These Editor-Approved SAD Remedies Will Help Kick Your Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder is no joke — these remedies can help.

how to get rid of winter blues
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Though most people tend to think of it as the "winter blues," SAD, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a form of significant depression that's brought on by the change from warm to cold seasons. It affects millions of people worldwide (and approximately 6% of the total U.S. population), leaving many with a feeling of constant dread or anxiety during the winter months. Though it's important to consult your doctor if your symptoms are interfering with your quality of life, there are also tons of home remedies and particular things you can do to curb or lessen your depression.

We put together a list of products, foods, tools, and ways that some of our editors have fought back against SAD, and hopefully they'll help you find some joy during these cold and dreary months.

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Verilux HappyLight Touch 10,000 Lux LED Light Therapy Lamp
amazon.com
$99.95
$79.95 (20% off)

Phototherapy is a great, noninvasive remedy for SAD. The bright light that SAD lamps emit can help naturally regulate the body's energy levels to start each day on a brighter note.

As Dr. Deborah Serani, psychologist and author of Living With Depression, tells Techpluz, "Individuals with SAD often have an ultra-sensitive body clock, called circadian rhythm, which gets thrown off when exposed to less sunlight. To help reset your body clock, sunshine or artificial light are used. Though it can help to spend more time outdoors and use sunshine to your advantage, I always recommend that patients invest in light-therapy devices, because they can better control the timing and dosage of artificial light. Bright Light Therapy has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of SAD."

This brand-new SAD lamp model from Verilux offers three brightness levels and two colors of light, and is operated by two buttons on the bottom of the panel. The device is also conveniently slim and lightweight, making it ideal for frequent travelers.

More: Herbal Remedies to Keep You on Your Toes This Winter

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Cree LED Soft White (2700K) Dimmable Light Bulb (Four-Pack)
amazon.com
$19.45

Make sure that the other lights in your home aren't inadvertently stressing out your system, either! Rooms that are lit by bulbs with mismatched color temperatures throughout can feel tired and drab, even disorienting.

Aim for consistency by stocking up on these energy-efficient, user-touted LED bulbs (they're a favorite of Business Insider and Wirecutter, too). They're a 60-watt replacement, giving off the same warm-white color temperature that showcases a room in its best light. Even better, these bulbs are also dimmable, making them great for using during your bathroom and bedroom wind-down routines.

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Rituals The Ritual of Hammam Scented Candle
amazon.com
$35.00

We think one of the most effective remedies for combatting SAD is to create personal rituals. Whether it's a self-care practice, exercise, or a few moments dedicated to indulging the senses, creating your own sense of peace at home can help combat anxiety, sleeplessness, or frazzled nerves associated with SAD. 

This "Ritual of Hammam" scented candle from wellness brand Rituals will fill your living space with the invigorating aroma of fresh rosemary and eucalyptus to help revitalize your senses.

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TCHO Extra Dark Chocolate (12-Pack)
amazon.com
$47.74

The powerful antioxidants naturally found in dark chocolate can help reduce anxiety and depression — particularly when those experiences are related to or triggered by high stress levels. Since stress-induced anxiety and depression can often accompany SAD, consuming antioxidant-rich foods like dark chocolate can be an effective natural remedy.

Though it's important to consume it in moderation, you can feel good about treating yourself to a piece of dark chocolate (preferably with a high cacao percentage), like this decadent option from TCHO.

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Nature Made High Potency Magnesium

amazon.com
$29.86

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Magnesium can help boost energy levels, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep. It aids in the production of serotonin and melatonin, which are both important for fending off depression and getting a better night's rest.

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Wake-Up Light With Sunrise Simulation

amazon.com
$26.99

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Waking up to an almost-dark sky or a ton of gray clouds can set you up for the day on a dreary note. Instead, wake to a simulated sunrise with this alarm clock that can be customized with light levels and intensity.

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InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

amazon.com
$20.99

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There's no better way to create a spa experience at home than to use a diffuser loaded with essential oils that uplift you throughout the day. Lavender is great for relaxation, while lemon or grapefruit (or a combination of the two!) provide an energizing buzz in the air. We love to use citrus oils in the winter to keep our spirits up — just beware that if you own cats, diffusing essential oils can be toxic to them.

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Habit-Bull App

Free, available for iOS and Android

This app has a clean, colorful interface that makes starting good habits over the winter months way more fun. Each day presents a fresh, color-coded checklist of chosen habits that users can either check yes/no, or enter a number to denote whether or not a habit goal was met. Users can look back on their weeks and months to chart progress on anything from flossing, to hours of sleep, to fitness, to volunteer work.

The free version of the app allows you to track five habits at a time, but the premium version lets you track up to 100 of them for a one-time price of $4.

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Numi Organic Three Roots Turmeric Tea

amazon.com
$17.19 for pack of three

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Turmeric can boost your mood and improve overall health. The spice typically associated with Indian cooking contains active compounds tumerones and curcuminods, which have both been associated with a wide range of health benefits. It can prevent and reduce inflammation, and it also imparts a warming flavor in dishes when used in ground or fresh form.

