Dirt Can Make You Happy. Yes, gardening is a good outdoor activity that produces something and can, in turn, produce a feeling of satisfaction that comes from that, it also can get you out in the sunlight and make you exercise, both of which we know to improve mood, but it has an added benefit as well. There is a bacteria in the soil called Mycobacterium vaccae which has been proven to raise serotonin levels in the brain, which is the important chemical to fight depression. It seems crazy, but it is true. Even if you don't garden, just standing barefoot in the soil or picking some of it up with your hands can help you feel better about life. How to get high on soil. So if you want to experience more joy in your life in a more natural way than popping a pill, go outside, preferably barefoot and better yet, plant something that you can enjoy later in the year. Spring is just around the corner and it's a great time to start a garden, even if it is just a tiny one on the windowsill. Just make sure not to get any kind of sterilized soil that has had the bacteria removed ... get the real thing. :-) Healing Landscapes. There is even a possibility that a vaccine against depression may someday be available! How awesome is that?