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Blue Monday: 16 ways to beat the blues and turn that frown upside down

Remember, the most important decision we all make is to be in a good mood…

Leanne Bayley

Today is officially Blue Monday, aka the most depressing day of the year - and yes it’s cold, yes you’re back at work, yes Christmas is a distant memory and pay day feels like it’s never going to come, but do you know what, we’re not here for a pity party. It’s time to turn that frown upside down - here are all the ways to combat the blues on Blue Monday...

Have a cup of positivi-TEA

Yes, a good ol’ cup of tea. Perhaps kick start your day with a cup of chamomile tea which is said to help calm anxiety. Also, you can also save lives with a cuppa - get together with your friends, family or workmates on “Brew Monday” and have a cuppa, raise vital funds for Samaritans and beat the January blues. Sign up on samaritans.org.

Wear a bright and colourful outfit

It’s no secret, colour can be a mood booster, and colour analyst Gabriella Winters of Chromology UK explains: “People absorb and reflect the same colours differently depending on their unique biological makeup. When a colour is placed adjacent to your face, it will reflect its wavelength onto you.” Wearing the “right” colours can make you appear healthier, more radiant and make your eyes and hair ‘pop’. However, the wrong ones can have the opposite effect. “Yellowish or greenish casts from too-warm colours are common, greyish or reddish casts from too-cool colours are also typical.”

Choose your perfume wisely

Blue Monday isn’t the day to get it wrong when it comes to your fragrance which is why we’ll be opting for something zesty and uplifting like the Jo Malone Grapefruit Cologne, £94. According to some studies, grapefruit can curb depression and enhance memory. What’s more, research from Japan’s Osaka University shows that the scent of grapefruit actually boosts metabolism and reduces food cravings.

Get a date

If you’re single, you’ll be interested to know that Tinder saw the biggest sign ups to the dating app on the eve of Blue Monday back in 2018. Perhaps this could be the perfect time to find your Mr Right, what say you?   

Go colourful with your lunch plans

In London’s Chotto Matte, chef Jordan Sclare has created the Chromotherapy menu in collaboration with Island Poké and it’s designed to lift spirits using the healing power of different colours and moods. The menu serves up a full spectrum of the rainbow, and what’s more, £1 from every bill is donated to MIND Charity. Prices start at £8.95.

Dance like no one’s watching

If you’ve not heard of Seen on Screen, you’ve got to look them up if you’re London based - it’s fun with a capital F. On Monday you could book yourself into the feel-good Pop class for a dose of nostalgia that will cure the Monday blues and more. From old-school J.Lo to up-to-the-minute Little Mix, your guilty pleasures are covered, and the upbeat routines are without doubt the funnest dance workouts around.

Snuggle with dogs

What better way to get rid of your January blues than cosying up with a furry friend at South Places Hotels’ new ‘Sip & Snuggle’ series. On 21 January and 26 January, South Place Hotel invites dogs of all shapes and sizes (and their owners) to cosy up on the heated Secret Garden terrace and enjoy classic films with a warming tipple in hand. Lush.

Have some pamper time

The link between stress and skin is undeniable, and you might find yourself with dull, dry skin this blue Monday - which is why an evening pamper could be just what the Doctor ordered. Before you go to sleep, light a candle (we love Eloise Hall's Contentment Candle, £29, which is made with a restorative fragrance of Patchouli & Rose), and enjoy a long soak in the bath. We swear by the Kneipp Lavender Balancing Mineral Balth Salts, £8.95, for the ultimate de-stress soak. Afterwards, it’s all about the skin care. The Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered By Ceramide Night Cream, £42, revitalises the skin’s appearance and is clinically proven to help induce a more restful sleep while also targeting first signs of ageing.

Read a self-care book

Ten to Zen by Owen O’Kane is the latest book sweeping your Instagram feed. The Amazon bestseller has a few celeb fans - from Fearne Cotton to Dame Kelly Holmes, Joe Wicks and Saira Khan. The book reveals the clinically-researched techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety, and generally feel calmer and happier.

Listen to a podcast

Searching for a new podcast? Tune into The Naked Professors, which is free on all podcast streaming sites. Made up of TV’s Matt Johnson and life coach/public speaker Ben Bidwell, the pair joined forces to strip back the mask of masculinity, and they talk openly and honestly about mental health with their celebrity guests. If you’d like to know more, watch the boys speak in their first HELLO! Facebook Live.

Go shopping

Ah yes, shopping. Ok, so pampering is nice, and so is reading a lovely book, but sometimes the thrill of a purchase will release the endorphins you need. If, like us, you’re STILL waiting for payday, we’ll be using Klarna’s pay later option. ASOS here we come! On a separate note, a pink suited Snoop Dogg is in the new ‘Smoooth’ campaign for Klarna, and that alone will spark joy into your life.

Marie Kondo your life

Talking of sparking joy, if you’re buying new clothes you might want to get rid of the old. Decluttering is a brilliant mood booster, and if you’ve watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, you’ll be eager to transform your home life.

RELATED: 5 lessons we can all learn from Marie Kondo

Book a blow dry

If the idea of staying in and folding your pants seems like a one-way ticket to the bottom of a bottle of wine, perhaps rally up the girls and head out - who cares if it’s a school night. The perfect way to get you in the mood is to book in for a blow dry - if you’re London-based be sure to pay a visit to Salon 64, we’ve tried the Cloud Nine blow dry and it’s incredible - and you’ll be able to get a moment of zen as you get your hair washed - because the area is in a secret, closed off white, bright room behind wooden doors. Basically, it’s in a very small intimate room with zero distractions - definitely say yes to the head massage. Prices start from £30.

Buy flowers FOR SOMEONE ELSE

Because bringing a smile to someone else is what life is all about. Someone might be feeling more blue than you, so this is something you can do to bring a smile to both of your faces. While you might be too late for ordering Bloom & Wild, you could just pop into your nearest M&S and buy a lovely bouquet.

Watch something fun on TV

Catch episode three of Spencer, Vogue and Baby Too - the new parents will make you smile, guaranteed. In this episode, which airs at 9pm on E4, sees the pair organise a naming ceremony for Theodore, and Spencer takes part in a charity boxing match - but Vogue isn’t impressed. Uh-oh.  

Sleep your way to a better mood

If all else fails - and you’re still feeling blue - listen to some music, read a book, write your goals in a journal and spritz your pillow with mood lifting lavender, and catch some Zs. We love This Works Sleep Power Nap Spray, £28.

Oh, and this might cheer you up - HELLO! is on sale on Tuesday... 

If you’re feeling more than blue, the Samaritans offer emotional support by phone, email, text or face-to-face at its 201 branches. Call Samaritans for free anytime on 116 123 – this number won’t show up on your phone bill. To make an appointment to see a trained volunteer in person, call 01462 455333.

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