Skip to content
A woman sitting on a swing on a beach looking at the sea

Natural remedies for menopause mood swings and low mood

During perimenopause and menopause, fluctuating levels of oestrogen and other hormones can throw your emotions out of balance, making symptoms like irritability, mood swings and low mood much more common.

The good news is there are things that can help, from natural remedies and supplements to therapies and lifestyle changes, including what and when you eat.  

We’ll assess the research behind 11 different potential remedies, and explore which mood symptoms they might help with, so you can try those that sound best for you.

1. Regular exercise

Working out at any stage of your life can reduce stress, boost your mood and help you to process things that are making you uptight or anxious. But if you’re going through menopause, regular exercise could have even more benefits for your mental wellbeing.

In one study, two groups of menopausal women did either four 50-minute aerobic exercise sessions a week or attended regular health lectures.

After 24 weeks, those in the exercise group had seen greater improvements in a range of menopause symptoms – but particularly when it came to mood swings and irritability.

Aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise includes any activity that increases your heart rate and breathing, like brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming or dancing.

2. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a kind of talking therapy that aims to change negative patterns of thinking to stop them from overwhelming you and affecting your mood and behaviour.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends CBT as a treatment option for women with low mood, and related symptoms, during perimenopause and after menopause. The UK’s Menopause Charity says CBT can also help with mood swings, anger and intrusive thoughts.

A review of studies looking at the impact of CBT on menopausal symptoms found that it improved anxiety and depression enough to make a noticeable difference to participants’ lives.  

Visit the NHS guide for help finding a CBT therapist.

3. Probiotic supplements

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that can improve your gut health and overall health. Thanks to the complex system of nerve impulses, hormones and immune signals known as the gut–brain axis, certain types of probiotic bacteria can have a significant impact on your mood.

The Better Gut probiotic supplements contain strains of bacteria chosen specifically for their benefits during perimenopause and menopause. Four of these strains have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of anxiety and depression, boost mood and improve mood swings.

They could also help improve your sleep, which is another contributing factor when it comes to low mood and irritability.

To find out what targeted probiotics can do for you, visit The Better Gut. And for expert guidance on menopause health and nutrition – plus 10% off your first order – join our newsletter community.

4. Ashwagandha

Also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, ashwagandha is a shrub native to India. Its root has been a staple of traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. More recently, researchers have been studying its potential benefits for menopause symptoms.

One study found that women going through perimenopause saw significant improvements in both low mood and irritability after taking a daily ashwagandha supplement for 8 weeks.

Other studies appear to support this, with participants consistently recording better scores on scales that measure depression, stress and anxiety after taking ashwagandha.

5. The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating lifestyle that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, wholegrains and extra virgin olive oil, as well as some lean meat and fish. It’s also low in refined grains and ultra-processed foods.

Many of the plant foods in the Mediterranean diet – particularly legumes, like beans and pulses, and extra virgin olive oil – contain high levels of compounds called phytoestrogens. These mimic some of the functions of oestrogen in your body.

One study involving postmenopausal women with obesity found that those who stuck closer to the Mediterranean diet, and those who ate lots of legumes, tended to have less severe menopause symptoms.

The study also identified a specific link between a higher intake of extra virgin olive oil and a reduced risk of depressed mood. 

6. Omega-3s

Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat. They’re essential fatty acids, meaning your body can’t produce them, so you need to get them from food.

The best sources of omega-3s are oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, which you might eat if you follow the Mediterranean diet. You can also get omega-3s from supplements made from fish oil or algae.

Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and can interact with molecules in your brain that are related to mood.

A large-scale study found that consuming more omega-3s was associated with a significantly lower risk of depression in women who had been through menopause.

7. Limiting refined carbs and sugar

If your mood swings and irritability seem to happen at a similar time each day – perhaps mid-morning or mid-afternoon – it could be due to the food you’re eating.

Foods high in refined carbohydrates, including those that contain added or ‘free’ sugars, can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. This is often followed sometime later by a dip or ‘crash’. These kinds of blood sugar crashes can leave you feeling low on energy, irritable and even angry.

To make things worse, they can also cause sugar and carb cravings, leading you to snack on more of the same types of food and repeat the whole process.

The kinds of foods and drinks that could cause these blood sugar spikes and crashes include:

  • white rice, bread and pasta
  • many breakfast cereals
  • sugary drinks and fruit juice
  • biscuits, cakes and chocolate bars

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, try smart swaps like wholegrains, beans or pulses for rice, and fruit, nuts, plain yoghurt or high-cocoa chocolate for processed snacks.

8. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is any practice that helps you to stop and experience life ‘in the moment’. It means being aware of what you’re experiencing inside and out, including thoughts, emotions and sensations, but without the judgements you might normally attach to what’s going on.

Taking time to do this can help to regulate your emotions, which could stop you reacting negatively, as in the case of mood swings.

Meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises are all examples of mindfulness practices, where you focus your attention on your breathing, or how your body is feeling, and notice the thoughts that drift in and out of your mind.

Studies have shown these techniques can lead to physiological changes too, such as lowering your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

9. Magnesium

The mineral magnesium is essential for a wide range of processes around your body, including the functioning of your brain’s limbic system, which deals with your emotional responses.

Oestrogen helps you to process magnesium. As oestrogen falls during perimenopause and menopause, so do your levels of magnesium.

Not many studies have looked specifically at the impact of magnesium supplements on mood in menopausal women. However, a review of seven clinical trials involving a range of participants, found that taking magnesium significantly reduced their depression symptoms.

10. Better sleep hygiene

Not getting enough sleep for even a relatively short period can lead to low mood, increased stress and irritability. Other menopause symptoms, including anxiety, pain and night sweats, can contribute to poor sleep.

While getting better sleep is easier said than done, these changes to your bedtime routine – sometimes called ‘sleep hygiene’ – could increase your chances of getting a good night’s rest:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day
  • Avoid caffeine later in the day
  • Don’t watch TV or use your phone in bed
  • Keep your room quiet, dark and cool
  • If you get night sweats, keep water and a fan by your bed

You might also like to read our article looking at herbal remedies and supplements, plus other lifestyle tips, that could help improve your sleep.

11. St John’s Wort

The yellow-flowering plant St John’s wort has been used in traditional European medicine for thousands of years. It has a reputation for treating menopause symptoms including mood issues, and there’s some research to support this.

One review of studies looking at herbal remedies for menopause concluded that St. John's wort can improve mood disorders and mild to moderate depressive symptoms. Another review also found that it was affective at managing mood changes during menopause.

St John’s wort can interact in an unsafe way with a number of different drugs, including antidepressants. If you’re on medication, check with your doctor before taking it.


If you’re experiencing mood swings or low mood during perimenopause or menopause, these natural remedies, supplements, therapies and lifestyle changes may help:

  • Regular exercise
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Probiotic supplements
  • Ashwagandha
  • The Mediterranean diet
  • Omega-3s
  • Limiting refined carbs and sugar
  • Mindfulness
  • Magnesium
  • Better sleep hygiene
  • St John’s wort

The Better Gut probiotic supplements contain specific strains of bacteria that have been shown to help with low mood, mood swings, anxiety and depression.

They also target a range of other perimenopause and menopause issues, from hot flashes to brain fog, digestive problems to vaginal health.

Find out more at The Better Gut. And get 10% off your first order here.