You have power over your happy brain chemicals

That power is hard to find, however, because our happy chemicals are controlled by our non-verbal mammal brain. This newsletter explains your inner mammal so you can make peace with it. And it’s free!

You may know my work already from my books, podcasts, videos, and social media. This newsletter will not repeat what I have said elsewhere. I will use this platform to discuss controversial mental health topics that tend to be censored elsewhere. You may wonder what could be “problematic” about knowing your mammal brain. Read on!

Life would be simple if the brain made you feel good when you did good. But sometimes, you feel good when you do bad, and sometime you do good but don’t end up feeling good. What’s going on?

You will never figure it out if you stick to popular models of how the brain works. Our emotions are controlled by a limbic brain inherited from earlier mammals. It’s wired by earlier experience, despite our best intentions. It’s hard to understand what makes us feel good until we know what turns on the happy chemicals in animals, and what turned on your happy chemicals in your unique individual past.

You may think this sounds reasonable, but academic psychology does not agree. They ignore the function of our happy chemicals in the animal world, and the way they’re wired in youth. They train you to believe that happiness is the effortless default state of nature, and unhappiness is caused by “our society.” If you disagree, they condemn you as an anti-Science nut.

Nevertheless, you have a choice. You can get real about your inner mammal with or without the approval of the therapy-industrial complex.

But it’s hard.

It’s hard to find the internal source of your emotions when others are focused on external triggers.

It’s hard to take responsibility for your brain when the therapy-industrial complex offers to manage it for you.

It’s hard to rewire your brain because you have to do things that don’t feel good in the short run, and you want to feel good now!

In this newsletter, I explore the gap between the inner mammal perspective and the prevailing wisdom on mental health. I will not attack other views, however. It would be easy to do that because mammals bond in the face of common enemies. But it’s harder to find your power when you are following a herd that is focused on “enemies.”

It’s not easy to manage this brain we’ve inherited. But it only takes one small step to trigger some happy chemicals, and another step triggers more. When you know what makes your inner mammal happy, you can find healthy ways to give it that.

If you haven’t read my basic theory, I encourage you to do that. It’s all explained on the home page of my website: There are links my books, videos, podcasts, social media, and infographics, and it’s all free except for the books. A great place to start is my free 5-day happy chemical jumpstart: one email a day on each of the happy chemicals, plus the unhappy chemical. You get it by opting in with your email address on the pop-up or the newsletter sign-up. That letter separate from this newsletter because it’s all upbeat, while this one is more philosophical.

I look forward to exploring our inner mammals together. And please share it with anyone it can help.

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Building power over your mammalian brain chemicals


Founder of the Inner Mammal Institute; Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay; Author of Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin & Endorphin Levels