It’s almost Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year.
Though the calculations placing Blue Monday on the third Monday in January are decidedly nonscientific – especially considering that January 21 is a holiday – they do reflect a common malaise that seems to set in after the holidays have ended. Short days and long, bitter cold nights can create some serious winter blues, made all the worse by the prospect of a string of holiday-free workweeks ahead.
We’ve rounded up nine mood-boosting products to take the edge off and bring a little brightness back into the darkest, coldest time of the year.
Whether you’re dreading the workweek, the weather, or the fact that the sun will be setting at 4:30 p.m. for the foreseeable future, these products can help you beat those wintertime blues.
1. Aura Premium Mindfulness App ($79.99 for lifetime subscription or $11.99/month; store.cnn.com)
Named by Apple as one of the Best Apps of 2017 upon its release, Aura was created by meditation teachers and therapists to help keep stress and anxiety at bay through guided meditation sessions, mindful breathing reminders, and mood tracking. As you rate your experiences, Aura’s artificial intelligence technology will even learn to adjust its suggestions to your preferences. No wonder it has a rating of 4.8 stars with more than 9,000 reviews.
2. Verilux HappyLight Liberty Light Therapy Energy Lamp ($79.95; amazon.com)
While the shorter, darker days of winter can make anyone feel a little down, those with Seasonal Affective Disorder are particularly affected. Light therapy lamps, which aim to mimic sunlight indoors, are widely recommended by the American Psychological Association to combat SAD, and could be useful for anyone looking to inject a little brightness into the winter gloom. This chic, affordable model from Verilux boasts 5 stars from more than 650 reviews. If you suffer from SAD, be sure to check with your doctor before adding a new treatment to your routine.
3. Intelligent Change Five Minute Journal ($24.95; urbanoutfitters.com)
New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss says this humble journal “is one of the simplest ways that I have found to consistently ensure improving my well being and happiness.” Rather than presenting you with daunting blank pages, the Five Minute Journal features short, structured prompts to encourage reflection and gratitude, and has more than 500 5-star reviews.
4. UrbanStems Premium Subscription ($72 per delivery; urbanstems.com)
Befitting its motto of “Happiness Delivered,” floral startup UrbanStems delivers stunning bouquets of fresh flowers across the country. The company offers both one-off deliveries and three different subscription tiers, all with responsibly sourced bulbs, no delivery fees, and unique designs created in-house or farm-direct to make sure your flowers stay fresh longer. With same-day delivery in New York City and Washington, and next-day delivery nationwide, UrbanStems can bring springtime brightness to your doorstep no matter how long winter lasts.
5. InnoGear Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser ($15.99; amazon.com)
Many swear by the positive effects of aromatherapy, with scents like lavender said to induce a sense of calm and lemon to boost energy. One Japanese study concluded that smelling the citrusy yuzu fruit may have reduced participants’ emotional stress. This aromatic oil diffuser form InnoGear has nearly 10,000 5-star reviews, with users praising it as “small but mighty” in its ability to fill your home with your favorite comforting smells. It comes in a dark or light wood finish, or a transparent white that lets it double as a color-changing night light.
6. Nike Airzoom Pegasus 35 Running Shoes ($101.97; was $120; nike.com)
In the words of esteemed fictional Harvard-educated lawyer Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Exercise is a proven mood booster, and getting to show off these beautiful and comfy kicks from trusted athletic brand Nike may be the little push you need to hit the pavement.
7. LifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs ($26.80; amazon.com)
Nothing can make the week seem a little less daunting like a warm bath, and nothing makes a warm bath better than a bath bomb. These often include essential oils, butters, flower petals and other skin-nourishing and calming ingredients, which dissolve in warm water to fill your tub with luxurious smells and colors. This set of 12 lushly scented, individually wrapped bath bombs rated 4.9 stars from nearly 3,000 reviews.
8. LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine ($49.95; amazon.com)
A good night’s sleep is essential to staying positive, and white noise machines help block out those disruptive sounds that can keep you tossing and turning. LectroFan’s compact model has 20 different sound settings and more than 6,000 5-star reviews, with one user gushing, “I would honestly pay double for this if I knew how much it would improve my quality of life.” Wake up refreshed on Monday morning and ready to tackle the week ahead.
9. Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips ($39.99; amazon.com)
Science shows that smiling can essentially trick your brain into being happy. These best-selling whitestrips from Crest are enamel-safe and promise results after just three days, with full results visible after 20, according to Amazon. Show off your pearly whites, and get a little boost of happiness in the process.
Note: Prices above reflect the listed retailers’ prices at time of publication.