10 Meals That Are Proven to Make You Happier

Chocolate Anything
Eat truffles, load up on antioxidants. Dessert never sounded so sweet.
Eat truffles, load up on antioxidants. Dessert never sounded so sweet.

Don't beat yourself up about indulging in a brownie or two when feeling down in the dumps. Multiple studies have revealed that chocolate (gasp!) is actually healthy in moderation. Although it's still high in calories, chocolate contains a myriad of beneficial nutrients that help regulate mood. The sugar that gives chocolate its rich taste helps increase serotonin levels, while the fat content releases mood-elevating endorphins [source: Carper]. Top it off with the stimulating effects of caffeine and antioxidant levels higher than even berries, and chocolate becomes a heavyweight mood-influencer. To avoid paying the price in the waistline area, however, indulge in just one or two pieces each day of the dark variety, which is more heart-healthy than milk chocolate.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Carper, Jean. "5 Good-Mood Foods." USA Weekend.com. Jan. 3, 1999. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.usaweekend.com/99_issues/990103/990103eatsmart.html
  • "Chow Down on Mood-Boosting Foods." ThirdAge.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.thirdage.com/nutrition/chow-down-on-mood-boosting-foods
  • Clark, Josh. "Can food make people happy?" HowStuffWorks.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). https://health.howstuffworks.com/human-nature/emotions/happiness/science/food-happiness.htm
  • Cohen, Marisa. "Comfort Foods Made Healthy." Parents.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.parents.com/recipes/nutrition/parents/comfort-foods-made-healthy/
  • Cox, Jack. "Good Food, Good Mood, Good Health." Denver Post.com. Jan. 29, 2007. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.denverpost.com/fitness/ci_5101459
  • "Fish: The Good Mood Food." ChinaDaily.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2008-01/03/content_6367784.htm
  • "Food-Mood Connection: The Sad Are Twice As Likely To Eat Comfort Food." ScienceDaily.com. Feb. 2, 2007. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070131134912.htm
  • "Good Mood Food." BBC.co.uk. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/healthyminds/everyone/home/goodmoodfood.shtml
  • "Good Mood Food." MarthaStewart.com. Sept. 2007. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.marthastewart.com/article/good-mood-food
  • "Is There Something in Turkey That Makes You Sleepy?" HowStuffWorks.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/question519.htm
  • Kleiner, Susan. "Feel-Great Foods." MSN Health & Fitness. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://health.msn.com/health-topics/depression/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100149887
  • Magee, Elaine M. Ph., R.D. "The Comfort-Food Diet." Everyday Health.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/food-and-mood/your-attitude/the-comfort-food-diet.aspx
  • Magee, Elaine M. Ph., R.D. "How Food Affects Your Moods." MedicineNet.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56719
  • Matlack, Jennifer. "Good Mood Foods: Boost Your State of Mind." EverydayHealth.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/food-and-mood/stress-and-dieting/good-mood-foods.aspx
  • Melone, Linda. "Good-Mood Foods." BetterHealthandLiving.com. (Oct. 20, 2009).http://www.betterhealthandliving.com/articles/good-mood_foods
  • Roufos, Anna. "14 Things Not to Feel Guilty About." Parenting.com. (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www.parenting.com/article/Mom/Relax--Recharge/14-Things-Not-to-Feel-Guilty-About-21333565/2
  • Ticknor, Lynne M.A. "Power Up! Seven Simple Ways to Boost Your Mood." (Oct. 20, 2009). http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3752666


Your Sushi May Not Be as Healthy as You Think

Your Sushi May Not Be as Healthy as You Think

Fresh fish is full of good nutrients. But sushi can be good or bad depending on what you order. HowStuffWorks breaks it down.

More to Explore