Join the Waitlist
Happy hormones
August, 1 2023

How to Hack your Happy Hormones

Content by Anna Kallianteri, RD, BSc, MSc, Dietitian

Did you know some simple activities like giving a hug or going for a walk can have boost the production of feel-good hormones known as the happy hormones?

In this blog, we will delve deep into the science behind these magical neurotransmitters and explore how they influence our emotions, moods, and overall sense of happiness. We’ll unveil the powerful role these happy hormones play in shaping our daily experiences and discover practical techniques to harness their potential.

The role of neurotransmitters as happy hormones

Hormones, often referred to as the body’s chemical messengers, circulate in the bloodstream and originate from various organs throughout the body. From insulin, produced in the pancreas, to serotonin, synthesized in the brain, these biochemical messengers play a pivotal role in regulating health and bodily functions. They have a pivotal role in vital daily processes such as sleep, digestion, sexual desire, and emotions (1).

Neurotransmitters are a particular type of hormones that are produced in the brain which can control mood and emotions. Among them, a specific group of neurotransmitters is responsible for the feeling of happiness. Happiness can describe a range of emotions, though in essence, happiness substantially impacts our mood and arises when an individual experiences a sense of overall well-being across various dimensions of life (2).

What influences mood

The elements contributing to our happiness can be categorized as either endogenous (biological and cognitive) or exogenous (behavioural, social, cultural, environmental, and experiential). A study shows that that genetics may also play a significant role on our well-being (3).

What are the Happy Hormones?

There are four key hormones that can control mood are Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphins. Each have a slightly different expression of the feeling of happiness and some also have a key role in the physical body too.

Dopamine - The 'Feel-Good' Hormone

Dopamine, plays a vital role as a part of the brain’s reward system and is released from the hypothalamus. This neurotransmitter is closely linked with regulating consciousness and has a profound impact on our emotions, motivation, memory, attention, and concentration (1).

Dopamine Deficiency and its Effects

When dopamine levels are deficient, it can lead to a range of adverse effects on our emotional and cognitive well-being, such as a lack of motivation and enthusiasm, decreased concentration, inattention, insomnia, feelings of laziness, and mood disorders (4). Interestingly, studies suggest that consuming caffeine may contribute to higher dopamine levels in some individuals, which is why coffee and energy drinks can make our bodies and minds ‘excited’ (5).

How to Naturally Boost Dopamine

Dopamine is released during various situations, but one significant event is when we set goals. This release provides us with a sense of action and motivation, propelling us to strive towards achieving our objectives.

Here are a few things you can add to your lifestyle:

  • prepare a good bedtime routine
  • eat protein-rich foods
  • eat fruits such as bananas rich in magnesium
  • get exposure to sunlight
  • consume foods rich in antioxidants

Serotonin - A Key Mood Regulator

Serotonin, a multifunctional neurotransmitter secreted from the hypothalamus, plays a crucial role in regulating mood and various physiological processes. Serotonin release promotes better sleep quality, fosters a sense of calmness during the day, and helps regulate mood and blood pressure, acting as a protective barrier against depression. Moreover, it influences women’s hormonal well-being, critical in regulating menstrual cycles (1).

Serotonin Deficiency and its Effects

A serotonin deficiency can significantly impact mental and physical well-being, leading to insomnia, mood disorders, sadness, depression, aggression, and eating disorders. Reduced serotonin levels may also weaken the immune system, emphasizing its role in overall health (4).

Boosting Serotonin Naturally

To enhance serotonin levels naturally, regular exercise, exposure to natural sunlight, a balanced diet, and positive social interactions can all contribute to fostering emotional well-being and promoting the body’s harmony.

Here are a few things you can add to your lifestyle:

  • Exercise 30 to 45 minutes a day
  • Eat carbohydrate-rich foods
  • Get regular sun exposure
  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Consume foods rich in vitamin B such as cereals, nuts, and sprouts
  • Consume probiotics from fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, or fermented vegetables

Oxytocin - The 'Love' Hormone

Oxytocin, synthesized in the hypothalamus and released from the pituitary gland, fosters profound connections between individuals during bonding moments like breastfeeding and physical interactions like hugs. This hormone intricately regulates various behavioural and physiological responses, including maternal, sexual, and social behaviours (6).

Oxytocin's Positive Impact on Social Relations

Oxytocin facilitates positive social relations, contributing to happiness and well-being. Increased oxytocin levels are linked to enhanced social bonding, trust, and empathy (7). It nurtures social attachment and fosters closeness in relationships.

