Does climate change people’s moods?

I open my blinds and see that it’s a sunny day out and immediately I’m excited for a beach day (I live in California). I open my blinds and see that it’s gloomy out, I lay back in bed. I open my blinds and see that it’s pouring rain, I go and make hot chocolate and decide I will be in my pajamas all day long, having a movie marathon.


According to Psych Central, weather affects people’s moods. Typically, people think that winter months, where the weather is cold and the sun doesn’t come out for a couple weeks, is when people become the most depressed. It is true that cold temperatures make people feel sad, lazy and tend to isolate themselves from society by staying inside and usually on the couch watching movies. But, did you know that heat actually effects people’s moods more? Researchers have found a relationship between human aggression and higher temperatures. They discovered that people who are living in conditions where the temperature is much hotter than normal, their interpersonal violence increased by 4%.

Since climate seems to change people’s moods, does death have a correlation with climate? Scientists have actually discovered that suicides peak during the spring and summer. I found this interesting since spring and summer seem to be the happiest months to me; the weather is hot and the sun’s usually out, making me want to be outdoors and adventuring with friends. But for some, the heat can be a problem. The researchers discovered that outdoor workers had a higher chance of committing suicide in the spring months rather than during the winter months; seems a bit odd right? They also found that indoor workers were more likely to commit suicide during the summertime.

Climate doesn’t have to have an impact, and might not always effect your mood. You could be having a great happy day even when it is pouring rain outside. But most people are effected by weather, and scientists have found a measurable impact on many people’s moods according to their geographic location and weather.


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17 thoughts on “Does climate change people’s moods?

  1. Christopher Ronkainen

    This post I feel like can be easily related to everyone! Especially at State College. When the winter comes and it’s nothing but clouds with no sun light, the time just seems to drag on. Especially because the weather starts to become unfavorable in my opinion right around finals week. While researching your topic I came across an interesting article that talks about some of the topics you covered, as well as how weather effects your health in different ways.

  2. Isobel Danielle Hoang

    The seasons do affect peoples mood! Theres a disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is when a person gets depressed as the seasons change. In most cases Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs during the fall and winter as it is the cold and dreary months- but it can also occur in the spring and summer. In order to combat the disorder people can use light therapy which gives them of UV lighting like the outdoors in the spring or summer. I thought that you would be interested in this because you said the weather affected your mood and this is similar as the seasons can affect people’s mood as well and there is a disorder that has been found.

  3. Nicole Trachman

    The part of your post that really stuck out to me was the suicide rates for indoor workers being higher in the summer and for outdoor it was higher in the spring months. I was trying to understand how this could happen and for indoor workers I assume it is possibly because they are trapped indoors during all the nice days and therefore might feel like they aren’t living their lives to the fullest since they haven’t had a single beach day all year. When it is cold out, going to work isn’t as bad since there isn’t anything better to do. People that do work outside though, might hate the summer because it gets too hot. The Spring is the first sign of warmer weather and uncomfortable working conditions for those who spend their days outdoors. This could maybe be why their suicide rates are higher since they know what is coming and do not want to endure it. Not totally sure just some of my thoughts on the topic!

  4. Evan Michael Wentzel

    I can really relate to this also being from California. I have definitely noticed that my mood as well as other people’s mood changes with the weather, especially when the weather is nice people are much happier. It’s cool to read your post and see that there is science behind this. Good Post!

  5. Charlotte Anderson

    I definitely agree with what you have to say in this article. Personally, when it is raining outside my mood definitely goes down. The cold makes me not want to do anything besides be inside.

  6. Hannah Marie Helmes

    Seasonal Affective Disorder is a thing! I definitely get SAD in the winter time. What I have read is that during the cold winter months, you are not getting enough Vitamin D from the sun. This lack of sun can also affect out serotonin and melatonin levels which are the chemicals in our brain that play a huge part in our mood changing.
    You can learn more about SAD here:

  7. Alexandra Kaminsky

    This post relates to my life 100%. If it’s hot out I’m grumpy. If it’s cold out I’m pretty happy. I find it so interesting how the weather can play a role in a person’s day. We all know that hot weather can make people agitated, and rain can make people sad, but what about cold weather? To me, cold weather does not seem to have an affect on that many people, besides the blatant fact that some hate the cold. Check out this link, it has similar information to your post!

