The first month of the year can be one of the most depressing dates in the calendar. It’s wet, dreary and cold and after the Christmas period we often have to pull the purse strings tight.  To wash away the January blues and to improve your mood, we’ve put together a list of 10 IDEAL ways to make you feel happy

Laugh and Smile

It sounds simple, but it works. After you laugh, you go into a relaxed state and your blood pressure and heart rate drop below normal, so you feel more relaxed than usual. Laughter also indirectly stimulates endorphins that make us feel good.  So laugh and smile even when you don’t feel like it.   You can even take Laughter Yoga classes which is a combination of Laughter Exercises with Yoga Breathing. According to practitioners,  Laughter Yoga changes the physiology of your body so that you start to feel happier.

Save Money

Thinking about money can be depressing, however Government research suggests that saving £50 a month, which works out at £1.66 a day can actually lift your mood. So next time you buy that morning coffee on the way to work, why not just make one for free instead. Think what you could do with an extra £50 in your pocket.

The Power of Cute

Japanese researchers from Hiroshima University have found that looking at pictures of cute animals can make you happier and actually help you to concentrate, subsequently improving our performance at work. Why not make your screensaver at work a picture of some fluffy ducklings or some cute kittens – go on you know you want to.

Learn something new

Learning and trying new things and activities keep are brains stimulated. People who try and experience new things are more happier than people who are stuck in a routine. Research shows that people who engage in new experiences have more positive emotions than people who don’t. So why not go on an adventure and switch up your routine, it will be worth it.

Make your bed

Believe it or not, making your bed can contribute to your happiness.  According to Karen Miller,  author of Momma Zen the state of your bed is the state of your head.  So when you leave your bed in a mess, you can feel disorganized and defeated.  Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project, explains that making your bed in the morning is one of the simplest tasks you can adopt to positively impact your happiness.

Help others

According to The Journal of Consumer Psychology, the more altruistic you are, the happier you are. Helping others, volunteering, or donating goods and services can leave us with a feeling of contentment and can result in a ‘helper’s high’.

Treasure family and friends

Happier people tend to have good families, friends, and supportive relationships. Studies show that even when we don’t feel like it, talking or socializing with our loved ones instantly make us feel better. So try and make a phone call to at least one friend or family member a day. Texts and emails don’t count!

Savour Everyday moments

Research suggests that people who “savor” pleasant moments from ordinary everyday events, that they normally don’t take no notice of  show increased happiness and reduction in depression levels.

Listen to the Radio

According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, listening to the radio makes people happier and boosts levels of energy. As human beings we are social creatures, even listening to radio presenters interacting with one another can make us feel part of something, which in turn helps to generate happiness. Furthermore, according to the Discovery Channel, listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical which instantly makes us feel elated.

Look at something blue

A study has found that looking at the colour blue boosts our self confidence, reduces stress and makes us happy. Researchers from the University of Sussex suggests that when people see the colour blue , their brain waves show increased happiness levels.  So why not make a mood board of all things blue, and don’t forget to include that holiday picture of a sandy beach with crystal clear blue water, or the sky on a beautiful sunny day.