When is Oxytocin Released

Oxytocin is released during emotionally connected interactions, such as hugging, physical touch, and positive social encounters, promoting social bonding and happiness. Additionally, oxytocin reduces stress and offers cardioprotective effects, supporting heart health (6). This hormone plays a crucial role in enhancing our interpersonal relationships and overall emotional well-being.

Here are a few things you can add to your lifestyle:

  • spend more time with family and beloved ones
  • offer support and help to others even if not known to you
  • stay connected and maintain positive relationships.

Endorphins - The Natural Painkillers

Endorphins, renowned as the body’s natural painkillers, play a crucial role in reducing feelings of pain and discomfort. Secreted from both the mucous glands and the hypothalamus, these remarkable chemicals act as analgesic hormones, providing relief from physical distress and promoting a sense of well-being and calmness (1).

Endorphins and Emotional Resilience

In response to pain, endorphins not only act as natural painkillers but also help alleviate levels of anxiety and depression.

How to Boost Levels o Endorphins:

  • Engage in Various Activities: Endorphins are released in response to various activities and experiences, such as exercise, fear, love, music, laughter, sex, and even orgasm.
  • Regular Exercise: Incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, which can promote endurance of pain during exercise and make the activity more enjoyable (8).

Want support in boosting your happy hormones?

Hormones play a key role in governing both our emotions and bodily functions. They have a profound impact on our mental state, making our happiness directly reliant on their proper levels and functioning. Each of the happy hormones plays a pivotal role in enhancing our well-being and mood. Dopamine, known as the reward and pleasure hormone, serotonin, the calming and happy hormone, and oxytocin, often referred to as the love hormone, are particularly vital in regulating our daily levels of happiness.

If you have been feeling less of yourself, our team of clinicians can work with you and suggest actions to incorporate in your lifestyle to help you feel happier and more content.

Start your holistic health journey today

Book a free 15 minute call with our Health Custodian to understand more about the service.


  1. Hamidullah 2021. Happiness Hormones and their Impact on Mental Health. International Journal of Indian Psychology, 9(3), 333-346.


  1. Radhika, P.V., & Mukkadan, D.J. 2020. Happiness ‟-The Role of Neurochemicals. International Journal of Science and Research.


  1. DSOUZA, J., CHAKRABORTY, A. and VEIGAS, J., 2020. Biological Connection to the Feeling of Happiness.Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research14(10).


  1. Singh, D.K., Mishra, J. P., and Singh, R. K. 2022. A Study of Human Happiness, Health, Hormones, Brain and Body Related to Green- Psycho-Chemistry. International Journal of Novel Research and Development, 7 (3).


  1. Alasmari, F., 2020. Caffeine induces neurobehavioral effects through modulating neurotransmitters.Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal28(4), pp.445-451.


  1. Carter, C.S., 1998. Neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love. Psychoneuroendocrinology23(8), pp.779-818.


  1. Zak, P.J., 2011. The physiology of moral sentiments. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization77(1), pp.53-65.



  1. Dfarhud, D., Malmir, M. and Khanahmadi, M., 2014. Happiness & health: the biological factors-systematic review article. Iranian journal of public health43(11), p.1468.















September, 21 2023

Why Diet and Nutrition should be Paired

While there are numerous factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, two key pillars stand out as essential components: fitness and nutrition. Often discussed in isolation, the true power lies in the synergy that arises when these two elements come together.

By understanding and embracing the intrinsic connection between these two pillars, we can unlock a host of benefits that contribute to our overall health and quality of life including reduced risk of chronic diseases and mortality, more effective weight management, improved mental wellbeing and sleep.

August, 24 2023

Stress & Hormones: How to manage cortisol levels for optimal wellbeing

ver wondered how stress affects your physical health? Join our panel of Uniquely Health Clinicians for an engaging talk to understand more about stress and hormones.

Our expert speakers will delve into the fascinating world of hormones, with a particular focus on cortisol’s vital role in the body’s stress response before exploring effective strategies to manage and regulate cortisol levels naturally through various lifestyle techniques.

June, 23 2023

Is it Bad to Oversleep?

Like nutrition and exercise, sleep is another key area in our lives that affects our health both physical and mental/cognitive. As such we should always try and check with ourselves what our sleep pattern looks like and if we are happy with our sleep quality and quantity. For some, just getting enough hours of sleep in doesn’t’ mean it is sufficient for them whereas for others, a smaller amount of sleep might just be enough.