by Noa Belling

What if you could practise and access happiness at any time?

Some people find that being happy is a natural state of being, but for others it is a constant struggle to find contentment with all of life’s stresses and upheavals.

Based on scientific studies of biochemistry and neuroscience, this book teaches you how to cultivate happiness by honing certain physical skills such as strength, flexibility, fluidity, grounding and warm-heartedness. Deeply rooted within your body, these skills foster resilience, confidence and creativity to help you meet life’s challenges skillfully. 

It works through your body to stimulate biochemicals of happiness: dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.

A happiness workout is made up of everyday, quick practices, complemented by physical exercise programs that are designed to be accessible no matter your age or level of fitness. Here is a sample of a ‘happiness hack’ that can potentially refresh your energy, clear your mind and uplift your spirit. It can be done in less than 5 minutes, in a break in your daily routine. It works through your body to stimulate biochemicals of happiness: dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.

Sample practice from The Happiness Workout:

You are welcome to be sitting or standing, and carry out each stage of the process for however long feels good or however long you have. 

– Start with a deep breath to transition into this time for yourself. 

– Shake out your body, in whatever way feels good for you, perhaps shoulders and hips, arms and hands, feet and legs.

– On a long outbreath, settle your awareness down into your feet. Then press or imagine pressing your feet down into the ground as you stack and raise your posture to feel comfortably upright and held between stable earth and expansive sky. Breathe naturally for a few moments in this position that can boost a sense of grounded strength. 

– Now place a hand over the centre of your chest, connecting with how this feels for a few moments. Then if you wish, imagine sending loving kindness and warmth to yourself, to embrace any hurts or struggles that might be with you. To amplify the power of your love you might imagine extending this warmth outwards to embrace anyone you know who might need it, and possibly even further to touch the hearts of anyone in the world who might be struggling at this time. Feel your potential to open your heart and to possibly feel more courageous in the process. This can feed back into your confidence to face challenges that might be with you, or simply to feel nourished by your heart’s warmth. 

– With one more deep breath and perhaps a moment of gratitude for this practice and the time you have taken for yourself, you are invited to re-enter your day. Carry with you whatever has been helpful and know that you can return to this simple practice whenever you feel you need what it has to offer.

You can find out more about this kind of practice and the science that backs it, in The Happiness Workout. 


Noa Belling holds a masters degree in Somatic Psychology and is registered in South Africa as a Dance/Movement Therapist. Noa works in private practice with adults as well as in the
corporate and educational sectors offering  talks, workshops and training programs on topics such as wellbeing, leadership development and somatic skills in therapy, teaching and counselling. Noa is an international, bestselling and award-winning author of a number of books on mind-body wellbeing. Her latest books are The Mindful Body (2018) and The Happiness Workout (2020).