Best Essential Oils For…

6 Best Essential Oils For Depression

Best Essential Oils For Depression

Ever thought of using essential oils for depression?

There is a good chance that at some time in your life you will deal with depression. I know that is a depressing statement to read. But, 25% of Americans deal with depression each year. That simply means that 1:4 people will struggle with depression. What is more alarming is 350 million people are projected to suffer from depression each and every year.

A lot of people don’t even realize they are depressed, though.  So, I have made a list which should help you figure out if you’re depressed.  Here are some warning signs that indicate you might be dealing with depression:

  • Always tired or fatigued.
  • Sleeping too much or trouble falling asleep.
  • No energy.
  • Reduced Sex drive.
  • Always in a melancholy mood or constantly sad.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Constant body aches and pains.
  • Short-temper or irritable.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Pessimistic thinking pattern.
  • Little confidence and a low self-esteem.
  • Increased or decreased appetite.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Anxiety.
  • Avoiding social situations.
  • Staying in bed all day long.

Doctors Visits & Depression

If you have ever been diagnosed with depression you’re familiar with the process.  Just in case your not I will explain it to you. You go to your doctor and they usually prescribe you some anti-depressants. There are lots of different anti-depressants being prescribed to people every single day. Typically, they will take 6-8 weeks before you notice any improvements in your depression. Rarely people can experience improvements in 2 weeks according to

So, within 3 months or so the doctor will ask you to make another appointment. They will then check on your progress and see if you are feeling better. If you’re not feeling better your doctor usually will “switch up” your medication. Then, the doctor will request that you come back for another visit in another 3 months.

As the example above shows, this can be a long cycle to help cure your depression. Not to mention, it’s probably going to cost you several hundred dollars for a visit.  It could be less depending on your health insurance plan. I have nothing against doctors and anti-depressants, but there are ways to improve your depression with aromatherapy and using essential oils either with or without the help of anti-depressants.

Aromatherapy & Depression

If you’re like a lot of people you’re probably pretty apprehensive to try essential oils for your depression.

Really, a certain smell and all of a sudden I’m not going to be depressed.

Well, it’s not that simple and there is actually a lot to essential oils and depression.

First, let me explain how essential oils can help in getting rid of your depression. The molecules that are in essential oils travel in your blood and within your brain barrier. These will have an impact on your brain which does control your stress, feelings, and depression.

So when you smell something your brain will trigger different impulses. This is done through the olfactory nerve. This nerve connects with the olfactory bulb. So this bulb will send the information it gets and relays a message which will control your emotions. This could be anything from pain, mood, pleasure. This will then trigger an emotion which could be fear, happiness, sadness, etc.

Therefore essential oils can be extremely effective for treating depression. Our brain will associate different smells which we create an emotional response to combat depression.

Here is a good video on essential oils and depression:

6 Best Essential Oils For Depression

There are a lot of different essential oils to choose from.  Each one has their own properties that help alleviate different ailments you might be dealing with.  Below are the essential oils I have found to be most effective for alleviating depression.


Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils, that has so many different uses.  I have already written about the health benefits of lavender essential oil.  Lavender is said to be a calming scent. Even the Romans have used lavender and it has been used to relieve insomnia, anxiety, and yes depression.

Typically people will use lavender in their diffuser 20 minutes before they go to sleep. What this does is help improve the quality of their sleep. This will allow the mind to be more focused, feel more clarity, and alleviate their depressed thoughts.

This study in 2012 shows that lavender aromatherapy helped improve anxiety and depression in several postpartum women who were at high risk. They followed a 4-week schedule by defusing lavender daily and found that depression subsided drastically.

If you want to use lavender topically you can do so by rubbing it behind your ears and on the inside of your wrist. When you apply lavender topically it will enter your bloodstream in 5 minutes or less.

Click here to read about essential oils and sleep.  Also, click here to learn about essential oils and stress and anxiety.


Bergamot is one of those essential oil‘s that has a lot of antidepressant qualities. Typically, people think of citrus oils as stimulating.  However, bergamot is a citrus oil it doesn’t stimulate you. Bergamot will leave you feeling joyful, fresh, and even energized. Bergamot helps your blood circulate which contributes to its uplifting qualities. Also, this essential oil has been known to relieve anxiety.

Much like lavender bergamot has been studied and it’s been shown that it reduces your heart rate, blood pressure, and people often feel substantially calmer with bergamot.  Here is a study that shows bergamot is effective in relieving anxiety.

Typically people will mix bergamot with other essential oils mentioned in this article.  For example, I like to mix lavender with bergamot.  Also, bergamot mixes well with Roman chamomile and other floral essential oils.

Also, you can put a couple drops on your hands and then inhale the oils. People have often rubbed it on their stomach in the bottom of their feet.

You can use an inhaler like the one offered by Plant Therapy (see review here).  Mix 8 drops of bergamot with 7 drops of lavender.

