Weather and mood

Walking around enjoying today’s warm sunlight, I wondered if weather has an effect on mood.  Certainly Seasonal Affective Disorder exists, but a blog on that might be more appropriate for autumn.

So does sunlight affect mood?  It seems that the jury is still out.  Some research suggests that it makes little difference, and some studies say that more sunlight leads to elevated mood (especially in people who have depression).  A short review of some of the different studies is also here.  I think it can be hard to tease out the effect weather has, because it is difficult to isolate it amongst all the other factors – such as location, economy, culture etc.

It is interesting that studies have mentioned how much it varies between people – it could be that some people are naturally affected more by weather than others.  It also appears that low levels of vitamin D (produced by exposing skin to sunlight) might be linked to depression.  I sincerely hope that everyone who does feel the benefit of sunlight, or thinks they might, has the opportunity to get some.  Cancer Research UK have tips on how to enjoy the sunshine safely.