Does It Work?

Yes, Mood Lifters works. We know this from the feedback we get from our participants and our ongoing data analysis on our measures.

Our participant stories are powerful. We have participants who have tried therapy and it wasn’t helpful. We also have participants who had lost hope in getting better. Despite their previous experiences, Mood Lifters changed their lives. Read their stories here.

However, testimonials are not a complete picture. Our leadership team cares deeply about science, so we did not stop there. The Mood Lifters team tested Mood Lifters in a randomized control trial, the gold standard for scientific research. The results reinforced the value of Mood Lifters and launched the company in January of 2019.

Once the company launched, we remained committed to increasing accessibility to evidence-based intervention and felt that the Mood Lifters program must have ongoing testing and refinement. Based on this commitment, we run continued analyses to ensure that our program continues to work for our participants and customers.

To see specific results from our randomized control trial, the Mood Lifters company and Mood Lifters during the COVID-19 pandemic, please keep reading.

Results from the Randomized Control Trial (RCT)

In the randomized control trial, participants were assigned to one of three groups:

  • waitlist
  • peer-led group
  • professional-led group

Participants experienced a statistically significant improvement in anxiety symptoms compared to the waitlist group. Further, improvements in anxiety and perceived stress were greater in those who practiced their skills more (i.e., earned more points). Finally, we found that peer leaders were as effective as professional leaders.

Mood Lifters Participant Improvements

Improvements are strongest in those experiencing moderate to severe depression/anxiety. In these groups, we see a nearly 50 percent symptom reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Statistical significance is shown on the graph with an asterisk.

Further, our analyses show that Mood Lifters participants continue to get better, despite the struggles associated with the pandemic, racial tensions and climate impacts. In fact, Mood Lifters participants during the pandemic have seen greater change in depressive and anxiety symptoms than participants in groups prior to the pandemic!

a graph showing Mood Lifters participants self-ratings on anxiety and depression and the influence of COVID-19 on their ratings.

Statistical significance is shown on the graph with an asterisk.

Mood Lifters Participants See Robust Improvements Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

Often, techniques shown to work in the academic literature do not prove to be valuable under real-world conditions. Yet, the opposite was true with Mood Lifters during COVID-19.

Overall, Mood Lifters participants show statistically significant decreases in:

  • depressive and anxiety symptoms
  • and negative emotions

They show increases in:

  • flourishing
  • social functioning
  • positive emotions

In summary, our peer led program is highly effective, affordable, accessible, acceptable and available to people suffering from depression, anxiety and stress.

Mood Lifters Participant Testimonials

“I have taken two full courses consecutively of this program and it has changed my life. When I started, I was clinically depressed, medicated, barely functioning and in therapy. Today I feel as though I finally have myself back, I’m no longer medicated, I’ve lost nearly 20 lbs, I’m dating, again, I have new friends, I’m attending new groups, I’m excelling at work… This program has helped me more than any medication, therapy or therapist or other method I’ve tried–and I’ve tried a lot. I will be forever grateful for Mood Lifters and I will continue to implement all the information and strategies.”

“On the advent of me getting my life back, I want to thank you for being a Mood Lifter Leader/Member and Creator. Mood Lifters has changed my life in a short four months.”

“You wouldn’t believe the changes I’ve made in my life since the course. Almost a month without alcohol, I find my mood is much better and I sleep through the night. I still count points; it has really made me more aware of taking better care of myself. Can’t thank you all enough!!!”

“Mood Lifters has helped me more than decades of therapy. It provided ways for me to deal with serious changes in my life that may have otherwise devastated me. Your work has healed me, and no doubt many others, beyond words.”

“After a short amount of time, things began to turn around. I started to feel better about things. I felt more empowered and in control to guide my future in a direction that I wanted to head and one that I looked forward to. I’m now hopeful for a better future and have some tools to help me along the way. My marriage is better, my job is more rewarding, I’m taking pleasure in more of my day-to-day activities, my drinking has been curbed, and I’m truly happy to be here now.”

“The content was applicable to our lives. The leaders were genuine and approachable and made the best of this COVID situation! They were wonderful!”

“I have enjoyed this class immensely. I feel a lot better from the start to now. I enjoy the workshop type exercises. It is much better than just reading a self-help book.”


Votta, C. M., & Deldin, P. J. (in preparation) Mood Lifters: The development and feasibility of a novel mental wellness program.

Votta, C. M., Roberts, A., Porte, J., Belpedio, L., Prakash, N., & Deldin, P.J. (in preparation). Testing the efficacy of the Mood Lifters Program: A semi-randomized control trial.

Votta, C. M., Roberts, A., Porte, J., Belpedio, L., Prakash, N., & Deldin, P.J. (in preparation). Are peers equally as effective as professionals? An examination of peer and professional leaders in a novel mental wellness program.