Autumn is coming, cold and shorter days too, and often it is not enough to fill ourselves with good intentions to be able to face the relative drops in mood. To prepare for the best, then, it may be useful to take a cue from some suggestions coming from the countries of the North, masters in survival strategies against the lack of sun and climatic adversities. In fact, in recent times, more often than not come across words from Nordic (and unpronounceable) languages, which promote positive attitudes inspired by simple lifestyles and comfortable atmospheres. Last season, for example, we were overwhelmed by Hygge, the Danish tormenton became a viral obsession for everything that is intimate, reassuring and welcoming, from homemade desserts to Scandi’s interior design. After all, there will be a reason why Denmark, despite its harsh winters, remains at the top of the list of the happiest countries in the world. But we also discover that Holland and Flanders claim their antidepression therapy against gray and rain: it is called gezellig and is pronounced with a guttural g that looks like a cough.

It is generally used to refer to moments, situations or places that strengthen ties with others and the sense of belonging (the root gezel means “mate”, “friend”). They are gezelligall those contexts in which conviviality reigns and which transmit positive feelings: a coffee with the neighbors, an impromptu picnic on the beach, a long Sunday lunch in the family or even a small bar with a hospitable atmosphere. It must be said that the level of gezelligheid of a situation is higher if it is similar to a comfort that comes after some difficulties. For example, for a Dutchman, the maximum expression of the gezellig could be to set the table on the sidewalk in summer to enjoy some sun without a garden. And for a Belgian, maybe, stop and eat moules frites after having taken a walk to the sea defying rain and wind. After all, those of us have never experienced that unspeakable feeling of well – beingwhen, with the cheeks reddened by the cold and the hair wet from the rain, we hide in a bar in front of a cup of chocolate with a friend? Seen like that, not even a downpour can be so bad. In short, it is gezellig everything that can warm up with little and let us enjoy full of small pleasures.

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Just hear the word “ritual” to think of something ancient, sacred and incredibly positive. Yes, because everyday life is also made of those (few) moments of calm in which we devote ourselves body and soul to a series of actions that are always the same, but positive for us. A little ‘how to remove make-up and put the cream at the end of the day, when we finally get ready to throw ourselves to bed and enjoy a well-deserved sleep. The rituals are also this: small regular actions, habitual, but that help us to detach with the head, give pleasure to the body and give us a few minutes of total well-being . If we introduce something more into our everyday routine? Do not look up at the sky: the benefits of some sacred rituals on everyday life can be ultra wow. That’s right: just become more aware of the force that moves the world and our lives, focusing on our inner life , and we will feel more connected with those around us, our days will be full of positive events and we will make the right choices. And no, it is not one of those points of view a bit ‘New Age hippie friend, but a truth also supported by science.

Christine Legare, expert in Cognitive Science and associate professor of Psychology, has studied sacred rituals for years and years. He discovered that we all rely on some ritual and this reveals how our mind works: “In reality we do not know how most of the things still work in the world, so we do nothing but imitate, simulate, create rituals.” And these, according to the Legare, give us the illusion to control and get what we want to happen in a world of confusion. A series of investigations by teams of psychologists have revealed other interesting results: rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings and behavior . But also on pain : people who engage in a specific rite after the death of a loved one or after the end of an important relationship feel less suffering and overcome it first. Even birthday parties, bachelor parties, weddings and so on are rituals that bring us together with those we love, connect us with new people and allow us to celebrate a goal. Perhaps we do not notice it, but in those moments we are grateful for life and its expression.


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Better known as the “happiness hormone”, dopamine has a special, if not magical, power: when it is released into our brains, it supports mood, making us feel satisfied, serene, even euphoric. Not bad, right? And if we told you that there is a diet that, in addition to making you lose the annoying pounds, helps you feel happy non-stop? Let’s talk about the diet of happiness (or dopamine diet ) developed by the English chef (starry) Tom Kerridge.  It was important for me to find something that I could support myself in the long run. period, a style of feeding which I would not get tired of after a few weeks, before slipping back into my old, bad habits.I needed to find a program that could become a lifestyle “. The solution? Develop recipes and food combinations based on ingredients that release the famous ” happiness hormone ” in the brain . The dopamine , in fact. We asked two experts – nutritionist Leonie Leber and chemistry Sabrina Kress of Foodpring  – to give us their comments. Among its various functions, it helps awareness and lucidity, influences the control of motor skills, for example by transferring the commands to the muscles, in addition to regulate blood circulation and urine production in the kidneys. “In short, never again without.

“There are categories of foods related to the production of dopamine”, confirm the two experts of Foodspring. “To produce dopamine our body needs tyrosine, an amino acid that is found in oats, cod, peanuts and soy beans. Yes to (excellent!) Foods like almonds, avocados and pumpkin seeds, as well as fish and meat: they have a positive impact on the dopamine level. Beware, though: dopamine is a substance that tends to oxidize easily. For this reason we recommend eating good doses of fresh fruit and vegetables containing a lot of antioxidants, favoring green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, cabbage), cauliflower, strawberries, oranges, lemons, asparagus (high in vitamin C), in addition to dried fruit “. And then did you know that apples, berries and bananas contain an antioxidant flavonoid called quercetin, which helps the brain counteract the loss of dopamine? And what chocolate, green tea, vanilla, sesame seeds promote the release of dopamine and endorphins? It is discovered by reading Kerridge’s book. Ok happiness, but what does dopamine have to do with the ideal weight?  A nice plate of salmon without fat accompanied by fresh and green vegetables “.