More: The Best Turmeric Teas for Improving Wellness and Reducing Inflammation

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Vitruvi Grapefruit Essential Oil

sephora.com
$13.00

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Vitruvi makes some of the most high-quality essential oils we've tried, and their grapefruit option is particularly elevating. They can also be mixed with carrier oils (like coconut or almond) and used as moisturizers for your skin.

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eLander LED Tea Lights Flameless Candle

amazon.com
$13.99 for set of 12

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Sometimes, the best way to deal with depression or wintertime fatigue is to just create a cozy nook at home that'll give you peace of mind and serenity. These flameless candles are perfect for relaxing baths or bedtime reading (and you don't have to worry about blowing them out).

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Megafood Vitamin D3 Dietary Supplement

amazon.com
$31.37

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Though the research is mixed, some studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D pills can have a positive impact on depression rates. Our brains contain receptors for vitamin D in areas that are linked to the development of depression, which means there's a possibility that increasing your vitamin D intake can be an effective way of combatting the effects of SAD.

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Levoit Air Purifier Filtration System

amazon.com
$89.99

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Because you probably have the heater on full blast, houses and apartments can get stuffy in the winter, leading to an increase in home allergies and a decrease in air quality. Optimize your space for healthy living in the winter with a purifier that'll freshen the air (and keep you from experiencing that fuzzy/foggy feeling at home).

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SAD remedies
Natierra
Natierra Nature's All Foods Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries

amazon.com
$5.76

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Not only are blueberries high in antioxidants, but there's also significant evidence that suggests a link between eating blueberries and improved cognition and memory function. Because they don't tend to be available fresh in the winter, you can opt for frozen or freeze-dried versions that can be used in smoothies, oatmeal, and desserts.

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Lush Outback Mate Soap

lushusa.com
$6.95 per ounce

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With a tagline of "wash away the blues," there's no chance this soap bar from Lush could be anything but uplifting. Soak in the energizing aromas of eucalyptus, lemongrass, and peppermint as you shower for an invigorating treat that'll boost your mood each day.

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Food to Live Raw Walnuts

jet.com
$43.99 for 5-pound bag

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Walnuts are another food that's exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids. They support overall brain health and can help you fight seasonal depression.

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SAD remedies
ClassPass
ClassPass Membership

classpass.com
price varies depending on location

Getting exercise is a majorly important part of combatting SAD. It can boost your mood and overall health, but it can also help to tire you out so that your sleep cycles are better regulated. ClassPass is a monthly program that allows you to pay a flat fee and take as many fitness classes as you want (at participating gyms). It'll also give you more reasons to leave the house and commune with others.

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Headspace App

Free, available for iOS and Android

Cultivate a little inner peace during the darker months by downloading Headspace to help get you started on your meditation journey. Andy Puddicombe, founder of the Headspace app (and former Buddhist monk), believes that a few minutes a day of quiet, focused breathing can make a world of difference in a busy life.

The free version of this app starts users off with 10 guided meditations, narrated by Puddicombe, which help to make sense of the jumble of thoughts that we experience when we try to quiet our minds.

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sad remedies
Hidrate
Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Water Bottle

amazon.com
$49.99

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You know what they say — hydration is key! Make sure you're staying hydrated in the winter with a water bottle that reminds you to drink more. The Hidrate Spark connects to an app that tracks your water intake, and the bottle lights up through the day to let you know when to take another sip.

It's easy to remember how important water is in the summer when you're constantly sweating it out, but it's much harder in the winter when you're at a desk or curled up on a couch most of the time.

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Ohisu Blue Foot Basin

amazon.com
$19.95

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Sometimes, an at-home spa night is the best way to beat the drudgery of cold weather. Use this basin to soak your feet in a hot bath without having to fill up the whole tub.

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How to Win Friends & Influence People

amazon.com
$11.58

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A lack of social interactions in the winter due to unforgiving weather can contribute to a deeper feeling of depression and SAD. Packed full of great advice on how to improve your social life and build closer relationships, this best-selling classic is not only a great read, but also provides you with useful tools to utilize when it comes to being social or making friends.

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LUSH Happy Thoughts Bath Oil

lushusa.com
$5.95

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Citrus is a great way to lift your spirits, and so is a luxurious bath at the end of a long day. This solid bath oil is infused with neroli and Brazilian orange oils (plus a pinch of mineral-infused Himalayan salt) that'll wake you from a wintry lull.

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Simple Fare: Fall and Winter

amazon.com
$23.79

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Eating well and cooking at home are two major keys to keeping yourself happy and healthy during the winter. The Simple Fare cookbook is full of interesting and easy meals that feature ingredients available during the fall and winter, so you can focus on nourishing your body and mind with healthy and simple meals.

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Talkspace App

Various pricing packages, available for iOS and Android

There's not reason to suffer through SAD alone — while the process of finding a good therapist isn't always easy, being able to take steps to prioritize your mental health is always worthwhile. The Talkspace app is a good first step for first-time therapy-seekers and those with busy schedules. It starts users with a free consultation that helps you find just the right therapist match based on your particular needs.

Once you match with a licensed therapist, you can establish how often you'd like to check in with them via text about the issues that are going on in your life. The Talkspace service costs $32 a week, but it allows users to get the help they need on a regular basis without taking any time out of their day.

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