4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (2024)

NOTE: Created by me, a certified aromatherapist and herbalist, this tea blend can be a helpful part of your strategy for dealing with the long, dark days of winter. I love this tea because it helps even out my emotions and uplifts me. There’s something so soothing about a warm cup of tea on a dark, cold day. Enjoy this tea blend recipe!

As the Winter Solstice approaches, welcoming Winter officially to our part of the world, the days are short, and the nights are long.Although we can look forward to a gradual lengthening of the days now, the gloom of the dark days is still upon us now. Although I don't mind Winter too much, for some, it can be seriously depressing---potentially contributing to illness and emotional problems as well.

During these short, stark days of Winter, while we are starting to really miss the sunshine, flowers,and the garden growing, it is easy to become a little down. According to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) affects about six percent of the population, and up to 20 percent may also experience milder effects,also known as the "Winter Blues."

Symptoms of S.A.D. range from a general feeling of melancholy, lowered energy, cravings for sugars and starches, and weight gain to full-blown depression symptoms. Some people may even withdraw from family and friends. But there are some simple things you can do about these problems!

FTC Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This means if you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a very small commission at no extra cost to you.

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (2)

Natural Ways to Improve Your Mood

There are some effective and natural ways to improve your mood during the colder and darker Winter months!

1. Get Out in the Sun!

Just getting outdoors for a little while every day, even if it's cloudy outside, has been shown to help elevate your mood. Using lighting that provides a daylight option also helps because the UV rays somewhat mimic the sun. These light bulbs save money, PLUS they help to energize you and improve concentration.

2. Get Some Exercise--Move!

When your energy level is lower during the winter, it feels counter intuitive to exercise. However, getting some physical activity is a great way to improve your mood. Getting close to nature and just moving around has significant benefits on all parts of your body--not just your mood. Also---getting exercise is instrumental in helping your body release endorphins, those "happy chemicals" that naturally boost mood!

3. Eat Well

Nobody has ever felt better by eating a ton of sugar, processed foods, and high starchy carbs. Try your best to eat your veggies and be sure to get enough protein!

4. Drink Nutritious Herbal Mood-Boosting Tea

Here is a recipe for my favorite mood boosting herbal tea you can blend yourself that naturally helps create a more positive outlook and uplifted mood.

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (3)

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (4)

Ingredients in Happiness Herbal Tea

A note about the traditional herbalist's measurement in "parts": Measuring in parts simply means you get to choose which amount will comprise a part! If you want a large amount of bulk tea, for example, you could choose a cup to be a "part" and create your ratios accordingly. If you want only a small amount of tea, then just choose a small measuring tool, such as a tablespoon!

Where I get my herbs: If I don't grow them or forage for them, I purchase my herbs from Starwest Botanicals! They have fast shipping, pay attention to sustainability, have excellent prices, and the quality is always terrific!

The links below are to Amazon, for your convenience.

NOTE: Before using any herbs, be sure to do your research for possible contraindications, especially if you’re on medications, are pregnant, or nursing. There’s a brief summary of each herb in this tea blend below for you to read, but some herbs do have interactions with drugs, like St. John’s wort.

The Herbs:

3 parts St. John's Wort

2 parts Rose Petals

2 parts Oatstraw

2 parts Cinnamon

1 part Hawthorne flowers & leaves (optional)

1 part Peppermint

1 part Dandelion(optional)

1 part Eleuthero

1 part Orange Peel

Just blend the dried herbs together! That's it...and now you have a lovely tea blend to help you stay happy, well, and warm this winter!

How to Make Happiness Herbal Tea

For one cup of tea: Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried herb. Pour just boiled water over, cover, and steep for about 30 minutes. I like to use an infuser cup, because that way I don't have to strain out the herbs---the cup does it for you! Also, you can get another cup out of the herbs this way! Nice, right? Drink, sweeten if you like, and enjoy!

