Candles for Anxiety: Science, Scents, and Suggestions

There are a lot of different natural ways to help reduce anxiety symptoms. Some are dietary supplements in the form of a tablet or powder, while others are actual objects, such as fidget spinners or stress balls.

Another object that we don’t typically think as an anxiety reducer is a candle. Candles can benefit a person through its aroma, sending signals through the sense of smell that help calm the brain.

The candle light can also have some positive benefits in reducing anxiety. Today we'll take a look at what science says about the calming effect of candles.

Our Favorite Candles for Anxiety:

Rating

Product

Detail

Our Rating

Price

1

Scented Candles Whiskey River (Social Anxiety)

Our top choice

2

Way Out West Lavender Candle

Quality lavender option

3

Vegan Natural Soy Travel Tin Candles

Vegan alternative

What is the science behind candles helping to reduce anxiety?

When candles are light, it is usually to set a mood. Whether it be a romantic evening dinner with your sweetheart, the attempt to mask other odors, or just a relaxing afternoon in a bubble bath with your favorite candle lit beside you, the light is meant to set a mood.

The candlelight creates a warm, calm atmosphere that encourages the mind to slow down. It can help boost energy, relieve stress, and bring mental clarity, according to the Counselling Directory [1].

This is effective all because of our senses. When our eyes see the small burning light they immediately send signals to the brain and because of our already-established stereotype of how candles set the mood, our bodies quickly begin to calm and relax, thus reducing stress and relieving anxiety [2].

Not only does the candlelight help to reduce anxiety, but so can the scent. Again, this is because of our sense of smell. When we smell a certain scent from a burning candle, our brains react by associating that scent with a memory, or concept, such as relaxation.

That being said, different scents might work for some people, but not for others. This holistic and natural approach to reducing anxiety is also dependent on personal experiences and memories.

For example, if you have a wallflower plug that is lavender scented in your office at work, then burning a lavender scented candle at home may not bring you the relaxation you are looking for, but might contribute to the anxiety and stress.

Burning candles can have an emotionally and physically calming effect on the body. See below for some recommended scents. 

What is the effectiveness of candles reducing anxiety?

There are many studies that state candles create an aromatherapy that is known to be very effective in reducing anxiety.

Rather than the dietary supplements that are taken for anxiety, this holistic approach is chemical. When you smell the aroma of a candle, the molecules enter your body through your nose, which sends receptors to your brain. This makes it more effective than dietary supplements.

However, candles should not be used as a substitute for prescription medication from your physician or psychiatrist. It is always best to consult with your doctor before assuming the use of candles to reduce anxiety symptoms will work specifically for you.

Lastly, it is important to be aware of any allergies you may have to candles. Candles are primarily made out of wax, however, it is good to know the ingredients, just in case there are extra additives that may cause an allergic reaction.

Certain scents may also trigger sneezing or itching, as well. 

​What are the specific scents in candles that help reduce anxiety?

There is a wide range of scents in candles that can help to reduce anxiety, the problem is just finding which works best for you.

Here is a list of scents and specific ways they can help you ​according to counselling-directory.org.uk:

Lavender - relaxes instantly both mind and body
Clary sage - lifts mood
Cinnamon - makes you feel refreshed
Orange - reduces stress
Lemon - improves mood
Apple - controls anxiety
Peppermint - wakes up your mind and enhances focus
Frankincense - helps battle anxiety and gives a great stress relief
Sandalwood - relaxes and calms body and mind
Vanilla - increases happiness levels, uplifts your mood and stimulates feelings of relaxation and joy

Other popular scents are rose, mandarin, and lemon.

A lot of times you can find candles that say “stress relief,” or “anxiety relief” on them. Aromatherapy is also a popular name that will be on candles with these scents in them. 

Candles for Anxiety: Product Reviews

Fabulous Frannie Anxious 6oz All Natural Soy Candle made with Pure Essential Oils

Fabulous Frannie’s all natural soy candle is made with pure essential oils: lavender, bitter orange, bergamot, and clary sage.

