Some people believe that their mood is affected by the colours of their surroundings and their clothes. Colour therapy may involve painting rooms or wearing certain colours to try to boost mood.
Colour therapy also refers to an alternative therapy where patients are exposed to coloured light on their bodies. Note that this therapy is different, but similar, to light therapy.
It is not known how colour might affect mood.
Some research has been carried out showing that the colour of a room affects mood in people who do not have depression. However, there has been no research on how colour affects people who have depression.
It can be expensive and impractical to change the colour of your surroundings (i.e. by painting walls), especially in settings outside the home.
Books on the use of colour for health and well-being are available in bookshops and on the internet. You may also be able to find colour therapy workshops available, which are usually run by alternative health practitioners.
Given the lack of evidence on colour therapy, it cannot be recommended as a treatment for depression.
Last updated and reviewed: 1 November 2019