108 episodes

Do you wonder what stimulates your happy brain chemicals- dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin? Answer your questions with these lively conversations between Loretta Breuning and real readers of her book, Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels. Still have more questions? Read the book and be a guest on the show yourself! Contact Dr. Breuning and learn more about her work at the Inner Mammal Institute at: InnerMammalInstitute.org.

The brain chemicals that make us feel good are inherited from earlier mammals. They evolved to do a job, not to make you feel good all the time. When you know the job of each chemical in the state of nature, your ups and downs make sense. More important, you can re-wire yourself to enjoy more of them in sustainable ways.

But it’s hard. Our brain is designed to release happy chemicals to reward you for steps that promote survival. But our brain defines survival in a quirky way: it cares about the survival of your genes and it relies on neural pathways built in youth. To make things even harder, our brain habituates to the rewards it has so you always have to do more to get more happy chemicals.

We are not born with survival skills like our animal ancestors. Each newborn human wires itself from its own early experience. Happy chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, wiring you to repeat behaviors that made you feel good before. This is why our urgent motivations don’t make sense to our verbal brain. It’s not easy being mammal!

When you know how your brain works, you can find healthier ways to enjoy happy chemicals and relieve unhappy chemicals. You can build new neural pathways by feeding your brain new experiences. But you have to design the new experiences carefully and repeat them a lot.

The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books illuminate the big picture and help you plot your course. You can find new ways to feel good, wherever you are right now.

Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

The Happy Brain MHNR Network, LLC

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 27 Ratings

Do you wonder what stimulates your happy brain chemicals- dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin? Answer your questions with these lively conversations between Loretta Breuning and real readers of her book, Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels. Still have more questions? Read the book and be a guest on the show yourself! Contact Dr. Breuning and learn more about her work at the Inner Mammal Institute at: InnerMammalInstitute.org.

The brain chemicals that make us feel good are inherited from earlier mammals. They evolved to do a job, not to make you feel good all the time. When you know the job of each chemical in the state of nature, your ups and downs make sense. More important, you can re-wire yourself to enjoy more of them in sustainable ways.

But it’s hard. Our brain is designed to release happy chemicals to reward you for steps that promote survival. But our brain defines survival in a quirky way: it cares about the survival of your genes and it relies on neural pathways built in youth. To make things even harder, our brain habituates to the rewards it has so you always have to do more to get more happy chemicals.

We are not born with survival skills like our animal ancestors. Each newborn human wires itself from its own early experience. Happy chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, wiring you to repeat behaviors that made you feel good before. This is why our urgent motivations don’t make sense to our verbal brain. It’s not easy being mammal!

When you know how your brain works, you can find healthier ways to enjoy happy chemicals and relieve unhappy chemicals. You can build new neural pathways by feeding your brain new experiences. But you have to design the new experiences carefully and repeat them a lot.

The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books illuminate the big picture and help you plot your course. You can find new ways to feel good, wherever you are right now.

Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

    A PTSD Success Story

    A PTSD Success Story

    Medric Cousineau explains the cascade of problems that began with a heroic rescue, and the cascade of solutions that began with a service dog. (https://pawsfurthought.ca)

    THE HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you blaze new trails to your dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. My guests are pioneers in retraining the inner mammal. I love learning from them! Listen in and subscribe so you can turn on your happy chemicals in healthy new ways.

    Your host, Loretta Breuning PhD, is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and author of "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels.” Details at: https://innermammalinstitute.org

    Life is more peaceful and satisfying when you understand the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals. Your mammal brain controls the chemicals that make you feel good: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. These chemicals are released for reasons that don’t make sense to our verbal human brain. When you know what these chemicals do in animals, your ups and downs make sense!

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Each happy chemical has a special job. When it turns on, it paves neural pathways that turn it on more easily in the future. That’s why we repeat behaviors that we’d rather do without. Fortunately, you can re-wire yourself to stimulate them in sustainable ways.

