How Flowers Can Help Beat the Winter Blues

Plants and flowers have many therapeautic benefits. They can positively affect people’s mood and mental health during the winter season.

By: THURSD. | 14-02-2024 | 8 min read
Floral Education Flowers Indoor Plants
This Is How Flowers Can Help You Beat the Winter Blues and Bring Cheer

Winter is, usually, marked by days becoming shorter, and many people experience a decrease in mood and energy levels. This phenomenon, commonly known as the ‘winter blues’ or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), can have a weighty impact on people’s overall well-being. However, there is a natural remedy that can help alleviate these winter blues - flowers! 

Flowers can positively affect people’s mood and mental health during the winter season. Drawing from scientific research and expert opinions, it has been established that in different ways, flowers can brighten people’s spirits, improve their emotional well-being, and provide a much-needed burst of color and energy during the cold months.

Plants and Flowers... and the Winter Blues

If you’ve ever popped into a florist to buy someone flowers, chances are you’ve said something along the lines of "Aren’t they beautiful" or "They smell so nice" with a giant big smile on your face. There’s a reason for that smiley face: flowers are proven to make you happy.


Flowers Can Help Beat the Winter Blues
Potted Pink Begonias.
Photo by @bobkat_roots4u


From boosting mood to lowering stress, several studies over the years have found that flowers can help improve your mental health by triggering happy brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and the love hormone, oxytocin.

Color therapists, also known as chromatherapists, also argue that different colors correspond with different vibrations throughout the body. If things are a little off chemically, science says that everything can be treated by exposing your eyes to colorful stimuli.  In other words, the brighter the floral scene, the happier the person.


​F​lowers can help beat the winter blues
A bright bouquet of flowers naturally brightens a gloomy room.
Photo by @alajamie


Not only that, but bright flowering houseplants - especially those that bear colorful flowers - are not only decorative elements added to the home, but rather, they naturally improve mood, and more than that, enhance the air quality in indoor spaces. They, essentially, create a pleasant atmosphere that helps people to feel warm and comfortable in their homes despite the winter gloom, with more research showing that they calm and reduce stress.

The Impact of Nature on Our Mental Health

Before getting into the specific benefits of flowers, it's important to, first, understand the broader impact of nature and flowers on people’s mental health. Flowers are, ideally, known to be full of positive effects.


​F​lowers can help beat the winter blues
Cymbidium with its elegant and mysterious appearance makes a perfect flower to beat the winter blues.
Photo by


Numerous studies have shown that exposure to nature, even in small measures, can have a positive effect on well-being. Spending time in nature has been linked to reduced stress levels, improved mood, increased happiness, and enhanced cognitive function.

During the winter months, when people tend to spend more time indoors, access to nature becomes limited. This lack of exposure to natural elements can worsen the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder or winter blues. However, bringing nature indoors, particularly through the presence of flowers, can help alleviate these effects.


​F​lowers can help beat the winter blues
With their varied colors and richness in varieties, you can be sure to have enhanced well-being with plants and flowers in your home.
Photo by @decorumplantsflowers


The Emotional Impact of Flowers

Flowers have a unique ability to create and inspire emotions and uplift our spirits. A study conducted by Rutgers University found that the presence of flowers in our environment triggers positive emotions, increases feelings of life satisfaction, and promotes a sense of well-being. The study also revealed that flowers have an immediate impact on our mood, eliciting genuine beams and expressions of happiness.

What’s most exciting about this study, according to Prof. Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher on the study, is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods healthily and naturally.


Potted Pink Begonias. Photo by @bobkat_roots4u
The PaX series of Royal Mums from @royalvanzanten


In a nutshell, the 10-month study showed that flowers are natural and healthful moderators of moods. Those part of the trial reported feeling less depressed, anxious, and agitated after receiving a bunch of flowers and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and even contentedness in life.

Prof. Jeannette Haviland-Jones

“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy. Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well-being.”


​F​lowers can help beat the winter blues
Peonies in an elegant white color could be an ideal addition to beat the winter blues.
Photo by @flowerstud and @antonspaargaren


In essence, the vibrancy of the colors and their entrancing scents can stimulate people’s senses and create a positive atmosphere within their homes. It could be just a bouquet of roses, a vase of daisies, or a potted plant; flowers just have a way of bringing a touch of nature's beauty into human living spaces and neutralizing the dullness of winter months.

The Psychological Benefits of Flowers 

Aside from their aesthetic appeal, flowers offer a myriad of psychological benefits. Research has shown that having flowers in our immediate environment can reduce stress levels, anxiety, and feelings of depression. The presence of flowers has been linked to increased feelings of calmness, relaxation, and overall life satisfaction.


Flowers Can Help Beat the Winter Blues
A bouquet of flowers from @royalvanzanten


These beautiful blossoms, also, have the power to enhance creativity and improve our cognitive abilities. A study conducted at Texas A&M University found that the presence of flowers in the workplace led to increased worker productivity, creativity, and innovation among workers.

Moreover, flowers can bring out a sense of connection and improve social interactions. The act of giving or receiving flowers has been shown to strengthen relationships, increase feelings of compassion and empathy, and promote positive social behavior. 


​Flowers Can Help Beat the Winter Blues
Yellow chrysanthemums, and tables full of phalaenopsis. Flower gardening can be therapeutic, especially during winter.
Photo by prostooleh


How Flowers Help Beat Winter Blues

Flowers can, without a doubt, help beat the winter blues and bring some cheer to the colder months. For starters, during the winter, the landscape can appear dull and dreary. Flowers, therefore, provide vibrant colors and visually stimulating elements that can elevate one’s mood and create a more cheerful environment.

Research has, similarly, shown that flowers have a positive impact on mood and emotional well-being. They can help reduce feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression heightened by winter. The presence of flowers in people’s surroundings can create a more positive and uplifting atmosphere.


Flowers Can Help Beat the Winter Blues
Wintry white chrysanthemums with anthurium flowers and a touch of green asparagus sprengerii by @royalvanzanten


Many flowers have pleasant fragrances that can have a calming and soothing effect on people’s minds. The aroma of flowers can help relax senses and create a more tranquil environment, which can be particularly beneficial during the winter months when people spend more time indoors.

In addition, flowers are often associated with positive emotions and symbolism. They can represent beauty, growth, new beginnings, and hope. Therefore, surrounding oneself with flowers acts as a prod towards these positive associations and helps shift people’s mindsets towards a more optimistic outlook.


Flowers Can Help Beat the​​ Winter Blues
Pink begonias in a pot.
Photo by @pipiflower


In winter, when outdoor gardening may not be practicable, one can engage in indoor gardening by growing potted plants and flowers. Taking care of plants can be a satisfying and pleasing activity that provides a sense of purpose and connection with nature. Plus, such activities are a natural element that connects people with the beauty of the natural world. Even during winter when outdoor events may be limited, tending flowers indoors can help maintain a connection with nature and provide a sense of liveliness and rejuvenation.

Choosing the Right Flowers to Beat the Winter Blues

When selecting flowers to help beat the winter blues, it's essential to consider those flowers that thrive in colder temperatures and can withstand the indoor environment. 


​Flowers Can Help Beat the Winter Blues
Daffodils with bulbs on a window ledge.
Photo by @seedsandstones


As one incorporates flowers into their living spaces or workspaces, they should consider using fresh flowers, potted flowering plants, or even dried flower arrangements. These flowers can be placed on windowsills, desks, or any area where one spends a significant amount of time. 

Also, remember to choose flowers that are easily available during the winter season or opt for hardy indoor plants that thrive in lower light conditions.

Some popular choices include

Amaryllis: Known for their large, trumpet-shaped flowers, these bulb flowers can be grown indoors and bloom during the winter months.


Flowers Can Help Beat the Winter Blues
Flowers and some greenery in a miniature potted garden.
Photo by @royalvanzanten


Cyclamen: This is a delicate flowering plant that comes in a range of colors and, definitely, adds a pop of brightness to any room.

Orchids: With their elegant and long-lasting blooms, orchids are a popular choice for indoor flowers during the winter season. In fact, these flowers have their own national day!

A Natural and Effective Way to Beat the Winter Blues

Prioritizing one’s mental health and well-being is vital for human existence. Flowers, in effect, offer a natural and effective way to take care of one’s health and well-being by helping beat the winter blues and in turn, uplifting spirits. 


​F​lowers can help beat the winter blues
Colorful flowers can help lift spirits and boost well-being.
Photo by @antonspaargaren 


Choosing the right flowers and incorporating them into our daily lives, for that reason, helps in harnessing the positive impact of nature and creating an environment that promotes happiness, general well-being, and a sense of connection. Essentially, fresh flowers present the much-needed boost of positivity, more so during the wintry months.


Feature image by prostooleh, and header image by freepik.



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