The Helper’s High: Do You Have It?

Helping others

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
                                                    Volume 17, Number 8

Have you ever helped another person out and felt terrific afterward? It’s simple. Doing good makes us feel good. Studies have shown that people who help other people tend to be happier.

This is the Helper’s High and has been described as a feeling of elation, exhilaration, and increased energy followed by a period of calm and serenity due to the release of endorphins and dopamine.

Studies have also shown that people who participate in acts of kindness have better mental and physical health.

We urge you to get the “Helpers High” by donating to Maui relief efforts. Click on this link, Helping Maui, to find multiple ways of offering help.

This month’s E-Letter offers suggestions on how you can get the Helper’s High. Dr. Kimmel’s monthly blog is about Travel After Covid and can be found here.

We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the positive and compassionate comments we have received.


                                               (Photo by Top Sphere Media)

Today, it seems like our world is filled with frustration, anger, and fear. But we see and hear stories of people who go out of their way to help others. Good Samaritans often put their lives in danger to help others. GoFundMe accounts are numerous and charitable donations are strong.

But why?

One answer may be the Helper’s High. Doing good just makes us feel good.

                   You give but little when you give of your possessions.            It is when you give of yourself that you truly give…Khalil Gibran

The Helper’s High is a description of the positive feelings people get when they help a friend, neighbor, or even a stranger.

Despite the anxiety and negativity in our society, there are numerous examples of the outpouring of help and caring for those who have been harmed by hurricanes, floods, and other natural and manmade disasters.

People actually do come together to help one another. As humans, we have been hard wired to help others for our own survival.

More specifically, the Helper’s High has been described as a feeling of elation, exhilaration, and increased energy followed by a period of calm and serenity.

Research has shown that people do have positive emotions after selfless service to others. They also have better health and improved physical functioning.

Here’s why.

After doing something good, our bodies release endorphins and dopamine that create a natural high that reinforces our doing good. The high can last for weeks and can be reignited by just thinking about the helping act.

In addition, acts of kindness raise our levels of antibodies decreasing the chance of catching an illness.

A simple random act of kindness can make a huge impact on not only another person but yourself.

                        You have two hands: One to help yourself,
                       the second to help others… Audrey Hepburn

So, get high …by helping others.
Suggestions include :
1. Connecting with others
2. Allowing yourself to volunteer to be of service
3. Making a contribution to some organization in need
4. Checking in on your friends and neighbors
5. Setting an example to inspire others to be altruistic and compassionate

We offer the following information:


                        We make a living by what we get,
            but we make a life by what we give… Winston Churchill


  • The term, Helper’s High, was first coined in the 1980s and consists of positive feelings following selfless service to others
  • The “Helper’s High” describes the good feelings people get through helping others; it’s caused by the release of dopamine and endorphins into the brain
  • The natural high from the endorphins release reinforces us and motivates us to continue to help others and to do good
  • Studies have shown that people who help others are happier and have better mental and physical health
  • Brain scans of compassionate people also indicate that they are calmer, less stressed, have higher self-worth, and have better emotional health
  • “Helper’s High” has been described as a feeling of exhilaration, increased energy, and elation followed by serenity and peacefulness
  • Simple acts of kindness lower stress levels which can raise the levels of antibodies leading to improved immunity to colds and the flu
  • Humans have been hard wired for kindness, compassion, and altruism in order to maintain social bonds and to survive
  • Performing random acts of kindness can help a person feel in control of their lives; it also allows us to take a break from our own problems
  • Volunteering, helping others, and contributing connects you to others
  • Research by Allan Luks found that people who volunteered had the Helper’s High for weeks and even returned when just remembering their helping others
  • Getting the Helper’s High is easy: volunteer or just do a simple act of kindness


  • Get high by committing to helping others
  • Find ways to help at least one person each day
  • Volunteer in activities that you enjoy and are good at
  • Inspire others by being a good example of altruistic behavior
  • Praise others rather than criticize them
  • Do not support hateful, discriminatory, or otherwise harmful causes
  • Seek professional help if you are unable to find happiness in your life
    Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]
                            Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
                            5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
                            Coral Springs FL 33067

    As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email [email protected] and we will publish your comments next month.

    Till September…

    The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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    Copyright © 2023 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.