Can Nootropics Help with Depression? 9 Best Nootropics for Depression Revealed!

Article by: David Gracey
9 best nootropics for depression

Nootropics are sometimes advertised as magic pills, although they don’t do magic or anything beyond science, they can be incredible tools that you can use to optimize your brain performance.

As brain boosters or smart drugs, they can improve memory, focus, attention, learning processes, and many other things. They can even help with anxiety, which makes people wonder about what they can do for symptoms associated with depression.

Yes, nootropics can help with depression!  They can help with depression by boosting the production of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.  Some nootropics even act as mood elevators to help you get out of a funk, and feel better.  Their effect on your brain’s receptors helps you feel  happy and euphoric, which not only helps manage the symptoms of depression, but can also be just what you need to see real improvements in your mental condition.

Now, it’s not just any nootropic that’ll help you with your depression symptoms. You must first know what you need. 

This means a boost of serotonin or a boost of dopamine.

dopamine serotonin boost

You should also be aware of the particular group of nootropics that help with depression to help you choose better. If you’re looking for help with depression as a bonus and not your main goal for using nootropics, then your choice will be different.

So, if you want to find the perfect nootropic for your situation, all you have to do is to continue reading. Below you can see how each nootropic acts on the brain, how much to take it, and have all the information to help you choose which one you’re going to experiment with.


aniracetam nootropic

This is an incredible nootropic from the racetams family of nootropics for those that are currently studying. It helps with focus and learning.

You get in the zone when you’re taking Aniracetam quite easily.

It’s incredible when you need to digest hard pieces of information and complicated data.

Now, what makes aniracetam great for depression symptoms is that it elevates your mood as a side effect. This means that you get more focused, which you already have problems with when you have depression, and it also elevates your current mood.

This is helpful not only with focus but memory retention.

When you’re in a bad mood, you have a harder time remembering things. That’s why you can improve focus, memory, and depression symptoms by taking aniracetam.

The typical dose is 750-1500 mg a day. This is always something that’ll depend on your experience with nootropics and how well your body is responding to it.

So, if you’re currently having depression-related symptoms that are heavily related to lack of focus and mood swings, aniracetam will probably help you.

Now, if you have other symptoms like anxiety just continue paying attention that you’ll find something to help you below.

NOTE: Don’t miss our Full Article on Mood & Mindset Here

L-Tyrosine – Another Popular Nootropic That Can Help with Depression

This is another great option for those facing various depression symptoms. L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that acts on the body by making it produce more dopamine and epinephrine.


This creates stimulation, motivation, and more enjoyment. This alone is enough to improve an individual’s depressive episodes.

  • Mood Improvement
  • More enjoyment
  • More appetite
  • Mental energy
  • Better stress control

You should keep in mind that this is not a cure for depression but a tool to aid with the symptoms. Sometimes this is exactly what people need to get a jump start in their journey to better mental health.

Now, the only thing that you need to be aware of when it comes to this amino acid is that the wrong dosage can cause stomach upset, nausea, and overstimulate the body.

The ideal dosage is 100 mg per day. You can increase as you notice that your body is responding well to it.

So, if you’re looking for a nootropic to deal specifically with mood swings and mental energy, L-Tyrosine is perfect for you.

Just make sure that you get the dosage right!

5-HTP (Natural Anti-Depressant)

5-Hydroxy-L-Tryptophan (5-HTP) – This is another amino acid, HTP is a natural antidepressant produced by the body.  It works by making the brain raise the levels of serotonin.

5-HTP  5-Hydroxy-L-Tryptophan

This is the hormone that improves your mood by making you feel happy. It also controls stress levels. Both of these symptoms are directly related to depression and anxiety.

The only concern that you have to have with HTP, and any other nootropic that raise your serotonin levels, is that this can create an imbalance in the body.

When your serotonin levels are high, your dopamine levels can get depleted. That’s why you have to take something to balance out your dopamine levels as well.

About the dosage, you should take 50-300 mg a day every day to 2 to 4 weeks. This is enough time for you to notice improvements. You’ll likely feel more energized and motivated to do things.

Serotonin not only makes you experience happiness but allows you to enter a mental state that you can be more motivated and have more energy to do things.

From Wikipedia:

5-HTP is sold over the counter in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid. It is also marketed in many European countries for the indication of major depression under the trade names Cincofarm, Levothym, Levotonine, Oxyfan, Telesol, Tript-OH, and Triptum.

A 2002 review concluded that although the data evaluated suggests that 5-HTP is more effective than placebo in the treatment of depression, the evidence was insufficient to be conclusive due to a lack of clinical data meeting the rigorous standards of today. More and larger studies using current methodologies are needed to determine if 5-HTP is truly effective in treating depression.  

5-HTP and MDMA Regarding Serotonin

5-HTP is sometimes taken by people coming down from MDMA to relieve post-MDMA dysphoria.[8] As 5-HTP is a necessary precursor for the brain to produce more serotonin, and MDMA use depletes a person’s natural serotonin levels, it is believed that taking 5-HTP after consuming MDMA will speed up serotonin production.

