Do Essential Oil Diffusers Actually Do Anything for Your Health or Mood?

Wouldn't it be great if moms could squeeze in little bits of relaxation all day long? That’s what essential oil diffusers promise to do: create a positive, refreshing and energizing ambience that makes you happier and healthier. Do they work?

What Are Essential Oils and Diffusers?

Essential Oils

Essential oils are plant extracts. These natural compounds come from a variety of flowers, herbs, trees and other plants. Some of my favorites are tea tree, lavender, sandalwood, lemon and (of course) rose. Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy to promote wellbeing for body and emotions.

Essential Oil Diffusers

Essential oil diffusers deliver these plant scents into the air as aromatic molecules. That way you can smell relaxing aroma as you’re going about your daily activities. The tiny particles reach your nose’s receptors and send signals to your brain, especially to the area involved with emotions. Today's oil diffusers are similar to the air fresheners of yesteryear, but using comforting natural plant extracts instead of synthetic chemicals.

How Effective Are Essential Oils?

Do essential oils work? To be honest, scientists aren’t completely sure. Some research has shown that essential oils such as lavender can have benefits:

  • Relief from anxiety
  • Help with depression symptoms
  • Sleep quality improvements
  • Calming effects for dementia
  • Pain relief for osteoarthritis

In other words, aromatherapy may help your mood and emotional health, but scientists can’t confirm it. That's why doctors aren't actually writing prescriptions for lavender oil or tea tree oil.

What Are the Best Types of Essential Oil Diffusers?

There are many types of diffusers to choose from. Each has pros and cons, and you should look at the price tag, too:

  • Electric diffusers: You add essential oil to water and an electric fan disperses the air and oil droplets into the air.
  • Reed diffusers: Small sticks absorb essential oils from a jar and release them into the room naturally. This can take a while, but it’s silent. Reed diffusers are my favorites for the bedroom.
  • Ceramic diffusers: Terracotta or ceramic absorb and gradually release essential oil into the surrounding space. These diffusers don’t have much reach, so they’re best for a bathroom countertop, tub, or another small space.
  • Heat diffusers: Heating essential oils can change their chemical properties and take away therapeutic benefits. Skip these diffusers unless you’re only after the scent.
  • Ultrasonic diffusers: These high-tech devices use vibrations to create a fine mist of essential oils and water. These are great all-around diffusers for large spaces, and they can also humidify the air in dry homes.
  • Nebulizer diffusers: For fast dispersion you can smell throughout the house, nebulizers are hard to beat. I don’t like them personally because I’m always afraid of breaking the glass container. They also go through more essential oil than other options.

What's the Bottom Line for Essential Oil Diffusers?

My point of view is that you should find out whether essential oils work for you personally. Don’t believe crazy claims or miracle cures you read online. Try your favorite aromatic scents with an essential oil diffuser for a month or two. Write down how you feel at the beginning and compare again at the end. If you notice you feel less stressed or that you’re sleeping better at night, keep going!

3 5-Minute Routines To Start You Day Off on the Right Foot

Though most people dream of being the types of individuals who wake up each morning with hours to spare in which they can exercise, meditate, journal, read and simply do whatever makes their souls happy, the truth is that most humans are the get-up, get-dressed and run-out-the-door types. While there is nothing wrong with sleeping in now and then, living your life in a harried state is not fun, nor is it healthy. You need a little “you” time, and it’s hard to find that once the rest of the world wakes up. The good news is that you can get that you-time by carving out just 15 minutes of your morning to dedicate to three simple yet, refreshing routines.


Per several studies, mediation has several benefits for the mind and body. Among others, included are stress reduction, improved memory and a strengthened immune system.

While these benefits may sound good, you likely think you don’t have time to sit and “ohm” for an hour or more each morning. Well, you don’t have to.

Sitting for just five minutes each morning to detach yourself from all thoughts can profoundly positively affect your entire day. For help with getting into the habit of meditating properly, check out UCLA’s resource of free guided five-minute meditations.

Make Note of 3 Things You’re Grateful For

Similar to the “three good things” strategy used by Martin Seligman, this strategy — as brought to you by a user on Quora — involves writing down three things for which you are grateful each morning. The user encourages you to think about what you have in your life that is good, beyond material objects. These can include friends, family members, helpful neighbors, the laugh of a child, a shift in mindset or a positive development that occurred the day before.

If you have time after coming up with three items, provide an explanation for why you are grateful for them. Starting the day off by showing gratitude — rather, than, say, bemoaning your early work schedule — can help you approach the day with a more positive mindset.

Make Your Bed

Making the bed is a simple habit that has several powerful and surprising benefits for people who actually do it … Which, most people don’t. According to the data, as many as 59% of people don’t make their beds at all, while 12% pay people to do it for them. Only 27% of individuals make the bed on their own. Those individuals are happier and more productive. This is not just a broad generalization, either. Per the data, 72% of bedmakers claim to be happy, while an astonishing 62% of non-bedmakers say they are unhappy.

There are a few reasons this may be so. For starters, making the bed is a keystone habit, which means it can start a chain reaction that could help other positive habits take hold. It’s also a manageable task that, once completed, contributes to a sense of accomplishment. In addition, Bedmaking helps to improve the visual appeal and reduce the clutter effect of your bedroom, which can help to alleviate stress. It also prepares you for things you don’t want to do.

Finally, and interestingly, making the bed may contribute to a better night’s sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, individuals who make their beds every day are more likely to enjoy a good night’s sleep every day or almost every day compared to individuals who leave their beds a mess.

Starting your day off on a positive note does not have to involve hours of free time in the morning. By setting aside just 15 minutes to meditate, express gratitude and make the bed, you can improve your morning routine and your life.