Top 10 Mood-Boosting Nootropic Supplements

Questioning my own mood at the olympics.In today’s world, depression, anxiety disorders, and general unhappiness are common among people living in first world countries.

While depression is often a spectrum disorder that requires many lifestyle changes, nootropics can offer real relief.

Nootropics are not the same as prescription antidepressants and SSRIs (eg: Xanax, Abilify, Prozac); they are milder and have fewer long term negative effects on your brain.

Here’s my list of the best mood-enhancing nootropics (click to scroll down):

  1. Aniracetam
  2. Sulbutiamine
  3. Noopept
  4. Inositol
  5. St. John’s Wort
  6. 5-HTP
  7. L-Theanine
  8. Adrafinil
  9. Ginseng
  10. DMG

Generally speaking, they can be divided into two categories: synthetic nootropics and natural nootropics, as we’ll discuss here:

Synthetic nootropics

During the manufacture of nootropic drugs, the chemicals are isolated via careful measurements and processed in a sterile lab environment. For example, there are different nootropic drugs to help you with different things like different ones for improving memory, concentration, focus, and mood. It is more specialized and might require stacking of different nootropics to get full benefits out of it.

nootropics-vader-300x206Natural nootropic alternatives are more generalized and provide many benefits without addressing one specific issue. Some nootropic drugs contain natural alternatives for added effect.

I’ve read through the notes and used most of them, so this is first-hand info you’re getting here. Let’s get on with it then!

Natural nootropics

These are either engineered or derived from natural sources, purified to give you maximum benefit for your memory and mood. Most vendors online offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to packing, either in capsules, tablets or powdered forms. Ultimately it’s a matter of preference.

The Best Nootropics For Mood

1. Aniracetam

The first is aniracetam, which often surprises people when they realize that this nootropic has mood boosting ability. Aniracetam has been labeled by some as the most effective nootropic for boosting mood.

Further, aniracetam can often eradicate the feeling of laziness that comes with depression, and give you more enthusiasm to get up and get things done without jittery motivation.

It’s important to remember that racetams in general can sometimes cause irritability in which case you should discontinue use.

Although not everybody who takes aniracetam notices improvements in mood, the effects of nootropics in general can vary significantly when it comes to certain people.

2. Sulbutiamine

Sulbutiamine is another nootropic with significant mood boosting capabilities.

It has even been touted by some folks as having the same anti-depressive and anxiolytic qualities as MDMA, but without the amphetamine stimulant effect.

This is a bold statement, but where’s there’s smoke there’s fire, and it’s not unlikely that this mood boosting nootropic, derived from the B1 vitamin, can work wonders for your mood.

It has even been prescribed to treat depression in some countries. Sulbutiamine works by increasing the amount of dopamine released in the brain, as well as thickening dopamine receptor density in the prefrontal cortex.

Problems with dopamine levels are a common reason for people to get depression. Sulbutiamine has also been seen to lower inhibitions in behavior, which can help alleviate social anxiety or depression.

3. Noopept

I had fun once, it was awful.Noopept has been described as similar in its effects, to aniracetam. It is assumed that both noopept and aniracetam affect very similar dopamine and serotonin receptor sites.

Noopept is known to be stronger and more potent than aniracetam, however, so depending on the degree of your unhappiness, you may want to go with noopept.

Noopept is not solely known for its mood enhancing effects, however it is widely known to have effects on your overall sense of well-being, as well as generating a feeling inside you of wanting to get things done. It has also been known to work as an anxiolytic for some people.

4. Inositol

Inositol is a nootropic that can reduce anxiety levels and and depression quite effectively. It works by interacting heavily with the GABA receptor in your brain, which can improve your clarity of thought and reduce anxiety when you take it in low doses.

It is similar to the B-Vitamin group of nootropics, and it has even been known to potentiate the effects of GABA drugs by improving efficiency in binding at receptor sites for GABA in the brain. Increasing the GABA receptor uptake and GABA levels in your brain is known to have a calming effect which in turn can lower your depression and/or anxiety levels.