    But it’s hard. It’s like learning a foreign language: it takes a lot of repetition. Yet people do it every day. You can be one of them! You can design a new path to your happy chemicals and repeat it until it’s strong enough to turn on easily. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books explain the big picture and help you plot your course step by step. No matter where you are right now, you can enjoy more happy chemicals in healthy ways. Get the details at InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

    • 48 min
    Negotiating with Family

    Negotiating with Family

    Chris Wilson teaches conflict resolution in prisons, colleges, and corporations, so I ask her about conflict within families. (https://iheartresolution.com)

    THE HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you blaze new trails to your dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. My guests are pioneers in retraining the inner mammal. I love learning from them! Listen in and subscribe so you can turn on your happy chemicals in healthy new ways.

    Your host, Loretta Breuning PhD, is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and author of "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels.” Details at: https://innermammalinstitute.org

    Life is more peaceful and satisfying when you understand the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals. Your mammal brain controls the chemicals that make you feel good: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. These chemicals are released for reasons that don’t make sense to our verbal human brain. When you know what these chemicals do in animals, your ups and downs make sense!

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Each happy chemical has a special job. When it turns on, it paves neural pathways that turn it on more easily in the future. That’s why we repeat behaviors that we’d rather do without. Fortunately, you can re-wire yourself to stimulate them in sustainable ways.

    But it’s hard. It’s like learning a foreign language: it takes a lot of repetition. Yet people do it every day. You can be one of them! You can design a new path to your happy chemicals and repeat it until it’s strong enough to turn on easily. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books explain the big picture and help you plot your course step by step. No matter where you are right now, you can enjoy more happy chemicals in healthy ways. Get the details at InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

    • 46 min
    Panic Attacks

    Panic Attacks

    Maite Crespo tells me how she stopped her panic attacks by creating a “pause for serenity” method, which she teaches now at https://todoyoga.com

    THE HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you blaze new trails to your dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. My guests are pioneers in retraining the inner mammal. I love learning from them! Listen in and subscribe so you can turn on your happy chemicals in healthy new ways.

    Your host, Loretta Breuning PhD, is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and author of "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels.” Details at: https://innermammalinstitute.org

    Life is more peaceful and satisfying when you understand the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals. Your mammal brain controls the chemicals that make you feel good: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. These chemicals are released for reasons that don’t make sense to our verbal human brain. When you know what these chemicals do in animals, your ups and downs make sense!

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Each happy chemical has a special job. When it turns on, it paves neural pathways that turn it on more easily in the future. That’s why we repeat behaviors that we’d rather do without. Fortunately, you can re-wire yourself to stimulate them in sustainable ways.

    But it’s hard. It’s like learning a foreign language: it takes a lot of repetition. Yet people do it every day. You can be one of them! You can design a new path to your happy chemicals and repeat it until it’s strong enough to turn on easily. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books explain the big picture and help you plot your course step by step. No matter where you are right now, you can enjoy more happy chemicals in healthy ways. Get the details at InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

    • 54 min
    Your Inner Voice Is Learned

    Your Inner Voice Is Learned

    I discuss the Origins of Consciousness theory of Julian Jaynes with the founder of the JJ Society, Marcel Kuijsten. (JulianJaynes.org)

    THE HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you blaze new trails to your dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. My guests are pioneers in retraining the inner mammal. I love learning from them! Listen in and subscribe so you can turn on your happy chemicals in healthy new ways.

    Your host, Loretta Breuning PhD, is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and author of "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels.” Details at: https://innermammalinstitute.org

    Life is more peaceful and satisfying when you understand the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals. Your mammal brain controls the chemicals that make you feel good: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. These chemicals are released for reasons that don’t make sense to our verbal human brain. When you know what these chemicals do in animals, your ups and downs make sense!

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Each happy chemical has a special job. When it turns on, it paves neural pathways that turn it on more easily in the future. That’s why we repeat behaviors that we’d rather do without. Fortunately, you can re-wire yourself to stimulate them in sustainable ways.

