If you suffer from depression or are just feeling down, here are ways to increase serotonin and dopamine in your brain to make yourself happy again.

Often when people are feeling down, they will try to raise their spirits the most convenient way they know how. Sometimes this includes binge-watching TV and eating copious amounts of junk food, and other times it includes mind-altering substances such as alcohol or drugs. No doubt, these methods are temporarily effective, but they usually leave you feeling even worse than you did before.

These methods are used so commonly because they are easy, they don’t require any concentration or effort from you.

What would you do if I told you there are ways to raise your spirits for much longer periods of time, maybe indefinitely? These ways do require a little more effort and concentration, however, their benefits far supersede a six-pack of beer.

What you need to feel happier is actually already there, in your brain.

Chemicals including endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine naturally occur in our brains and make us happy. However, sometimes we need to recharge the supply! If you’re ready to put down the remote and become a happier person, read on.

One way to activate your endorphins, while boosting your serotonin and dopamine levels, is to get your body moving.

Physical exercise is one of the fastest ways to feel happier and relieve stress. If working out at the gym isn’t your thing, that’s okay, there are so many other options. From organized team sports to skateboarding or rock climbing, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.

When you move your body, the flow of oxygen to your brain increases which helps you to think. Artists often claim that going for a walk can help you to brainstorm or come up with creative ideas.

Getting creative is another great way to raise your dopamine levels.

When you focus on a project, whether it be a painting or writing a song, you give your mind a break from stressful thoughts and enter an almost meditative state.

The next step up from here would be to try out traditional, yet simple meditation. Meditation and mindfulness practices involve quieting the mind and the ego, which is often responsible for suffering and negativity.

These practices take a lot of focus at first but can eventually change your outlook on life and overall happiness.

One of the easiest ways to soothe the mind is with music.

No matter what kind of music you’re into, when you listen to songs that you love, you feel happier. Lately, scientists have been proving that music can even have positive effects on your body and physical health too!

One of the most difficult, yet effective ways to feel happier, in general, is to eat healthier food.

The gut may seem like a faraway part of the body that should have nothing to do with mental health, however, scientists have proven the exact opposite to be true.



If you often eat junk foods that upset your stomach, you are actually upsetting your mind as well. On the other hand, healthy foods can reverse damage and improve your gut, therefore improving your mental health.

Yogurt is a great example as it contains probiotics, which are good bacterias that directly affect the chemicals in your brain. Detoxing your body will greatly improve both your gut and mental health as well.

Abstaining from alcohol and or drugs, for the most part, is a great way to detox, however, if you need a drink every once in a while, that’s okay! Opt for red wine as it is actually loaded with antioxidants.

The key to boosting your serotonin and dopamine levels is not to attempt everything all at once.

Pick one major thing to focus on, such as eating healthier, first. While working towards this goal spend some time on the side listening to music or playing around with a low-pressure art project.

As you slowly transition to raising your brain’s happy hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, in a healthier way, you are sure to find yourself as a much happier person.

References:



Lauren Edwards-Fowle, M.Sc., B.Sc.

Copyright © 2014-2020 Life Advancer. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Arcelia Romero

    Wonderful, I do agree.

  2. Avatar
    Cece Addams

    Thanks that’s so nice

  3. Avatar
    MC Manley

    smoke weed

  4. Avatar
    Fariyad Abraham Foroudi

    If you have depression, go to the gym then smoke some weed. Boom!

    1. Avatar
      Ernie Dracul Mada III

      I concur.

    2. Avatar
      Alan James Halpin

      Also masturbate.

    3. Avatar
      James Coates

      it’s awesome being a dude

  5. Avatar
    Ya Ashraf

    I agree .. ought to be tried .. and eat lots of bananas too 😀

  6. Avatar
    Brandy C. Johnston

    Check your vitamin and mineral levels. Low vitamin d can cause SERIOUS depression and anxiety. I know because my current vitamin d level is at 34!!!!

    1. Avatar
      Aubrey Rebecca Odom

      I’m a 28

    2. Avatar
      Brandy C. Johnston

      Praying for you baby… God bless you!

  7. Avatar
    Ziyaad Muhammad

    Gym n dope

  8. Avatar
    Mark Bobby Jensen

    Magic mushrooms

  9. Avatar
    Nadine Wolf

    nothing ive tried has worked. ive just accepted its who i am and something i have to live with.

    1. Avatar
      Tomm Boswell

      It is an addiction to your self. You don’t have to live with it.

    2. Avatar
      Kenny Deprince

      You can have a different life, don’t just accept this. Fight it instead.

    3. Avatar
      Nadine Wolf

      been fighting it since i was 13 i just live with it now. people have also learned to accept me for how i am too.

    4. Avatar
      Tomm Boswell

      Come be a wolf. We have no time for self pity. There are real struggles that you can help us with. If you are have nothing better to do then cry, get a bag and go pick up trash. Making the world better will crush the parasite that has stripped you of life.

