The No-Pill, All-Natural Guide to Becoming a Happier Person

by Erin Jahns

Free People

As someone who originally hails from the arctic depths of Minnesota, I’m no stranger to bone-chilling temperatures and perpetually dark and gloomy cloud cover. While I was growing up, the cold months were brutal, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) wasn’t uncommon. Though not immune, I was generally able to stomach the colder temperatures and ice-covered roads with less chagrin than some of my fellow Midwesterners. However, last winter (post-college graduation, pre-definitive post-college plans), I struggled. Life felt messy, stressful, and overwhelming, and I felt like I needed support.

Depression is a beast of all shapes and sizes, and since I fell on the milder side of the spectrum, I staunchly resisted my GP’s suggestion of going on a popular antidepressant and instead opted for the natural route. Before doing so, I made an appointment with a well-known doctor who specialized in integrative and alternative medicine, and to say I learned a lot is an understatement.

As it turns out, nature totally has our back when it comes to managing stress, anxiety, and mood. So whether you need a light mood boost or you’ve just been feeling uncharacteristically blue as of late, there are plenty of natural options for you to explore that don’t involve a prescription (though you should always talk with your physician before starting a new regimen).

Keep scrolling for our favorite, research-backed alternatives.

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