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Jan 15, 2017

Today we had fascinating conversation with Dr. Breuning about why we are the way we are and what to do about our negative tendencies.

Loretta Graziano Breuning is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, which helps people manage the ups and downs of their mammal brain. As professor emerita of management at California State University East Bay, and as a mom, she was not convinced by prevailing theories of human motivation. She learned that our happy brain chemicals swing up and down because they have a job to do. When you know what they do in animals, you can make peace with your inner mammal. You can wire yourself to enjoy more happy chemicals and relieve more unhappy chemicals. Find out how at

Breuning is the author of Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin Levels; The Science of Positivity: Stop Negative Thought Patterns By Changing Your Brain Chemistry; and I, Mammal: How to Make Peace with the Animal Urge for Social Power.

She is a Docent at the Oakland Zoo, where she gives tours on mammalian social behavior. And she marvels each day at the overlap between a wildlife documentary and the lyrics to a love song. 

Loretta spent a year in Africa as a United Nations Volunteer after graduating from Cornell and Tufts University. She learned about the corruption pressures that undermine foreign aid efforts, and she determined to teach her students an alternative. She wrote the book "Grease-le$$: How the Thrive without Bribes in Developing Countries,” and has lectured on that subject in China, Armenia, the Philippines, and Albania.

Breuning loves to help people discover their power over their mammalian operating system. Many free resources are available at

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