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A combination of Christmas debt, bad weather and broken New Year’s resolutions conspire to make January 17 the most miserable day of the year, psychologists have calculated.
But we can take heart from knowing that we don’t necessarily need warm weather or a healthy bank balance to feel good.
ActionAid asked a thousand people what made them feel happiest and the most popular response was helping someone who is in need.
In order to spread the good cheer, ActionAid have created The Happy Bubble, using space hoppers, fluffy monsters and free smoothies – all crammed into giant bubbles in the City of London - to give people a free taster of how it feels to support ActionAid.
In the nationwide study, most of the answers are things that can be done at any time of year and do not cost a penny. Hearing an unexpected compliment was second on the list, followed by listening to the sound of the sea.
Richard Turner, Director of Fundraising at ActionAid, said “It’s so uplifting to know that acts of kindness, from helping others, to hearing kind words from a stranger, are the things that make us feel the happiest.
“No matter how broke or cold we are in the first few weeks of January, we all have this incredible power to make each other’s lives better and it costs us absolutely nothing.
“We know that supporters are changed by their involvement with ActionAid and that they feel amazing when they see they’ve made a difference to the developing world – as well as to the people around them.
“It’s through acts of kindness that supporters of charities like ActionAid really make a difference to the world, but knowing that they feel amazing because of their involvement is also really special.”