7 Essential Oils to Help With Anxiety, Stress and Depression

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Naturally Blended

7 Essential Oils to Help With Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Lavender essential oil and diffuser
Lavender is great for calming anxiety

Emotional concerns affect many people whether it’s just a bad slump, anxiety over a special circumstance, or straight-up depression. We have busy lives, and not feeling at your best emotionally can seriously impact you.

It’s easy to feel anxious, depressed or overwhelmed with busy schedules and hectic lives.  We’ve all been there.

Can essential oils help with emotional issues like anxiety?

The short answer is: They might help, but they won’t cure.

Essential oils won’t cure your emotional issues (such as depression, anxiety or stress) but they can absolutely help boost your self-care routine. But before we get into that, check out our blog post on inhalation.

Which essential oils should I choose to help with anxiety, depression or stress?

These are the oils that are known to help with symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.

Just remember: Scent is incredibly individual. We can make general statements about certain oils, like we did in What are Therapeutic Properties?. But that just gives us a good starting point. Your recipes may still need tweaking in order to work as desired.

1. Basil (linalool)

Basil Linalool forAnxietyThe high linalool content of this oil makes it ideal for calming! Using Basil together with bergamot and/or citrus oils, basil can be useful in calming the mind and body.

2. Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil for depressionThis bright, fresh-smelling oil is excellent for brightening mood and lifting spirits. When used with Neroli and Vanilla, it is one of our favorites for moments of feeling overwhelmed or stressed!

3. Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil for relaxationFrankincense is one of the most frequently used oils and when blended with Cedarwood or Sandalwood.  It can be useful to help calm and focus your mind, creating a relaxing and mediative feeling.

4. Geranium

 Geranium Essential Oil for RelaxingAn uplifting and balancing essential oil, Geranium is best blended with deep scents like Vetiver or Patchouli. This oil has a very strong, floral scent and when combined with either of those grounding, calming scents can create a very relaxing environment.

5. Lavender

Calm nerves with Lavender essential oil

Lavender is the quintessential relaxing scent. Use Lavender together with deep, resinous scents like Frankincense to create calm and peace or with lighter citrus notes to provide a lift in mood.

6. Neroli

Neroli essential oil supports calming with a floral scentA lovely, floral scent, Neroli is great when combined with Bergamot and Vanilla. Also fantastic blended with Lavender!

7. Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile is a great essential oil for reducing stressA light, fresh scent that blends beautifully with small amounts of Geranium and Lavender, Roman Chamomile is relaxing, and so nice when used in a bath prior to bed!

Some quick and easy ways to use essential oils for relief of anxiety:

  • Create a personal inhaler. We’ve done this for myself, my kids and several friends. Take it with you for an on-the-go pick me up.
  • Take a nice bath, pamper yourself. Then get a good nights rest. Here’s a wonderful article, Creating an Aromatherapy Bath.
  • Create your own personal diffuser blend to ward off anxiousness. Use a blend of oils you personally find uplifting, on days you feel overwhelmed or particularly stressed.

It’s important to remember that aromatherapy is just one tool in the toolbox to assist with emotional concerns like depression, stress and anxiety. A proper diet is another key factor, using herbal preparations is another and finally plenty of rest can be useful in the reduction of stressful or anxious feelings.

140 thoughts on “7 Essential Oils to Help With Anxiety, Stress and Depression”

  1. My 9 year (starting 4th grade in August. ) was diagnosed with selective mutism. She has not spoke to anyone at school but she speaks to others outside of school.

    Will not speak in front of classmates. Instead of medicine my husband and I would rather try something else…

    Just wondering about oils and if there was something that would help!!!! Sorry this is so long!!! 🙂

  2. This is a great article. I am a peer support worker for a company that helps people with all types of mental health issues. Most, like me are on daily medication, however I have started using some of these essential oils when we make our stress balls for everyone. That way we have stress balls that also use aroma therapy. I can’t tell you how much everyone loves them.
    Thanks for the information in this blog! Keep up the great work!

  3. Never thought to use basil for calming down but wow did it do the trick. Some basil blended with bergamot and a tiny bit of frankinsence made me way more relaxed

  4. I love the smell of the roman chamomile. I never liked the smell of the oil until I purchased it from PT. The first time I diffused it, it knocked me out. It’s effect was very powerful on me, which was great as I diffused it to help me sleep at night. Subsequent times I diffused it after that it didn’t work as strongly, but still worked. Not sure why. I like to use it for sleep, and for anxiety. I am a little sensitive to the smell however. Maybe diffusing it with a non-floral essential oil would help as I am sensitive to floral oils?