    But it’s hard. It’s like learning a foreign language: it takes a lot of repetition. Yet people do it every day. You can be one of them! You can design a new path to your happy chemicals and repeat it until it’s strong enough to turn on easily. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books explain the big picture and help you plot your course step by step. No matter where you are right now, you can enjoy more happy chemicals in healthy ways. Get the details at InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

    • 49 min
    The HR Mammal

    The HR Mammal

    I discuss the HR world with Daniel Vent, a professional who shares my interest in applying inner mammal awareness to the HR function.

    THE HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you blaze new trails to your dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. My guests are pioneers in retraining the inner mammal. I love learning from them! Listen in and subscribe so you can turn on your happy chemicals in healthy new ways.

    Your host, Loretta Breuning PhD, is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and author of "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels.” Details at: https://innermammalinstitute.org

    Life is more peaceful and satisfying when you understand the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals. Your mammal brain controls the chemicals that make you feel good: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. These chemicals are released for reasons that don’t make sense to our verbal human brain. When you know what these chemicals do in animals, your ups and downs make sense!

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Each happy chemical has a special job. When it turns on, it paves neural pathways that turn it on more easily in the future. That’s why we repeat behaviors that we’d rather do without. Fortunately, you can re-wire yourself to stimulate them in sustainable ways.

    But it’s hard. It’s like learning a foreign language: it takes a lot of repetition. Yet people do it every day. You can be one of them! You can design a new path to your happy chemicals and repeat it until it’s strong enough to turn on easily. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books explain the big picture and help you plot your course step by step. No matter where you are right now, you can enjoy more happy chemicals in healthy ways. Get the details at InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

    • 1 hr
    Body/Mind Connection

    Body/Mind Connection

    Todd Nyholm, somatic therapist, tells me about his system for using your body and mind together to change unwanted patterns. (nytality.com)

    THE HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you blaze new trails to your dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. My guests are pioneers in retraining the inner mammal. I love learning from them! Listen in and subscribe so you can turn on your happy chemicals in healthy new ways.

    Your host, Loretta Breuning PhD, is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and author of "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels.” Details at: https://innermammalinstitute.org

    Life is more peaceful and satisfying when you understand the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals. Your mammal brain controls the chemicals that make you feel good: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. These chemicals are released for reasons that don’t make sense to our verbal human brain. When you know what these chemicals do in animals, your ups and downs make sense!

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Each happy chemical has a special job. When it turns on, it paves neural pathways that turn it on more easily in the future. That’s why we repeat behaviors that we’d rather do without. Fortunately, you can re-wire yourself to stimulate them in sustainable ways.

    But it’s hard. It’s like learning a foreign language: it takes a lot of repetition. Yet people do it every day. You can be one of them! You can design a new path to your happy chemicals and repeat it until it’s strong enough to turn on easily. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has free resources to help you make peace with your inner mammal: videos, blogs, infographics, and podcasts. Dr. Breuning’s books explain the big picture and help you plot your course step by step. No matter where you are right now, you can enjoy more happy chemicals in healthy ways. Get the details at InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at InnerMammalInstitute.org/musicbywmsharp

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

Baby-Yeer ,

Happy sound bites to treat my brain

I love this podcast because it’s easy and practical digestible advice from a variety of experts in their field on how they apply the Happy Brain principles.

BlairWitchProjector69 ,

Nah

Weird that this is called The Happy Brain because the scientist doesn’t seem very happy. Also, equine therapy is definitely not about viewing the horse as a perfect or superior being, that’s ridiculous. It’s clear the scientist prioritizes individuality and not the beauty of collectivism and community.

Hawke-17 ,

Always Interesting and Educational

Each podcast provides a fun and unique understanding to feelings and the underlying cause of actions. Life from the mammalian brain point of view. I look forward to each one!

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