Natural remedies for depression and memory loss can help relieve cognitive symptoms that may be impacting your quality of life.

Memory loss in depression falls under the symptoms of cognitive impairment. It’s one of a handful of experiences related to lost learning, decision making, judgment, and comprehension ability.

Memory loss in depression, which is sometimes referred to as “brain fog,” is more than just feeling mentally cloudy.

In fact, memory loss and other cognitive impairments can significantly lower your quality of life with depression. Treating depression is one of the best ways to improve memory function, but certain natural remedies can also help.

Natural remedies aren’t always herbal-based concoctions handed down through the generations. Sometimes they’re habits, activities, or lifestyle changes that can bring about a health change.

Stress management

When it comes to depression memory loss, stress management might be the overall goal.

According to the 2018 report, many of the neurological changes underlying depression memory loss can be attributed to chronic stress.

You can manage stress in a variety of ways, including:

Exercise and yoga

When it comes to depression, the benefits of exercise shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only can it be a stress reliever, it may also help protect your brain.

A review published in 2020 found exercise can:

  • reshape the brain structure in depression
  • activate brain function
  • promote behavioral changes
  • maintain brain structure integrity
  • improve neuroprocessing
  • delay cognitive impairment that may contribute to memory loss

Aerobic exercises, resistance exercises, and mind-body exercises were all found to be beneficial.

Exercise doesn’t mean you have to go out and run. Mind-body exercises such as yoga offer low-impact ways to introduce exercise into your routine.

A 2018 review found yoga, in particular, helped improve memory and depression symptoms in aging adults.


Sleep disturbance is a common experience in depression, but the relationship between depression memory loss and sleep isn’t fully understood.

Experts believe that without enough rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, emotional memories may not get properly reinforced in your brain when you’re experiencing depression.

Formal depression treatment can help improve sleep and therefore memory symptoms, but sleep hygiene practices can help ensure you’re setting yourself up for success each night.

Tips include:

  • keeping a consistent sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends
  • only going to bed when you’re sleepy
  • organizing your schedule so that you have 7 to 8 hours available at night for sleep
  • only using your bed for sleeping or intimacy
  • making your bedroom relaxing, with a cool temperature
  • avoiding electronic screens and other blue light sources at least 30 minutes before bed
  • avoiding heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed


Journaling in depression can reduce stress and help you work through your thoughts and emotions. It may also help with working memory, the type of memory important in everyday tasks.

In an older 2001 study, researchers found expressive writing helped improve working memory and reduced intrusive thoughts for people experiencing trauma or extreme stress, both of which can contribute to depression.

If you haven’t tried journaling because you don’t know where to start, you can begin by writing down everything that happened in your day. Then, you can go back and write about what you felt during those moments.

It’s OK to start with a single word and expand from there.


There are no studies that conclude any singular dietary product will reduce depression memory loss. But a healthy diet may help both memory function and symptoms of depression.

According to a 2022 study, diets with anti-inflammatory properties may play a key role in managing depression.

These include diets that avoid high quantities of:

  • sugar
  • refined flour
  • saturated fat
  • red and processed meats

Strategies that benefit depression symptoms may also benefit memory. According to a rodent study from 2019, high-fat, high-sugar diets had the most negative impact on memory performance.

Anecdotal evidence also exists for a number of specific dietary options that may help improve depression or memory — or both.

A small 2021 study in young, healthy adults, for example, found eating peanut butter was associated with lower depression scores and improved memory function.

A 2015 review found promising evidence for the use of omega-3 fatty acids in depression-related cognitive impairment.

A review from 2020 indicates that avoiding inflammatory foods and adding micronutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, and folic acid may help symptoms of depression.

Ruling out other memory loss causes

Yes, depression can cause memory impairment, but so can a lot of other things. It’s possible to be living with depression and also have habits or circumstances that impact memory at the same time.

Factors that may contribute to symptoms of memory impairment include:

For many people, depression memory loss can improve as depression is treated.

It’s possible, though, for cognitive impairment in depression to remain, increasing the chances of depression recurrence and possibly leading to a diagnosis of dementia in time.

There’s currently no way to predict when or if memory loss in depression is permanent.

Seeking treatment is one of the best ways to help manage cognitive impairment in depression, but natural remedies for depression and memory loss can also help.

Improving your sleep quality, focusing on stress management, and making healthy lifestyle changes may all help improve depression memory loss.