5. St. John’s Wort

St John’s Wort is a milder nootropic that can have benefits on your mood. Among its many properties, it has been known to be effective in treating depression, alcoholism, inflammation, burns and wounds, and dementia. It doesn’t treat dementia so much as it can prevent it due to its anti-oxidant properties.

Some clinical studies have shown that St. John’s Wort is as effective as prescription antidepressants, while producing less than half of the side effects commonly seen in SSRI antidepressants. The general recommended dosage for St. Johns Wort is around 1000-1500mgs per day.

6. 5-HTP

5-HTP is an over the counter mental health supplement which is very effective at improving mood, reducing anxiety, and improving your overall sense of well-being. 5-HTP stimulates the production of serotonin in your brain thus increasing feelings of happiness and relaxation. If you are stressed or depressed, 5-HTP will reduce these negative thoughts and feelings.

It works by crossing the blood brain barrier quickly and affecting the central nervous system, resulting in an increase in your serotonin levels. 5-HTP is one of the most studied health supplements, so if you take enough of it, you will almost certainly feel the effects described above.

7. L-Theanine

It's K bro, just chill out.

L-Theanine is another more mild type of nootropic that can boost your mood.

It is quite similar in effect to 5-HTP in that is known to have mood boosting and anxiety reducing capabilities. This substance is often found in green tea as well.

In addition to improving mood and reducing anxiety, L-Theanine can also boost your immune system, making you feel better physically, as well as mentally and emotionally.

Most people who have experience with L-Theanine do not report any adverse side effects, or interactions with medications, while St. Johns Wort, and 5-HTP have some negative side effects at higher doses.

8. Adrafinil

Adrafinil is a prodrug for Modafinil, meaning quantities of Adrafinil is metabolized by the body into Modafinil. Therefore, all advantages of Modafinil apply here as well, like increases in motivation, wakefulness and positive moods.

I put Adrafinil here instead of Modafinil because it’s much easier to procure and has almost the same effect. Modafinil being a prescription drug puts many people off and Adrafinil has been the solution for those people. It’s taken in 300 mg doses and is a bit expensive at about $ 50 for 25 grams. Still, cheaper than Modafinil.

9. Ginseng

Renowned for their ‘rejuvenating elixir’ properties ever since ancient times in Manchuria, China, Ginseng refers to the family of 11 different varieties of short, slow growing perennial plants with fleshy roots. It was revered by the people there and has near legendary properties when it comes to relieving stress and mood enhancement. To say that Ginseng has been in great demand the world over would be quite an understatement.

Ginseng has many applications ranging from being anti-inflammatory, improving different levels of immunological activity, improving cognitive function by improving memory, energy levels and improving general mood of the person. There are many websites that sell Ginseng supplements and you can find deals like $ 40 for 60 capsules of 500 mg each.

10. DMG

Dimethylglycine is found naturally occurring in healthy food like grains, veggies and meat. No, that burger patty does not count. It’s also produced in smaller quantities by your body. It acts like a strong dose of caffeine to put you in a good mood and generally make you smile more often.

If we have to get technical, DMG catalyzes other important substances which are produced by the body like Choline and neural cells in the brain. It generally improves mood, energy, wellbeing and concentration. You can find DMG supplements on the market for about 15 bucks for a bottle of 90 pills.


There are thousands of nootropics, and many of them improve mood. Here, I included seven that have worked incredibly well for me, and seem to do so for others as well.

To recap, my favorite seven nootropics for mood are:

  1. Aniracetam
  2. Sulbutiamine
  3. Noopept
  4. Inositol
  5. St. John’s Wort
  6. 5-HTP
  7. L-Theanine
  8. Adrafinil
  9. Ginseng
  10. DMG

What others have you tried? Please share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, and as always, keep nooting!

