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Go to Your Happy Place
Many studies have shown that depression is linked to memory problems, but keeping your brain sharp requires more than just staving off the blues—you need to actively practice positivity. A 2013 study in the journal Cognition and Emotion found that older adults who experienced positive emotions improved their memory by roughly 19 percent. "Positive moods are thought to trigger the release of the chemical dopamine in brain regions involved in memory, which may help improve recall," says study coauthor Ellen Peters, PhD, professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. If you want to reap the same benefits, try practicing meditation—one study found that the proven stress buster can help increase dopamine levels.