Mood Boosting Foods To Help Beat The Blues


How often do we hear about the January blues?

Well, it seems it may be more common than you’d think.

According to new research by Love Fresh Cherries and Opinium, 36% of people say that their mood is worse at the start of the year compared to any other time.

In a bid to beat the blues, many of us throw ourselves into mood-boosting activities such as exercise or booking a holiday for later in the year.

Only 7% of Brits, however, say they’ve eaten mood-boosting foods.

“We all have times when we feel down in the dumps,” Nutritionist Anita Bean says.

“But lifestyle factors such as eating a healthy diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables, being active, getting outside in the fresh air as much as possible, and spending time with loved ones can really help to lift our moods.”

So if you’re heading to the supermarket, why not add some of the food below to your shopping list?



Cherries help your brain to produce the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin.

They are also a rich source of the hormone melatonin, which promotes healthy sleep patterns.


Studies show that eating a handful of nuts a day can increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happier and decreases feelings of hunger.

Dark chocolate

Contains high levels of phenols, which cause the brain to release endorphins and boost mood. But its high in calories so keep portions small!


High in tryptophan and vitamin B6, essential for making serotonin. It also contains carbohydrates, which trigger the production of insulin and raise serotonin levels in the brain.

Oily fish (e.g. salmon, sardines and mackerel), walnuts and chia seeds

These contain high levels of omega-3s, low levels of which are linked with depression. Omega-3s are important for the proper function of the brain, and can also have a positive impact on mood.

Pumpkin seeds

One of the best sources of tryptophan, which is the building block for serotonin.


With a low glycaemic index, these are a great source of slow release energy. This prevents blood sugar spikes, and in turn stop you getting tired and moody.

For more health advice from the “Friend”, click here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.