Home is where the heart is. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to boost the mood of your college dorm or apartment—your home away from home! Science has shown that where we live can impact not just our mood and our happiness but also our productivity and overall memory. Fortunately, making a few simple tweaks can help create a positive, cheerful environment. Here are a few places to start with boosting the mood in your own place.
1. Bring some greenery inside
Filling your apartment with plants is more than just an Instagram trend—it’s a proven fact that plants can boost your mood, keep you healthy, and increase your productivity. On top of improving the oxygen flow around your home, plants can also help you avoid illness. Scientists in Norway have found that having a plant inside can help decrease your chance of getting a cold or a sore throat. This can be especially helpful in the cold, dry months of winter when greenery is scarce. Having plants around also helps lower anxiety, increases memory retention, and improves concentration. So don’t be afraid to add a picturesque palm or a perfectly placed succulent to your dorm or apartment.
Related: The Best Plants to Perk Up Your College Dorm Room
2. Find your candle scent
Candles create a warm, inviting atmosphere. What’s more, candles made with essential oils can improve your mood by triggering the parts of your brain that tell your body to relax. But which scent should you pick? The one that brings a smile to your face! Don't be afraid to try a few until you find one you like. If you don’t know where to start, there are a few scents with the innate ability to elevate your mood, such as vanilla, peppermint, and sandalwood. Vanilla can help boost feelings of joy and relaxation; peppermint releases tension; and sandalwood encourages a deeper rest, helping you wake up feeling refreshed.
3. Find the right colors
From walls to furnishings, the colors you choose throughout your space have a large impact on your mood. Each color sparks an emotional reaction. Being aware of how each color makes you feel can help you build the perfect atmosphere throughout your apartment. Colors that boost energy include red and orange. Strong and intense, red is a stimulating hue that brings people together and sparks conversation. Orange, on the other hand, sparks energy and enthusiasm. On the other hand, blue and green are calming and serene, making them good choices for bedrooms. If you aren’t allowed to paint the walls in your apartment, you can add pops of color with pillows, curtains, artwork, and other accents.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Decorating Dorm Room Walls
4. Add some lavender
The health benefits of lavender have long been documented; they include the ability to relieve stress, pain, migraines, and sleeplessness. Lavender can even help boost your immune system. There are a number of ways you can include lavender in your place. Try growing a plant in a pot, or if your thumbs aren’t the greenest, you can buy lavender soaps, lotions, candles, or scented sachets that go in your drawers. You can also buy lavender oil and an oil diffuser and blend it with other essential oils such as cedarwood, pine, or nutmeg.
5. Keep the people you love close
An easy way to create a happy home away from home is to fill it with photos of your friends and family. Having family photos around reminds us of our loved ones, and they also remind us of important moments in our lives and the lives of the people we love, such as graduations, weddings, or birthdays. Displaying these memories in your apartment can help you feel close to home, even if your school is far away.
6. Ditch the heavy curtains
Natural light is one of the best tools for boosting happiness, thanks to its ability to increase serotonin levels. It can also increase your productivity and comfort, so it’s important to let as much light in as possible. Easy ways to add more light include avoiding heavy curtains and adding more reflective surfaces, like mirrors and clear coffee tables, which can help your room appear bigger.
Related: 5 Ways to Decorate Your College Apartment on a Budget
7. Make your apartment yours
Feel free to break all these rules and make your apartment your own. Building a space that makes you happy starts with filling it with the things you love. Whether it’s a favorite painting or piece of furniture, add items you cherish. We’re happiest when we live in a home that’s personalized and speaks directly to us as individuals.
Your dorm or apartment is your refuge in college, and you deserve a place that’s uplifting and welcoming. Applying these seven tips is the first step to creating a space you love.