Feel-Good Hacks

Try to boost your four feel-good hormones with 12 easy hacks.

We all have off days — sometimes all you need is a mood boost, and sometimes our bodies require more attention. Try jump-starting your body’s release of the four feel-good hormones, or give imaware’s at-home Men’s and Women’s Health & Wellness tests a try if you need more to shake this feeling.

1. Dopamine 

Dopamine is part of the brain’s reward system. It impacts your motivation and makes you feel good when you do something pleasurable.1 In addition to your happiness and motivation, dopamine levels can affect your focus and bodily systems like heart rate or kidney function.2

Dopamine hacks:

  • Blast music3
  • Work on your to-do list4
  • Eat more protein56

2. Serotonin

Serotonin is considered the mood stabilizer. It impacts your mood as well as other brain and body functions like memory, stress response and sleep. High serotonin levels will improve your mood, while low serotonin is linked to depression.7

Serotonin hacks:

  • Bask in the sun8
  • Meditate9
  • Go on a nature adventure10

3. Endorphins

Endorphins are the natural painkillers your body produces when you feel pain or stress. You also get a mood boost upon relief.11

Endorphins hacks:

  • Get moving12
  • Laugh (a lot)1314
  • Enjoy some dark chocolate15

4. Oxytocin

Often associated with reproduction and childbirth, the “love hormone” plays an essential role in relationships. For example, it provides that warm, uplifting feeling you may get from seeing a loved one.16

Oxytocin hacks:

  • Spend time with friends and family17
  • Give a hug18
  • Pet a dog19


  1. Cleveland Clinic. Dopamine. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Dopamine: The pathway to pleasure. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  3. Nature Neuroscience. Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  4. Harvard Business Review. Your Desire to Get Things Done Can Undermine Your Effectiveness. Accessed October 13, 2022. 
  5. Psychological Research. Food for thought: association between dietary tyrosine and cognitive performance in younger and older adults. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  6. Journal of Nutrition. Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, and Catecholamine Synthesis and Function in the Brain. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  7. Harvard Health Publishing. Serotonin: The natural mood booster. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  8. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. Sunshine, Serotonin, and Skin: A Partial Explanation for Seasonal Patterns in Psychopathology? Accessed October 13, 2022.
  9. Journal of Neural Transmission. Serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine metabolites in transcendental meditation-technique. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  10. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Effects of Forest Therapy on Health Promotion among Middle-Aged Women: Focusing on Physiological Indicators. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  11. Cleveland Clinic. Endorphins. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  12. Mayo Clinic. Stress management. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  13. Journal of Neuroscience. Social Laughter Triggers Endogenous Opioid Release in Humans. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  14. The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter in Mental Health: A Theoretical Review. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  15. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  16. Cleveland Clinic. Oxytocin. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  17. Zeitschrift für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie. Oxytocin, a mediator of anti-stress, well-being, social interaction, growth and healing. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  18. Harvard Health Publishing. Oxytocin: The love hormone. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  19. Johns Hopkins Medicine. The friend who keeps you young. Accessed October 13, 2022.