To make a greater amount: Fill a quart Mason jar with about an inch to an inch and a half of dried tea blend. Pour just boiled water to within an inch of the top. Cover, and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour or so for stronger tea. Strain out the herbs. Sweeten if you want, and enjoy! You can also store this tea in the refrigerator up to two days!

For detailed directions on how to make an herbal infusion, read this article!

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (5)

About the Herbs in Happiness Tea

***NOTE: I purchase my herbs from Starwest Botanicals, unless I grow or forage for them.

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum):

St. John's Wort is a small spreading shrub with pretty little yellow flowers. If you are foraging for wild St. John's Wort, you'll know you have the right plant because if you squeeze the flowers, you will end up with red juice on your fingers! Yep! Red!

Taken as a tonic over a period of two to three weeks, St. John's Wort is very effective in treating mild depression and anxiety in many people. It's also great for helping with symptoms of pain caused by neuralgia and used externally for healing wounds. Over the past three to four decades, there have been many clinical trials that prove the effectiveness of St. John's Wort, but using this herb (like most herbs) is not like taking a prescription pill. Cycled through periods of 3 to 4 weeks on and 1 to 2 weeks off, many find great results using St. John's Wort.

Safety Factors: When taken internally, St. John's Wort may cause photosensitivity, although I have never once experienced this or heard of anyone who did in my years of experience.

If you are taking anti-depressants, please speak with your physician before supplementing with St. John's Wort as there may be interactions. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should always seek medical advice before using herbs.

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (7)

Oat Straw (Avena sativa):

Milky oat tops so some amazing things for the nervous system. This herb helps relieve stress, nervous irritability, and anxiety. They are high in calcium and also contain high levels of protein, silica, B vitamins, and flavonoids. They are just plain good for you....besides being calming to the system.

Safety Factors: Unless you have an allergy to oats, this herb is completely safe.

Hawthorn Flowers & Leaves (Crataegus spp.):

A relative of the wild rose, Hawthorn is considered one of the best herbs for the heart. Hawthorn's actions on the body include dilating the arteries and veins. This helps blood flow and therefore, circulation. Hawthorn also helps to regulate blood pressure, as well as tones the heart muscle.

Hawthorn is well-known to herbalists for helping to ease grief and emotional pain.

Hawthorn has a sweet beautiful taste, and complements the power herbs above to help ease anxiety.

Safety Factors: Hawthorn is generally safe to use, however, if you are taking heart medications, you should talk with your doctor before using. I wish I could say to "talk to a doctor who knows something about herbs," but these are few and far between. Hawthorn strengthens the heart, but there is a slight possibility of interaction with certain heart medications.

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (9)

Dandelion (Taraxacum oficinale):

One of my favorite herbs, Dandelion grows everywhere and is packed with nutrition and health benefits! You can eat the leaves in salads, as well as create gentle but powerful tinctures and teas for the liver and kidneys. I included Dandelion in this tea because it is so full of nutrition. As Hippocrates once said, "Let thy food be thy medicine!"

Safety Factors: Dandelion is safe to eat, drink in teas, and to tincture!

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus):

Also known as Siberian ginseng, Eleuthero is famed for regulating and helping generate energy. In fact athletes are known to use it consistently to help with performance! Eleuthero doesn't give you that "rush" like caffeine does---no, it is more a general improvement of energy when used over time. Eleuthero is an adaptogenic herb, which means it helps support the stress response in your body. Over time, it helps you deal with anxiety and regulate cortisol.

Safety Factors: Eleuthero is safe for most people to use. If you are taking heart medications or medication for schizophrenia or other mental disorders, you should talk with your medical doctor before using.

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (10)

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (11)

Cinnamon Chips (Cinnamomum verum):

Cinnamon is warming and stimulating and enhances the actions of the power herbs in this tea. It is also known to regulate blood sugar levels. It tastes delicious and adds a great flavor to this tea!

Safety Factors: Avoid cinnamon in high amounts if pregnant, as it may stimulate the uterus.

