In an earlier blog you could read more about the happiness hormones dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. In this article I would like to tell you more specifically about the hormone dopamine. A number of things have an influence on the production of this happiness hormone and I would like to tell you how that works! You can read about dopamine here.

Dopamine & nutrition

The substances “phenylalanine” and “tyrosine” are needed to produce dopamine. In any case, food already produces a dopamine production, but you can also choose certain foods that are naturally rich in these substances to boost your dopamine production. These are almonds, avocados, bananas, chocolate, dairy, legumes, seeds, nuts, lean red meat, chicken, turkey, seafood and tofu.

In addition, it is useful to eat antioxidants. These can prevent certain substances from damaging the dopamine-producing cells. It is about these three antioxidants:

  • Beta-carotene and carotenoids: leafy vegetables, orange fruit and vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, beetroot
  • Vitamin C: peppers, oranges, strawberries, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
  • Vitamin E: nuts, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots

Furthermore, vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron, magnesium, vitamins B3 and B6 are involved in the production of dopamine. Make sure you get enough of these vitamins and minerals by eating vegetables, fruit and red meat, possibly supplemented with nutritional supplements.

Finally, it is good to avoid foods that can reduce brain function. This includes processed foods, white flour, cholesterol, caffeine, saturated fats and sugars.

Dopamine & exercise

Activate your NiceDay step count and make sure you have enough exercise! You can do this by walking, cycling or practicing a different sport every day for 30 to 60 minutes (or at least 8,000 steps). Exercise increases the calcium in your blood, which stimulates dopamine production and uptake of dopamine in your brain. In addition to sporting, sexual activity also stimulates dopamine production in your body. By having sex, your dopamine supply is quickly replenished and the threshold is lower to do it again!

Dopamine & sleep

Your brain uses little dopamine when you sleep, so with enough sleep you have more dopamine for the next day. Sleep at least eight hours a night. Here you can find tips for a good night’s sleep.

Dopamine & relaxation

To get your hormones in balance it is important to relax. By releasing hormones, you experience a rushed feeling during stress. This feeling can be useful if you have a deadline and need to complete tasks, but it is less useful if you feel this continuously. For this reason, try to balance your hormones by consciously dealing with your thoughts. You can read more tips to relax in this article.

When did you last take a day off? Or have a bath for an hour? Read a book in the middle of the day? In your busy life it hardly ever happens. And that is a shame, because you actually charge your battery by concentrating your thoughts on something completely different then work. What you need is a good hobby. The best, to be able to switch off completely on a regular basis. You can switch off optimally by meditating; 5 minutes a day already do wonders (says Harvard).

Here you will find more tips about increasing your happiness!

Do you want to increase your happiness? Then make sure you supplement your dopamine supply! Eat, exercise, sex, sleep, relax, read and have a nice day! 🙂

“Do more or what makes you happy”


NiceDay actions:

Try to write down your thoughts and feelings in your “Feeling Registration” so that you gain insight into what is going on inside of you.


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Ilya de Groot

Hi, my name is Ilya, I am a psychologist and coach at NiceDay. I love traveling, good food, new experiences and exercising (roller skating and skiing). The balance between effort and relaxation is important to keep, are you managing? I would like to help you with that!

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