Declining estrogen and progesterone instigate a corresponding drop in serotonin, which can lead to the dip in well-being associated with menopause. To keep your mood from dropping too low, take a two-pronged approach. First, give your body everything it needs to manufacture serotonin by taking the supplements listed in " Mood-Boosting Supplements." And, second, prioritize activities that make you feel your best. “Anything that nurtures your spiritual self, whether it's yoga, meditation, or prayer, boosts your serotonin, as does talking about your problems to a therapist or friend,” says Cheryle Hart, MD. Also, resist the urge to alleviate your angst with shopping sprees. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness (Penguin, 2008), has conducted research that shows that undertaking a rewarding activity — whether it's a hobby, sport, or new friendship — has a much longer effect on your well-being than spending money on yourself. “A new bag offers only a temporary boost, whereas pursuing an activity can provide an upturn each time you do it,” she says.


Brooklyn-based writer Kate Hanley is the founder of msmindbody.com. For her long-term rewarding activity, she's learning how to sew.