In clinical trials of various design, 5-HTP has also been reported to treat fibromyalgia, myoclonus, migraine, and cerebellar ataxia.




This is the ideal nootropic to mix with racetams.  The reason is that many people use racetams to help them study since they’re great for focus and memory boost. 

What the citicoline will do is avoid that your body runs low on choline, which is a side effect of many racetams.

When this happens, you experience a terrible headache.

Citicoline is a source of energy for the brain. Unfortunately, what many racetams do when you’re taking them is to deplete your sources as a side effect.

What you do when you take racetams like oxiracetam or aniracetam is that they lower your levels of choline. Citicoline is a form of choline.

When you give a boost to your brain, you avoid the side effects.

What this all means to you is that you get more energy, focus, and improved memory by adding citicoline to your nootropic stack.

As long as you do this, you won’t run low on choline and you can improve the benefits that you normally get from choline and racetams in your brain.

Just picture this…

  • More focus
  • Improved cognition
  • Better memory
  • Faster learning

Ginkgo Biloba – Common Nootropic for Depression!

ginko biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is one of the main nootropics for depression.  It has an incredible performance when it comes to fighting the most common symptoms of depression.


  • Memory disturbances
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping patterns

This nootropic is known to also help with symptoms of other mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and schizophrenia. 

How does gingko biloba work?

It simply increases the blood flow in the brain, and as a result, it gives you the benefits I just listed above.

The recommended dosage / dose of Ginkgo Biloba is up to 600 mg a day. There’s no recommendation against long-term use.

Bacopa Monnieri

This is an adaptogen and it takes some time to have an effect on your brain. Usually, you have to take it for at least a month to see the real benefits.

Still, it’s worth taking it because it works on the body by blocking the progress of stress signals that are sent to the brain.

What this herb does is create a calm, relaxed mental state that allows you to reduce your depression symptoms.

This adaptogen is heavily connected to those that want to alleviate symptoms of dementia and memory loss, but it can help you with depressive states as well.

So, make sure that you take no more than 300 mg per day.

Also, keep in mind that it takes effect on the body slowly. This means that you need a few weeks to notice any real results.

Noopept or N-Phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester

buy noopept

This is one of the best nootropics to take for depression because it’s one of the very few that make the body produce both dopamine and serotonin.  It acts by increasing blood flow in the brain too, which makes you more alert as well. 

You can buy noopept online here.

For all these reasons (dopamine and serotonin make you more awake) you should take noopept early in the morning or in the afternoon. You should avoid taking it near your bedtime, or you’re likely to have insomnia.

The recommended dosage is up to 60 mg three times a day. This is likely the best nootropic for depression if you don’t want the trouble of taking anything else with it.

L-Theanine – Adaptogen Extracted from Green Tea

This is another favorite adaptogen of everyone that takes nootropics in general.

L-theanine is easy to take, has few side effects, and it’s great to be part of your regular stack.

This is an adaptogen extracted from green tea. It produces a relaxing state of mind with alertness. This means that you’re calm without losing focus or being sleepy.

The ideal dosage here is 250 mg a day. You can take l-theanine with coffee, which is the best combination for it.  L-Theanine is one of the many nootropics you can take everyday.

Uridine Monophosphate

Uridine is an amazing nootropic for those that have mild brain damages caused by stimulants like cocaine.

Not only that but it’s proven effective against depression caused by a depletion of dopamine.

What this powerful nootropic does is promote neurogenesis, which is the formation of new brain cells. This increases the production of dopamine and restores the current state of the brain.

The recommended dosage is up to 600 mg per day. This will vary depending on the capsule that you take.

Can Nootropics Help with Depression? – Final Thoughts…

So, the answer to your question “Can nootropics help with depression?” is a big fat YES!

Nootropics can help with depression.  The best nootropics for dealing with depression were revealed to you above. Any of the 9 options I listed are great options for promoting better overall mental health and sense of well-being.

Have you tried any of these nootropics to help with YOUR depression?  Or, have you tried any others that i did not list here?

Please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About David Gracey

About David Gracey

Founder of

Hey! My name is David Gracey.  I am the brain child of and a Cognitive Brain Function Researcher, Avid Biohacker, Lucid Dreamer, Morning Ritual Master, and Self-Proclaimed Nootropic Junkie of Sorts! 

In other words, I am completely obsessed with anything and everything related to cognitive brain enhancement! 

Whether it's nootropics supplements, challenging brain puzzles, or even meditation techniques, chances are, I've tried it!  This website is my outlet to give back and share what I've learned in the past 15+ years in this field of study. 

You Can Read my Other Posts Here:  David Gracey's Articles 




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About David:

Hey! I’m so glad you’re here. My name is David Gracey. I am a cognitive brain function researcher, avid biohacker, and self-proclaimed nootropic junkie of sorts! (And, yes, a bit of a nerd as well...) I created this website as an outlet to share my passion for self improvement and cognitive brain enhancement. Got questions? Shoot me a message!










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