    1. That’s a great idea, Lisa! Try blending it with a deeper note, such as Vetiver or Patchouli to help soften that extreme floral aroma 🙂

  5. My 19 year old granddaughter has been having anxiety attacks, depression and nightmares. I had already introduced her to the lavender and Worry Free product you have. I will make a list of these other oils listed in your blog. She is seeing a doctor for some of her needs but she keeps her diffuser running constantly when she is home. The oils seem to really be helping.

    1. Candace is your granddaughter taking any medicine that might be causing her anxiety, deppression or nightmares…..There are some prescribed medicines that cause them. My son developed those sympossy after taking montelukast and they stopped after we made the link between his asthma medicinne (Montelukast or Singular) and his deppression/ anxiety

    1. Tiphni, blending Bergamot, Frankincense Serrata, and Lavender is one of my personal favorites when dealing with those kinds of issues. Try 3 drops Bergamot, 2 drops Frankincense Serrata, and 2 drops of Lavender in your diffuser. Or, you may really enjoy our Worry Free blend, which is excellent when dealing with negative emotions. I hope this helps!

        1. Cindy, it’s pretty easy! You just buy the aromatherapy inhalers and fill the wick up with the desired essential oil or blend you would like to take with you. We recommend anywhere from 5-15 drops of oil, depending on the oil and how strong you would like the aroma to be 🙂

  6. Very informative article! I’ve been using Worry Free and Let it Go with Srlf Estemm on my wish list to make liquid Xanax so I can bcn odd the mediciavagion. I have all of these except for Neroli which I also have on my wish list so this is so great to know the other options I can diffuse and make inhalers to help. I can’t thank you enough PT for giving us the resources to help ourselves! This company is so amazing! I love you guys!

  7. I love an epsom salt bath with Lavender Essential oil. It’s one of my favorite ways to practice self-care and relax after a rough day. This post gives me some other ideas for different scents as well! Thanks!

    1. Diane, my mother who gets extreme anxiety when driving, loves the mix of Bergamot and Lavender in an inhaler so she can use on the road.

  8. This is such an important topic to have a post on. I’m surprised though that marjoram wasn’t up there with basil since it is in both synergy blends for this symptom.

  9. I use oils with a combination of exercise, making sure I get enough sleep, good diet (trying), and western medication and find they help tremendously

  10. Hi I am making up some inhalers for family who suffer from anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders and headaches do you recommend making a couple different ones up so they can change them every so often? I am not close enough to be able to make them up for them all the time. Also would Lavender, Clary Sage and Patchouli be a good one for Anxiety. I am trying to see if my researching is sinking in

    1. That is so kind of you to make some inhalers to help your family out! I think making a couple of inhalers for each situation is always a great idea so they can switch these up every week or so. It looks like your research is paying off as those 3 oils can definitely help with calming. Let us know if you have any other questions! I’m sure your inhalers are going to turn out great 🙂

  11. As someone who has general anxiety disorder (I take daily medication) I found this very helpful. Some of these oils were ones I would never have thought/heard of for anxiety. Will definitely be ordering some oils from this list! Thanks!!!!!

  12. Guess I’ll be investing in some new single oils very soon. I’ve currently got worry free and self esteem and love both of them more than life but every once in a while you just need to smell something different.

  13. Never thought to use Basil for anxiety! Going to be trying this! love using frankincense and lavender – and Let it Go synergy is a life saver as well!

  14. Thank you so much for this info. I have a daughter with epilepsy and she has a hard time dealing with her emotions. Frankincense has made a huge difference for but I’d like to try some others. This info is a great place for me to start

  15. I’ve been on the fence about ordering bergamot. This is just another reason to add it to my wish list!

  16. These all work great so far though I haven’t tried Neroli yet (I plan to) but I’m always hearing g about how fantastic it is. It’s on my “splurge” list and will be iny collection soon.

  17. I was on medication for anxiety 4 years ago I went off of it when I was pregnant. I tried to go back on them this last year but every time I took them it made my heart race. I wish I could find a combination that works for me. I’ve tried self esteem. I love the smell but not giving me the extra I need.

  18. Is there a certain oil that may help with feelings of loss?

    FYI, the image that was attached for frankincense is serrata, not frereana..

  19. Thank you so much for this article. I tend to get stuck in a rut using the same oils over and over. This will help me to discover some new oil combinations to try for my anxiety.

