Ever find yourself wishing for a happiness pill to regain your (otherwise completely) sunny attitude while dealing with a stressful deadline or a fight with your sig other?
Turns out, aromatherapy can help transform your mood almost instantly, with nothing more than high quality plant oils and extracts. And lots of companies are now making special blends specifically created to offer a totally natural attitude adjustment.
How does it work? When you sniff aromatherapeutic blends, whether relaxing, uplifting, or de-stressing, they immediately get to work on your body. Scent goes straight to the emotional center of the brain, explains Amy Galper, founder and executive director at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, New York City’s first professional aromatherapy school.
You can thank group of cells called the olfactory epithelium, brain tissue in the back of your sinuses, she explains. “When you smell something, the scent molecules are actually linking directly to the brain tissue in your nose.” They may tell the brain to stop producing chemicals and hormones connected to negative emotions—like the stress hormone cortisol—resulting in a happier, calmer, more positive you. (Experts say chemical ingredients like “fragrance” won’t work, however.)
Ready for a remedy? Try one of these happiness-boosting aromatherapy formulas next time you’re feeling down, frazzled, or cranky. —Amy Marturana
This mood booster is meant to conjure the feeling of a relaxing vacation. “Whether you’re planning one, on one, or just returning from one, you’re happy,” co-founder Victoria Fantauzzi explains. This travel-inspired blend “bottles the feeling of going to Hawaii” with a blend of gardenia, coconut, and guava leaf that should help get transport your mind from, say, the crowded subway car or gridlock traffic you’re fuming over.
(Photo: La Bella Figura)
Lotus Wei’s aromatic blends tap the power of “flower alchemy,” or using natural flower essences to realign your body and transform your mood. The collection uses a combo of “liquid infusions of fresh flowers” and mood-boosting essential oils, says super-chill founder Katie Hess. Spritz Joy Juice around your face to ease anxiety and energize your spirit, thanks to sweet orange oil and floral aromas like lotus and jasmine. Hess recommends using it four or five times daily. “With that frequency, you’ll experience tangible results: by the end of the first day, you’ll notice yourself laughing more and making others laugh,” she promises.
(Photo: Lotus Wei)
Whether you’re going through a loss, feeling low on confidence, are nervous, or are just in need of a big hug, this spray wants to help soothe your troubled heart. Sweet orange uplifts, while rose hydrosol and ylang-ylang help with anxiety and heartache. “On the bottle I say it’s for love,” Galper explains, “meaning it’s for reminding you that you are loved, you’re supported, and your heart energy is there to support and transform and connect you.” It’s like a yoga class in a bottle.
(Photo: Buddha Nose)
Founder Cary Caster’s got all your motivating, calming, and inspiring needs covered with her line of targeted aromatherapy oils—including Uplift, a blend of healing chamomile, calming lavender, soothing rose, and spirit-lifting helichrysum (from the sunflower family). And the chic packaging will make your design-sensibility happy, too.
(Photo: 21 Drops)
Adoratherapy Good Mood Boost ($15)
The Adoratherapy company motto: nature’s resources are powerful enough to balance the human body and mind, simply by stimulating the senses. In this case, it’s about organic sage (a healing scent that helps you breathe deeper and clearer), peppermint (awakens and helps your mind refocus), and lemon (its bitterness gives you a stronger kick of motivation than sweeter citruses), which help jump-start your mood and improving your attitude ASAP.