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Brighten Your Mood With Sunlight

People practicing yoga or meditation outdoors in the orange glow of the sun.

How does sunlight affect your brain?

Exposure to sunlight is one way to naturally unlock the mood-lifting benefits of serotonin.


Sunlight increases the brain’s release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel more calm and focused. Increased risk of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are associated with low exposure to sunlight.


  • Rise with the sun. Help set your circadian rhythm with the morning sunlight, which is typically less intense.
  • Step outside when you take breaks. Surround yourself with sunlight and fresh air to help your brain reset.
  • Ask your doctor about light therapy. Some studies show this can be a low-risk way to help manage seasonal depression and increase serotonin.
  • Use UV protection and limit the length of your exposure. Moderate exposure is key. Overexposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to sunburn, premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer.
Be part of the Great Brain Gain movement.

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