Whether it’s the temperamental weather, the people who insist on standing on the left of the escalator, or the to-do list that has become so long, it could basically be classed as a novel at this point; there are plenty of reasons why life in London can have us feeling a little bit down-in-the-dumps at times.
We know that some days it’s harder than others to don your glitteriest pairs of positive pants, but we’re here to lend a helping hand. So without further ado, here is our roundup of the best feel-good things to do in the city that will hopefully help you turn that frown upside down.
1. Take a puppy yoga class
We’re taking downward dog to a whole new level here and starting off strong with the ultimate mood booster: puppy yoga. We all know that yoga is good for you, both mentally and physically, but throw in the additional serotonin boost of puppies, and you’ve got yourself an absolute winner. The health benefits of yoga and the sheer-and-utter joy of cuddling a puppy? You’ll be feeling paw-sitive in no time.
2. Unleash your inner child at an adult playground
Forget about all of your adulty problems and responsibilities for an evening and pay a visit to Roof East, the happiest rooftop bar in the city and an absolute wonderland for big kids. We’re talking giant Jenga, crazy golf, a rooftop cinema, and pure joy by the bucket-load.
Plan your visit here.
3. Have a barrel of laughs at a live comedy show
There are few things more happiness-inducing than having a good old belly laugh (it’s an actual scientific fact, did you know?). Chuckle your way through London’s side-splitting comedy scene and see for yourself if laughter really is the best medicine.
4. Learn some impressive new cooking skills
Spending time in the kitchen is a great way to ease stress and boost good vibes, so pop on your chef’s hat and get yourself down to one of London’s top-notch cooking classes. Unleashing your inner Jamie Oliver and cooking up a storm? Great. All that, and then not even being responsible for the cleaning up after? Even better.
5. Let off steam with some axe throwing
There’s nothing like lobbing a sharp object into the abyss to offload some pent-up stress, hey? If it’s a cathartic release you’re after; look no further than axe throwing. It’s become increasingly popular over the years and luckily for us maniacs; London is not short of venues for you to aggressively fling an axe at a poor, unassuming target. Round up your friends and get ready to channel your inner vikings.
6. Dust off your trainers at a ParkRun
Now I know that for some people (and by some people, I mean me), the thought of going for a run is anything but mood-boosting but I must admit that there might be something in the whole exercise-gives-you-endorphins-and-endorphins-make-you-happy thing.
Every Saturday morning, Londoners are dragging themselves out of their beds and congregating in their local parks and commons to kick the weekend off with a 5k. Although there are certainly things I’d prefer to be doing on a Saturday morning, it does sound like a pretty great way to meet new people, soak up some vitamin D, spend some time in nature, and release some of those good old endorphins that everybody’s always banging on about. Plus it’s free so you really can’t complain, can you?
Find your nearest parkrun here.
7. Sing your heart out at karaoke
Next up on the list of the most feel-good things to do in London is of course karaoke. Bars and pubs all over the city have set aside spaces for you and your friends to belt out ballads to your heart’s content, and you guessed it – singing (no matter how off-key) is yet another way to release our new favourite thing: endorphins.
Gather a crowd and prepare to feel as joyful (and quite frankly, iconic) as you did when you were singing into your hairbrush in your childhood bedroom (don’t pretend you never did it).
8. Soak up the beauty of a botanical garden
From an Arboretum and an Alpine House to a Palm House and a Pagoda, there really is something beautiful to gawp every step of the way and if that’s not enough to put a spring in your step, I don’t know what is.
Plan your visit here.
9. Bring the outside in at a terrarium-making class
If venturing out to an actual botanical garden isn’t quite your thing and you’d rather be sat somewhere warm and cosy, a terrarium workshop could be just the thing you need. The perfect way to get your fix of nature without having to face the inevitable British rain, and London is home to plenty of classes and workshops that will show you how to make and care for your very own mini ecosystem.
Not only is this a completely wholesome way to while away an afternoon, there are also scientific studies that show how positively plants impact our mental health and wellbeing. Am I basically a scientist now?
Plan your visit here.
10. Bounce your worries away at a trampoline park
The final entry on our list of the best feel-good things to do in London is another one for the big kids out there. Get ready to be transported back to the days of turkey twizzlers and tamagotchis with a trip to one of London’s trampoline parks.
Your blood will be pumping, your spirits will be lifted, and (for the last time today, I promise) those sweet, sweet endorphins will be flowing.