the science of improving a bad mood

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • A special message from Arnold

  • How to flip a bad mood

  • Your healthy shopping list

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Thank You

We started sending this daily newsletter on January 1. I knew Adam, Daniel, and I would have a great time doing this because we are all passionate about health, fitness, and making the world better one person at a time. I knew that it’d be an insane amount of work to do a daily email, so I want to thank Adam for his incredible research. I hope you all know I also learn from him and for his constantly growing knowledge. And I want to thank Daniel for sharing recipes of his delicious food. You know, he used to email me pictures to make me jealous of whatever he cooked for dinner, so I'm glad you get to experience them too, in addition to his work inspiring our village with his crazy rucking and everything else.

But really, I want to thank all of you. Because I knew we’d have a great time and it would be a lot of work, but I didn’t know how much joy I would get every day from your messages. I read everything I can. I love your tweets and your Instagram posts because I love hearing how we are helping you, but I know when you post in public, you’re out there helping to grow our little village. I’ve seen messages from people that are losing weight, people that have hit new personal records, people that have stopped drinking, and people who say their lives have been saved. It all inspires me, and Adam and Daniel, to keep going. Because I can feel we are onto something here. I can tell what we are doing is useful, and the world needs it.

There are 310,000 of you in this village now, and it’s the 103rd day of the year. That means every day, we’ve added an average of 3,000 people. Every day. That’s bigger than the population of Thal, the village where I grew up. And all the email experts told us we’d need to learn how to advertise to grow. We haven’t spent a dime! We will, eventually, but for now, it’s just us writing the content you love, Noah making absurd memes, and all of you growing this village totally organically. So thank you, thank you, thank you. We couldn’t do it without you. And my promise to you is that no matter how big we grow, it’s always going to be the village. We’ll just be the first-ever village with a population of one million.

I can’t wait to get there with all of you and conquer the internet with millions of positive people working to be a little bit better every single day.

A Walk To Remember

Next time you need to blow off some steam, go for a walk. Not only can it turn your mood around, but it might also protect your brain.

Researchers found that when you’re in a funk, going outside for a 30-minute walk boosts your mood and reduces negative thoughts. Movement manipulates your mindset and motivates mood changes (say that five times fast). And the outdoors shifts your attention away from the negative cycle of thoughts.

But the benefits of a 30-minute walk go far beyond lifting your spirits. If you increase the pace of your walk you can also help fight memory loss. A separate study found that middle-aged and older people who took 30-minute “brisk” walks five times per week prevented brain decline, improved cognition, and improved their memory. What's a brisk walk? Some might call it "zone 2" cardio, but it's pushing at a pace here you're a little out of breath but can still hold a conversation.

The fine print? Like everything else, those who were most consistent and were able to follow the routine for months saw the biggest changes. If you want to create a new habit, find 30 minutes in your day, block it off on your calendar, and start putting in the work until it becomes automatic.

The 10-Item Healthy Shopping List

Last week I mentioned I’d share my grocery list if it would help people. So instead of sharing one of my recipes this week, I’m going to share how I make it easier to feed my family healthy meals.

I always keep staples on hand to help limit what I need to purchase. This is especially helpful if you’re on a budget; just load up on staples when they are on sale.

My staples include: extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, spices, almond butter, pasta, rice, lentils, frozen chicken breast, frozen salmon filets, shrimp, grass-fed beef, ground, and steaks.

Outside of the staples, I try to limit the foods I need from the grocery store. I go every 3 to 5 days for me, but you can buy for a week. My typical list includes:

  1. Eggs

  2. Fresh-baked sourdough bread from our local bakery

  3. Greek Yogurt

  4. Kimchi

  5. Spinach

  6. Cucumbers

  7. Cherry tomatoes

  8. Avocados

  9. Some type of berries

  10. Garlic (makes everything better, but you can skip it if it causes you problems)

That’s it. The staples and my short list make it easy for me to quickly whip up the spinach salad or avocado toast recipe I’ve shared in past weeks. Or, I can make a delicious shrimp pasta with spinach and garlic, red pepper, and olive oil sauce. I can do a veggie scramble, or I can do a bowl with rice, chicken, spinach and kimchi. If my wife and I are too tired to make breakfast or lunch or feel like a sweet snack, we can have a bowl of Greek yogurt with berries and almond butter.

I love to cook, and I used to go wild and improvisational in my grocery store runs. Now that we have a beautiful baby to balance with our work, I’ve seen the wisdom of having basics on hand at all times. We still order pizza once a week and go out occasionally, but with a stocked refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, we make the choice to cook healthy meals at home an easy choice. And that’s what it’s all about - once you lower the barrier to entry to making delicious, healthy meals quickly, you want to cook at home more.

Let us know if this list helps you, and if you have a go-to list, share it with us on Twitter.