Out of the cool waters of London and into sunny Los Angeles – the British pop star Adele said goodbye to the city on the Thames years ago and with it the eternal gray on gray. As she now told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview, moving overseas was also a decision for her mental health. She suffers from “severe seasonal depression,” which is why the weather in Los Angeles is good for her. Why is that?

If symptoms of a depressive episode only recur at a certain time of year, it is referred to as seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), explains the German Depression Aid. In most cases it is the so-called winter depression, which usually sets in when the days become shorter and darker in autumn and more melatonin is produced. Less well-known is summer depression, in which lower melatonin levels unbalance your mood. In addition to hormones, stress and general health can also influence sensitivity to the weather.

Melatonin is the hormone that controls our sleep-wake cycle. If we don’t have enough melatonin in our bodies, it can make it difficult for us to sleep. If too much of the hormone is produced, it can cause constant tiredness and make us just want to sleep. The hormone is mainly produced at night, in the dark. The more daylight there is, the more inhibited melatonin production is. So if it isn’t really bright outside, the melatonin level remains elevated, the sleep rhythm and thus the internal clock become confused. Fatigue, low mood and lack of motivation can result. If symptoms persist over a long period of time, depression can develop.

Adele is not alone in her suffering. According to estimates, around 10 to 20 percent of the population is affected by a mild form of seasonal depression, according to the information portal for neurologists and psychiatrists online. Those affected by this mild variant have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, are constantly tired and often have an increased appetite. The craving then focuses primarily on sweets. However, another five percent have a severe depressive episode. In addition to daytime tiredness, exhaustion and lack of energy, symptoms also include anxiety. In such cases, you should consult a specialist who will then determine whether it is seasonal or another form of depression. Studies indicate that younger people are more likely to suffer from seasonal depression; women are more often affected than men.

Numerous studies indicate that light therapy works for seasonal depression. Daily walks, among other things, can provide relief, even when the weather is cloudy. UV light also penetrates through overcast skies. It is recommended to spend at least an hour outdoors every day. Alternatively, appropriate therapy lamps with 2,500 to 10,000 lux can be used. Adele gets enough light in Los Angeles. The sun shines there on average 283 days a year. A fact that Adele sometimes struggles with: “The weather here is good for me. But sometimes it’s strange because I’m very British.”