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Bad moods happen. Whether it’s the weather or a particularly unfortunate haircut, we’ve all felt bummed at one time or another. No matter what’s behind your not-so-sunny disposition, try eating one of these nine foods, which are scientifically proven mood boosters. Because chocolate really is happiness.

happy food coffee1


Yet another reason to pour a cup (or four). Not only does coffee make you tolerable to others before 7 a.m., it makes you happier. A 2013 study linked coffee consumption to the emotions of pleasure, energy and happiness. On top of that, multiple studies have found that women who drink four cups a day are up to 20 percent less likely to develop depression over a ten-year span.

happy food kimchi


Chalk this one up to bacteria--the good kind. Probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, kefir, miso and certain types of yogurt (varieties that contain live and active cultures) are linked to elevated moods. In studies with mice, consuming probiotics led to more energy and less anxiety. (And trust us: You don’t want to see an anxious mouse.)

happy food mushrooms1


Shrooms are rich in the mineral selenium, a deficiency of which has been linked to a higher risk of depression, anxiety and fatigue. They’re also the only natural plant that’s a source of vitamin D, or the “sunshine hormone,” which can create positive feelings by altering dopamine levels in the brain. Eat up.


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happy food clams


You know the expression “happy as a clam”? Turns out there’s some science behind it. Clams (even the canned versions found in clam chowder) are a great source of vitamin B12, which the brain needs to make dopamine and serotonin.

happy food oysters


While we’re on the subject of bivalves, oysters are one of nature’s richest sources of zinc, low levels of which are linked to anxiety.

happy food pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Nope, not #PSLs. Real pumpkin seeds contain high levels of L-tryptophan, a compound used by the body to create serotonin (which regulates your mood). These little guys are also a great source of magnesium and zinc.

happy food spinach


This leafy green is packed with folic acid, a B vitamin proven to boost mood. Spinach is also an antioxidant that works to protect brain cells from free radicals, which can lead to low energy and mood swings. And, if cartoons are to be believed, it’ll make you super strong.

happy food oatmeal


Good news for breakfast hounds: Oatmeal is an excellent source of magnesium, which helps the brain fight anxiety and depression. It’s also a good source of fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar, therefore reducing mood swings.

happy food dark chocolate1

Dark Chocolate

Last but certainly not least, the most exciting food on the list. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure. Dark chocolate is also loaded with mood-boosting polyphenols--one of which even mimics the calming effects of marijuana. Legally, of course.

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