The 10 Best Essential Oils for Men and Stress

The 10 Best Essential Oils for Men and Stress

February 6, 2019 15 By Paul

Hey guys, today we are going to get a little more serious and discuss the world of stress. You see I am a big stress head as was my father. Sadly, it led in a large part to his passing away so it is something I have been aware of for a while. In fact one of the reasons that my wife started using essential oils was to try and work on the stress in our household. They are also something I have started to rely on to manage my own stress levels.

Wow, that was serious! But sadly this is a serious subject as in the United States alone up to 77% of people report as experiencing some physical symptoms of stress. So let’s go on a journey and have a look at the 10 best essential oils for men and stress and see if we can’t find some ways to reduce it together.

What is stress?

Stress is a natural reaction designed to heighten our response in times when faced with challenges, danger or overwhelming situations. This is an important response to allow us to gain extra alertness and energy when faced with these challenges. One of the biggest problems with us men however, is that inherently when we are stressed we struggle to find ways to release it after the fact or we simply just bottle it up. So when the source of the stress is internal, or long-lasting it can have the opposite affect than nature intended and severely hamper our abilities to cope. Ongoing symptoms of stress can include:Stressed couple fighting

  • Headaches
  • Stomach issues such as nausea, diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain/rapid heart beat
  • Relationship issues
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Insomnia
  • Mental illness such as anxiety and depression

What can we do for stress?

When we are stressed, there are a number of things we can do in order to attempt to reduce its effects on us. These include:

  • Exercise/physical activity
  • Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage
  • Socialising with family and friends
  • Undertaking activities that are fun for you, such as fishing, swimming, listening to music or watching a movie
  • Talking to someone about your stresses – this is a BIG one and often the most neglected

Important note: When we discuss the use of essential oils to alleviate stress we are talking about providing relief to the SYMPTOMS of low to medium stress levels only and NOT for dealing with mental health issues. Should you feel that you are suffering from extremely high stress levels or a mental illness, please seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.

How can the use of essential oils assist with stress?

Written stressI have said it before and I will say it again, it is really hard, I believe, to fully test and confirm the mood benefits of essential oils. What I can say though is that I believe anything that makes you relax or think of something different has to be a good thing. And I have to admit that a good whiff of my favourite Northern Lights Black Spruce certainly does bring on a different mood in me when I am tired or a little stressed. This oil is not one that I have found to be a good stress reliever in any of my research but it works for me. Is it all in my head? Probably… But it works… and that is all we are after hey?

I did manage however to find some scientific explanations to this, which, let’s face it will be as interesting to read as the fine print on your insurance forms so I will keep it brief and in layman’s terms. But if you did want to read the article, go for it by all means here. For the rest of us, basically how it works is that when we inhale a scent that we find appealing, it releases chemicals/transmitters (Serotonin and Dopamine) in our brains that make us happy. These positive responses then directly affect other areas of our bodies including heart rate, breathing and muscle release. Over time, our brains remember these feelings and relate them to certain oils/aromas. Added to this is the fact that some of the plants used in essential oils – such as lavender – have compounds proven to calm and relax the body.

Again, and I cannot highlight this enough, we are talking about relieving the symptoms here, NOT the causes.

10 Essential oils for stress relief

As usual, in my research I have found a LOT of essential oils that are supposedly good for relief of stress. So in keeping with the theme of my pages I have tried to stick to the manly ones. However, again from personal experience, some of the recipes my wife rubs on me when I am stressed or cranky tend to smell quite florally (which we all know is the man versus oil trigger for it being considered non-manly) but I do tend to like them in those times.

1. Lavender

Yeeeeaaaarrrppp, Lavender makes the list again. Is there anything this oil can’t be volunteered as being good for? In terms of stress relief, the not so manly aroma is scientifically proven to really hit the calming spot. Lavender teas have been used to calm the stomach since ancient times and lavender oil is commonly used to promote sleep. In fact, one of the first signs I saw that essential oils might actually work was watching my 6 year old son’s sleep patterns improve out of site once my wife started rubbing lavender oil on his feet before bed.

Individual Uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser before bed

Bath – Add 10 drops to some Epsom or rock salts for a relaxing man-bath (you are stressed, no-one will judge you

One the skin – add directly to the bottom of the feet before sleep

See also recipes below.

2. Cedarwood

Cedarwood is effectively a more manly smelling version of Lavender. It is widely discussed in terms of being a relaxant and good for promoting the release of Serotonin. It is also strongly linked to having a sedative affect when inhaled. I have found no real scientific evidence of any of this but I guess we are looking at how it effects US in this case hey. It was/is a major ingredient in ancient and modern incense products and, for your next trivia night, the ancient Egyptians used it to preserve the bodies of the dead.

Individual uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser for a calming man-smell.

