Naturally Increasing Dopamine Levels: The Brains "Feel Good" Chemical

January 7, 2015

If you are like me, once the holidays are over, I feel more stressed and tired than usual. There has been an influx of travel, extra tasks and stress at work, RLS symptoms surfacing more than normal, and both of my parents already deteriorating health have taken a turn for the worse lately. I could use a "boost". Something to aid in pushing on and keeping a positive mindset. 

A way to do this is by naturally increasing the dopamine levels in your brain. Dopamine is a "feel good" chemical in your brain, much like the neurotransmitter serotonin. Studies have shown that a depletion of dopamine is linked to depression. Dopamine is normally triggered when you approach and expect a reward or some type of satisfaction. The release of dopamine in the brain provides a 'good feeling' along with a surge of energy, which results in an increase of motivation. 

It is comforting to know that one can work on improving their mood and life without having to automatically see a doctor and get prescribed medication. Sometimes all we need is that extra "boost". There are different types food that naturally help dopamine levels when consumed plus everyday actions that you can do for yourself to help along the way. I know more sleep is absolutely something I need to make a priority. Then there are natural supplements that can be purchased on Amazon or local drug stores. As usual, consult your doctor or pharmacist before purchasing anything to ensure that it would not interfere with any medication you may be on now. 

Tyrosine forms DOPA, which is then converted to dopamine, and this, in turn, forms norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter related to mood. By supporting the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, L-tyrosine supplements can improve emotional well-being, sleep, mood, and cognitive/mental function, especially under situations involving environmental and emotional stress. 

Mucuna pruriens, commonly known as "velvet bean", naturally contains upwards of 5% L-Dopa (levodopa). L-DOPA is the same biochemical that is made in humans from the amino acid L-tyrosine and is then integrated into dopamine. 

L-theanine is an amino acid uniquely found in green tea that creates a state of alterted relaxation, meaning there is no drowsiness. L-theanine is known to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier and increase dopamine levels in the brain.

Rhodiola is something a few of friends have said they consume and believe it helps. It is a popular plant in Eastern Europe and Asia, with a reputation for improving depression, enhancing work performance, eliminating fatigue and treating stress symptoms. 

These are suggestions and tips anyone could benefit from on a daily basis. Sometimes we all need that extra "push" especially with it being a brand new year!

[Edit: There was a typo on my first picture. Sorry about that!]


  1. I am a firm believer that natural supplements, food, and our own bodies can help to heal us.
    I hate that with these migraines I have been having, that the only thing that did work was prescription medication - I've been weaning myself off of it - but, I know I'll still need to take it for the bad one. Ho-hum :(

    This post was really informative, and you really did your research!

  2. Love this post! I agree that natural supplements and food are huge. Hang in there sweetie!!! I love you <3

  3. I think winter in general is hard. I was actually relieved when the holidays were over and I could get back into life. As someone who has a health condition that is so strongly affected by food, I completely believe that the food we put in our mouth will greatly effect us either negatively or positively, we choose.

  4. I totally believe that certain foods and our activity can effect so many aspects of our life. I fully support natural supplements!

  5. Great post! I am totally trying to eat better this year and keeping the weight off. Thanks for sharing this cause I sure need some feel good vibes!


  6. I tend to use exercise for my Dopamine fix but this is a good option too.

  7. Great post!! Ive heard of this before but its always a good reminder to see what foods can get you in high spirits as well!

  8. I like your blog and this post most. Food is the basic need of our life and we should choose good food to eat.It always effect on our health and body.

    Mental Conditioning

  9. Liz you are an absolute inspiration! I keep up on your blog all of the time, so much good information. I will be taking on numerous popular workout challenges, you should check my blog out at http://limacityboy.blogspot.com/ It would mean a lot! Also I would love some advice!

  10. Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.


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  12. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.


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