5 Foods That Can Make You Happier

Many of us have figured out that food can make us happy, but there’s a difference between food that we think makes us feel good—ice cream, chips, soda, take out—and food that actually fuels our brain and changes its chemical makeup to stimulate happiness. Next time you need a pick me up, reach for one of these five superfoods.

Dark Chocolate

Not all the good stuff has to get thrown out! Research shows that dark chocolate has health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and acting as an antidepressant. But don’t go overboard—you only need a couple pieces of chocolate per day to see the benefits.

Green Tea

Studies have shown that people who drink green tea everyday show a 20% decrease in stress levels. Not only is the process of drinking a warm cup of tea soothing, but the actual tea leaves have stress-reducing benefits. Add a little honey to your tea, but you don’t need much sugar to reap tea’s sweet benefits.


Oatmeal is a breakfast staple in many households and for good reason; not only does it stick to your bones, it’s also full of iron. This mineral helps fight fatigue and anemia, an iron-deficiency that occurs more in women than in men. Anemia can make a person feel overly-tired and can cause depression. Combat this by incorporating iron-rich foods like oatmeal, lentils, dark turkey meat, soybeans and rib eye.

18195624316_23c18ae29f_zSource: Alan Levine

Eggs and Salmon

Eggs and Salmon are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which, despite it’s name, is very good for a healthy brain. It makes up about 18 percent of the brain’s weight and helps to reduce depression and suicidal tendencies. Omega-3’s are not produced naturally by the body so we have to consume them in foods such as spinach, salmon, eggs and chia seeds.


This tropical fruit contains tryptophan, a brain chemical that helps regulate mood. They also contain B vitamin folate, which has been linked to reduced levels of depression. Bananas are very portable and easy to grab on the go—plus they’re inexpensive and can be used in smoothies, added to oatmeal or cereal or baked in muffins.

There are lots of other foods that can help reduce depression, anxiety and stress and increase our overall happiness and well-being. If you have severe health problems, it’s best to consult your doctor or a registered nutritionist before making drastic changes to your diet.

Feature Image: dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock