9 Freebies & Fun Activities to Beat Blue Monday

Monday 20 January is officially the dreariest day of the year. Cold dark nights, post-Christmas melancholy and looming bills can stack up to leave us feeling down in the doldrums. But there are ways to beat Blue Monday… here are a few of our favourites

Lead image: Pexels / Pixabay

1 Laughing Yoga & Comedy with Atopia, Spitalfields
Ultra-low alcohol spirit Atopia is on a mission to make the gloomiest day of the year exceptional with a joy-inducing programme of laughing yoga, live comedy and more, taking place throughout the day on Monday 20 January. Free for all, Atopia’s Laughter Sessions take place at Benk + Bo – the cafe, co-working space, yoga studio and events space in Spitalfields. The mindfulness begins as soon as you walk through the door with the chance to take part in a live art project led by artist Hannah Al-Shemmeri, offering a creative outlet to scribble away the day’s worries. Plus, you’ll get a complimentary Atopia cocktail with only 0.5% ABV – the same amount of alcohol as overripe pineapple or bottle of kombucha. The lineup of comedians planning to mindfully turn frowns upside down include Sanderson Jones, known for his congregations of self-worship, the quick witted and socially conscious Helen Duff, Radio 4 and 5Live regular Chris Stokes, and the critically acclaimed Lauren Pattison. Laughing yoga extraordinaire Lotte Mikkelsen will lead the laughter meditation, provoking giggles simply by simulating laughter, followed by curated stretching and breathing exercises proven to bring happiness.
4-6 Gravel Lane, Spitalfields E1 7AW. To book your spot see dice.fm (drop-in spots available)

2 Free CBD Coffee at The Drug Store, Fenchurch Street
The Drug Store is hosting a series of mood-lifting in-store activations to beat Blue Monday at its newly opened boutique on Fenchurch Street, with 30% of proceeds from the day going to MIND. From 7.30am, a talented barista will be on hand to offer all passers-by a free CBD coffee to kick start their day. In store, Dr Julie Moltke, and the team from Pollen, will be on hand for complimentary consultations, helping unpick any questions visitors have about how CBD can work for you, whether you’re a CBD novice or someone who uses it regularly. Shoppers will also be given the opportunity to sample products, including Pollenade soft drinks and CBD gummies. Plus, you can also get a complimentary bespoke track from revolutionary new music meditation app, MEYA. The Drug Store is a leading CBD retailer offering a curated collection of the world’s most pioneering wellness brands that celebrate the extraordinary power of CBD.
125 Fenchurch Street, Bank EC3M 5DF; thedrug.store

3 The Magnum Ruby Room, South Bank
The Magnum Ruby Room, located on the South Bank’s Observation Point, has been designed with a colour psychology expert to invigorate the senses and you in the mood for a new taste experience – the world’s first ruby chocolate and ice cream combination. The Magnum Ruby Room takes inspiration from the mood enhancing hues of the natural pink colour of Ruby chocolate, the biggest chocolate innovation of the last 80 years and the fourth type of chocolate after dark, milk and white. Pink light, mirrored walls and an infinity mirror create a heightened optical feast, while a custom soundtrack helps to elevate your mood. Colour psychology expert, Karen Haller, says, ‘The softness of the pink shade of Ruby chocolate creates a physical soothing reaction, evoking a sense of warmth, snugness and comfort. It’s a colour that can lift you out of the grey winter gloom.’ Open Monday 20 January, 11am-8pm, and Tuesday 21 January, 11am-5pm.
56 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PP; @magnum

4 Fentimans Light Lunch at Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Garden Room, Charing Cross
This Blue Monday, Fentimans will breath uplifting sunlight into the stunning botanical interiors of Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Garden Room with a transformative display of serotonin boosting lighting and complimentary drinks from their new light range. Guests opting for the Fentimans Light Lunch will receive a complimentary bottle from the Fentimans Light range and will be seated within a specially designated area of the restaurant filled with serotonin boosting lights, specially designed to simulate the sunlight of a bright summer’s day, promoting happiness and personal wellbeing. Lunch is served from 12pm until 3pm.
10th floor, above Assembly Hotel, 31 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0LS; bandhgardenroom.com