Some of the best nootropics for mood

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Cat - November 28, 2014

Hi –

Have you tried any of these altogether? I am battling stubborn bouts of depression after coming off of years-long SSRI’s and SSNRI type drugs. Aniracetam has helped a little, but I just got some Noopept in the mail. Will try that too.

I also take 5htp for sleep at night – usually 50 mg.

St. John’s Wort is something I am going to try in small doses, though I noticed it gave me anxiety (as I have bipolar stuff going on too.) I added lithium orotate, however, and my anxiety is going away finally.

Just not sure how much of what to mix with what. I guess it is an experiment. With stubborn depression, I’ve had to resort to trying new things and combos of things.

    Danny - December 18, 2014

    Hey Cat,

    First I want to say kudos for having the guts to get off SSRIs. That’s a brave move and one that lots of people never make. Second, I’m not an expert when it comes to nootropics for depression, but there are a few general principles I abide by when taking nootropic combinations:

    1. If I try out any combination of nootropics, I stick to the regimen (dosing and frequency of use) for at least 2 weeks. So if you start taking noopept every day at 10mg, 5htp every night at 50mg, and aniracetam every other day at 100mg, I would repeat that for at least 2 weeks to get a feel for how they affect your mood and daily habits.
    2. If a combination every makes me feel sick or unpleasant, I stop it immediately

    I’ve never taken lithium orotate so I can’t comment on its effects. Generally when it comes to nootropics for anxiety, taking too much of any one nootropic will have a net *negative* effect on anxiety levels in the long run.

    How have things been going so far? I hope you’re finding a balance that works for your brain chemistry.


    Nutrition Info - February 7, 2016

    The I in illness is isolation, and the crucial letters in wellness are we. ~Author unknown, as quoted in Mimi Guarneri, The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing

Truth Vibrations - August 21, 2016

Nootropics do not at all offer any relief against real depression & anxiety, unless T. is counted as a Nootropic. THe person writing this article is someone who is well and high to begin with & and has never experienced dysphoria. But we will come back to that point at the end of this comment….

All of these are Ultra-Weak or Non-effective Placebos when it comes to mood & well-being. Its strange how the population always lists very weak or inactive things and then say in so many words that are psychoactive & significantly effective; while using all sorts of unworthy adjectives. This is done by millions of people & almost never is charlatans or liars the reason, thats far less than 1% of it. Its as if the population is highly dissocative, has some sort of cognitive & perceptual disorder in regard to consciousness alteration and placebo-tard-ism or has dream-like levels of sentience or no sentient consciousness.

I doubt the latter but I cannot explain this bizarre abnormal phenomena that is world-wide and the majority of people. Probably the worst example is Homeopathy, but all are equally false. its always nice to run into a very rare real person who will say something is ultra-weak if it is, or has no effect if it doesnt.

The population has excuses they use to defend this. They’ll all kinds of disinformation & logical fallacies to defend it. For example one of them is: “Everyone affects everyone differently”. When they say this one, thats always a sure sign they are talking about bunk, because (A) things that are real work on 100% of all people with similar effects; where (B) the only differences stem from their brain wiring and receptor densities.

So to illustrate an example of the previous paragraph; For point A above, Opioids are real because they affect 100% of all people and the effects can vary pretty largely but in the big picture sense are rather similar. in terms of point B, a person who is born with a malfunction of norepinephrine pathways but very healthy Mu Opioid system wont care much for opioids and need an NE agent instead. But a person with a bad Mu Opioid pathway will only respond to opioids; and thus never be allowed any treatment from birth to death, since that’s banned in all uses but strong pain & short courses for other pain. Yet, Generally speaking, Opioids are universally a strong mood booster in almost all people who take 5 or more doses to break them in, and the exceptions are a small minority with a biological idiosyncrasy.

Since the population is programmed to over-state psychoactives that are extremely weak or ineffective, this effective acts to perpetuate the lack of availability of things that do work.

