Depression risk is associated with a late chronotype pattern often described as an ‘evening chronotype’. Fluctuations in mood over consecutive days have not yet been measured according to chronotype in in-patients with depression. A total of 30 in-patients with depression and 32 healthy controls matched for gender and age completed a chronotype questionnaire and twice-daily ratings on mood for 10 consecutive days (registered in the German Clinical Trials Register: DRKS00010215). The in-patients had Saturdays and Sundays as hospital-leave days. The relationship between chronotype and daily mood was mediated by the weekday–weekend schedule with higher levels of negative affect in the evening-chronotype patient subgroup at weekends. Results are discussed with respect to a probably advantageous standardised clinical setting with early morning routines, especially for patients with evening chronotypes.