Know how to feel good both mentally and physically by boosting your happy brain chemicals.

How to boost your feel-good chemicals.

How Brain Chemicals Influence Mood and Health

Chemical imbalances in the brain cause anxiety and depression when there’s either too much or too little of certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry electrical signals between neurons in the brain. Neurotransmitters affect how we feel and can be affected by many things i.e poor diet, stimulants, stress, lack of sleep, and addictions. These are all capable of causing an imbalance which is the bases of many mental health problems.

What can we do about these chemicals surging around our bodies?

How to boost your feel-good chemicals.

There are four different brain chemicals that create happy feelings, and you need all of them to feel good.


Is associated with pleasure and reward, but controls many functions, including, emotion, and cognitive functioning. Dopamine contributes to feelings of alertness focus, learning, planning motivation & happiness.  In general, dopamine creates happiness after a person has accomplished a goal or ticked something off that to-do list. Scientific research has shown gratitude affects the brain’s reward system. It correlates with the release of dopamine and serotonin.

Cognitive functioning refers to multiple mental abilities, including learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, decision-making, and attention.

Something we can do to improve dopamine levels is, of course, to focus on identifying and pursuing new goals, and rewards and trying new experiences could prove beneficial in lowering depression rates.

Lifestyle choices are also important. Getting enough sleep, exercising, listening to music, meditating and spending time in the sun can all boost dopamine levels.

Overall, a balanced diet, plenty of protein and a lifestyle can go a long way in increasing your body’s natural dopamine production and helping your brain function at its best.

The main active compound in coffee is the stimulant caffeine. It can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, metabolic rate and exercise performance.

 Human contact – hugging, children, cuddling a pet, discovering new things – Dopamine production is triggered when we find something new and exciting in front of us, a new hobby, or completing something, whether it’s a big job or a small task. 

Take a daily walk – (if you can’t do intense exercise) Dopamine is an addictive chemical but in a good way. It motivates you to do the things you need to do, even the things you don’t like doing.

Last tip:  Take a cold shower – it can boost your dopamine levels by as much as 250%.


 Endorphins are your body’s natural pain reliever, which your body produces in response to stress or pain. Known as the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals, endorphins stimulate feelings of pleasure, well-being, and pain relief. Levels tend to increase when you engage in reward-producing activities, such as eating, a massage, having sex, and working out.

TIPS:   Other ways you can induce endorphin release:

Along with exercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release. Even the anticipation and expectation of laughter e.g. attending a comedy show, funny film, or laughing with friends, increases levels of endorphins. Taking your sense of humour to work, forwarding that funny email, and finding several things to laugh at during the day are great ways to keep your endorphins flowing.


Studies have shown that the smell of dark chocolate, spicy foods (chilli peppers) and the aromas of vanilla and lavender (in particular) have been linked with the production of endorphins. For a quick endorphin boost, keep some scented oils and dark chocolate at your desk. Doing something nice for somebody – a gift, volunteering, Mindfulness/meditation is also good, along with music and dancing.



Often called the “love/cuddle hormone  It is stimulated when you’re with a group of friends for instance, at a party, social interacting, or when you get a massage for instance. It can also help promote trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships, parent-child bonding. 

Oxytocin levels generally increase with physical affection like kissing and cuddling.

 TIP – 8 cuddles a day/kisses. Huggingkissing, cuddling, and sexual intimacy can all trigger oxytocin production, which can strengthen bonds between adults, too.

Other ways to boost your feel-good chemicals including

  1. Get (or give) a massage
  2. Tell someone how much you care
  3. Spend time with friends
  4. Cook & eat with someone you care about
  5. Music, Dancing
  6. Make your conversations count. Bonding and increasing feelings of connection, trust, and empathy can sometimes be as easy as really, truly listening to what someone has to say.



Serotonin helps regulate your mood as well as your sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory. Serotonin is essential for overall health and well-being, and people often associate it with a positive mood. Reduced levels of serotonin in the brain may be a cause of memory problems and low mood. If you have low serotonin, you might feel anxious, low, or depressed, feel irritable or aggressive, have sleep issues or feel fatigued or impulsive.

  • There is a link between serotonin and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). People can be affected by SAD during the winter months when there is less daylight. It can cause low mood, lack of energy, and disrupted sleep.
  • Many antidepressants medication target serotonin receptors to improve your mood and lessen depressive symptoms.


  • Boost your Serotonin levels without medication with:
  • A good, healthy diet, exercise, good sleep, mindfulness/positivity activity, sunlight & supplements.
  • Thinking about something that makes you feel good can help increase serotonin in your brain, which can help promote an improved mood in general….

Try this technique –

Close your eyes now and give it a try –

  • visualising a happy moment from your memory
  • thinking about a positive experience you had with a loved one and then opening your eyes.
  • looking at photos of things that make you happy, such as your family, pet, favourite place, or close friends – will always put a smile on your face!

Read more about Serotonin and mental health.


As a well-being therapist, I can help you with many different areas of your well-being. Together we can devise a holistic wellness programme. I like to call it the Happy Mind treatment. You can choose to have some life coaching or simply learn some relaxing and stress-management and mindfulness techniques