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New APA Healthy Minds Monthly Poll Finds that Nearly 40% of Americans Face Declining Mood in Winter

Effects More Prominent in Women, Hispanics, Parents, and Those in Midwest, Northeast and Rural Areas

By Girl Power News , in News , at November 7, 2022

With most of the country ready to “fall back” this weekend, nearly a quarter (24%) of Americans report that they generally feel depressed in the winter. Two in five (38%) say their overall mood declines in the winter. But they do look forward to certain winter traditions: 44% of Americans look forward to spending time with friends and family during the holidays and 49% say enjoying good food improves their mood.

These results are from the November 2022 Healthy Minds Monthly Poll from the American Psychiatric Association. It was conducted online by Morning Consult from Oct. 19-21, 2022, among 2,211 U.S. adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The poll gauged mental health as the winter months began as well as awareness of seasonal affective disorder.

Women (41%) were more likely than men (34%) to say their mood declined in the winter, as were those from rural areas (46%) versus suburbanites (38%) and urban dwellers (31%). Those from the Northeast (47%) and Midwest (49%) were more likely to say their mood worsened than those in the South (35%) and West (26%). Moms (44%) were more likely than dads (31%) to say their mood declined.

“Cold, dark weather can have a real impact on our mood,” said APA President Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D. “Especially in northern areas of the country, where winter lasts for several months, it’s important to keep tabs on our mood and to seek help if sadness or other symptoms become overwhelming. It’s also a great time to remember that there are winter traditions and activities that can bring us joy and lift our moods.”

Two-thirds of adults (66%) noted behavioral changes during winter. While a quarter of adults reported they felt depressed during this time, that number was higher among women (29%), Hispanic adults (30%), people in rural areas (32%), those in the Midwest (31%), and mothers (37%). Winter also impacts people in a number of other ways.

Read the full results here:

*APA’s Healthy Minds Monthly tracks timely mental health issues throughout the year. APA also releases its annual Healthy Minds Poll each May in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month. For a copy of the results, contact [email protected].

See more results of APA Public Opinion Polls.

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit