10 Meals That Are Proven to Make You Happier

A real happy meal is one that tastes great and makes you feel even better. See more good for you foods in these food pyramid pictures.

People the world over stand divided on everything from religious to political beliefs. One common denominator brings us all together: food. We need it in order to survive and thrive. In fact, a good meal impacts our overall moods as well as our bodies.

Many different types of foods have been shown to improve our happiness levels. Two main categories of mood-affecting foods exist. So-called "happy foods" affect us physiologically because they contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals that impact the production and release of serotonin, the neurotransmitter scientists believe is largely responsible for fostering feelings of happiness. On the other hand, comfort foods have a psychological benefit. For example, if Mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies cheered you up as a kid, replicating her recipe will likely be a mood-booster on a down day, thanks to the happy memories associated with the treat.

So why aren't we eating these types of foods at every meal? Certain happy foods get a bad rap as "health foods," and some turn up their noses at these bland, lean dishes. As for comfort food, much of this fare is packed with calories and fat, which, in the long run, won't make us happier. Fortunately, these recipes can be adjusted to provide maximum nutritional and emotional benefits as well as fantastic flavor.

Keep reading for 10 soothing meals that taste as great as they'll make you feel.