155 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 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
    • 4.8 • 38 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 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

    If Your Therapist Isn't Open to You

    If Your Therapist Isn't Open to You

    Andrew Hartz created the Open Therapy Institute to help people find therapists who respect their world view, and to help therapists respect people who are disparaged by their politicized credentialing programs.. https://www.opentherapyinstitute.org

    The HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you spark your happy brain chemicals in healthy ways. Your host is Loretta G. Breuning PhD, 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. 

    Check out our new video course, Train Your Inner Mammal to Feel Good Now.
    (https://innermammalinstitute.org/course — 10% off with the code ReaderDiscount at the checkout.) You will learn to rewire your happy chemicals with small simple steps!

    Our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin are inherited from earlier mammals. We control them with the limbic brain we’ve inherited from animals. The verbal human part of the brain doesn’t understand what makes the animal part feel good, and that’s why we do things to feel good that we later regret. When you understand the job that each happy chemical evolved to do, you can find healthy ways to spark them.

    Dr. Breuning’s new book, Why You’re Unhappy: Biology vs Politics, shows why unhappiness comes so easily to our brain. Why do they tell us that happiness is the natural state and unhappiness is a disorder? It’s politics. The kind of politics that all mammals have. Find out more at: https://innermammalinstitute.org/why 

    See video clips from this episode and others at:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1hyR2RHXp04OmVhFUKNh81FT5gffvplq
    If you like The Happy Brain Podcast, please rate and review it to help others make peace with their inner mammal.

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Your brain chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, which wires you to repeat behaviors that spark good feelings and avoid behaviors that spark bad feelings. That’s why we keep repeating or avoiding things without quite knowing why. To change these patterns, you have to blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons. 

    It’s hard because it takes so much repetition. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how to design and build the new neural pathway that’s right for you, and motivate yourself to do the repetitions. 
    Rewiring your brain is like learning a foreign language: we all know it’s possible, but most people don’t. You can be someone who does! You can build new paths to your happy chemicals so you flow there more easily.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has the resources you need to do that. It offers free resources, including 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 https://InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    • 44 min
    Pakistani Doctor on Lifestyle Diseases

    Pakistani Doctor on Lifestyle Diseases

    Dr. Attia Ansari tells me how her patients in Pakistan "just want a pill” instead of working to improving their wellbeing and lifestyle. Here’s the Emotional Eating link that was mentioned.

    The HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you spark your happy brain chemicals in healthy ways. Your host is Loretta G. Breuning PhD, 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. 

    Check out our new video course, Train Your Inner Mammal to Feel Good Now.
    (https://innermammalinstitute.org/course — 10% off with the code ReaderDiscount at the checkout.) You will learn to rewire your happy chemicals with small simple steps!

    Our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin are inherited from earlier mammals. We control them with the limbic brain we’ve inherited from animals. The verbal human part of the brain doesn’t understand what makes the animal part feel good, and that’s why we do things to feel good that we later regret. When you understand the job that each happy chemical evolved to do, you can find healthy ways to spark them.

    Dr. Breuning’s new book, Why You’re Unhappy: Biology vs Politics, shows why unhappiness comes so easily to our brain. Why do they tell us that happiness is the natural state and unhappiness is a disorder? It’s politics. The kind of politics that all mammals have. Find out more at: https://innermammalinstitute.org/why 

    See video clips from this episode and others at:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1hyR2RHXp04OmVhFUKNh81FT5gffvplq
    If you like The Happy Brain Podcast, please rate and review it to help others make peace with their inner mammal.

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Your brain chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, which wires you to repeat behaviors that spark good feelings and avoid behaviors that spark bad feelings. That’s why we keep repeating or avoiding things without quite knowing why. To change these patterns, you have to blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons. 

    It’s hard because it takes so much repetition. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how to design and build the new neural pathway that’s right for you, and motivate yourself to do the repetitions. 
    Rewiring your brain is like learning a foreign language: we all know it’s possible, but most people don’t. You can be someone who does! You can build new paths to your happy chemicals so you flow there more easily.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has the resources you need to do that. It offers free resources, including 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 https://InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    • 38 min
    Your Power Over Your Attention

    Your Power Over Your Attention

    Nir Eyal explains his model for becoming “indistractable” instead of feeling overwhelmed by external stimuli. (nirandfar.com)

    The HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you spark your happy brain chemicals in healthy ways. Your host is Loretta G. Breuning PhD, 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.

    Check out our new video course, Train Your Inner Mammal to Feel Good Now.
    (https://innermammalinstitute.org/course — 10% off with the code ReaderDiscount at the checkout.) You will learn to rewire your happy chemicals with small simple steps!

    Our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin are inherited from earlier mammals. We control them with the limbic brain we’ve inherited from animals. The verbal human part of the brain doesn’t understand what makes the animal part feel good, and that’s why we do things to feel good that we later regret. When you understand the job that each happy chemical evolved to do, you can find healthy ways to spark them.

    Dr. Breuning’s new book, Why You’re Unhappy: Biology vs Politics, shows why unhappiness comes so easily to our brain. Why do they tell us that happiness is the natural state and unhappiness is a disorder? It’s politics. The kind of politics that all mammals have. Find out more at: https://innermammalinstitute.org/why

    See video clips from this episode and others at:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1hyR2RHXp04OmVhFUKNh81FT5gffvplq
    If you like The Happy Brain Podcast, please rate and review it to help others make peace with their inner mammal.

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Your brain chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, which wires you to repeat behaviors that spark good feelings and avoid behaviors that spark bad feelings. That’s why we keep repeating or avoiding things without quite knowing why. To change these patterns, you have to blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons.

    It’s hard because it takes so much repetition. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how to design and build the new neural pathway that’s right for you, and motivate yourself to do the repetitions.
    Rewiring your brain is like learning a foreign language: we all know it’s possible, but most people don’t. You can be someone who does! You can build new paths to your happy chemicals so you flow there more easily.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has the resources you need to do that. It offers free resources, including 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 https://InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    • 35 min
    Wiring In Your “Wise Advocate"

    Wiring In Your “Wise Advocate"

    The founder of Myelin Leadership tells me how he teaches people to find their child circuits and rewire them into “wise advocate” circuits.

    The HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you spark your happy brain chemicals in healthy ways. Your host is Loretta G. Breuning PhD, 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.

    Check out our new video course, Train Your Inner Mammal to Feel Good Now.
    (https://innermammalinstitute.org/course — 10% off with the code ReaderDiscount at the checkout.) You will learn to rewire your happy chemicals with small simple steps!

    Our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin are inherited from earlier mammals. We control them with the limbic brain we’ve inherited from animals. The verbal human part of the brain doesn’t understand what makes the animal part feel good, and that’s why we do things to feel good that we later regret. When you understand the job that each happy chemical evolved to do, you can find healthy ways to spark them.

    Dr. Breuning’s new book, Why You’re Unhappy: Biology vs Politics, shows why unhappiness comes so easily to our brain. Why do they tell us that happiness is the natural state and unhappiness is a disorder? It’s politics. The kind of politics that all mammals have. Find out more at: https://innermammalinstitute.org/why

    See video clips from this episode and others at:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1hyR2RHXp04OmVhFUKNh81FT5gffvplq
    If you like The Happy Brain Podcast, please rate and review it to help others make peace with their inner mammal.

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Your brain chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, which wires you to repeat behaviors that spark good feelings and avoid behaviors that spark bad feelings. That’s why we keep repeating or avoiding things without quite knowing why. To change these patterns, you have to blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons.

    It’s hard because it takes so much repetition. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how to design and build the new neural pathway that’s right for you, and motivate yourself to do the repetitions.
    Rewiring your brain is like learning a foreign language: we all know it’s possible, but most people don’t. You can be someone who does! You can build new paths to your happy chemicals so you flow there more easily.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has the resources you need to do that. It offers free resources, including 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 https://InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    • 38 min
    A BioFeedback Rewiring Device

    A BioFeedback Rewiring Device

    I’m skeptical of magic bullets, but my guest helps people strap on a device that trains you to change your brainwaves, and it sounds reasonable. (https://www.neuroflex.tech)

    The HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you spark your happy brain chemicals in healthy ways. Your host is Loretta G. Breuning PhD, 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.

    Check out our new video course, Train Your Inner Mammal to Feel Good Now.
    (https://innermammalinstitute.org/course — 10% off with the code ReaderDiscount at the checkout.) You will learn to rewire your happy chemicals with small simple steps!

    Our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin are inherited from earlier mammals. We control them with the limbic brain we’ve inherited from animals. The verbal human part of the brain doesn’t understand what makes the animal part feel good, and that’s why we do things to feel good that we later regret. When you understand the job that each happy chemical evolved to do, you can find healthy ways to spark them.

    Dr. Breuning’s new book, Why You’re Unhappy: Biology vs Politics, shows why unhappiness comes so easily to our brain. Why do they tell us that happiness is the natural state and unhappiness is a disorder? It’s politics. The kind of politics that all mammals have. Find out more at: https://innermammalinstitute.org/why

    See video clips from this episode and others at:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1hyR2RHXp04OmVhFUKNh81FT5gffvplq
    If you like The Happy Brain Podcast, please rate and review it to help others make peace with their inner mammal.

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Your brain chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, which wires you to repeat behaviors that spark good feelings and avoid behaviors that spark bad feelings. That’s why we keep repeating or avoiding things without quite knowing why. To change these patterns, you have to blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons.

    It’s hard because it takes so much repetition. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how to design and build the new neural pathway that’s right for you, and motivate yourself to do the repetitions.
    Rewiring your brain is like learning a foreign language: we all know it’s possible, but most people don’t. You can be someone who does! You can build new paths to your happy chemicals so you flow there more easily.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has the resources you need to do that. It offers free resources, including 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 https://InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    • 38 min
    War And Mammals

    War And Mammals

    My guest is a Ukrainian-Israeli who just read my book and is putting it into practice right now.

    The HAPPY BRAIN PODCAST helps you spark your happy brain chemicals in healthy ways. Your host is Loretta G. Breuning PhD, 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.

    Check out our new video course, Train Your Inner Mammal to Feel Good Now.
    (https://innermammalinstitute.org/course — 10% off with the code ReaderDiscount at the checkout.) You will learn to rewire your happy chemicals with small simple steps!

    Our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin are inherited from earlier mammals. We control them with the limbic brain we’ve inherited from animals. The verbal human part of the brain doesn’t understand what makes the animal part feel good, and that’s why we do things to feel good that we later regret. When you understand the job that each happy chemical evolved to do, you can find healthy ways to spark them.

    Dr. Breuning’s new book, Why You’re Unhappy: Biology vs Politics, shows why unhappiness comes so easily to our brain. Why do they tell us that happiness is the natural state and unhappiness is a disorder? It’s politics. The kind of politics that all mammals have. Find out more at: https://innermammalinstitute.org/why

    See video clips from this episode and others at:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1hyR2RHXp04OmVhFUKNh81FT5gffvplq
    If you like The Happy Brain Podcast, please rate and review it to help others make peace with their inner mammal.

    Our happy chemicals evolved to reward survival behavior, not to make you feel good all the time. Your brain chemicals are like paving on your neural pathways, which wires you to repeat behaviors that spark good feelings and avoid behaviors that spark bad feelings. That’s why we keep repeating or avoiding things without quite knowing why. To change these patterns, you have to blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons.

    It’s hard because it takes so much repetition. The Inner Mammal Institute shows you how to design and build the new neural pathway that’s right for you, and motivate yourself to do the repetitions.
    Rewiring your brain is like learning a foreign language: we all know it’s possible, but most people don’t. You can be someone who does! You can build new paths to your happy chemicals so you flow there more easily.

    The Inner Mammal Institute has the resources you need to do that. It offers free resources, including 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 https://InnerMammalInstitute.org.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

klarajag ,

Loved the episode: Training how much is too much?

What an insightful conversation! Loretta is a fantastic host! I highly enjoyed the listen.

michaeljoelbecker ,

Genuine

Dr Breuning breaks down cognitive science and mental wellness so simply, and in such a human way. Love the show, highly recommend if you’re looking to understand your own brain better to live a better life! -Michael B

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.

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