What to eat for sadness?

When we are sad, we tend to eat a lot of sweets, hoping that this will make the sadness go away. However, this seems to be a misconception, as sugar not only promotes weight gain and inflammatory processes, but also apparently increases the risk of depression later on [1]. Therefore, indiscriminate consumption of sugary foods is not recommended.

Alternatively, healthy foods that also have a positive effect on our mood and are very suitable to lighten the mood are offered. Here, we should especially mention those foods that promote the production of the so-called "happiness hormones" serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with a positive mood.

5 foods against sadness

1. dark chocolate

Dark chocolate also contains sugar, but it also contains many valuable ingredients such as theobromine, which increase well-being and improve mood [2]. The pleasant taste and typical texture of chocolate also contribute to mood elevation [3]. In addition, dark chocolate - enjoyed in small quantities - has other positive effects on health, because it contains flavonoids, which promote blood flow to the brain and have an anti-inflammatory effect [4].

Lebensmittel gegen Traurigkeit

2. bananas

Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. They are also rich in prebiotic fiber, which is important for a healthy gut flora (gut microbiota). Studies show that a robust gut microbiota is associated with lower rates of mood disorders [5].

3. oats

Oats contain a lot of fiber, which keeps blood sugar levels at a stable level, which can lead to a better mood and prevent mood swings [6]. Oats are also a very good source of iron. Iron is an important nutrient for the body. Insufficient iron intake leads to fatigue and mood disorders and increases the risk of certain diseases [7].

Ernährung gegen Traurigkeit

4. berries

Berries have an antioxidant effect and can thus help fight oxidative stress. Their plant pigments (anthocyanins) not only give them their red to blue color, but also appear to have a mood-lifting effect. For example, one study showed that a diet rich in anthocyanins was associated with lower depressive symptoms [8].

5. nuts / seeds

Nuts and seeds should be an integral part of your diet, as these foods are full of plant-based proteins, healthy fats and fiber, as well as selenium and zinc. They are also an important source of tryptophan, which is a precursor to the happiness hormone serotonin and can improve mood [9].


Although it is tempting to consume mainly high-sugar (and thus high-calorie) foods when feeling sad, you should not give in to this temptation too often. Because eating too often not only threatens unwanted weight gain, but also increases the risk of certain diseases such as depression. Instead, favor healthy foods like dark chocolate, bananas and berries, oats, nuts and seeds, which are also considered mood boosters.


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28751637/
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24117885/
[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16546266/
[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29539647/
[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30838027/
[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17176639/
[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23735056/
[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29695122/
[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26560523/