Serotonin tattoo meaning and symbolism

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT), also known as the “happiness hormone,” is a monoamine neurotransmitter that plays important roles in the functioning of our bodies and brains.

Among many other things, it’s responsible for regulating our mood and emotions and researchers believe that there might be a link between serotonin levels in the brain and depression.

Low levels of serotonin are associated with feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, fatigue and suicidal thoughts (National Institutes of Health).

What’s the meaning behind serotonin tattoos?

The serotonin tattoo meaning is associated with depression, mental illness and suicide. It’s also seen as a sign of wisdom, knowledge and insight.

Serotonin tattoos are becoming more popular among people that deal with depression and mental illness, but also among tattoo enthusiasts that want to show the world their interests. It’s one of the most innovative tattoos in modern tattoo art.

Serotonin ankle tattoo
Serotonin ankle tattoo @ felicia_lozoya

What’s the best color for serotonin tattoos?

The serotonin tattoo is often inked in black ink. It’s believed that black symbolizes the darkness of depression and mental illness, which sets this tattoo apart from other tattoos related to happiness and optimism.

Other than black, this type of tattoo can be done in different colors. Blue, green and purple are the most suitable ones. These colors represent calmness, serenity and tranquility respectively, which can be associated with serotonin levels in our brains.

What’s the best location for serotonin tattoos?

The traditional place to get a serotonin tattoo is on one’s wrist because it can be easily hidden by clothing.

Nevertheless, it can be inked anywhere on the body. This type of tattoo can make a powerful statement and grab people’s attention. It’s not for someone that wants to keep their ink hidden away like other types of tattoos do.

What about serotonin tattoo designs?

The imagery of the serotonin tattoos is more than just beautiful images. It all strongly depends on the bearer’s experiences, thoughts and feelings.

It can be anything from abstract shapes to mandalas, bio-mechanical drawings or words relating to depression like “lonely”, “empty” or “alone”.

Are serotonin tattoos gender neutral ?


Having a serotonin tattoo doesn’t have to be linked with a particular gender, because it’s a symbol of knowledge and insight.

It also depends on the bearer’s interpretation of this meaning. Serotonin tattoos don’t have to be inked by either men or women

serotonin arm tattoo
serotonin arm tattoo @ studiobysol