Colors and the Effect They Have on Your Mood

by Starr Ramos

The next time you want to get out of your funk and brighten your mood, think twice about the color you wear that day. The colors you wear have an impact on how you feel, as there is a science behind it known as “color science.” Color science is a field that focuses on the human perception of color. While it is not a large field, there is still evidence on the role clothes play in changing our everyday moods.“Research shows that colors can have a psychological effect. When we look at certain colors, it triggers neurological responses in the brain, and causes the hypothalamus gland to release hormones,” said Jules Standish, color consultant and author of “How Not to Wear Black.” For that reason, there are certain colors that are proven to make you happy, stress-free, confident and appear more powerful.

Colors to Avoid When Feeling Sad

While I acknowledge that sometimes black is just a mood, it is not the best color to wear when feeling down. Ironically enough, it is the color to wear during funerals, which seems to be one of the saddest times but clearly whoever orchestrated that did not know about color science. Research shows that colors can boost your mood, so try your best to steer away from shades of gray and black and darker colors altogether when sadness strikes.

Feeling Happy

When I think of happiness, I think of sunshine. Sunshine of course is best associated with yellow and warmer colors of that nature. If you want to feel happier, I would suggest yellow since it is the color of optimism, brightness and mental clarity. It helps ease sadness and encourages laughter. Orange is also a warm and inviting color that provides feelings of sociability and happiness.

Fighting Stress

The best colors to wear when dealing with stress are blue, green or any color in between on the blue-green color spectrum. Blue promotes rest and calm, while green brings about feeling of renewal, balance and peace.


In the words of Demi Lovato, what’s wrong with being confident? Some of us just need a little more confidence in our lives, and that can be gained from something as simple as our clothes. Red is associated with high energy and power, shows courage and strength and is known to instill confidence. Red demands attention and is just what you need when exerting your confidence.

Appearing Powerful

“Darkening any colors always adds empowerment,” said Leatrice Eisemen, the Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director, who helped choose the color of the year. When you want to assert your power, your go-to should be dark colors such as navy, charcoal, brown and maybe even some dark green and purple.


A version of this post originally appeared in “Clarity” The Teller May 2019 Issue 6

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