Every colour has the potential to change how we feel in an instant because it delivers an emotional experience.
“Colour is the simplest tool we have at our disposal to enhance positive emotions and increase well-being.”
The ancient Egyptians loved gold, red, turquoise and blue and associated these shades with royalty.
The Romans and, later the Byzantine empire, privileged Tyrian purple.
“Colours that are low in saturation are more emotionally soothing and lead to a calmer or less intense emotional state. The more saturated or intense a colour, the more stimulating it can be for your emotions.”
Find your tone
Wear darker blues to appear authoritative and knowledgeable, yet still approachable, trustworthy and reliable.
Darker greens reflect balance and harmony, providing a sense of reassurance and peace.
Turquoise is a stimulating colour that wakes up your mind.
Yellow is like a cheery hello. On the greyest of days, it’s like taking the sunshine with you.
A joyful hue, orange is great for lightening the mood.
There’s nothing shy or retiring about red. It commands attention and will always get you noticed.
Researchers from Oxford University found people eat less from a red plate (red is, after all, a colour our primal nature may connect with danger). Conversely, eating from a big white plate might wake up your appetite – in some studies, food was perceived as more flavoursome (often sweeter) when served on a white dish.
“The best palettes for a good night’s sleep are those that are soothing, which means colours that are low saturation.”
“Think light pink, which is physically soothing, or light blue, which is mentally soothing. Soft peaches and apricots, pale greens and soft purples are also good.” Avoid highly stimulating hues, such as bright red.
Studies (mostly led by hair-colour brands) have consistently found that women who dye their hair blonde feel more confident and sexy. Scientists have theorised that lighter hair may often be associated with youth and good health.
Texture can influence mood too. Sometimes we want the hard sparkle of metals, jewels and reflective surfaces for confidence; other times, soft fabrics such as silk, plush cotton and velvet can offer comfort.