How Sunlight Boosts Mood

In mental health by Tree House Recovery

The Science of Sunlight

We all know that special feeling of levity and excitement when we spend even a few moments in the sun. The sun is our main energy source on this planet and as such, is vital for our health. The sun represents vitality, energy, action, and light. Spending time in the sun has been shown to improve mood, as it boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, the happiness hormones. It also allows our bodies to produce vitamin D, which is essential for a focused, clear, and happy mind. More and more studies reveal the vast impact that sunlight has on mental health. An estimated 20 percent of Americans suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which triggers fatigue, depression, and sadness as the sunlight dwindles during winter months. 

Getting Out in the Sun

Make time to get out in the sun regularly while we still have access to it! Soak up the vitamin D and feel-good energy. In the winter when the sun is scarce, sunlamps and sunlight meditations offer nice alternatives to natural sunlight. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it might be necessary to supplement with vitamin D during the winter and to make sure we’re getting out in the sun as much as possible in the spring and summer.

Meditating on the Sun

Sometimes (especially in Portland) it can be difficult to find natural sunlight in the fall and winter months. Meditate on the warmth of the sun and the feel of the rays on your face and eyes. Visualize warm tones like yellows, oranges, and reds. These visualizations will help energize you and infuse you with that magical sunlit feeling.


Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474