Woman sitting on floor looking sad demonstrating low mood

Blue Monday: herbal remedies for low mood to help avoid the winter woes

Festive over indulgence (not to mention over spending) can leave us feeling flat. On top of that we are in the middle of winter and it’s back to work and school. What’s more Monday January 15th is Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year.

Medical herbalist Gabriella Clarke looks at some herbs that can support low mood and help lift the spirits.


Often known as the sunshine herb, St John’s wort is the number one herbal remedy used to treat depression and anxiety. Its secret ingredient is a chemical known as hypericin, which helps to boost levels of serotonin, the body’s natural feel-good chemical.


The adaptogenic herb Rhodiola rosea helps balance mood, increases energy and can help beat sleepless nights.


Lemon balm is a gentle herb which has uplifting properties and is especially delicious as a tea.


Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D (produced by the sun’s action on the skin) in the winter months when the sun is too low in the sky to have any effect. Low levels have been linked to depression so it is worth taking a supplement between now and spring.


Sometimes called nature’s inflammatory, turmeric is another herb to consider. The reason? Recent research has linked depression with inflammation suggesting that anti–inflammatories may be the way forward when it comes to treating low mood.


Keep in touch with family and friends

Having people around us distracts us from dark thoughts and makes us feel supported.

Talk about it

Find someone you trust who you can talk to about how you are feeling. If you don’t feel you can approach family and friends, its vital you talk to your GP.

Keep active

Exercise releases endorphins in the brain – our natural feel-good chemicals.

Watch the booze

Tempting as it may be to pour yourself a drink to numb the emotions, remember alcohol is a depressant and can be habit forming.

Eat healthily

A well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg is best. Include lots of oily fish – the omega-3 it contains is a natural anti-depressant.

To find out more about treating depression the natural way visit the feeling blue website