5 £10 LED Facials at YOUNG LDN, Notting Hill
Luxury beauty and skincare destination, YOUNG LDN in Notting Hill is offering LED facials for just £10 from 21-26 January, brightening up the whole week. Scientifically proven to boost collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, the LED facial uses combined LED wavelengths to activate the skin cells, as well as Yellow and Near Infra-Red light to hydrate the skin and balance skin tone. Bringing together the best in class aestheticians, treatments, technology and products, this ultra-relaxing treatment, normal starting from £32, will leave your skin looking radiant and lift those January blues.
228 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W11 2RH; 

6 Murdock London Partners with CALM to Banish January Blues, Soho, Shoreditch and Covent Garden
Murdock London is doing its bit to help raise awareness for mental health on what is commonly dubbed as being the most miserable day of the year – all in support of The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). As the UK’s leading men’s barbershop, Murdock London has a strong male client base and the CALM collaboration aims to encourage men to tackle the stigma surrounding male mental health by talking. And who better to chat to than your barber? Murdock barbers are trained with the necessary skillset to listen, talk and advise clients in conversation. But mental health isn’t just about one single day, which is why Murdock London has released a limited-edition gift set, aptly named the CALM Kit, containing Murdock’s Black Tea Body Soap, Travel Sized Black Tea Cologne and the Travel Sized Black Tea Candle. Created to help fund a potentially life-saving phone call, £8 from every CALM Kit purchased is donated directly to CALM. Plus, throughout January, Murdock will be donating £1 from every service to CALM.

7 Mr Fogg’s Residence Kicks Off its Explorer Series with Ed Jackson, Mayfair
Mr Fogg’s kicks off its 2020 Explorer Series by welcoming former professional rugby player and recovering quadriplegic Ed Jackson on Monday 20 January. His inspirational tale of turning a setback into a serious comeback is set to intrigue, inspire and motivate guests this Blue Monday. Following a successful sporting career spanning 10 years, playing for Bath, Wasps, London Welsh and the Dragons, Jackson suffered a spinal cord injury in 2017 that left him paralysed from the neck down and a medical prognosis that he would never walk again. Through sheer determination and intense rehabilitation, Ed defied all odds and climbed Mount Snowdon just a year after his accident. In the comfort of Phileas Fogg’s Mayfair abode, guests can sit back and relax while sipping on Tanqueray No. Ten cocktails and listening to Jackson talking about the importance of resilience in the face of adversity and how to maximise your potential. Free Entry. From 6.01pm.
15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair W1J 6JD; mr-foggs.com

8 Yoga & Affirmations at Flat Iron Square, Southwark
Flat Iron Square is hosting Beat the Blues events throughout January, including Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, a yoga & affirmation class at The Siding with Balance Garden, taking place on Monday 20 January from 6.30pm-7.30pm. The class, set to an uplifting reggae soundtrack, will flow through a sequence designed to boost your mood by releasing endorphins, followed by an affirmation mediation to leave you feeling upbeat and positive about the year ahead. Tickets are £14, click here to book. Balance Gardens will be back on Wednesday 22 January with Good Vibrations, a gong bath and sound healing journey to shake off any lingering January blues and invite peace and wellbeing to the very core of your cells. 6.30pm-7.30pm. Tickets £14, click here to book.
Flat Iron Square, off Southwark Street SE1 1TD; flatironsquare.co.uk

9 The KLMood Booster at Paddington Station 
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is bringing a boost of happiness to commuters on Blue Monday with the KLMood Booster pop-up at Paddington Station on Monday 20 January. As the Netherlands is widely thought of as one of the happiest countries in Europe, ranking fifth on the World Happiness Report 2019 (the UK which took 15th place), KLM has decided to utilise its Dutch heritage to put a smile on Brits’ faces. The KLMood Booster is a happiness dispensing vending machine which will ask commuters to input their mood by choosing the most relevant emoji. The KLMood Booster will then dispense personalised Dutch gifts that embody the essence of Gezelligheid. The Dutch term, often used to describe a social, relaxed or cosy situation, is the perfect antidote to winter blues. You could also win a variety of complimentary return flights! Can’t make it? Try the online version here.
London Paddington Station W2 1RH; @klm

How to beat Blue Monday in London: Flat Iron Square is hosting a Yoga & Affirmations class with Balance Gardens

Flat Iron Square is hosting a Yoga & Affirmations class with Balance Gardens

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