Rose Petals (Rosa spp.):

Roses are calming, sweet, and lovely. That's why I added them to this tea.

Orange Peel and Peppermint:

Both added for the extra nutrition as well as the delicious and balancing taste! Yummy!

That's it!

Final Thoughts on Tea for Happiness

This is one of my favorite teas. As a person who personally struggles with anxiety, worry, tension, and definitely S.A.D., I find this tea very helpful, among other strategies I use. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these related articles:

Hibiscus-Mint Herbal Tea for Summer Delight (or Anytime)

Liver Loving Tea to Support Detoxification

Bones Tea (A Tea Filled with Important Minerals)

De-Stress and Relax—-A Tea for Helping You Unwind

And there are over 500 more on the website! I hope you’ll go explore, and reach out to me if you have questions or can’t find something.

Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance!


P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the weekly Newsletter! You'll never miss a thing, you'll get tips and recipes not found on the blog, and you’ll get immediate access to the password protected Resource Library! The library contains all kinds of great eBooks, guides, checklists, and lots more, like the eBooks, How to Use Herbs to Relax and 14 Simple Herbal Tea Recipes for Your Health!

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical doctor. In no manner, stated or implied, is any wording meant to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease or illness. If you’re having health issues, be sure to consult with your medical doctor. These statements are for information only and haven’t been evaluated by the FDA.

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (12)

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (13)

, Herbalism

Heidi Villegas, MA, CA, Herbalist

seasonal affective disorder, winter blues, herbal tea for S.A.D., how to get rid of depression, tea to make you happy, mood boost tea, how to get rid of winter blues, how to cheer up


4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (S.A.D.), PLUS a Recipe for Happiness Herbal Tea! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (2024)


How do you stop winter blues? ›

Make the most of natural light.

It might help to spend time in natural light, for example going for walks, spending time in parks or gardens, or simply sitting near a window. This seems to be helpful if you experience SAD in winter.

What is the meaning of winter blues? ›

Lots of people get depressed in winter, or suffer from “the winter blues”. The medical name for this winter depression is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If the short, dark days are getting you down, what can you do to feel like yourself again?

Does vitamin D cure seasonal depression? ›

Vitamin D has not been proven effective in the prevention, treatment, or symptom management of moderate and severe mood disorders.

How much vitamin D should you take for seasonal depression? ›

How does vitamin D help with seasonal affective disorder? Vitamin D deficiency is linked to the development of depression. One study⁷ has shown that supplementation with 5,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D per day during winter significantly reduced symptoms of SAD in women.

Is vitamin D good for winter blues? ›

Serotonin, a hormone that plays an important role in regulating your mood and sleeping patterns, is dependent on vitamin D. It's not surprising, therefore, that research has found a strong association between vitamin D deficiency and seasonal affective disorder.

What is good for winter blues? ›

Try a new winter activity, like skiing, ice skating or sledding. Practice mindfulness through meditation, journaling or breathing exercises. Continue or establish an exercise routine. Try light therapy with a light lamp, which can be purchased online.

How long does winter blues last? ›

If you're feeling blue this winter, and if the feelings last for several weeks, talk to a health care provider. “It's true that SAD goes away on its own, but that could take 5 months or more. Five months of every year is a long time to be impaired and suffering,” says Rudorfer.

What vitamins are good for winter blues? ›

Some studies suggest that certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and B vitamins, may be particularly beneficial for reducing symptoms of depression. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to learn more about how your diet can support your mental health.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Maia Crooks Jr

Last Updated:

Views: 6442

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Maia Crooks Jr

Birthday: 1997-09-21

Address: 93119 Joseph Street, Peggyfurt, NC 11582

Phone: +2983088926881

Job: Principal Design Liaison

Hobby: Web surfing, Skiing, role-playing games, Sketching, Polo, Sewing, Genealogy

Introduction: My name is Maia Crooks Jr, I am a homely, joyous, shiny, successful, hilarious, thoughtful, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.