How Painting Your Room Can Boost Your Mood 

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

Paint store employee assists male customer
Maybe this has happened to you before: You’re walking into a store for the first time and are surprised to notice bursts of brightly-colored decorations or designs. Or maybe you’re in an unfamiliar building and turn a corner to see a vividly colored room or wall. It might be enough to stop you in your tracks. But how does it make you feel? It might depend on the colors. There is an entire school of thought based on how different colors affect how we feel. Let’s look at how the simple act of repainting a room can boost your mood.
Color and mood. A deep red, a warm bronze, even a shocking pink – everyone has a favorite color or two. But psychological research has shown that certain colors can evoke specific feelings in people. Some hues can make people feel more anxious, or more negative, while other colors reportedly make people feel happier and calmer.
Even colors in the same warm or cool families can spark different reactions, depending on the shade, according to an article in VeryWell Mind. For example, parts of the red family on the color spectrum – reds, oranges, yellows – can either be associated with feelings of warmth and coziness, or anger. In contrast, parts of the blue family – the cool shades of blue, green and purple, can either bring on feelings of serenity and calmness – or sadness.
A recent study examining color and mood found participants making these connections:
  • Orange and yellow: Joy
  • Blue and white: Relief
  • Green: Contentment
  • Red: Love
  • Purple: Pleasure
Your color connection. Given these findings, it’s very possible that redecorating with a little paint can help boost your mood at home, or even in your office. You don’t have to paint an entire room. If you’ve got white or light-colored walls, you could just paint one wall – a technique known as creating a “statement wall.” Before you hire a painter or get out your own drop cloths and brushes, think about what kind of feelings you want to elicit. Would walking into a sunny yellow or tangerine orange kitchen make you happier? How about creating a cocoon-style bedroom for better sleeping by repainting the walls a soothing light blue or green?
Since not everyone experiences color-related feelings the same way, it’s important to do a little mental research before you paint. Spend some time with colors you think you might like. Get several swatches from your local paint store and affix them to the walls. See which colors you’re happy to walk by – and which ones you are not.
Emotional impact of color. If you want to dig into the research behind certain colors, WebMD put together a primer on the emotions linked to several different hues. Some highlights:
  • Studies have shown the color blue to have the largest positive impact on a person’s mental health and their behavior. Blue-colored light can even help get your body’s natural rhythm back on track.
  • Green is good for sparking your creativity. It also makes you feel less tired.
  • Red may be energizing, but it’s not the best color for heads-down work, planning and problem-solving.
Photo credit: Getty Images

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