7 Color Trends That Will Instantly Boost Your Mood, According to Psychologists

colors for mood


Courtesy of Staud

If your first instinct is to light a candle to melt away stress or go for a run to feel energized, you'll want to add another tool for influencing your mood: the colors you pick out when getting dressed. We all know that fashion is inherently linked with how we feel, a tool we use to express our innermost emotions to the outside world, but psychological research asserts that it can go the other way too, that the colors we choose can end up influencing our mood and beyond that even our stress levels and attention span.

For us fashion people, that means that something as seemingly benign as picking out a red top versus a blue top might actually be a more significant choice than we thought, which is why we thought it would be fun to educate ourselves (and you) on the best colors for mood and the feelings each of them evokes. Guided by the exact color trends as dictated by the S/S 2020 runways, we're explaining the effect each one is said to have, and, of course, inspiring you with a few ways to wear each hue.

colors for mood: tangerine


Courtesy of Staud

Tangerine, although a color trend we've picked up on both on and off the runways, is intimidating to wear. But take on this punchy hue and you get to benefit from all the uplifting and energetic effects the bright orange has on the psyche, so really, the rewards outweigh the risks.

colors for mood: pale blue


Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Blue is often linked to feelings of calmness and tranquility, which has us conjuring idyllic images of a blue lagoon or swimming pool. While different shades of blue have different associations, we feel that this season's trending pale-blue hues are well-suited to feelings of calm and stillness. 

color for mood: milky white


Courtesy of Rejina Pyo

Here's a color trend you might not have considered to have any pronounced psychological effect but does. Sure enough, studies have linked shades of white and trending off-whites like ecru to feelings of peacefulness and cleanliness; two feelings I'd gladly embrace the next time I reach for my favorite white tee or beige trousers.

colors for mood: fuchsia


Courtesy of Marni

Shades of pink are known for their nurturing vibe, and even can project a feeling of love and kindness, according to research. The spring 2020 runways showed punchy fuchsia shades, which we can only imagine takes these feelings to level 10.

colors for mood: chive green


Courtesy of Kate Spade New York

Greens are very tied to nature and all the feelings of safety and grounding that come with experiences like hiking, sitting in the park, or just generally being surrounded by nature. There is also ample research to show that being in nature reduces stress and anxiety, but since we can't go run through a field of grass right now, trending shades of olive green will do just fine, too.

colors for mood: flame scarlet


Courtesy of Altuzarra

According to color psychology, red evokes polarizing opinions. On the one hand, it can be a very intense color and evoke negative emotions like anger and aggression, but on the other hand, that intensity can be seen as a positive thing and evoke passion and comfort. Flame scarlet—particularly an intense shade of red—is also a popular shade we saw on the S/S 2020 runways.

colors for mood: saffron


Courtesy of Sally LaPointe

In the yellow color family, S/S 2020's saffron hues are on the softer side, skipping the more attention-grabbing reputation of neon yellow. This season, we saw a much warmer iteration, involving feelings of warmth and brightness without the visual fatigue.