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How to Release Happy Brain Chemicals with Radha Agrawal

Radha is the co-Founder, CEO and Chief Community Architect of Daybreaker, the early morning dance, and wellness movement that currently holds events in 25 cities and over a dozen college campuses around the world with a community of almost half a million people. She is a successful entrepreneur (Co-Founder THINX, LiveItUp), author, globe-trotting speaker, DJ, inventor, and investor.

MTV named Radha “one of 8 women who will change the world.” She lives in Brooklyn NY with her love Eli, a baby on the way, and her twin sister Miki — with lots of family and friends within a few blocks. You can most often find her tinkering with new social experiments, community and experience design projects, speaking around the world, or on the dance floor at Daybreaker in New York City if she’s not dancing at sunrise in another part of the world.

How do we release happy brain chemicals and not feel loneliness?

More studies indicate that loneliness leads to Alzheimers, dementia, and other mental challenges. Even though we’re more connected than ever before via social media, the level of loneliness people feel have been rising.

To dive deeper into this topic, I have my good friend, Radha Agrawal, in the studio today. Radha is a community force, successful entrepreneur (Co-Founder THINX, LiveItUp), author, globe-trotting speaker, DJ, inventor, and investor. Her new book, Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life, answers the questions, ‘How the heck do I find my people?’ and ‘How do I create large and meaningful communities in the real world?’.

Radha spent 18 months synthesizing her key methods for community building, peeling back the curtain on exactly what she and her team did (and continues to do) at Daybreaker so that anyone interested in creating their community can have a blueprint for how to do it.

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"Getting to know yourself so you can find the right people leads to a life of wealth, health, and prosperity."


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  • When you dance you’re activating pathways in the brain that might have been lying dormant since you were a child.
  • Daybreaker: 500,000 people in 25 states, wake up at 6am before going to work and join a dance floor and performance.


  • When you belong it releases endorphins: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin (DOSE).
  • Within your communities do you feel a deep sense of belonging?
  • Phones are casinos in your pocket: you feel like you have to keep up with how new and sexy phones and technology are in the way you run events and foster connections.
  • When you design experiences, can you compete with the cell phone by triggering releases of dopamine in the same way your phone does?
  • How do you feel a sense of connection? How can you create novel experiences?
  • How you enter and exit a room are the parts of an event you remember (primacy and recency effect).


  • The science behind gathering you’re not thinking about.
  • Intentional and thoughtful with each aspect of the gathering experience.
  • Within Daybreak: dopamine high from ticking off the accomplishment of getting up early, hug at the door, dancing, music, contact with other people.
  • You’re missing the connection in your daily life: a study showing Americans touch each other once in a conversation, Mexican 180 times in a conversation.


  • Dopamine (sense of accomplishment, pleasure): anything you can complete that gives you a sense of accomplishment will give you a rush of dopamine, new and novel experiences.
  • Oxytocin: (connection and touch hormone) are you connecting with your friends? How can we connect with our friends more in a way that isn’t sexual?
  • Serotonin (sense of worth, connectedness to a whole): identify 3 things you’re grateful for.
  • Endorphins (runner’s high): what are you doing to sweat and release endorphins?


  • Offering a pathway out of loneliness.
  • Step 1 is to go inside: gentle self-awareness—what are my values? What am I interested in today? What am I good at? What can I bring to a community?
  • Going inside will help you to be able to go out in the world and find your people.
  • Learn who you are aside from what the world or other people want you to be.
  • If you can’t belong to yourself you can’t belong within the rest of the world.
  • By knowing yourself, you’re better able to serve others. And when you serve others you’re happy.
  • The whole point of self-development is to be able to better connect with others.


  • Energy is the backbone of humanity—are you walking in with positive energy or negative energy?
  • Who are the 5 people you’re spending your time with? Ask yourself how they’re contributing to the energy in your life.


  • The biggest challenge for the world right now is to prioritize community and belonging: find your people.
  • Stop prioritizing love, romance, and career path, and focus on community and tribe first.
  • Getting to know yourself so you can find the right people leads to a life of wealth, health, and prosperity.
  • We are nothing without community and friends.
  • Harvard study: the most important thing for a happy life is relationships.


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