Nootropics do not at all offer any relief against real depression & anxiety. The way you test if something works for real against these things is to get together 50 people who cannot work a job because they are either so dysphoric they would lay down on the floor of the job; or have some much anxiety, that the nervousness is utterly unbearable torment that destroys functioning. Then give these 50 people Nootropics. See who reports to you that they feel better and also is able to work. The results will be Zero out of 50.

this thing with “ineffective psychoactives are effective” is not the only common fallacy the majority of the population is into. There are Mass False Dichotomies, Stockholm Syndrome, Zombie Aphorism Repetition, and over 1,000 each of: False Assumptions, Spurious Correlations, Idiosyncratic Assertion from Imagination, Reversal of Cause an Effect, and more. Hell, 100% of all forum Threads and Comments Sections must have over 3/4ths False Statements.

Sarah - October 10, 2016


I’ve tried Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Noopept, ALCAR, and even Sulbutiamine. I got nothing for the results. I tried them each on their own for a week, even choking this stuff down under the tongue or on the tongue.

I also can’t tolerate coffee and drink tea. I do NOT drink sodas and have stopped drinking alcohol as well. The weird thing is I can drink a lot and get a real good sleep for four hours – then be up and alert at 4 am. I don’t have a clue why that is so I stopped drinking before I started taking Nootropics in an effort to make my own stack and to get back to a healthier lifestyle.

I have read that some people just don’t really react to Nootropics and that really disappoints me, because I really need to focus and have a lot of trouble doing so (too much to do) in order to get everything done. I’ve dialed back the projects, kept to a strict schedule, and have gone over time management to optimize the best I can. I keep coming back to loss of focus.

Would it even be worth trying Modafinil at this point? I did see a doctor and while I didn’t say a word about using Nootropics they said my health was perfect for a female my age. I’ve lost weight, have an exercise regimen I enjoy, and some good attainable goals I’m working on. I just want that edge I could really use to get ahead.

Any ideas Dan? I’m out of options on Nootropics unless I go with something like Modalert or Waklert.


    Dan - October 10, 2016

    The fact that your body doesn’t respond to nootropics isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually kind of neat…. maybe things are working well as is. 🙂

    Yeah sure, Modafinil (I prefer Armodafinil, specifically Waklert) are great. Start with 1/4 pills and increase the dose from there.

    Other things to consider trying:
    – Phenibut
    – LSD Micro
    – Uridine stack

    Cheers 🙂

Sideshow Bob - October 18, 2016

This is actually an excellent list, and I have used all of the above nootropics.

Noopept and Aniracetam in particular, are a very good combination when used together.

For the person saying that none of these things work, that is your opinion and not grounded in fact. Many people have subjective experience that they do work, and some of the nootropics listed are prescribed by doctors, namely St. Johns Wort, Insolitol, Sulbutiamine. Furthermore, there have been double-blind studies which have shown St. Johns Wort to be at least as effective as common SSRIs.

Julie - March 9, 2017

Well, I tried a nootropic drink and that’s what got me researching further on the subject. The drink was JUBI and its amazing. It gave me energy that I haven’t had in 10 years but it felt like natural, normal energy, not jittery, heart racing energy. It also motivated me to get stuff done, gave me focus and a large does of happy. Situations that would normally have me punching stuff in frustration were handled with ease. The stuff was amazing. And one drink would give me the desired effects for close to 3 days.(every other day is the suggested dosing, no more often than that is made clear). Also, I needed less sleep. I now, sadly, normally sleep about 9 hours a night. with this stuff I was sleeping 5-6 and woke up refreshed and had energy all day. Again, the stuff is amazing however, it is not cost effective, thus I began my journey here, looking for things that I can afford. It does contain Phenibut, caffeine, L-theanine and 5HTP among other things but due to their proprietary blend, does not say how much of these ingredients. Hoping to find a good, affordable alternative through the information provided on this site.


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