Which colors are happy colors? The answer is different for everyone. Some may seek the serenity that a neutral tone brings, while others will feel energized by the ever-uplifting yellow. One thing’s for sure, colors can have a huge impact on how we feel. With the power to influence our moods and raise our spirits, revitalize or elicit a calming effect, different shades have a role to play in bringing positivity to our lives. For those in need of a boost this month, we hope this guide to the most uplifting colors will help you tackle those dreaded January blues—one happy hue at a time.

Three images showing homes featuring yellow accents, including yellow pillows and throws.
Three images showing interiors with blue accents, including blue vases and pillows.

Sunshine Yellow

In lieu of golden rays outside, bring some much-needed sunshine indoors with the most vibrant shade of them all: yellow. If you’re wondering ‘what color is best for happiness’, this is your answer. So often associated with high energy and optimism, this bold hue is brightening in more ways than one. Though darker shades such as ochre and Dijon have beautiful depth, we recommend seeking bright, happy colors such as lemon, canary and saffron to maximize on positivity. If an all-yellow room feels too much of a leap, look instead to décor for easy updates—a new lamp, a fresh pillow arrangement or simply a vase of faux maple buds will bring a burst of sunshine to your space. 

Glorious Green

Nature’s most prominent hue, it’s little wonder green invites such a sense of calm and serenity. Symbolizing renewal and growth, this color family not only brings a peaceful aesthetic but can be particularly stimulating for those seeking change in their lives. Plus, when it comes to interiors, it’s one of the most adaptable shades, working for many rooms and styles. If you’re seeking uplifting colors for a living room, for example, you could create an arrangement of pillows in moss, forest green and olive, or simply incorporate a few more house plants into your home for an easy verdant addition. Providing a constant reminder of the great outdoors, this comforting color is perfect for emulating the peaceful qualities of nature at home.

Cool Blue

From azure waves lapping at a sandy shore to a cloudless sky on a sunny day, there are few colors that feel quite as evocative as blue. Spanning the emotional spectrum, from peaceful duck egg to uplifting turquoise, this slice of the color wheel has the ability to both enliven and calm. If you’re seeking uplifting colors for a bedroom, look to the paler hues to strike the balance between positivity and relaxation. Baby blue and cornflower are among the shades considered calming, making them perfect for rooms where winding down is in the cards. For a perkier palette, cobalt, cyan and teal are your calling cards. Dive into the deep end with an accent chair upholstered in a blue-and-white pattern, or dip in a toe with a vase or artwork that makes a splash.

Three images showing interiors with orange accents, including a velvet ottoman, pillows and dining chairs.
Three images showing interiors with neutral colors, including white counter stools, vases and a cabinet.

Inviting Orange

Colors that make you happy and warm are surely among the most uplifting, and orange is high on the list of inviting shades. The Pantone equivalent of a hug, this zingy hue is like the most outgoing person in your friendship group—full of charm and personality. Much like blue, this color can evoke different emotions depending on the intensity of the shade—tangerine, mango and pumpkin are energizing and joyful, while softer coral and apricot bring warmth and serenity. Joining the latter shades is Peach Fuzz, which has been named the Pantone Color of the Year 2024 due to its ability to radiate warmth and elegance—an inviting sentiment as we embark on a new year.

Cozy Pink

Barbiecore may have brought the brighter shades of raspberry and fuchsia to the fore in 2023, but when it comes to uplifting room colors we’re advocates for the softer takes on the shade. A color often twinned with hope, romance and kindness, pink has the power to evoke feelings of comfort and warmth, and the likes of plaster, blush and blossom are ideal for creating a cozy and inviting aesthetic. Pink is also delightfully easy to pair with other shades, making it an extremely versatile hue for interior design.

Serene Neutrals

When it comes the question of what color brings positivity to a home, our answer is quite simply the shade that speaks to you—and if your true colors are neutrals, lean into them for a look that you’ll love. So often associated with tranquility, calm and relaxation, these tones are comfort incarnate. Pair warm whites, ivory and cream with earthier taupe and sand for a layered look, ensuring a mix of textures—from bouclé to linen to wool—to add interest to an otherwise simple (yet perfectly refreshing) palette.