From Iceland — Dopamine Systems Activated: Alda Karen Hjaltalín's Perfect Day

Dopamine Systems Activated: Alda Karen Hjaltalín’s Perfect Day

Published June 22, 2021

Dopamine Systems Activated: Alda Karen Hjaltalín’s Perfect Day
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Alda Karen Hjaltalín is a writer and speaker who you might know for her celebrated Life Masterclass series and her best selling book ‘Lífsbiblían’. Here’s her perfect day!


Note: It’s my Perfect Day, and so I have in my possession a space age teleportation device that allows me to travel to all my favourite places—my hometown Akureyri, New York City, where I live, and Los Angeles, where I will be moving to next year—in but a moment.

Dopamine systems go!

My Perfect Day would definitely start in LA with a workout on the beach with some of my friends. We’d get our blood pumping to get our dopamine systems working for the day and we’d end the workout by running into the ocean.

Then, it’s time to pop over to New York City for brunch because no one does brunch like New Yorkers do brunch. My favourite restaurant at the moment is Ladybird; we’d get four vegan tapas dishes together. There’s something about sharing food while you talk philosophy and contemplate life with your best friends… Which always happens to include a lot of bottomless mimosas, of course.

Grandma knows best

After brunch, I’d go do a lecture, where I talk to people about this weird but fun life experience we’re having together. Isn’t it insane how we are all so concerned about life being short when it’s actually the longest thing you will ever do?

Then I’d head to Akureyri to have some coffee with the family at Barr Kaffihús in Hof. I’d definitely take some time to have a one-on-one with my grandma—that woman’s got some kick-ass life advice. I’ll give you a taste: Watch out for your thoughts when you’re alone and watch out for your behaviour when you’re in a group. After giving grandma and my parents a big old family hug, I take my cousins out on the golf course and whoop their ass on the green eagle wise at Þverá Golf Course. (Golf peeps will know what I’m talking about.)

It’s been a big day already, so then I’d take a little break to read by the harbour in Akureyri with my feet in the ocean. Right now I’m reading Poetics by Aristotle and I’m loving it. The Greeks really knew what was up didn’t they?

I’m very inspired now so it’s off to a soccer practice in Akureyri at Boginn with FC Smice—we were once sponsored by Smirnoff and decided to keep the “smice” name but that’s a long story, even longer than the story behind “Fearcity” the name of my soccer club in NYC, which involves some ex-cons, but I don’t think they’d want me talking about them in an Icelandic paper—my team, where I’m a midfielder.

Alda Karen brings balance to the night

After I’m all fresh after practise, I’d teleport all my friends from LA and Reykjavík over to NYC to Riis Park Beach for a beach barbeque. I’d play some more soccer while other friends had a few games of beach volleyball. Then we’d watch the sunset together and talk about the beauty that is life and friendship.

At the end of the night, I’d have a movie night watching all the Star Wars prequels with my surprise guests, Abraham Hicks, Brené Brown, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, Mark Manson and Alan Watts and talk about human behaviour and how R2D2 is actually the best thing to ever happen to the universe.

Photo by Art Bicnick

Check out Alda Karen Hjaltalín and her upcoming projects on her Instagram. You can also check out the podcast SHEROES here and podcast Lífsbiblían here, both made by Alda Karen.

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