Boost your Mood with Food

It’s common for us to reach for the tub of ice cream when feeling down. A scoop of ice cream is fine here and there, however, if we are alone and feeling sad, then one scoop can easily turn into the whole tub.

For a moment of temporary relief, we are generally left off feeling worse. This is not just because we are thinking about the amount of weight we have just added to our hips. It’s also due to the impact high amounts of sugary and fatty foods have inside your body and mind.

How does food effect your mood?

Large amounts of processed foods high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats are associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety. These foods can cause little messengers to be sent around your body that contribute to these unhappy feelings as well as make you feel tired and lethargic.

A balanced diet full of healthy fats, wholegrains, fruit and vege are associated with better mental health. These foods that can stabilise your mood and leave you feeling happier. Check out some foods below that have a positive impact on your mood.

Food to help your mood

Fish and extra virgin olive oil

The healthy fats in these foods can have an effect on your brain that helps prevent feelings of depression.

Wholegrain bread, pasta, rice and oats

The fibre in these foods promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut, which can help towards better mental health.


Fermented foods, such as yoghurt also help encourage good gut bacteria, having a positive impact on your feelings.

Fruit and vege

As always, fruit and vege are the stars of healthy eating! The fibre and antioxidants have a positive impact on your body both physically and mentally.

Nuts and seeds

As a good source of protein, healthy fats and fibre, these guys make the perfect mood lifting snack.

How else can I lift my mood with food?

Share your food with a friend!

In a moment of feeling sad or anxious, instead of going for the tub of ice cream, invite a friend around and prepare a healthy snack! This helps reduce the feeling of loneliness, prevents you from over eating and keeps you busy and distracted from the negative feelings you may be experiencing.

Weekly Recipes

This week we have four quick recipes, for food to lift your mood!

4 Recipes in One! – Boost your Mood with Food from Life Life Get Active on Vimeo.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

  • ½ cup low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • pinch salt
  • fresh strawberries
  • banana


  1. Mix yoghurt, cocoa, honey and salt together
  2. Serve with fresh strawberries and banana

Avocado & Feta Dip with Baked Pita Chips

  • 1 avocado
  • big squeeze of lemon juice
  • ¼ block (50g) low fat feta
  • ½ tsp salt & pepper
  • 1 large wholemeal pita bread (or 2 small)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to season


  1. preheat oven to 180oC, fan-forced
  2. cut pita into triangles
  3. place on lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper
  4. bake for 8-10mins (until crispy)
  5. mash avocado with fork
  6. stir in lemon juice, salt & pepper
  7. crumble and stir in feta
  8. Serve with crispy baked pita chips

Crispy Baked Cauliflower

  • ½ medium sized cauliflower
  • 1 cup wholemeal plain flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt and pepper
  • ½ cup low fat Greek yoghurt
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to season
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. pre-heat oven to 190oC, fan-forced
  2. cut cauliflower into small florets
  3. put flour and milk into separate bowls
  4. mix cumin, salt and pepper into flour
  5. dip cauliflower into milk, then flour. Place on lined baking tray
  6. Drizzle with olive oil
  7. Bake 25 mins, flip cauliflower florets over, then bake further 25 mins
  8. Mix yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper
  9. Serve with crispy cauliflower

Peanut Butter Yoghurt Dip

  • ½ cup low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP peanut butter
  • apple
  • carrot sticks


  1. mix yoghurt, honey and peanut butter together
  2. serve with apple, carrot sticks or fruit of choice


Live Life Get Active is building a fitter, healthier and happier Australia and we want people to have fun along the way. With the help of Local Government and Corporate Australia we provide FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.