Customer Reviews: Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin
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on April 9, 2012
I'm very happy I purchased this book, the author writes with insight, intelligence, and it's very accessible and easy to read.

It's helped me better understand myself and the neurochemical basis of my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Especially helpful were the suggestions given for focusing on past achievements, celebrating small accomplishments, and making an effort to appreciate what we have.

It's one of the best books I've read on neurochemicals and
I highly recommend it.
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on July 10, 2012
I read this book over a period of a few days, and while the subject matter was interesting, I had several complaints.


-It was interesting to learn how the mammal brain functions.


-Every single page in the book had a punctuation, spelling, or grammatical error. Some sentences were missing key words and others had the same word randomly inserted in multiple places for no reason. These constant errors made the book difficult to read. Its pretty obvious she never hired an editor for this work.

-The tone used in the book made me feel as though I was a not very bright 5 year old. Her language is uninspired and repetitive. You can only use the words good, bad, happy, and unhappy so many times before they completely lose meaning.

-Her author bio at the end of the book was oddly free of errors. It seems like she put ll her energy and thought into writing those ten pages rather then the body of the book.

So, three stars because while it was interesting, the tone and lack of an editor really ruined the experience for me. If I hadn't paid full price for this book, I would not have finished it.
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on December 30, 2015
A little about me for perspective: I have a degree in psychology and am currently in a healthcare training program so I have background in neurochemistry and how neurotransmitters affect mood and behavior.

I was looking for a book on neurotransmitters to read after college because I missed learning and wanted to keep my brain active. I was worried that this book might be a bit hokey and end up being a self help book in a science facade. It turned out that, while there is definitely a self help component, this book does more than your typical self help book. You learn a bit about the neurochemistry behind each recommendation and you learn just enough that anyone will be able to grasp the science concepts.

The one thing that got to me was some of the writing. It did seem a bit childish at time (referring to neurotransmitters as "happy chemicals," for example.) Otherwise, a worthwhile read. You can learn something about the brain and how to apply it to your life!
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on June 8, 2012
This is the first review I have ever posted; I tend not to share my feelings publicly. I have spent more than half a century trying to understand why I do the things that are contrary to my own well being; this book has filled in the missing pieces. This doesn't mean my journey will be easier but it does give explanations to why I do them and I am sure that armed with this knowledge will only help break free of persistent confusion. I highly recommend this book to anyone and will be buying more to give as gifts to those whom I care about.
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on March 1, 2014
Having a clearer understanding or how we do what we do as a result of reading this book has been priceless. The author does an incredible job of simplifying the facts and then laying them out in a way that is understandable for those of us who don't practice anything that resembles neuroscience. Brava, Loretta. I think it may have been Einstein who quipped something like "any fool can complicate a matter, it takes genius to make something simple." Very, very helpful. I recommend this book to anyone that is serious about wanting to change something in their life
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on July 31, 2013
This easy-to-read book was very informative. While the author gives a lot of detail about the various chemicals that affect our lives, she also drives home an important point. We are mammals. Even though we go about our lives worshipping our prefrontal cortex, there are systems in place that are directing many of our actions just like other mammals. These directions are the result of chemicals. I really enjoyed reading this book and it deserved a 5 star rating
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on July 9, 2013
I recently finished reading this book and loved it! It explains why people do things they do and the chemicals in your brain that make you happy in a very basic and easy to understand form. It is not an overly complicated book and I would say just reading it will make you a more relaxed and less stressed person. It is basic but you can still get your mind twisted around some of the content which was really interesting to me. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to learn a little about the brain and what makes you happy.
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on October 30, 2015
Great book from great author - Must read

Happy chemical was for me a breakthrough in understanding the way human behave, because it gives a new and unknown prospective. While most people think that the Ego and the Subconscious, are the real ruller of our behavior, Loretta share a new point of view, which says that there is more powerful forces that control us - our genes and the need to keep our survival.

Understanding these forces, enable us to adapt new roots of action, and to enjoy from new Springs of happy chemical, for a better life.

In a clear and very interesting way she share a lot of explanations about the good chemicals and the bad chemical. More than that, she suggest very useful and practical advices to those who want to enjoy more, during our journey in life.

For all the people who look for practical roads to be happy and to enjoy life, Happy chemical can be a Springboard to achieve it. Very very recommended.

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on July 1, 2012
Motivation, instinct and my three brains.

Why do I feel attracted toward something or someone and repelled from something else? Why am I impelled to act some way, sometimes to my benefit and sometimes perversely against my benefit? In this insightful and vulnerable book, Dr. Loretta Breuning, a professor at California State University, tells us.

Our brains have been evolving for several million years. As the brain developed, it added functions on top of the old parts -- but those evolutionary leftovers are still in there, and they matter! Dr. Breuning lays it out in the following simple scheme: the oldest and simplest functions are our lizard brain, then the mammal brain built on top of that, and finally the cortex of the primate brain. The lizard brain manages our routine bodily functions. The top level, the cortex is where we do our thinking, remembering, dreaming, and talking to ourselves. It's the middle part, the mammal brain, that's the focus of this book because it's the mammal brain that released various "feel good" and "feel bad" chemicals that motivate our behavior.

While the release of these chemicals may provide the motivation for action, they don't actually force us to do anything. Our primate cortex gives us the final decision about whether to run from something or stay put. But the mammal brain does have a powerful influence over our behavior by triggering these chemicals which are responsible for a whole host of feelings, good and bad.

The role of serotonin is particularly important because of its impact on how we interact with other humans and its affect on our leadership instincts. In mammalian life, those with higher social status had better mating opportunities. Our brains evolved to give us the motivation to climb the social ladder in order to foster the continuance of our DNA. It is serotonin that encourages this behavior. Even though one could argue that there are plenty of mating opportunities around, we retain this chemical programming for social dominance.

I think this is responsible for our ideas of leadership and for the fundamental leader-follower structure. The issue for those who want to create leaders rather than attract followers, and give control, rather than take control, will be that their instincts will signal it's the wrong thing to do. Fortunately, Dr. Breuning explains how we can rewire our brains. Those feelings may never go away, but ultimately the cortex gives us the deliberateness to be in control, not our instincts.

Her other book:

I, Mammal: Why Your Brain Links Status and Happiness
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on January 6, 2014
Liked the easy reading and understandability. Bought this for my mom to help her understand what addiction does to the brain and how it is very hard for people of addiction to find a happy place in their mind.
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