This Is Why Chocolate Makes You Feel Happy

There’s one thing everyone can agree on: chocolate makes us happy. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, you probably agree that chocolate has the power to lift up your mood instantly. Biting into a delicious bar of chocolate is enough to transform anyone’s mood in a matter of seconds. It doesn’t matter when, it doesn’t matter where. But why? What is it about this cacao-based snack that can instantly put a smile on our faces?

 

Stacked up squares of chocolate

Getty Images / DigitalVision / Imstepf Studios Llc

 

There are two possible explanations for this question. The first relates the mood-enhancing effect of chocolate to its main ingredient, cacao. Basically, cacao beans contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is transformed into serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin, if you are not familiar, is also known as the happiness hormone. Thanks to the insulin released in response to the sugar in the chocolate, this amino acid contained in the cacao bean can reach the brain and trigger serotonin, instantly making us feel happier.

 

The second explanation is less physical and more psychological. As a society, we tend to associate the taste of chocolate with happy moments. Eating chocolate evokes memories from positive times such as our childhood, holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and numerous other delightful moments. When we take a bite of chocolate, happy memories are reawakened and we are transported to a time of happiness. This is why eating chocolate instantly makes us feel so happy.