Why Looking at Cute Animal Photos Boosts Your Mood and Prevents Depression

Why Looking at Cute Animal Photos Boosts Your Mood and Prevents Depression

Cute animal photos are a great way to brighten your day. Whether it be an adorable puppy, a tiny kitten or in our case quokkas. Looking at something cute can instantly change your mood and improve your outlook on life.

The quokka is no exception to this, known as the happiest animal in the world. They’re adorable and extremely cute. For some reason we are drawn to their cuteness which is probably why this website for quokkas exists. 


But why does this happen? Well, there are several psychological reasons why looking at cute animal photos can put you in a good mood:

Makes you kinder

The more you look at cute animals, the more likely you are to be kinder to others.

This makes sense—after all, we're not all born with a "help other people" gene. But it's also been proven in studies: according to National Library of Medicine  paper.

"when we see puppies, our brains release oxytocin," which makes us feel nurturing and affectionate towards those animals (and then maybe even towards other humans). This explains why many people who work in animal shelters volunteer there—they're genuinely interested in helping animals!

It's like when you're feeling sad, and then you see a cute animal and it instantly makes you feel better. You know what I mean? Cute animals are just so adorable that it makes me happy to look at them"

But why is it that we're so drawn to cute animals? According to Independent The preference for cuteness may have evolved as a way of attracting attention from caregivers and fostering attachments.



Gives you a Mood Boost

It's true that positive emotions are contagious. When you're around someone who's happy and smiling, it makes sense that you'd feel happier too. And we can't all be around someone who's always smiling and happy all the time (do those people exists?). But looking at cute animals is another way of getting your mood boosted and feeling good.


Bonus Tip: Beyond the cuteness content. There are many health benefits to actually having a pet. They can help keep you active, they provide companionship during times when you may feel lonely, and they make you smile!


"Their little smiles always brighten up my day" - Jonty

"It makes me want to file to Australia" - Madelene

"Makes me feel like I'm back in Australia, and then of course, they are just a joy to watch" - Nadiah J.

"It make the world look better to me. Their little smile tell me it's worthwhile" - Isa

"They always make me smile! A perfect way to start the day. Hope to see one in real life someday." - Aimee G. from our Quokka Facebook Group discussions


Makes you Happier

Watching cute animal photos has been proven to be one of the best ways to cheer up and put you in a good mood. It's like a pick-me-up, but with no negative side effects. 

Cute animal photos are also great for helping us deal with our emotions and cope with stress. Now, not being bias here, but quokkas are the cutest animals on earth, and there’s no reason not to look at them when they make us feel good.

When we see something cute, it triggers a happiness hormone called dopamine—the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.  Released in our brain which makes us feel better about things.

It's hard to find anything other than food and drugs that have a similar kind of effect on people, so if you want an easy solution to instantly improve your mood for free, look at some cute animal photos on our @quokkahub Instagram gallery 

The internet is full of cute animal photos, and it’s impossible not to be happy when you see them. There are so many different types of animals in the world, but there’s something about baby animals and their uniqueness that makes people fall in love with them every time. Possibly the rarity of the occasion, as we don't experience many baby animals in person. 

Quokka’s are extremely cute but equally inaccessible as they’re only in one small place in the world. So if you aren’t planning on going to Australia any time soon then the only way you can see a quokka is online.

Caution: Don't get too much of a Good Thing

  • Don't spend too much time looking at cute animal photos.
  • Don't become addicted to cute animal photos.
  • Don't use cute animal photos as a substitute for real life interactions.
  • Don't let cute animal photos take over your life.

Seriously the last bullet point, can't stress this enough.


How Cuteness Affects Your Brain.

When you look at a cute animal, your brain responds the same way it does when you receive a reward by releasing dopamine—the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. 

If the animal is real, like a receiving a physical reward then we believe this effect dopamine is greatly amplified by all our senses.

So what happens when you see an adorable photo? Because they aren't real, it doesn’t directly trigger our reward system—but they do trigger our brain's pleasure centers by triggering similar responses in the visual cortex (the part of the brain responsible for recognizing images) as photos of human faces do.


Looking at Cute Things can Help You Focus Better and be More Productive.

Looking at cute animals can help you focus better and be more productive, according to a study published in PLOS ONE. The researchers found that looking at adorable images of baby animals helped people concentrate on tasks that involved doing math or puzzles, and made them more willing to work hard for longer periods of time.


Add More Cuteness Your Life

The next time you feel overwhelmed with work or stress, or if you just need a pick-me-up,go  look at some cute quokka photos (our @quokkaub Instagram gallery of course), maybe go visit the quokkas in person yourself. Or surround yourself with animals. Like, visit your local shelter or join a local rescue group. You’ll probably find yourself feeling happier and more fulfilled.


- @daxon

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