12 Habits To Boost Your Serotonin

Simple ways to help you feel happier, right now.

Maddie Rose
5 min readJan 3, 2024

Happiness is a fickle thing, but it’s an emotion we can obtain far more frequently and quickly than we think… if we know where to put the work in. Each of us have a huge amount of control over our levels of happiness, and the concept is reasonably simple — engage in the habits of happy people, and be happy in return.

1. Eat well & exercise.

The benefits of fuelling your body with good foods and moving regularly are super crucial towards one’s level of happiness.

People who eat well and exercise frequently simply feel better. They have higher levels of endorphins. They are more confident, healthy and fit. Exercising simply helps people beat the blues, and the benefits are long-lasting.

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t.” — Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

2. Set goals.

Humans aren’t really designed to wander aimlessly (at least, not for too long). Most of us need a purpose, a goal, a reason to get out of bed every morning.

Happy people work out what it is that they want out of life — both short term and long term, and plan accordingly.

3. Practice mindfulness.

Many of us spend the vast majority of our days in a manner of chaos — full of hectic schedules, conflicting priorities and clashing timelines. The days begin to run into one, and we begin to live for tomorrow rather than for today.

Practising mindfulness and living in the moment ensures that we can appreciate the little things, and in turn, appreciate every day.

4. Being surrounded by good people.

The people you surround yourself with greatly impact your mood and energy. Happy people ensure that they either eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of time spent with ‘toxic’ people — those who suck the energy or bring bad vibes to them constantly.

Be conscious of how people make you feel when you’re around them. Do they inspire you, make you feel confident, and make you feel happy? Or do they drain you and make you feel down?

We have a huge amount of control over who we spend time with, and your happiness can greatly depend on this.

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

5. Learn to forgive.

Happy people learn to drop the grudges.

You don’t have to forget what those who have wronged you have done, but you also don’t have to hold onto it simply out of principle.

Everyone makes mistakes and everyone can do wrong to someone else, but most people deserve forgiveness (at least once, and of course, dependent on what they did).

Holding onto a grudge can be exhausting work. Life is too short to waste your time and energy doing so, and if the incident can be forgiven, do it for yourself.

6. Be real.

Happiness isn’t a final destination. It’s not something you can attain and keep. Life is full of ups and downs, ebbs and flows.

Those who are generally happy know that happiness is a journey rather than a destination. They know life won’t always go their way, but are grateful for the things that do go their way.

They know happiness isn’t a permanent state, but neither is sadness or anger.

7. Practice gratitude.

Whether it’s for the big things or the small things, happy people practice gratitude.

They focus on the positives in their life — what they have rather than what they wish they had. They are aware that they have all they need, rather than focusing on everything that they want.

Practising gratitude can also ensure that you appreciate the small things and all of the small moments — two things which usually slip by most people.

8. Go outside.

Being outside amongst nature is liberating and freeing. It is an immediate mood booster.

Whether you go for a stroll through a forest or a surf in the ocean, being in nature can put the world, and your life, in perspective. We live in a beautiful place, and it’s hard not to feel happy when you surround yourself with its natural beauty.

9. Be kind.

No matter how you’re feeling on the inside, always treat people with kindness.

Smile at strangers, listen to people, be more understanding. Even if you’re not feeling the best, spreading love and kindness not only benefits the recipient but will great benefit you too.

It’s super easy to do, and the positives that come from doing so are huge.

10. Practice self-care.

Happy people know that self-care has nothing to do with being selfish.

Taking time out for yourself helps you be a better person, and it certainly helps you be a happier person.

Go for a walk, get a facial, have a bath, read a book, go to the gym, go to a movie, spend time with your friends and family, stay home and watch Netflix — do whatever it is that you want to do, regularly.

11. Have something to look forward to.

Having something to look forward to is a sure-fire way to put a little pep in your step.

Whether it’s going on a road trip, travelling overseas or planning an event, happy people often plot exciting things in their calendars.

12. Avoid the news.

Reading the news can make someone’s happiness go from a 10 to a 0 in 5 seconds flat.

Taking a break from it, or limiting your consumption of it, can have great benefits to your happiness. We live in a world where you will always know about the main, important headlines. If something truly important is happening, you’ll find out about it.

You don’t always have to read the daily stories of violence, hate and horror to stay informed. If you find that reading the news is detrimental to your happiness, cut it.

If you hone in on the habits of happy people, you will find that you slowly learn how to be happy more often than not.

Life can be tough, but we have many tools at our fingertips that can help appease some of the pain and strain. Happiness doesn’t have to elude you, and it’s often closer than you think.




Maddie Rose

Leaving parties early since 1991. Advertising suit by day.