By Bianca Beldini

According to WWD, aromatherapy is the fifth most popular spa treatment in the United States – but what is the secret to scents?

Essential oils offer much more than a sweet smell to accompany a massage. Rather, because the receptors in our brains that interpret smells are so close to the receptors responsible for monitoring our emotions and regulating our feelings, scents have an uncanny ability to affect our mood and impact the way we feel. It’s why, scientific studies have shown, certain scents, especially those in essential oils, can balance brain waves and help us feel our best!

10 easy ways to improve your mood.

So, what are you waiting for? Tap into nature’s own apothecary to elicit a sense of wellbeing. Here are four great oils to try out right now:

Peppermint:  This oil is both sweet and spicy while creating warming and cooling sensations. It is great for a mid afternoon “pick me up” sniff instead of that second or third cup of coffee. When dabbed behind the ears or on the temples it can soothe a headache or hangover. Place it on your tongue after eating for both a breath freshener and to help aid digestion!

Lavender: This botanical put the ZZZZZZZZ’s in snooze! The chemical constituents in this aromatic liquid help to balance the nervous system, which allows us to turn down our “go go go” state. Place one drop on each foot before bedtime and get ready for a night of serious beauty rest!

See how lavender can help you sleep you way to beauty!

Lemon: This fresh scent has alkalizing effects on the blood, balancing the inflammatory acids in the system and making it a great oil to help ease exercise-induced soreness. It also helps create a sense of lightness. So add some to your water to perk up both the “blah” taste of your drink and your “blah” mood.

Thieves: This complex blend of spice oils was used during the Bubonic plague to help keep a band of “thieves” from getting sick. With warming oils like cinnamon and clove, Thieves stimulates the immune system, but needs to be used cautiously when placed directly on the skin because of its “heat.”

Have you tried this easy mood-booster?

Note: Not all essential oils are the same. Therapeutic grade oils are steam distilled and wildcrafted, their oils are carefully extracted by way of hot water and steam and they are free from any synthetic chemicals. Many labels use the words “For External Use Only,” which means that they might include chemicals other than pure oil.