Roman Chamomile

It’s not uncommon to find Roman Chamomile in tea, candles, and yes you guessed it essential oils. This is an amazing herb that is most known for fighting stress. Roman Chamomile also put your mind in a relaxed state.

Think of chamomile as a way to soothe your emotions and this will help your negative thoughts from existing. Aside from helping with your depression chamomile is a natural way to reduce anxiety, too.

Typically, people use Chamomile by putting 2-4 drops in their hands and inhale the vapors slowly for a minute at a time. Also, you can diffuse it by adding a couple drops to your diffuser.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang is another common essential oil used to help combat depression. It does this by combating negative thoughts which will keep your depression at bay.

Ylang Ylang has a nice floral scent that is in a lot of popular perfumes. It’s a sweet smelling flower which is found in tropical regions. Ylang Ylang also helps promote your hormonal balance. This will keep you from having mood swings, becoming irritable, as well as lower your stress levels.

Typically, people use ylang ylang by putting a couple drops on their wrist, feet, neck, and behind their ears to help improve their mood. People usually put 3-4 drops in their diffuser. Ylang ylang also pairs well with a lot of different essential oils like orange, lavender, etc.


Did you know that a study in 1995 actually proved that grapefruit is more effective than anti-depressants? Citrus essential oils are thought to be uplifting and stimulating. Grapefruit is no exception of the rule because it helps alleviate mental fatigue.  I’ve already written about the health benefits of grapefruit. Grapefruit is a powerful scent which helps combat your mood which helps you alleviate your depression.

Typically, people use grapefruit essential oil in their diffuser. Add 2 or 3 drops to your diffuser and help energize yourself throughout the day. Also, you can add a few drops to your diffuser your shower or bath to help give your mind an instant mental energy boost.


Sandalwood is an instant mood lifter. Meaning, it has a woody, warm, and calming aroma. Typically, people use Sandalwood when they are meditating because it helps them focus and with mental clarity. Because the scent has a lot of powerful therapeutic properties it directly affects the brain’s limbic system. It’s considered to be an emotional balancer and even has some sedative properties which help with a deeper quality of sleep.

Typically, people use it to inhale throughout the day. They rub it on their palms and cup it over their face to inhale it throughout the day. Also, you can use sandalwood as a massaging oil. You can use 6-8 drops to your jojoba oil and rub it on your body. Lastly, you can use it under your feet.

Roll-on Depression Blend

Depression Roll-On Blend

Carrier oils should always be used with essential oils. I wrote an article on mixing essential oils and carrier oils. One of the coolest parts to aromatherapy is making your own recipes of roll-ons. I like to keep roll-ons around the house for every occasion. It’s really simple to make a roll-on. Here is what you need to make it:

Make sure you shake the bottle when you are mixing it around. I like to add 5 ml of carrier oil in and add the first oil and then 5 drops. Then, add 5 more ml of carrier oil and another 5 drops of essential oil.

I am making this roll-on 5% which is kind of high. You might want to only do 5 total drops to make it 2% dilution.

You can rub the roll on on your hands, temples, wrist, bottoms of feet, chest, behind your ears, etc. Apply it every couple of hours throughout the day.

Lastly, you can use any combination of oils that you want on the above list for your depression roll-on. It’s up to you and you can experiment with it to find what works best for you.

Depression Diffusing Recipes

A lot of people have asked what are the best depression diffusing recipes. Here are some good blends I have used over the years:

Blend 1

If you’re feeling depressed, irritable, having aches and pains here a good blend:

  • Sweet Orange – 10 Drops
  • Geranium – 15 Drops
  • Lavender 5 Drops

Blend 2:

If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, and dealing with an infection, disease, or virus here’s a good blend:

  • Clary Sage – 10 Drops
  • Roman Chamomile – 5 Drops
  • Lavender – 5 Drops
  • Geranium – 10 Drops

Blend 3:

If you’re feeling like withdrawing from society, fear, and severe despair here’s a good blend:

  • Geranium – 6 Drops
  • Bergamot – 14 Drops
  • Sweet Orange – 5 Drops
  • Frankincense – 6 Drops
  • Vetiver – 1 Drop

What You Need To Know About Buying Essential Oils

There are a number of pointers I can give you when you’re buying essential oils. First, make sure that the essential oils are pure. Meaning they are 100% and backed by third-party GC/MS testing. Next, make sure they are in a brown glass bottle (or blue bottle). This keeps the sun from damaging the oils. Glass is used because plastic containers will release impurities into the oils.

Organic essential oils are also highly recommended but typically cost a little more money. The Latin name should always be on the essential oil bottle. Otherwise, you could mistakenly purchase a perfume scent. I have actually written an article which gives you more information on finding essential oils that are pure.

Don’t make the mistake of buying essential oils that are cheaper.  Cheaper isn’t always better as my Green Health review,  ArtNaturals review, and Radha Beauty review shows.

Warnings & Side Effects

Essential oils are natural but very powerful. Some people have allergic reactions to different essential oils, though. It’s best to try them out with a carrier oil and on a small skin patch to see if you have any allergic reactions to them.

