve aims to tap into this network to modulate your brain chemistry and positively influence your mood.
This formula includes two essential probiotics—Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-175 and Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52 that are super effective at stabilizing the gut, regulating digestive health, and by extension, enhancing your psychological wellness.
Florassist Mood Improve also includes another critical active ingredient—saffron. Saffron is a Mediterranean spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, a plant that dates back to Ancient Greece, where it featured in various medicinal concoctions.
In one systematic review of 23 studies on saffron’s effect compared to placebos as an adjunct for treating depressive and anxiety symptoms, the researchers found the plant extract to be statistically significant. The researchers also considered it a superior option on par with many traditional antidepressants yet lacked the associated side effects.
Consequently, this mix of saffron and probiotics offers you a superior alternative to regular probiotics as you also get the calming effect of saffron.
- Two essential probiotics—Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-175 and Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52
- With clinically-back saffron for calming depressive and anxiety symptoms
5. Lumiday Brighter Mood
When life gets a bit too crazy, Lumiday Brighter Mood offers an outlet to help you overcome the stresses of the day and get back to being your calm, equable self.
This mood-improving supplement packs 12 fundamental constituents that help promote relaxation and happiness while boosting your overall health.
Furthermore, with this healthy dose of core vitamins and minerals, you can expect improved cognition and, consequently, less fatigue and brain fog.
The elements in this formula include B-vitamins folate, thiamin, B6, and B12, all of which influence different aspects of brain function and cognition. The mixture also contains a healthy dose of vitamin D. Plus. You also get minerals like L-Theanine, Pantothenic Acid, 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP.)
With Lumiday Brighter Mood, you also get some herbal extracts. The formula contains Ashwagandha Extract, Rhodiola root Extract, and St. John’s Wort Extract.
St. John’s wort is a herb featured in traditional European remedies for moodiness and depression for centuries.
While the research into its efficacy is minimal, one 2008 systematic review of 29 international studies suggested that the plant extract may be superior to placebo and as effective as a regular prescription antidepressant for combating depressive symptoms. The review also indicated that St. John’s wort also seemed to cause fewer side effects than standard prescription medications.
Lumiday Brighter Mood’s mix of essential feel-good vitamins and minerals and a handful of more experimental herbal extracts offers you a well-rounded mood-boosting supplement option that is one of the best on the market today.
- With 12 fundamental feel-good vitamins and minerals
- Contains Ashwagandha Extract, Rhodiola Extract, and St. John’s Wort
- 60 capsules for one month supply
- No gluten, GMO, or soy
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, or sugar
6. Nutrigenesis Multi
Sometimes the reason why you feel so down and moody is simply that your diet is not on point. In today’s society, having a deficient diet is more common than you may think.
Even when you try to eat relatively healthy, the amount of factory farming and heavy food processing that goes into food production these days means that you may still be getting nutrient-depleted food. Hence, you may be failing to meet your body’s nutrient requirements.
Hence, taking a multivitamin or some other form of nutrient supplement mix is becoming more necessary for most folks.
With Nutrigenesis, you get an all-inclusive supplement formula that packs an extensive profile featuring more than 17 essential daily vitamins and minerals. This comprehensive formulation ensures that you match all your nutritional needs, which will promote well-being and improve your mood.
With their multivitamin packs, Nutrigenesis breaks down nutrient supplementation to a science, providing a specialized formula that caters specifically to each sex.
Nutrigenesis multi for women features a unique calibration of elements that match women’s specific nutritional needs while the male-specific version performs the same function for men.
However, irrespective of which version you pick, you can rest assured that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you may be missing that play critical roles in enhancing well-being, cognition, and mood.
Some elements standard across both variants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, and B12, biotin, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, iodine, and several critical trace minerals.
Plus, this multivitamin comes delivered in easy-to-swallow plant-based capsules made from prebiotic-infused fermented tapioca to aid easy digestion and facilitate faster nutrient absorption.
Whether as a mood-booster or as diet support, Nutrigenesis Multi offers a well-rounded foundational health support supplement that is guaranteed to enhance all aspects of your well-being.
Each package of Multi men and Multi women ships with 120 capsules each. This package can work as two months or three month supply, depending on your nutrient needs. The two recommended dosage options are 4 or 6 capsules daily, taking half of them in the morning, and the other half come evening.
- With 17+ essential daily vitamins and minerals for whole-body health support
- Prebiotic-infused easy-to-swallow plant-based capsules
- Added whole-food cofactors to facility faster absorption
- Calibrated for your sex’s specific needs
- Non-GMO, no soy, gluten, or synthetic additives
- 120 capsules for two or three month supply
7. Qualia Life
The average human lifespan is getting longer. Qualia Life markets itself as a supplement designed to help you enjoy and cope better with this added time that our generation has got to spend.
This supplement aims to support your cells’ function and regenerative ability, enabling them to produce energy more rapidly and efficiently, reducing cellular dysfunction, and slowing down aging at the cellular level.
The supplement claims to boost cell energy and slow down aging by upregulating ATP and NAD+ and supporting several other core pathways and processes within the body.
To achieve these lofty goals, Qualia Life packs an impressive nutrient list that includes eight mitochondrial adaptogens, ten extracts standardized for polyphenols, four mitochondrial antioxidants, 3 NAD+ substrates, a full profile of B-vitamins with three different types of folic acid, and a whopping 70+ trace minerals.
While this formulation’s anti-aging claims may be hard to verify, it is hard to underestimate the consequence of such a robust supplement profile.
With its varied range of supporting nutrients for many of the body’s processes, Qualia Life provides a well-rounded supplement mix that is guaranteed to help optimize several aspects of your life.
With Qualia Life, you can expect more energy and better focus throughout your day, improved productivity, more fulfilling workouts, an increased capacity to deal with stress, and an overall enhancement of well-being and mood.
Irrespective of your unique health goals, you can go wrong with Qualia Life, as the formulation offers one comprehensive way to enhance your state of well-being.
You can get Qualia Life in either pill or powder form.
- One of the most extensive nutrient profiles of any supplement mixes on the market.
- With nine muscle performance enhancers for better workouts and improved energy release through your day
- Improves cognition, stress management capability, and mood stability
- Available in both capsule and powder forms
- Non-GMO, vegan-safe
Potentially Unsafe Mood Enhancers
It would be best if you took special care when consuming supplements, as several options may contain potent active ingredients that can have intense adverse biological effects. Some popular yet potentially harmful mood-boosting supplements you should be wary of include:
Kava is a ceremonial beverage made from the extract of Piper methysticum, a plant native to several Pacific islands. This drink is a popular social drink in some western Pacific islands, but it is now gaining popularity as a cure-all for many mental conditions.
Folks here consume kava to calm restlessness, stress, and anxiety, sleep problems, or ADHD, among other ailments.
However, in 2002, the FDA issued warnings to physicians and consumers that kava and kava-containing products concerning reports of liver-related problems like hepatitis and cirrhosis from the use of kava and kava-containing products.
The FDA report highlighted 25 different occurrences, with four leading to situations where the patients required liver transplants.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is one of our bones’ main constituents. However, too much of most things is bad, and the same is true for this mineral.
According to the NIH, a calcium intake above 2,500mg per day can cause severe long term problems for the consumers. Researchers believe that when you take in excess calcium, the mineral settles in the arteries causing plaque buildup that can lead to heart conditions in the long run.
In one analysis of 10 years of medical tests involving over 2700 people, researchers found that taking calcium supplements puts the subjects at a higher risk factor for increased plaque buildup in the arteries, including the aorta.