  8. Joe Garrett

    I know the weather can affect how I am feeling for the day. If I wake up and see that it is bright and sunny outside I am much more keen to getting out of bed and excited to get the day started. I sometimes enjoy the rain but that is only if I am okay with staying inside for a majority of the day. If I have plans to go outside on a bike ride or go hiking then I am very disappointed when I see rain clouds overhead. The article below covers some of the effects the weather can have you.

  9. Francis Patrick Cotter

    Although I think climate may have some effect on mood, I feel like there are other factors at play with regards to any data that show death rates or depression rates at certain time of the year. Taxes, war, sports, and other things have to be accounted for.

  10. Jarrod T Skole

    If climate affects peoples mood, then why is Happy Valley always so happy when the sun only shows itself for 2 day out of the year? But on a real note, I am very surprised to hear about the deaths in spring, mostly because spring is thought of being the season where new life is born not taken away. The weather during Spring can become very hot in some places so maybe that is why the people are committing suicide. It is much easier to control you how feel in the winter because you can just wear layers and stay warm, but it is almost impossible to control how you feel in the heat. No matter how many layers of clothes you take off, the heat always seems to get hotter. If the heat is the real reason for the suicides in the spring, maybe outdoor companies can start to give their employees breaks on the hot days and supply them with water and cold rags.

  11. Kacey Elizabeth Gill

    Hey Mackenzie,

    I really enjoyed reading this post because I love rainy days. Nothing excites me more than a gloomy day because like you said I get to stay in in my pajamas drink hot chocolate and curl up with Netflix in my bed. Unlike most rain actually puts me in a good mood; it makes me feel cozy and content. The thing that struck me most about your post, was what you wrote at the end when you mentioned geographical location and weather having an affect on mood. Countries like England and Ireland tend to have gloomy and rainy weather quiet often. I think it would have been interesting if you went more in depth to see if these rain prone countries had higher depression and suicide rates and see if it could be linked to the weather or vise versa in countries where it is warm and sunny all the time, if they tend to have a happier population and lower suicide rates.

  12. Jovian Ebony Osborne-pantlitz

    Definitely, I believe that climate effects my mood. Everytime it rains I refuse to attend class. The sun isn’t shinning, the air is humid, causing my hair to be puffy, and once my hair is ruined; my day is ruined. I don’t know about everyone else but if I dont look good or comfortable I dont feel good. In contrary, to a sunny day where I am normally in a good mood. When the sun is shining you can go outside and do really fun activities that rain restricts you from doing.

  13. Delaney Ann Flynn

    I found this post so interesting! I am the type of person who checks the weather every single day and my mood is usually affected. I agree especially with the heat aspect, because people are definitely more irritated in extremely hot temperatures. I started to research other effects the weather changes may have on your body and I discovered this article.

  14. Yinghui Huang

    I have deep feeling about this topic! I hate rainy days that’s why I come here for study rather than London. Rainy or foggy days always give me a depression feeling. When it rains, I just want to lay in my bed for a whole day. My mother tells me not be affected by the weather. It’s always heard that the death rate of the elder is much higher in winter than any other season due to the severe weather. The following article is about the ways to adapt your mind and body through the changing seasons. Hopefully helpful : )

  15. Jacqueline Brocco

    I am the type of person who’s mood is definitely effected by the weather. When its nice and beautiful outside, I jump right out of bed and get my day started. When it is gloomy, cold, snowy, or raining, I will stay in bed for the whole day. Throughout the winter I never really leave my house besides for school, and I just tend to spend all my time watching TV or eating. I have no motivation to get up and get some exercise during the winter. When it is nice out I exercise, go out and do fun things, and just have a smile on my face more! I relate to this post a lot!

  16. Katelyn Nicole Bowers

    I definitely relate to this, when it’s raining out I automatically don’t want to do anything. Another thing that I think is becoming more prominent is seasonal depression. In the winter when it’s cold and gloomy all the time it’s hard to motivate yourself to do anything, even things inside that have nothing to do with the weather outside.

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