  20. I just ordered and received “Let it go” and as much as I wanted to love it and can’t get past the strong smell. I have been diffusing it with lavender and it is srkkk too strong. I wanted to Try this synergy for unwinding before bed, sleep better and help with anxiety.

    1. Maybe you could try toning it down with Vetiver or Sandalwood to mellow it out. Patchouli might be nice as well.

  21. I don’t know what I would do without my EOs for stress and anxiety. I have a blend of blue tansy, geranium, German chamomile, lavender, patchouli, palmarosa, sweet orange, ylang ylang and tangerine. I don’t leave the house without it.

  22. Great article! Can I check if there is anything for schizophrenia? My sis had anxiety n depression issue a few years back and now it is has developed to schizophrenia. Thanks in advance!

  23. I love lavendar in a diffuser. I will certainly try the bath idea. I hope to try bergamot in the future as well.

  24. I have used Lavender for stress and anxiety. It also helped me fall asleep when I was having lots of sleeping issued during my last pregnancy.

  25. I think Lavender and Frankincense are powerhouse oils that have so many uses! For me when emotional issues come up I ‘m finding the Worry Free Synergy, Self Esteem Synergy and Brain Aid Synergy and most anything citrusy are my go to oils. I do find for me most of the time I don’t love Bergamot it has a pungent sour type smell for me which is amusing as most say it is sweet and lovely. I would absolutely love to smell the Neroli single but haven’t yet.

  26. I love Lavender and Neroli. I diffuse these 2 together when I get stressed out. I actually think the above mentioned oils are all very nice! Maybe I will try some DIY inhalers…

  27. I really enjoyed this article and am happy to say that I have multiple options in my cupboard already! Thank you PT for always giving us great advice and top notch oils!

  28. This is a very in depth article. I suffer from anxiety and depression, so I will be trying some of the ones that I learned while reading this article.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Brandi! We are so happy this article resonated with you, and hopefully some of these oils can provide some relief!

  29. I have kept a personal inhaler of the Worry Free blend and another of Tranquil in my desk at work. I love Tranquil so much I now keep a bottle to diffuse in my office. I do find many of the oils mentioned helpful in times of stress or depression. Stopping to breathe and relax your muscles is important during those times, and I find oils encourage me to do that.

  30. Cannot wait to try some of these in a blend- I have been very eager to try basil just for scent purposes and I did not know about the calming benefits until reading this. This gives me even more reason to buy 🙂 Also my 6 year old daughter LOVES basil and she sometimes gets overwhelmed. I think defusing basil and sweet orange would be lovely, or making a lotion with basil, sweet orange and lavender!

    1. I do have a question and hopefully a moderator sees this- the basil above is labeled kidsafe, but I went to purchase it no longer says kidsafe- can you tell me if it still is kidsafe? Thanks!

  31. This is a great article. I will be trying some of these oils for my household in the winter months when it’s glumly and sad feeling.

  32. Love this post – there are many that I personally agree with a feel more calm and relaxed. Diffusing is my favorite method when I’m looking to relax at home. On the go I use roll ons or inhalers. Great post PT!

  33. I hadn’t ever smelled bergamont and just bought it on a whim one day and boy do I love it! It’s such a sweet, clean smell

    1. That is great to hear, Nicole! So glad you gave bergamot a try — it is definitely a favorite, and so versatile!

  34. I’m just double checking…in the picture here, it shows Basil linalool as a KidSafe oil, but when I look at the product info, it says it’s NOT KidSafe. Can you please clarify for me? And thank you for this post–I was just looking for this information!

    1. I apologize, but I’m not sure which picture you’re referring to. The picture of Basil does not have the KidSafe logo on it…

      1. It’s been fixed now! (The pic that was there had the KS logo.) I promise I’m not crazy! Haha 🙂
        (I actually talked to someone and sent them a pic from another site that had the KS logo, as well.)
        Thanks for the response! Have a great day! 🙂

    1. Great choice and feedback Heather! I’m so thrilled that you’ve found an oil that works well for you.

  35. I know lavandin and lavender are slightly different, but would lavandin work as a substitute for anxiety if one doesn’t have access to Bulgarian lavender?

  36. I have bipolar 1. I am currently investigating antidepressant oils. Thank you for the list. I am going to test them, one at a time, and then develop a personal blend for an inhaler. If I ever get finished, I will be happy to let anyone know the recipe. I need all the help I can get!