One the skin – Apply to the feet, wrists and behind the ears as you start to calm down for the evening.

Inhalation – inhale directly from the bottle when you feel the nerves arise.

See also recipes below.

3. Lime

Lime essential oil is one of those that smells exactly like you would expect it to. Like most citrus oils (you could substitute this for any of the citrus essential oils if you wanted to) its aroma gives a sharp boost making it a good oil for lifting mood. In terms of stress, this gives us a little jolt to help us deal with whatever it is that is causing us the discomfort at the time – remember we are dealing with low to medium stress levels here.

In essence, it works at the opposite end of stress management than Lavender or Cedarwood in that it works to lift the spirits and positively levels rather than calming the mind.

Individual uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser to invigorate and refresh.

See also recipes below.

4. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus, like Lime and most of the stronger or ‘minty’ oils is good at reducing the low mood effects of stress. Eucalyptus has an invigorating aroma that is commonly discussed as a stimulant. If your stress is causing your body to feel rundown, eucalyptus in the diffuser will also help to assist in clear, un-congested breath to allow for relaxing breathing exercises and sleep.

Individual uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser to invigorate the spirit.

One the skin – Dilute with a good carrier oil and rub onto the chest and wrists before sleep.

See also recipes below.

5. Sandalwood

We are heading back to the manly scents for this next one. Sandalwood, like cedarwood gives of a ‘woodsy’ aroma that is said to invoke a powerful therapeutic affect on the brain’s limbic system to stabilize and balance those manly emotions. Sandalwood is frequently incorporated into Buddhist mediation to promote mental alertness – something that is commonly missing when we are stressed.

Individual uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser to calm the mind and promote mental alertness – especially good for meditation.

YL Lavender Essential Oil

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YL Cedarwood Essential Oil

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YL Lime Essential Oil

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YL Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil

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YL Sacred Sandalwood Essential Oil

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6. Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang is often described as an “adaptogen” (although other pages refute this) meaning that it can have different effects for different people (Peppermint and Lavender also contain these qualities). These qualities are extremely effective when it comes to stress as it can be both stimulating and calming depending on the mood and results on the person. It is also often described as being extremely effective in calming anger-induced stress.

This oil definitely fits into the category of being a non-manly smell and it can also be described as overpowering. It is however one of the most commonly used oils for dealing with stress so if you can handle it, use it – or even try mixing with a manly scented oil to break the ‘florals’ down.

Individual uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser for immediate calmness.

One the skin – apply directly to the wrists, kidneys and neck before sleep.

In the bath – This one is great in the bath – and the florally aroma will wear off before work the next day I promise.

7. Frankincense

Frankincense is another extremely popular stress reliever with a nice manly aroma. Frankincense has long been studied for its sedative and anti-stress effects when it’s compounds pass the through the blood stream into the brain. However, whilst these studies have been successful in mice, results on actual humans are still not fully proven. Regardless, like many other essential oils, it has documented ancient use in mediation and relaxation rituals. My wife swears by it (she has an anti stress mix that she rubs all over us at times) and I have a friend who is adamant that when she puts a single drop on the crown of the heads of her children they calm immediately. I have seen it and I really couldn’t argue against her.

Individual uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser to for immediate calmness.

One the skin – apply directly to the wrists, kidneys and neck before sleep.

In the shower – Add a few drops to a hot shower for a manly stress relieving steam bath sensation (wow – really oversold that one hey!).

See also recipes below.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint, like Eucalyptus and Lime, assists with stress simply via its stimulating effects. The most ‘mentholly’ of all the oils, a simple inhalation can immediately clear the head. When used in a bath or the diffuser it can also fight feelings of lethargy and it is also scientifically proven to assist with nausea and upset stomachs which are also major symptoms of stress. Peppermint has also been studied for its ability to reduce tension headaches.

Individual uses

Diffuser – Add 5 drops to the diffuser to clear the head and promote clarity.

One the skin – mix with a good carrier oils and apply directly to the wrists, neck and forehead to alleviate tension headaches sleep or the stomach to assist with nausea.

See also recipes below.

9. Copaiba

This oil was one of the first essential oils I ever used when my wife rubbed it directly into my calves to reduce cramps. I literally couldn’t believe it when it worked – lucky it has a manly aroma as well. It is commonly referred to – with some scientific evidence– as being a natural pain reliever and I would have to agree with that analogy. Its scent, which falls into the cedarwood and sandalwood line of manly, ‘woodsy’ smells if often referred to for use in calming the mind – like them, there is no real evidence of this however again, if the scent smells calming to you then it is doing its job – scientific proof or not.

Individual uses

Inhale – inhale directly from the bottle to provide immediate mood relief

Diffuser – 5 drops for longer lasting mood relief

Massage – Add 10 drops to 2 tablespoons of your favourite carrier oil to sooth and relax the entire body.

