Home > Mental care actions > #1 Sun
A sunny day boosts your mood.
Current science indicates that:
(1) The onset of depression relates to reduced serotonin levels, and
(2) Serotonin levels increase on sunny days more than on darker days.
A well-known therapy called "light therapy” is a direct application of these scientific findings.
 Kent ST, McClure LA, Crosson WL, Arnett DK, Wadley VG, Sathiakumar N. Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study. Environmental Health. 2009;8:34. Link
 Lam RW, Levitt AJ, Levitan RD, et al. Efficacy of Bright Light Treatment, Fluoxetine, and the Combination in Patients With Nonseasonal Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(1):56-63. Link
 Lieverse R, Van Someren EW, Nielen MA, Uitdehaag BJ, Smit JH, Hoogendijk WG. Bright Light Treatment in Elderly Patients With Nonseasonal Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011;68(1):61-70. Link
What you can do with this knowledge
When you feel a little stressed, anxious, sad, or upset, take a quick break and walk outside or just look out the window. Even sunshine under a cloudy sky has plenty of light.
Unprotected exposure to UV radiation burns you like a steak. No really—it's a real health risk.
- A quick, easy read about sunlight and serotonin benefits.
- A broad, scientific narration on sunlight benefits.
- For further exploration, use the search keywords: sunlight benefits, serotonin
- "Unraveling the Sun's Role in Depression" by WebMD: 2002. Link
- "Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health" by M. Nathaniel Mead: 2008. Link