4 Happiness Chemicals and How to Activate them in the Brain

Happiness comes from within. This is not just sage, spiritual advice, but cold hard fact. The body produces happiness chemicals that promote good mood, joy, mental health, and happy feelings. By knowing what causes these chemicals, you can promote their creation and release to improve mental wellbeing.

rock with the work happy on it
Happiness comes from within – source

Learn how to hack your biology with this list of happiness chemicals. By knowing how to turn them on in the brain, you can feel better daily and find new habits that promote good mood and joy.

What are Happiness Chemicals

Happiness chemicals are made by the body and play a role in mood, happiness, and stress relief. Some act as neurotransmitters, meaning they send messages from one cell to another, while others flood the nervous system. 

They act in different ways, working to reduce pain, lower stress, increase joy, or stabilize the mood. By learning what actions to do to make the body create and release these chemicals to boost mental wellbeing greatly. 

Top 4 Happiness Chemicals

Here are the 4 happiness chemicals and how to boost their production and release!


Serotonin is a mood-stabilizing chemical that sends signals between cells. It even plays a role in sleep, digestion, wound healing, and joy.

About 90% of serotonin is created in the gut, meaning what you eat affects this chemical’s production. Reach for healthy foods whenever possible. Some specific foods that increase its production are eggs, cheese, pineapples, tofu, salmon, and nuts.

Light therapy can help boost serotonin, so go out and get some sunshine. Other physical activities to boost the release of this chemical include yoga, meditation, and exercising regular.


The dopamine chemical is a part of the reward pathway in the brain and plays a role in feeling pleasure. This chemical can even make you feel relaxed and happy.

You can release this chemical by treating yourself! Eat your favorite meal, pick up a nice dessert, or treat yourself to a shopping day. Therefore, give yourself some self-care such as doing a hobby you like, listening to music, or reading a book you love.

Get in some exercise as this can boost the release of dopamine quickly, take in some sun for vitamin D and dopamine, and make sure to sleep regularly.


Endorphin is a chemical that relieves pain, reduces stress, and boosts your mood. They block the body’s perception of pain and promote pleasure.

Exercising can help increase endorphins (think of the phrase runner’s high). If you don’t like running, something like swimming, dancing, or hiking can also release endorphins into the body.

Non-physical activities that may boost his chemical include watching a movie or a show, laughing out loud, or getting a massage.


Oxytocin is also called the love hormone. It regulates emotional response and is linked to those ‘warm fuzzy’ feelings while helping to reduce stress.

You can increase oxytocin levels through physical touch. Hug someone you love, give someone a massage, or be with your partner. Additionally, you can also activate it by helping others, showing compassion, or giving. 

It doesn’t have to be something physical! Give a compliment, give a word of encouragement, smile at someone. Even pets boost oxytocin. Pet a dog, cat, reptile, etc.

Mental Wellbeing Quick Tips

Looking for easy ways to hack the brain and boost mental wellbeing? Here are some quick tips that can help you out!

  • Practice self-care – anything can be self-care from taking a moment to breathe, doing some exercise, or practicing a hobby
  • Journal – journal regularly to sort through your feelings and emotions in a healthy way
  • Fermented foods – about 90% of serotonin is made in the gut. Eat fermented foods to boost gut health.
  • Breathe – deep breaths decrease stress and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the body responsible for relaxation
  • Meditate – meditation changes the brain chemistry, stabilizing mood

The Takeaway

Knowing how to hack your biology can be a great help in improving happiness and mood. Learn these 4 happiness chemicals, know how to create them and release them into the body, and improve mental health today!

Remember that health starts from within. It is vital to fuel the body with nutritious, healthy meals so it has the best building blocks to repair and grow. Work out in a way that feels good to improve both physical and mental health. Remember to practice self-care for mental wellbeing. Adding all these habits together can help overall wellness flourishes. Fitness, health, and wellbeing are all aspects of the journey.

Take care of gut microbiota health as well! Since about 90% of serotonin is made in the gut, a balanced health gut means improves mental wellbeing. Gut health even affects digestion, nutrient absorption, muscle growth, immune health, metabolism, and skin health! Get all your gut health resources here for free today!

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