Early-life stress, including maternal separation (MS), increases the vulnerability to develop mood disorders later in life, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We report that MS promotes depressive-like symptoms in mice at a mature stage of life. Along with this behavioral phenotype, MS drives reduction of GABAB-GIRK signaling and the subsequent lateral habenula (LHb) hyperexcitability-an anatomical substrate devoted to aversive encoding. Attenuating LHb hyperactivity using chemogenetic tools and deep-brain stimulation ameliorates MS depressive-like symptoms. This provides insights on mechanisms and strategies to alleviate stress-dependent affective behaviors.