We’re swiftly approaching Blue Monday, which falls on the third Monday of January (16th) and is said to mark the unhappiest day of the year. We call bullsh*t – we’re simply not going to accept it. Blue Monday, as well as the rest of January, can be as happy as you want it to be! Here are a few ways to help you through and out of the blue.
1. Enrol on a mindfulness course with The Mindfulness Project
Over the past year or so, you’ve probably heard a lot about mindfulness and the benefits of meditation, but the chances are, you haven’t tried it out properly for yourself. (No – downloading a free app and doing the demo while simultaneously painting your nails doesn’t count.) It’s been proven that with practice, mindfulness – or learning to be present in the moment – can have unbelievable effects on your emotional well-being, relieving symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety, as well as improving performance at work and relationships. The Mindfulness Project – London’s first dedicated space for secular meditation – offers various courses both online and in-house. They’re based in a rather lovely townhouse that overlooks the gorgeous Fitzroy Garden – an oasis of Georgian peace in the heart of central London. You can have a look here when the next 6-8 week courses begin. The Mindfulness Project also run one-off sessions and classes, including a Mindful Nature Connection walk, where no previous experience is required.
2. Get blow-dried happy at Duck and Dry
It’s a universal truth that no feeling beats having your hair played with. A bit of pampering does wonders for the soul, particularly if your soul is fond of having luscious-looking hair. Duck and Dry, famed for blowing the golden locks of some of Chelsea’s finest, is a perfect place for a volumising pick-me-up. Choose from a selection of styles in their ‘blow dry menu’, or go for a style entirely your own. Time your visit with a big night out or special occasion, as the ladies at Duck and Dry will wash, style and tousle your hair to perfection. You just need to sit there, feeling pretty and blissfully sipping on some bubbly. Services start at £28 for an Express Blow Dry, while it’s £32 for a regular Blow Dry and more for Up Dos. You can book into either their Chelsea or West End locations here.
3. Go for a Superfood Brunch at Christopher’s W2
A healthy January doesn’t need to be a miserable January. Christopher’s Martini Bar and Grill, located just off Covent Garden, has launched a new delicious and healthy superfood brunch menu, so you can get your avo and runny egg fix without feeling guilty. The service and atmosphere at Christopher’s oozes a casual decadence, without trying too hard. For brunch, choose between the fully-loaded avocado toast, the filling egg-white omelette, a butternut squash and grain salad (served with optional blackened salmon) or ever-so-tempting buckwheat pancakes. Wash it down with a refreshing pressed juice, and you’ll be practically glowing for the weekend ahead… And then you can reward yourself with a bellini, for being so darn healthy.
18 Wellington St, London WC2E 7DD
4. Admire the lovely Horniman Museum and Gardens
Open since the Victorian age, the Horniman Museum has a weird and wonderful collection of artefacts and extraordinary objects, in addition to its acclaimed aquarium. There’s also incredible 16-acre gardens, which boast stunning views of the city. Within it lies the gorgeous Grade II listed conservatory, originally built in 1894. Just gazing at the glass and cast iron structure in the crisp wintry sunlight is enough to warm the inner-romantic in everyone and will definitely make you smile. (See our guide to the best London museums.)
100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ
5. Get nostalgic at Pilvi Takala’s Exhibition at The Pump House
Nothing makes a gloomy adult happier (or more envious) than the sight of children having fun. From 11th January until 27th March, the Pump House Gallery is presenting an exhibition following on from Pilvi Takala’s 2013 project, The Committee. Takala previously invited a group of children from a Bow youth centre to spend the £7,000 funded by the Emdash award in any way they wished. And the results were as lovely as you’d anticipate; with the money they decided to design and produce a custom-made bouncy castle, called the ‘Five Stare Bouncy House’. It was to be used by them, as well as hired out to help raise funds for the youth centre. Takala’s video follows the process and the children’s rationale of spending the money in this way. At the new exhibition, you’ll also get the chance to see (and bounce) on the bouncy castle on weekends – if the weather isn’t too terrible…
Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ
6. Beat the blues at the Winter Happiness Festival
From 21st January to 19th February 2017, the Happiness Team are running their Winter Happiness Festive, which proved to be extremely successful last year. This year, it will see the return of a metre-high pit filled with 24,000 white balls. The Ball Pit will be available to jump into for 4 weeks during the Winter Happiness Festival, which is taking place at the Museum of Happiness on Hanbury Street, just off Brick Lane. Visitors can book a 15-minute slot with the option of booking the entire pit for their group of friends, plus there’s even the option for businesses to book the pit for a team happiness meeting. Tickets for the festival launch on Blue Monday, 16th January, at 6.00am – you can find out more and sign up through their website.
Canvas Cafe, 42 Hanbury St, Shoreditch, London
Feature image credit: Tatina UK