The 10 Best Essential Oils For Anxiety, Stress, and Insomnia

Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint

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The three essentials—lemon, lavender, and peppermint—make the perfect starter kit. Lemon’s purifying properties clear the air and provide a reset and recharge. It’s been scientifically proven that lavender can reduce anxiety and relax the brain. Peppermint can help to fight seasonal allergies and boost energy in the room with its potent fragrance. 


Frankincense, also known as olibanum, has been known to treat stress, anxiety, and reduce pain and inflammation. It has also been used by cancer patients as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Bergamot is the unofficial essential oil of depression. It’s commonly used in black tea and has roots that trace back to early Chinese medicine as a digestive aid.


If you’re feeling sick, grab the eucalyptus. The oil’s health benefits include treating colds and flus and reducing aches and pains. 


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Can’t sleep? Chamomile it is. The oil works to promote sleep and treat insomnia. Diffuse some chamomile oil while drinking a glass of chamomile tea for a one-two punch. 

Sweet Orange


Sweet orange is commonly used in aromatherapy as an antidepressant. On the other end of the spectrum, orange is a mild aphrodisiac. 

Peace of Mind® On-the-Spot Relief

Relieve stress with two dabs of this mind-clearing formula on the back of your neck, temples, and ears. Take a deep breath and let the rose, peppermint, and rosemary aroma relax you. 

Clear Mind Tension Remedy$48.00

This topical oil can be applied to the temples, neck, or any parts of the body that need immediate relief. The mint in the product provides an instant tingling sensation. 

Aromatic Irritability Treatment$65.00

In a bad mood? Tata Harper’s Irritability Treatment lessens any funk to get you centered and relaxed with natural aromatics from flower extracts. Inner peace is a dab away.

Eucalyptus, lime, and tangerine work to invoke memories of the deep blue sea. Many people find the ocean relaxing, so it makes good sense that a smell associated with beach days would go a long way towards a more zen self.

Essential oils, the best friend to both diffusers and stress relief, are the aromatic compounds found in nature (plants, tree bark, seeds), and presented by brands as a cureall. The oils come in a variety of forms, from body oils to liquids, but their main purpose is to improve an individual’s well-being through aromatherapy. Studies have found that aromatherapy—or um, smelling things—has the potential to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

But, do they really work? The short answer is yes. We asked Pamela Dalton, a cognitive psychologist from the Monell Chemical Senses center, if using essential oils could help solve all our 2018 problems. “Yes, any essential oil or fragrance can act as an aromatherapy agent,” explained Dalton. “What is required is that the person finds the scent pleasant and associates it with an emotional state that they wish to be invoked, such as relaxation or invigoration.”

However, Dalton notes that what works for one individual might not work for another. “Aromatherapy is effective, but in my experience there are no prescriptions that work for everyone,” says Dalton. “It’s far better to find what works for you.” That’s another way of saying there’s a huge psychosomatic aspect to essential oil usage, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So, what should you look for? “Definitely try to find companies that state the purity of their essential oils so that you can identify the ingredients that work for you,” says Dalton. Or skip that step and scroll our list of the top ten essential oils to try.


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