If you live in New England, like I do, or anywhere else in the world where the days are shorter, and the temperature is dropping, then you may be starting to feel that “seasonal depression.” I’m not going to pretend to know any of the science and facts behind seasonal depression. But what I do know is, we need to make sure we are taking care of not only our bodies, but our minds too.

Seasonal depression is not the only thing that may be taking a toll on your mind this time of year. The holidays are coming up and they can get pretty stressful. Stress is one of the main triggers for symptoms of clinical depression and can even lead to the development of depression. So, if you’re just bummed out about the shorter days and cold, if you’re stressed from the holidays, or suffer from depression in general… this is the drink for you.

Traditional hot cocoa (notice the spelling change from the title of this post), is made with overly processed cacao, added sweetneers and usually dairy. All of which we want to avoid for a healthy brain.

Here’s how this drink switches up the traditional hot cacao, to make a brain fueling Happy Hot Cacao:

This simple and delicious treat is powerful. It contains raw cacao and turmeric. Turmeric is a super spice when it comes to helping the brain. It helps combat negative effects that stress has on the brain by decreasing inflammation and cortisol. The raw cacao in this drink is powerful for maintaining a healthy brain as well. Raw Cacao contains tryptophan (also in dates, kiwi and figs) which is found in medications used in the conventional treatment of depression and other mood disorders, such as Prozac. Tryptophan helps to regular serotonin levels. Raw cacao also is an inhibitor for anadamide, which is known as the “bliss chemical”. Altogether, raw cacao should be considered the happy food. This drink also contains hemp seeds which have both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy brain. Lastly, it has almond milk, which, again has healthy fat. Healthy fats = a healthy brain.


Happy Hot Cacao

(makes 1 serving)


1 cup almond milk
2 tbs maple syrup
2 tsp raw cacao powder 1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbs hemp seeds

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth (about 60 seconds).
  2. Transfer to a small sauce pan and heat on medium heat. Whisk until boiling. Remove from heat immediately and enjoy!

*Note: This drink is also delicious served chilled so it can be enjoyed all year round!