Also, if you are nursing or pregnant you might ask your doctor prior to using any essential oils.

Final Thoughts

Depression is something that nearly everyone deals with. Going to a doctor and getting prescribed different medications isn’t always the best option. Aromatherapy is an effective way to treat depression, though. Millions of people have already found this out.

I should note that not every person will respond the same way with different essential oils. You can mix and match different essential oils to your liking and evaluate what works and what doesn’t. I would encourage you to experiment with the above essential oils to help relieve your depression.

Lastly, there are several companies that I recommend you buy your essential oils from.  I have listed them down below:

I would like to hear from you though. What essential oils do you use when you’re dealing with depression? Are there any recipes you use with essential oils? Do you have any questions that are not addressed in this article? Please leave your comments down below.

17 thoughts on “6 Best Essential Oils For Depression

  1. I just recently started using essential oils and I can already see the great benefits. My favorite essential oil is lavender, it just has a very calming effect on the body. Before going to bed I like to sprinkle some drops in my pillow and rub some on the soles of my feet. I just sleep like a baby.

    1. Hey Carmen,

      Lavender is certainly a lot of peoples favorite essential oil. There are certainly a ton of uses for lavender. Not only does it help with depression it helps with a long list of other things. It does work really good when rubbed on the bottom of your feet, though.

  2. Hey, this is an odd question but would you recommend that you mix different essential oils. For instance, would you recommend mixing lavender and grapefruit or should you just stick to one kind of essential oil for depression?

    1. Hey Mary,
      Yes, I would certainly recommend combining essential oils. You can make all kinds of great blends and can mix and match your favorite essential oils to your liking. Lavender does mix good with just about everything, though. It’s one of the most versatile essential oils.

  3. I didn’t know all that about essential oils the only way I ever used was in my homemade laundry detergent. Have you ever heard of doing that? I would very much like to try essential oil for the health factors I didn’t know it would get into your bloodstream and help lower blood pressure.

    1. Hey Fred,

      Actually yes I have heard of using essential oils for laundry detergent. Lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree, orange, rosemary, etc. are great for adding to your laundry.

  4. Love your post! I am a huge essential oil user and find that lavender is my favorite. Sandalwood is also a very soothing scent which I use a couple hours before bed and sleep like a baby. Thanks again for your great information!

    1. Hey Stacy,
      Good to hear that you’re big on essential oils. Lavender is a lot of peoples favorite. Since a lot of people use it for meditating it does make perfect sense that it works well for sleep.

  5. I get seasonal affective disorder and also have anxiety so when I heard about the benefits of essential oils I was a little skeptical. Ever since I invested in them though I noticed a difference. I like to mix lavender with eucalyptus when I’m having a stressful day and play some meditation music in the background and it does help! I’ve never heard of Ylang Ylang though. Have you used it and do you like it? Thanks for sharing!

  6. This post was quite informative. Didn’t realize there were so many oils that combat depression. I have been hearing more and more about the grapefruit oil for other things as well. Very powerful and healthful. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. I love the scent of Lavender. It is so nice to know that if I get depressed, Lavender can help fight the depression. Great post!

    1. Hey Melinda,

      Lavender is one of the most commonly used essential oils, too. It’s not just good for depression. It’s good for a lot of other things like sleep, bug repellant, anxiety, stress, acne, hair care, etc.

  8. I only know that lavender oil has the power to treat and cure infirmities like insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Depression happens to everyone and we all need to know this. I’m very against taking antidepressants and have been for many years now. You have also given well-calculated steps to treat depression in a way which has no side effects.

    I’m looking to try out some of the essential oils on your list. Personally, are there any that you recommend that has worked for you with depression?

    1. Hey H Phomrong,

      Yes, personally grapefruit has worked for me when I am feeling a little down. It seems to pick me right up and usually mix it with roman chamomile or frankincense. Really grapefruit mixes good with a lot of other essential oils.

      Also, I really do like ylang ylang when I am bothered by something or obsessing about something. It always seems to calm me down.

      Orange is another essential oil that I use a lot. It mixes really good with clove, ylang ylang, sandalwood, etc.

  9. I really like the smell of grapefruit essential oils and even lavender. Do you know why these work in treating depression? I’m still a bit unclear on how essential oils work.

    1. The smell of grapefruit energizes and uplifts your mood. This will help boost your mood and provide you with some extra mental clarity. It’s recommended to use it during the day 3-5 times. I like the Plant Therapy inhaler for depression.

      I’m not stating that you shouldn’t use anti-depressants or anything, but it’s a good aid to help alleviate depression symptoms.

  10. Very helpful article. Health is very important no matter what stage of life we are in. Our mental health and our physical health can go hand in hand. It’s all about how we live. 

    I love looking into those essential oils. There are numerous benefits and it sure does allow our bodies to heal itself. It’s all about how we treat our bodies and our minds. 

    This can go a long way. I am thinking about expanding my variety of essential oils. 

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