Today is the saddest day of the Christmas break according to one study, but don’t get down just yet, there’s a lot you can do to beat the winter blues.
In fact, it is entirely possible to feel happier every day without spending a penny.
Dr Teresa Belton, an education expert at the University of East Anglia and the author of Happier People Healthier Planet, gave the i100.co.uk some top tips for promoting happiness.
Here’s our top five.
Call a friend
Talking to a friend you’ve not spoken to in a while can be a great little pick me up.
Doctor Bolton explains that people who have a number of friends who they can discuss things with tend to be much happier than those who don’t, and if you happen to open up a bottle of wine or crate of beer while you’re chatting, that’s hardly your fault.
Having cordial relationships, whether with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues or fleeting acquaintances, is fundamental to personal wellbeing.
Get rid of some of your old junk
Doctor Bolton explains that creating space by de-cluttering helps relieve stress and gives us a feeling of lightness.
It also helps free up some space in your house and gets rid of the crap you’ve been hording for far too long.
Giving away possessions, donating them to charity, rather than selling them, is a form of generosity and being generous makes us feel good.
Look through your belongings and get rid of things that you just don’t use.
Embrace your inner kid
By being playful we open ourselves up to new possibilities.
This includes becoming more creative, thinking in new ways, picking up new interests that could potentially lead to better achievements.
So basically, channel your inner kid, f*ck around a bit and stop taking yourself so seriously.
We might be the social media generation, but don’t be afraid to engage with people in real life.
The doctor says offering to help your neighbour with their garden, leaking pipe, shopping or taking up regular voluntary work can help to beat the blues.
Feeling needed and helping people will make you happier – and probably rack up those karma points too. Win, win.
Get the blood pumping
Exercising distracts us and gets us out of our heads.
It generates endorphins which make us feel good, and spending time outdoors can make you a happier person.
If you don’t like getting your blood pumping in the traditional sense, how about indulging in some sex with your significant other?
That’s a mutually pleasurable way to get the blood pumping – or so we hear.
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.