  37. I loooove Lavender so much! Last night, my daughter had trouble calming her mind, i’ve been trying to put her to sleep for an hours but no success. So I went down and got Lavender (diluted), applied it on her temples, chest, and back of neck, and voila! Knocked out in 10 minutes! These oils are heaven sent!

  38. I just have to say this blog post was God send! I found PT and started using oils in May. I am totally addicted but I have been dealing with a 19 year old rebellion adolescent for awhile but since him graduating on May 2. He hasn’t made any point in finding job. He plays xbox all night sleep on day. We told him he had till August when his 6 month insurance renewal was up to find job or we taking him off insurance and turning his cell phone off. Didn’t seem faze him. My mom also just had moved in with us not being able to drive anymore or be left alone for long for passing out spells. She is a 3 time heart patient and just had another stent put two weeks ago. Since my dad passing two years ago her health has declined more and more. So now being my mom’s full time care taker now my sons disrespect, laziness, arguing all time was just getting to be out of hand. Well after a big drag out fight long story short I told him he didn’t like or rules or won’t listen then pack his stuff I can’t handle him anymore. The cops came and he packed all his stuff and left. I know unfortunately some kids need tough love to grow up but it Is still hard. I knew he needed grow up but couldn’t let go. But I finally had to. He is now in Gods hands and I pray daily protection over him daily but that was only way he was going learn real world get job and grow up to be man I know he can and will me!!! I post all of this because all though I know I did what needed be done it’s still breaks a Mom’s heart to have to push her son out to get him grow up! And reading this post about these oils for anxiety and stress has been a life saver right now. For this mom’s heart is breaking letting her baby boy go buy ut I know God has him and will lead him. So thanks for post it was perfect timing and sorry for the long post. Lol
    Tracy Kuhn

    1. I went through hell with one of my teen kids! Your story breaks my heart! Everyone said to me, “it will get better”, and I had a hard time believing it! It really does get better with time and guidance. I also have an elderly widowed mom, and she will likely not be driving much longer. I am her only family. So, I understand your stress! Feel free to email me if you need to chat or vent. I was very much alone with my struggles with my teen, and, it’s a very lonely place to be! Wishing you the best!

  39. I love this post as someone who uses oils for their calming properties. Although, I wondewr why vetiver didn’t make the list? I have found it very effective for calming stress in my home and work.

  40. As a person who suffers from anxiety/ depression. I appreciate information like this! This is one of the main reasons I started using oils and I have already experienced relief with Bergamont (my fav!), Lavender & Frank. I love to diffuse those 3 with Pink Grapefruit and not only does it smell amazing… I instantly feel better! Just purchased Neroli and Chamomile today… can’t wait to see how they work/ smell as well!

  41. Even though this was a short blog, I learned a lot! I didn’t realize some of the oils helped with stress/anxiety! Excited to give some of these blends a try.

  42. Thanks for this post! Is there a certain oil you guys would recommend for anger that stems from the anxiety and depression?

  43. I notice when using a high capacity diffuser like the AromaFuse, the aroma of the essential oils seems less noticeable after a while, long before the diffuser is empty. Are the oils still effective, or have they been used up and needs replenishing? I don’t want to over do it by using too much oil and risk sensitivity.

    1. After several hours, it may be necessary to top off the diffuser with more essential oil. It’s a common issue.

    1. Hi Jean,

      Thanks for your question. We do offer a synergy called Balance, is that what you are looking for?

          1. Have you looked into bergamot? I believe it is actually rather well documented. I don’t have any research articles I can link off the top of my head but we did use it with success for one of my sisters, after my mother did extensive research online and found good evidence to support it. Of course, it does seem there is never a “one pill” solution—a lot of these issues seem to require other lifestyle changes in addition to this kind of support from oils.

  44. What does all this mean for someone who has lost their sense of smell due to allergies, nasal surgery & procedures and sinus issues? Can smelling the oils still help them or be effective?

    1. I have a friend who since birth has zero sense of smell, its a rare genetic condition. She says though she has never experienced smells, when she has whiffed peppermint she feels a cooling sensation. That alone proves that therapeutic benefits will still carry on in the respiratory tract even if your brain cannot recognize the smell profile (: !

  45. Hi Christina, I just want you to know how much your e-mails inspire me. I am new at this and am a very young 72 yr. woman who always wondered about essential oils. So many times when I receive your news-letter, it’s the exact info I needed. Your knowledge and wisdom plus the info has been respected and appreciated greatly….Thank You so much!!!

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