This candle calms emotions, reduces sad or anxious feelings, and lessens feelings of loneliness and fear.

It is in a travel-compatible 6 oz can that you can take anywhere. Customers report it at being warm and relaxing for a good price. 

Art of the Root Calming 8 oz Soy Herbal Candle for Anxiety, Tension, Stress & Discord

Art of the Root Calming candle is advertised to reduce anxiety and relieve tension, stress, and discord.

The 8 oz. candle is made out of natural soy and includes real herbs and essential oils, such as sage, chamomile, and thyme.

Most customers reported enjoying the candle, however there are some reviews that it was difficult to smell and see the effectiveness. 

Way Out West Lavender Candle 17 oz Jar

Way Out West’s essential oil lavender candle is made in the USA. It is supposed to relieve tension and stress through the soy and wax blend.

It is beneficial in calming and restoring stress relief qualities. It has non-metal, only cotton wicks and a recycled jar.

Customers reviewed the candle as being authentic and working to reduce anxiety. 

Vegan Natural Soy Travel Tin Candles, 4-Pack

This vegan natural soy candle option is sold in a 4-pack of rose, lavender, vanilla, and lemongrass.

The tin cans they come in make them portable to travel with. The soy wax is biodegradable and leaves a clean burn with no after scent.

It is advertised to calm the nerves and relieve anxiety, provide a relaxing scent for meditation, induce sleep, repel bugs, and eliminate unwanted odors. Customers reported the candles be small, but effective.

EcoEarth Scented Candles (1 Pack: 3"x4")

EcoEarth offers a lavender scented candle made of natural soy wax. It is a 3-wick candle and has the highest concentration of essential oils.

It will help to lift the mood and enhance your physical and psychological well-being. The essential oils also act as a stress reliever.

It is money back guaranteed. 

Scented Candles Whiskey River (Social Anxiety)

This social anxiety candle by Whiskey River has a 60 hour burn time and weighs approximately 17 oz.

It is vodka vitamin water scented. There is relatively little feedback about this candle at this point, but what feedback there is, is generally very positive.

Amzwax Scented Candles Variety Pack

Amzwax’s variety pack of candles comes with six different scents with an assortment of benefits.

The pack includes: orchid, rose, lotus, lilac, gardenia, and lavender.

Customers have reported these candles to calm the nerves, relieve anxiety, assist in meditation, and induce sleep.

Our Own Candle Company Soy Wax Aromatherapy Scented Candle, Simply Yuzu, 6.5 Ounce

Our Own Candle Company’s soy wax aromatherapy candle, Simple Yuzu, is a 6.5 oz. candle with a citrus aroma that resembles a combination of mandarin and grapefruit.

It helps with anxiety, depression, and nervousness. It has a cotton wick that burns longer than other wicks.

This soy wax candle has no added dyes and is made in the U.S. Customers reported the candle working well, but burning unevenly.

GOOD JUJU - Organic Anxiety Relief & Meditation Candle - 7 oz

This organic anxiety relief and meditation candle can be used as a candle or a balm.

It is non-toxic and healthy with an organic coconut beeswax infused with organic plants and organic aromatherapy grade essential oils. It is handmade in the USA with a cotton wick.

The candle is biodegradable with no dyes, no GMOS, and no unhealthy fragrance.

Neoviva Long Burning Scented Soy Wax Jar Candle with Single Wick

Neoviva’s soy wax candle is blended with essential oils that are meant to help treat anxiety and depression.

It is infused with lavender and bergamot. It is advertised as a strongly scented candle that can burn for a very long time.

The candle gives a lasting scent even after burnout.

Sources

[1] https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/scented-candles-to-reduce-anxiety
[2] https://www.themeltco.com/story/blog/science-relaxation-candles-calming/

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