And the Color Scientifically Proven to Make You Happier Is…

Getting an instant jolt of happy can be as easy as going on an impromptu coffee run or texting a best girlfriend a random gaggle of emojis (just me?). We all have our own smiley triggers, but there’s gotta be something more concrete too that works for everyone, universally. Ashley’s fab post on five songs scientifically proven as mood-uppers got me thinking about fashion’s equivalent, and, as expected, it’s found in a particular color you should stock your closet with.


My guess was yellow, a cheerful feeling shade that Psych Digest confirmed raises blood pressure and pulse (but not to the fired-up levels of bold red), and both are physical signs that accompany joy. A study from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, included in this Health magazine article, also supported my guess, citing findings that adults reported feelings of happiness when presented with yellow objects.

“Yellow is thought to be the color of happiness and stands for optimism, warmth, and hope,” Karen J. Pine, a psychology professor from the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K., explained to me via an email from her office across the pond. “Crisis teams and emergency workers wear bright yellow not just for its high visibility but also to signal hopefulness, energy, and optimism. Wearing light yellow is also indicative of optimism and extraversion.” Another good point from Pine, author of Mind What You Wear, The Psychology of Fashion? There’s a reason those happy, poppy smiley face stickers are classically done in yellow (they actually say “Have a nice day!” most of the time).

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