4 Happiness Hormones Secreted by Our Brain

Blackboard with the chemical formula of dopamine

We often feel stressed, nervous and unhappy, especially due to the pandemic conditions we live in. The biggest reason for this is that our brain cannot secrete enough happiness hormones. According to scientists, there are 4 basic hormones that make us happy and some things we need to do to secrete these hormones.

Modern humanity is struggling in the “civilization” that it has created. Even the simplest of these ways of struggle, the act of commuting to work every day, causes stress in the human body. As if this were not enough, it has become almost impossible for our brain to secrete the hormone of happiness due to the pandemic conditions we have been living in for months. According to scientists, there are things to do and foods that we should consume in order to secrete happiness hormone.

Loretta Breuning, author of the book Habits of a Happy Brain, has made a study that eliminates the question marks about the 4 basic hormones that make people happy. Our body produces these chemicals, which are defined as the hormone of happiness, as a result of the activities we do and the foods we consume. In order to secrete the hormone of happiness, we need to know what we have to do to recognize them and produce them.

The 4 happiness hormones secreted in our brain:



The dopamine hormone is an established target, and therefore a reward-related hormone. Moreover, it is secreted not only in humans but also in all mammals. The dopamine hormone provides the motivation for the creature to reach the goal and reward it has set. Just like a lion reaching top speed when approaching a gazelle.

Generally, in some situations such as depression, dopamine is deficient in the body and the person may now be insensitive to even something that he used to see as a reward. For this reason, experts say that the dopamine hormone should be secreted more frequently by setting short-term and easy-to-reach goals.

Long-term goals focused on career and making money will of course keep the person alive, but areas such as sports and hobbies where awards and goals are achieved more easily will make people happier. With the correct determination of short, medium and long term goals, the body will produce dopamine efficiently.


The serotonin hormone is not just a happiness hormone, it is one of the most effective hormones that determine your overall mood. Serotonin regulates your digestive system and sleep routine, and is also directly related to bone health. The serotonin hormone in your body is your most important weapon against depression and anxiety.

The feeling of confidence is needed to raise the hormone serotonin that causes such important effects in your body. The higher your confidence in someone, something, the future, yourself, the more serotonin your body will produce. According to Loretta Breuning, the feeling of trust directly creates a neurochemical reaction in the brain.

Another situation that will increase the serotonin hormone is to exercise and create a special exercise routine. Getting out of your comfort zone, doing an exercise that you challenge yourself in a routine that you define will increase the serotonin hormone in your body.


Oxytocin hormone is sometimes called the love hormone because it is directly related to physical contact. Hugging, kissing, having sexual intercourse with another person whom the person trusts will increase the oxytocin hormone in the body. Situations such as hugging your pet also trigger this hormone.

Oxytocin hormone allows mothers who have just given birth to connect with the baby and produce more milk. Active social life has a positive effect on the oxytocin hormone. Of course, the most important thing at this point is social trust. A social environment and physical contact you trust enables you to produce oxytocin hormone.

Being in an environment that you do not trust, like, or feel comfortable with or having physical contact with such a person is not enough to produce oxytocin. Nowadays, this hormone is also produced by sending a message to someone you love or by talking with video. In short, we can say that oxytocin is produced as a result of contact with the person or things you love.


Endorphin hormone is directly related to heavy exercise, that is, activities in which the person forces himself. In the wild, even if the mammal is injured, the endorphin hormone enables it to escape from the predator. It is the endorphin hormone that allows an athlete to play with full performance without realizing this situation until the end of the match.

For the endorphin hormone, we can say that it is a natural pain reliever that the body produces itself. Situations such as meditation, heavy exercise, different heavy activities, watching a movie that will make you cry help you release endorphins. So, in order for this hormone to be secreted, you first need to take a physical or mental blow.

The easiest ways to release endorphins is to laugh and yawn. During laughter and yawning, the body and internal organs are unusually shaken. Afterwards, the body releases endorphins to reduce the effect of this shaking. In short, it is not bad to get hit from time to time.

Foods that enable you to secrete the hormone of happiness:

Cherry tomato
Dark chocolate
Nuts and seeds


Asparagus is a plant rich in tryptophan, a type of amino acid that increases the body’s serotonin level. It is known that asparagus, which also contains plenty of vitamin B12, has a positive effect especially on people who are depressed.


Avocado, which is one of the indispensable diet lists today, became even more popular after it started to be grown in our country. Avocado contains Omega 3 fatty acid, which positively affects brain and mental health, and B3 vitamin, known as serotonin enhancer.

Cherry tomato:

Also known by different names, the cherry tomato is a type of tomato that is smaller than a normal tomato and is the size of a grape. It contains intense lycopene in its shell. Lycopene is known to have an extremely positive effect on people with depression.

Dark chocolate:

The effect of dark chocolate on happiness is one of the most widely known facts. Containing a lot of antioxidants in it, dark chocolate enables endorphins to be secreted rapidly in the brain in a very short time after consumption.

Nuts and seeds:

All nuts and seeds known in nature are extremely rich in a type of amino acid called tryptophan that increases the body’s serotonin level. They are also known to have antioxidants that reduce the effects of depression. Maybe the reason why squirrels are so happy is the nuts and seeds.


It is known that almost all fruits we encounter in nature have a positive effect on the production of the happiness hormone. Fruits such as pineapple, banana, kiwi and plum are pioneers in serotonin. However, since every fruit contains sugar, it should be consumed in a limited way.


Considered one of the secrets of happiness in Scandinavian countries, there is no salmon in it. Salmon contains serotonin-loaded vitamins such as tryptophan, Omega 3, B12, B6, amino acids and fats. It is known that all these have a positive effect on mental health.


The reason for the strengthening and energizing effect of spinach on Popeye is the intense magnesium it contains. Spinach also contains phenylethylamine, which reduces monoamine oxidase breakdown found in some antidepressant drugs. So it has an indisputable positive effect on mental health.


Of course, water is indispensable for a person. Especially considering that a large part of our body consists of water, it is extremely difficult for a person who consumes insufficient water to be healthy, let alone being happy. It is suggested that a person should consume at least 2 liters of water a day, although it varies according to the person.

Foods to avoid in order to be happy:

Being happy is as important to avoiding things as eating something to release the happiness hormone. Foods such as simple carbohydrates, sugar, chocolate, sweets, biscuits, cakes, pastries damage the blood sugar balance of the body and directly create effects that aggravate anxiety and depression.

Caffeine-containing tea, coffee, carbonated drinks aggravate depression; alcohol has a particularly negative effect on sleep; It is also known that processed foods and ready meals disrupt the body balance and prevent the production of the happiness hormone.

The greatest desire of man since his existence, especially nowadays, is to be happy. Life can put every person into different struggles, but despite this, it is up to us to increase our happiness hormone production by paying attention to ourselves, what we eat and what we do.


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