10. Northern Lights Blank Spruce

I couldn’t find any evidence, reference or stories at all that this one has any positive effects in the world of stress! Why is it in my list then? Cos I freaking love it!! I guess this is the perfect example of how essential oils can assist with stress related symptoms even when they are not ‘supposed to’. I use this one a lot if I am tired and my mind is racing (which tends to happen when I am tired and don’t have the energy to concentrate properly). A couple of whiffs straight from the bottle and I feel calm and relaxed and am able to switch my mind off.

Nic, my wife, calls it my man-flowers. Meaning that I have the same reaction when I smell this oil that a woman does when she smells a bouquet of flowers – hmmmm. Don’t care, this one works!

Individual uses

Inhale – inhale directly from the bottle to provide immediate mood relief

Diffuser – 5 drops for the manliest of stress relieving aromas

One the skin – apply directly to the wrists and neck

Shaving cream – Mix with Grapeseed oil for a fantastically manly saving experience.

YL Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

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YL Frankincense Essential Oil

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YL Peppermint Essential Oils

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YL Copaiba Essential Oil

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YL Northern Lights Black Spruce Essential Oil

Click here to purchase

11. Stressaway

I know I said ten, but I thought of this late and didn’t really want to delete any of those above (I have already left a few good ones out as it is including Chamomile, Geranium and Rose – I mean, they are all way too florally for us manly men and who can afford Rose?). Stressaway however is an essential oil blend that has been developed with

YL Stress Away Essential Oil Blend

Click here to purchase

Lime, Vanilla, Copaiba, Lavender, Cedarwood and Ocotea and is aimed directly at dealing with stress and insomnia.

Individual uses

Inhale – inhale directly from the bottle to provide immediate mood relief

Diffuser – 5 drops for longer lasting mood relief

Bath – Another really good one when added to some Epsom or Himalayan rock salts

Stress relieving roller blends

I have been meaning to write a post on manly roller blends for ages but others keep popping up in front of me, so in the meantime here are some good roller blends for assisting with stress relief. Roll blends onto wrists, neck and temples before bed.

As always, feel free to substitute, adjust dosage levels or even remove stuff as you see fit. I think as long as you have at least one of the oils listed above, then I think you are ok… this obviously goes for the diffuser and massage blends as well.

Happy man no stress

Stress blend #1 – Sleep assister

  • 7 drops of Clary Sage
  • 4 drops Lemon
  • 6 drops of Lavender
  • 1 fl. oz. (30ml) almond as a carrier oil

Stress blend #2 – Calming

  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • 10 drops of Chamomile
  • 1 fl. oz. (30ml) of sweet almond or jojoba as a carrier oil.

Stress blend #3 – Mind clearing

  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Cedarwood
  • 3 drops Joy
  • 1 fl. oz. (30ml) of sweet almond or jojoba as a carrier oil.

Mixing your oils

When mixing your oils for your blends, you will need the following:

  • A container or bottle (preferably a brown glass container)
  • A tablespoon measure
  • A Funnel (if you are using a dropper bottle)
  • Your chosen essential oil/s

Use the funnel to add the required drops (as per preference) of the essential and carrier oils of your choice to the bottle.

Mix well.


Stress relieving diffuser blends

I could simply list the manly diffuser blends we discussed in my earlier post as these are really good and manly and contain many of the oils listed above. However, here are some others based on stress relief…

Stress diffuser #1 – Head clearer

  • 3 drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Peppermint
  • 2 drops Rosemary

Stress diffuser #2 – Tension calmer

  • 4 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Geranium
  • 2 drops Lavender

Stress diffuser #3 – Happy happy joy joy*

  • 3 drops Lime
  • 3 drops Mandarin
  • 2 drops Lavender

*Ahhh Ren and Stimpy – how I used to love that horrendous, callous, inappropriate and hilarious show

Stress relieving massage blends

Massage is one of the most effective relief strategies for stress. Try these…

Happy groupStress massage blend #1 – Head clearer

  • 3 Tablespoons carrier oil (Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, or Grape Seed Oil)
  • 5 drops Bergamot
  • 4 drops Mandarin
  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Lemongrass

Stress massage blend#2 – Calming stress relief

  • 4 tsp carrier oil – such as jojoba or sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops Jasmine
  • 2 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Frankincense


Ok, so there you go, I know that was a bit more serious than you may be used to with my posts but I guess it is something important to me. To be honest, use oils for this, or don’t. Just make sure that if you are stressed, you do something about it. I honestly like the oils in my life for stress but I also go for a walk, listen to podcasts and sit on the beach. My brother lifts weights. Just do something.

Anyway, time for me to go – A fun post next I promise as as I was writing this I was thinking about the oils I actually do use and why so let’s go there next is a purely non-scientific, who cares if it is proven or otherwise way… See you then

Have fun


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