Common Fixes For Sadness

Have you got a dose of the blues? The blues come and go, and this list is the first port of call to make sure you have the basics covered.

This is especially relevant in COVID-19 related lockdowns, that you work on each of these areas.

Before I start: I’m not a doctor nor brain scientist. Don’t listen to internet advice. Please, see your doctor, especially, if you feel depressed.

Your Brain

Your brain is a mess of chemicals and these mixtures influence how you feel. As you may know, us humans have a very basic understanding of how brains work.

While there are many chemicals in the brain, in this post, we will use a simplified model using four. The first three are the components of the Happiness Trifecta.


Dopamine is commonly called the feel-good hormone. This is the hormone that many websites and games try to trigger to keep you on the platform. It’s that rush that’s triggered by completing a task.

It is also triggered by natural acts such as having sex, but I’m not sure I would suggest that in the office[source].

Serotonin and Oxytocin

Serotonin and Oxytocin are the other two parts of the happiness trifecta. Oxytocin is called the love hormone it gives a clue to it’s main source although both chemicals can come from a variety of activities.

These hormones be boosted by spending time with people you love, building relationships and trust with people[source].

Also you can boost your levels by helping people. If you see someone struggling, go help them out, it may be just what you need to boost your mood[source].


Beta endorphins are released when you exercise. These endorphins are the reason that you get the post exercise high. They also play a role in pain management[source].

In Summary

The checklist to make sure you are doing the basics is the following.

You may have a lack of:

  • Endorphins - Go exercise.
  • Serotonin & Oxytocin - Go help others & spend time with loved ones.
  • Dopamine - Complete a task.

Even better if you can build these tasks into your routine.


This post was inspired by the talk Going Pro - Lifestyle For Exceptional Developers.