We all get ‘the blues’ sometimes.  Life is full of emotional ups and downs. And in the current times, where we are collectively and individually in difficulty, to varying degrees, it is natural to feel down sometimes. Some colour in our life might be just what we need to boost spirits and manage our mood.

If colour can affect our mood, why not choose colours that create a happy one?

Happy colours are bright and warm. Colours like yellow, orange and pink. Pastels like peach, light pink and lilac can also be uplifting. So, think ‘bright’ and ‘light’ when choosing colours for happiness and optimism.

Aside from individual colour preferences and cultural meaning, there are general tendencies in how colour affects us. Red tends to be energising and stimulating. Blue tends to calm and relax. It’s no surprise or secret that our reaction to colour is instinctive and natural. The green of grass and trees is  a way nature puts a smile on our faces! And would anyone say that yellow daisies or daffodils don’t bring joy?

Note: the intensity of the colour is important, too. Pure and bright shades will have a more intense effect. Softer tones a more calming and peaceful one. 


YELLOW – For most people, this is the #1 happy colour. Its golden hue will bring sunshine into your life

PINK – How can you not be happy around any shade of pink? A rich pink is dramatic while soft rose is soothing

ORANGE – Can always bring us to a happy place. A vibrant orange is energising and peach is quietly joyful

BLUE – With so many shades of blue, there must be one for you! Calm & relax with blue tones

GREEN – Think of nature … sunlight filtering through leaves. Lush green grass … Feeling better now?

For some more happiness inspiration, this article from The Huffington Post explores how colour can change your mood

“Our world is full of colors that can inspire us everyday. Studies and experts have shown that color can stimulate hormones that affect our moods through the central nervous system, while others look to Chakra explanations of how color affects our spirit”.

What’s YOUR ‘happy’ colour?

Let’s use colour to improve our mood …


Surround yourself, your environment with the colour that supports your mood. In clothing, in items around you or even visualise the colour. I have a Philips Living Colour light from years ago. The new system they produce is Colour Hue and it can colour your space in a myriad of colour choices. I use my light as a bed-side lamp and just colour as needed.

Another option is this full spectrum colour video. Just pause on sunny yellow, soothing green (or colour of your choice!), expand to full screen and you have your very own colour healing tool! Thanks to Mike Goedecke for creating this :)


Dig out your crayons, paints or pencils and explore your creative side with colour. Choose a limited palette of your happy-making colours and get drawing or painting. If you are not so artistic and feel more secure in just colouring in, then do what I do. Grab a colouring book – don’t we all have some stashed away? Colouring books for mindfulness or meditation have been popular for years! Using and focusing on your happy colour is a way to connect with colour visually and emotionally.

For the science-minded, this research study assessed ‘mood’, ‘favourite’ and ‘drawn to’ colours in 3 groups of patients – healthy, anxious, depressed – plus positive, negative, neutral attributions of the colours in healthy volunteers. Using a Colour Wheel, yellow was the most ‘drawn to’ colour and blue the commonest ‘favourite’ colour.

“The Colour Wheel could be used to assess health status, mood or even treatment outcome in a variety of clinical situations. It may also have utility in circumstances where verbal communication may not be optimal, such as with children. “

Orange is the happiest colour

frank sinatra

Final thought: Get your colour in whatever way makes you happy … through clothes or decor. But for an extra burst of joy, use flowers! Sunny sunflowers or yellow chrysanthemums, orange gerbera or poppies, pink tulips or roses are just a few. Pick your flower and colour for more joy in your day!


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