Increase Your Natural Happiness Chemicals

Happiness is an important component to overall health, so an understanding of how to manipulate our biology to boost our happiness is an awesome life hack. The role and functions of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins control our mood, behavior, and overall well-being. Each of these chemical messengers are neurotransmitters that play crucial roles in our brain and nervous system. Once you understand how to boost them, you can control your own sense of happiness.  

Control Your Sense of Happiness


Often referred to as the “feel-good” or “reward” chemical, is involved in regulating mood, attention, and movement. It is associated with motivation, pleasure, reinforcement of rewarding behaviors and contributes to feelings of satisfaction. You can boost your dopamine by participating in pleasurable activities such as eating, socializing, or accomplishing goals. Try to break larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks to experience a continuous release of dopamine. Regular exercise, adequate sleep and healthy nutrition all contribute to healthy dopamine levels. 


Your body’s natural painkillers, enhance mood, and induce feelings of euphoria or the classic ‘runner’s high”. You can release endorphins by exercising, especially activities that get your heart pumping. Laughter is another way to release endorphins and promote a sense of joy. Engaging in pleasurable activities, hobbies and listening to music can also give you an endorphin high.


Neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, appetite, and sleep. It is involved in maintaining emotional balance and a sense of well-being. Ideal serotonin levels are associated with a good mood, while imbalances have been linked to depression and anxiety. You can give yourself a hit of serotonin by spending time outdoors, increasing your exposure to sunlight and by exercising


Often called the “love hormone” or “bonding molecule”. It is associated with social bonding, trust, and plays an important role in emotional connections, social relationships and promoting feelings of warmth and closeness. You can boost your oxytocin by engaging in social interactions, physical touch, and acts of kindness. Spending quality time with friends, family and pets, hugging, and cuddling will give you a wonderful boost of oxytocin. 

Lifestyle factors such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition, and social connections can positively influence the production and regulation of these neurotransmitters.

Understanding how to boost these happy chemicals can significantly improve your overall well-being and promote a happier and healthier lifestyle. No need for drugs because you’ll be high on life!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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