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These Are the Paint Colors That Will Boost Your Mood Every Day

Improve your happiness by surrounding yourself with these colors.

It's hardly news that our environment shapes our mood and our general outlook. From the weather and noise to the level of crowding on our subway car, sensory experiences can directly impact our happiness at any given moment. And that is especially true of the colors around us.

For example, research has shown that "warm colors" are consistently rated as more stimulating and exciting while "cool colors" leave people feeling more restful and calm. But if you're looking to improve your mood by painting a few key rooms in your home, you may wonder what specific colors you should consider. Here are seven picks that experts and researchers have found to be the happiest colors. 


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Cream is great in coffee and desserts, and it turns out it's great on walls too. Get the perfect shade with Farrow & Ball's Farrow's Cream, suggest designers Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl of Studio Life/Style to Real Simple.

The simple color has a magical ability to brighten up any space and give it that subtle glow that will lift your spirits. To reap the most benefits from the shade's glowy charm, you might want to use it in your kitchen. "Kitchens are great rooms to paint [this color] as it brightens your mood and increases your energy—something we usually all need in the morning as we make our way to the kettle," said the design duo. 

Bright Orange

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You already knew that looking at orange could boost your mood, but you not have thought to put it on your walls. That might be worth reconsidering, explains interior designer Jane Lockhart. 

"The color orange is the most social of all colors," she told Mental Floss. "It stimulates conversation, communication, and interaction. It reflects youth and energy and is a great choice for anywhere you want lots of action, activity, and high energy."

A good example is the striking Charlotte's Locks from Farrow & Ball. The shade offers warmth, energy, and a subtle brightness that will boost your mood no matter where you put it. 

Gray Cloud

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This bluish-gray shade from Benjamin Moore has a soothing and calming effect, says Claire Staszak from Centered by Design. "Blues always seem to please and make clients happy," the designer told Real Simple. "Benjamin Moore's Gray Cloud is the softest pale periwinkle and works well in a variety of spaces. Who doesn't want to feel as if they are floating in the clouds?"


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Spending time outside or even looking at an image of nature has been found to be one of the most reliable ways to improve your emotional state. So why not try painting your walls a color reminiscent of the great outdoors? That's what interior designer Allie Wilmoth suggests.

"Utilizing green and blue and coordinating a gray neutral color will help the small space feel larger, and an analogous color scheme of blues and greens creates a harmonious natural feel," the designer told Mental Floss. Home Depot's Opal Silk Green Eggshell is just the ticket for bringing this kind of calming, natural shade to your home.

Deep Blue

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$15 per sample, buy now at

Blue is not just about calming. Lockhart also described how "blue has been linked with productivity, honesty, and authority." If those are the things that bring you joy, consider a dark, energy-boosting blue such as Fine Paints of Europe's Delft Blue, which designer Kari Whitman told Elle Decor was one of her favorites. 

Living Coral

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Pinks create a playful, energetic feel that is great for lifting your mood. And one prominent example is Living Coral, selected as Pantone's color of the year for 2019. The company describes Living Coral as a color that "welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity" and symbolizes "our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits." Try Ardent Coral by Sherwin-Williams for an instant pop of color. 

Bright Yellow

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Plenty of research has shown that natural light is one of the most effective ways to improve one's happiness. So it makes sense that paint colors that evoke the sun can lift your mood. "What better way to mimic natural light in a room than with sunny yellow walls?" writes "Light, buttery hues reflect artificial light luminously without the risk of overpowering the space, as a bolder shade might." Try Bicycle Yellow from Behr for a bright, sunny shade that will make you feel better immediately. 

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Alex Daniel
A journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Read more
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