    5. Avatar
      Nadine Wolf

      i dont cry i havent cried in many years. but i dont feel joy either. i spend all my life battling crooks, i care for my disabled mother and i live a fairly off grid lifestyle away from people. ive never been one to feel joy, love, happiness and ive come to accept it as normal. i over think everything and i see more then most do. i dont fell self pity and i dont wallow i just dont live when there is little reason to get up each other

    6. Avatar
      Margie Peens

      Tomm Boswell i agree, I was feeling really down and sorry for myself yesterday, and when I arrived home after a walk there was a beggar woman at my gate. I immediately realised her plight is much heavier than mine and geared up to help her instead of focusing on myself. What an anti-depressant

    7. Avatar
      Carrie Jones

      True enlightenment will always consider another’s journey not to be their own. It does not judge it or the individual. One may be moved to feed a starving child, or a mass of starving people. It may not move one at all. Either way, everything is in perfect balance. I’m not sure what normal is nor do I care to define it, but whatever you’re doing seems to be working for you in some way, Nadine Wolf. If there is3 little reason to get up, you’ve at least found one reason. Good for you! If you can’t be happy for you, I can be happy for you. I love the feel of cool grass on my feet, the beauty of nature and coffee in the morning. It makes me happy if even for a moment. I repeat if necessary to maintain my focus on what brings me joy. If I think real hard, I can find others things I like and enjoy too. For right here and now is all we have… Might as well try to find some enjoyment!

  10. Avatar
    Satya Kethineedi

    Get a dog !

  11. Avatar
    Dawn Craig Stewart

    Cheyenne Stewart. Couldn’t hurt

  12. Avatar
    Eleanor Joan

    A very simple way to increase serotonin and dopamine levels is to exercise.

    1. Avatar
      Bri Kearney

      A lot of people who say things like this fail to understand the part of depression that makes you unable to exercise

  13. Avatar
    Horacio Martin Inchausti

    First of all SMOKE WEED, and second go VERYYYYY HIGH with your music, and dance and three LOST YOUR MIND IN HAPPINESS AVOIDING ANY KIND OF INTRUDERS THOUGHTS ABOUT REALITY BECAUSE IT IS JUST A GAME…LEARN HOW TO PLAY WITH YOUR WONDERFUL MIND

  14. Avatar
    Robin Erickson

    Get a dog. Exercise, take vitamin D

  15. Avatar
    ገብርኤል ቤል አበው

    just smoke a fatty… that will raise the dopamine

  16. Avatar
    Luciana Galatanu

    Monica Maria Ciobanu, they say music makes you happier!

  17. Avatar
    Stoji Caviroski

    Just cut grass once a week

  18. Avatar
    Tracy Lee

    A daily orgasm
    Always helps xxxxxxxxxx

    1. Avatar
      Tracy Lee

      Yes it does xxxxxxxxxx

    2. Avatar
      Valentina Ciuca

      sex in general does

  19. Avatar
    Carita Pauliina

    eat mushrooms , smoke weed and go for a walk in nature <3

  20. Avatar
    Michael Munch

    Weed lots and lots of weed lol

  21. Avatar
    Richard Champion

    research the work of Dr. Abrham Hoffer with Niacin etc. in Canada i think back in 1940’s ’50’s ??…..i know one person who stopped her depression and got off of her anti-depression “drugs” using niacinamide…..its cheap and harmless its worth checking into…

  22. Avatar
    Ash Hamilton

    Weeeed….I rest my case….

  23. Avatar
    Mitchell Vermeylen

    Rub your nips that works too!

  24. Avatar
    Clark Mann

    What if I want to be alive?

  25. Avatar
    Martina Clark

    ❤️thanks Chris.. how are you? Call me soon x

  26. Avatar
    Christina Billington

    Yes I’ll call you soon honey xx

  27. Avatar
    David May

    Katie some good points here related to your caregiving.

  28. Avatar
    Lorraine England

    Music, meditation, movement, making my tools for feeling well

  29. Avatar
    Mansu Patel

    Depression doesn’t come anywhere near me cos each day before I go out for a walk with my favourite mantras on auto-repeat (gotta be walking if I want to listen to a walkman 😉 ), I make sure to enjoy a great invigorating start with my cold water shower, which turns out to be a smart way to beat the blues cos it invigirates your Vagus Nerve giving me a neurogenesis boost in the hippocampus, so no need to feel low about any of those low down moments in life like a bout of encephalitis.

  30. Avatar
    Kyler Gonzalez

    Cut your wrist

  31. Avatar
    Dalton Hollis

    Smoke a blunt …

  32. Avatar
    Zaina Sadio

    And also make sure you are not surrounded by arseholes. Boom. Cured.

  33. Avatar
    Stewart James Hutson

    Can think of one way they didn’t mention

  34. Avatar
    Tylie F. Hoy

    Hehe tell me xx

  35. Avatar
    Stewart James Hutson

    You’ll know when you know

  36. Avatar
    Melissa sugar gold

    Psilocybin mushroom do the trick for me

  37. Avatar
    Jill C

    Some of these comments are childish. I think not many of you have understood how I’ll depression can make someone. I totally agree with all the suggestions given in the article and know from experience that these will go a long way to making one’s mood and outlook better. I’m trying everyday, to get there. I will not give up. Please only leave positive comments here, help those who truly need it!

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