The 2 Ingredients of My Happiness

happiness Feb 27, 2022

Let’s face it… We could all use a little happiness boost these days.

I have that for you today.

2020 through 2021 has been so disorienting and stressful that truly feeling happy can seem downright impossible at times.

But I promise, it IS possible—and in ways you might not expect.

In fact, you can enjoy a little happiness right now—safely and naturally.

All you need to do is flip your “happiness switch.”

Beware of False Happiness

Unfortunately, Americans are constantly bombarded by subliminal messaging, trying to convince us that material things are the key to happiness.

A new, shiny watch can elevate your status. A seductive fragrance can help you find insatiable romance. The right jeans can give you that confidence you’ve been craving.

And for the short-term, they might be right.

Acquiring new “stuff” triggers a little bit of the euphoric chemical called dopamine. (You might have heard it called a “shopper’s high.”) But the thing is, after the novelty wears off, so does the euphoria.

What we label as “happiness” in these cases is really just a small hit of a feel-good chemical.

But if you want real, lasting happiness, you have to look beyond external things. Because true happiness is literally within you—and you can access it anytime you want. The key is in activating a specific bodily system.

Turning on your “feel-good” chemicals

Fortunately there are all-natural ways we can use our bodies to feel good—like exercising and slow, deep breathing.

And I encourage you to do those things. (You might be surprised at how much a few minutes each day can help!)

But if you really want to increase your happiness—and your health—I recommend trying vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).

This technique is one of the best ways to strengthen vagal tone.

And when your vagal tone is strong, the positive effects ripple into better mental and physical health.

You can stimulate your vagus nerve and, in turn, strengthen vagal tone simply by singing, chanting, or humming along to your favorite music. Most times, that can be enough stimulation to release a cascade of happiness-inducing chemicals throughout your body.

Ever wonder why you feel so good after singing?

It's all beautifully bio-chemical.

These “feel-good” chemicals include:

  • Acetylcholine: Your body’s most abundant neurotransmitter. It serves as a natural tranquilizer and inflammation suppressant. It also regulates your arousal response.
  • Dopamine: A neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
  • Endorphins: Chemicals produced naturally in the body to help manage pain or stress. These neuropeptides are known for a morphine-like euphoric effect.
  • Nitric oxide: Known for its anti-inflammatory effect and ability to relax the blood vessels—allowing them to stay wide and flexible, increasing blood flow and circulation.
  • Oxytocin: A social bonding hormone known for creating a feeling of safety, affection, and well-being.

And if you want to take your happiness to the next level, I suggest combining this physical boost of “feel good” chemicals with a very simple, but very specific, mindset shift…

Happiness is a result, not a goal

From my experiences over the years, I’ve found that perceiving happiness as a goal to achieve is an unhelpful and potentially damaging thought pattern.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • “Once I make X amount of dollars, THEN I’ll be happy”.
  • “If I lose 20 pounds, THEN I’ll finally be happy with myself.”
  • “Once this virus is gone and I can get back to normal, THEN I can be happy.”

In this type of thinking, your happiness is determined by events in the future that may or may not work out the way you hoped.

Instead, I suggest thinking of happiness as a result of consistent, aligned thoughts and actions in the present.

“Aligned to what?” you might ask…

To the closely held values about how you live your life.

For example, if you believe that it's important to be a kind, compassionate, and helpful person, then actually behaving in those ways toward someone else immediately creates feelings of well-being, purpose, and happiness in that very moment.

For some people, this is an instant joy-booster—chemically, emotionally and even spiritually. (I know it is for me!)

Think about the last time someone was surprised or delighted by your help. Felt good, right?

Plus, this type of thinking and behavior can also unlock those same “feel-good chemicals” I mentioned earlier, so combining it with VNS gives you a double dose of happiness.

Your two-ingredient recipe for true happiness

I believe lasting happiness is a result of two main things:

  • Consistent actions that are in line with your values—especially when the action helps someone else.    
  • Regularly tapping in to your body’s natural mood boosters through exercise, deep breathing, and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).

To learn more about all the ways all-natural VNS can boost your day-to-day happiness and health, I’ve got just the thing for you…

It's really easy to use and you can get started within minutes.

My best-selling Sound Solution Guided Audio is a seven part program that will introduce you to the most powerful sound-based techniques for optimal health—both mentally and physically.

All you need is your own voice and the willingness to learn.

You'll enjoy seven separate guided audio experiences designed to trigger your "feel good chemicals" using sound.

But don’t worry—as powerful as the techniques that I’ll teach you are, I like to keep things fun and easy.

Click here to learn more about getting your discounted Sound Solution Guided Audio Bundle with a 100% money back and satisfaction guarantee.

Come on, let’s get happy!


“Brain imaging shows how vagus nerve stimulation improves depression symptoms.”
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, 5/16/13. (
“The vagus nerve in appetite regulation, mood, and intestinal inflammation.”
Gastroenterology. 2017; 152(4): 730-744.
“Does singing promote well-being?: An empirical study of professional and amateur singers during a
singing lesson.” Integrative psychological and behavioral science. 2003; 38(1): 65-74. PMID: 12814197
“Exhaled nasal nitric oxide during humming: Potential clinical tool in sinonasal disease?
Biomarkers in medicine. 2013; 7(2): 261-266. PMID: 23547821

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About the author:

Jim Donovan M.Ed. is a multi-platinum musician, educator and TEDx speaker.

His mission is to share the restorative power of music through education and performance.

Donovan is an Assistant Professor and Director of Music and Wellness at Saint Francis University.

His viral TEDx Talk "How to Trick Your Brain Into Falling Asleep" has been viewed over 6 million times to date.

He currently performs with his band The Sun King Warriors who can best described as as a blend of rhythm heavy roots rock, with a strong dose of big barreling drums. 

Jim Donovan got his start as a founding member of the multi-platinum selling band Rusted Root. 

There he co-wrote the song “Send Me on My Way” featured in the movies "Ice Age", "Matilda" and the Netflix series "New Girl".

During his time with the band 1990-2005, he recorded and released seven full length albums. Including "When I Woke" (3x platinum).

He also had the honor of sharing the stage with many of his musical influences and heroes including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (1995 US/UK tour), Carlos Santana (1997/2002 US tour), The Allman Brothers Band (1995/96 US tour), The Grateful Dead (1995 Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA) and many others.

Send Me On My Way also became the first song on Mars where it “woke up” NASA’s Mars Rover.


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