The Color Psychology of Blue

How does the color blue make you feel? People have long believed that certain colors can evoke different moods and feelings, and some research has supported the idea that colors can have psychological effects.

Blue is a color often found in nature such as the pale blue of a daytime sky or the rich dark blue of a deep pool of water. It is for this reason perhaps that people often describe the color blue as calm and serene. Yet as a cool color, blue can sometimes seem icy, distant, or even cold.

Learn more about some of the feelings and moods created by the color blue.

blue color psychology
Illustration by Cindy Chung, Verywell

The Psychology of Blue

According to color psychology:

  • Blue is described as a favorite color by many people and is the color most preferred by men.
  • Because blue is favored by so many people, it is often viewed as a non-threatening color that can seem conservative and traditional.
  • Blue calls to mind feelings of calmness or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.
  • Blue is often seen as a sign of stability and reliability. Businesses that want to project an image of security often utilize blue in their advertising and marketing efforts.
  • Blue can also create feelings of sadness or aloofness. Consider how a painting that heavily features blue, such as those produced by Picasso during his "blue period," can seem so lonely, sad, or forlorn.
  • Blue is often used to decorate offices because research has shown that people are more productive in blue rooms.
  • Blue is one of the most popular colors, but it is one of the least appetizing. Some weight loss plans even recommend eating your food off of a blue plate. Blue rarely occurs naturally in food aside from blueberries and some plums. Also, humans are geared to avoid foods that are poisonous and blue coloring in food is often a sign of spoilage or poison.
  • Blue can also lower the pulse rate and body temperature.
  • Consider how blue is used in language: blue moon, blue Monday, blue blood, the blues, and blue ribbon.

Blue Feelings

Look at the use of blue in the image that accompanies this article. How does blue make you feel? Do you associate blue with certain qualities or situations?

One important thing to remember is that the feelings evoked by certain colors are not necessarily universal. Cultural differences sometimes play a role in how people perceive color.

Individual experiences also have an important effect on the moods that colors can create. If you associate the color blue with a vivacious and lively friend, then you might see it as a high energy color that evokes a sense of excitement.

Reader Responses

While blue has different symbolic meanings, individual reactions to the color blue can vary widely. The following are some of the reactions to the color blue that readers have shared over the years.

Blue Is Sincere

"Blue is the color of sky, ocean, sleep, and twilight. It is a color that makes me feel so good. When I see it, I almost feel like I am in heaven. For me, blue is the color of sincerity, inspiration, and spirituality. It makes me feel like I am good enough." — Pradnya

Blue Is Calming

"I love the sight of blue...especially shades of turquoise like teal and aquamarine. I tend to be naturally drawn to this color; I believe because it is the color of my aura. I am already a very calm, serene, emotionally balanced person but when I'm around the color blue, I am less nervous and more comfortable and communicative in the presence of others." — Latia

Blue Is Intense

"Many people think of blue as being peaceful and serene, like a clear summer sky or calming waters. However, when blues are deep and intense this internal reflection changes. Skies become stormy and waters will rage. Blue now arouses a feeling of emotional energy, strength, and spirit." — sunset707

Blue Is Inspiring

"I love blue because it's the color of the ocean and the sky. The color blue makes me feel calm, quiet, reflective, and strong. When I look at the blue waters of the ocean, I feel calm and very strong, I feel free like the moving waves and yet there is a sadness to it which at times fill my eyes with tears -I don't understand why. No color like great blue!" — Guest Sharon

A Word From Verywell

While exploring the psychology of color can be interesting, it is also important to remember that reactions to color can also be highly personal. Past experiences can play a role in shaping how people feel about and respond to different colors.

While some people find blue to be a sad or somber color, others may interpret it as peaceful or inspiring. Pay attention to how the color blue makes you feel and consider some of the different influences that may have influenced your feelings.

1 Source
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Elliot AJ. Color and psychological functioning: a review of theoretical and empirical workFront Psychol. 2015;6:368. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00368

By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.