Feeling the Monday Blues? For inspiration on where you can cheer yourself up, Which Budget has produced a top 10 list of the happiest places in the world to visit.
We are all familiar with the Monday morning blues, but Monday 24 January 2011 is scientifically predicted to be the most depressing day of 2011 – Blue Monday. So, nothing to do with New Order. Instead, it’s largely a result of the dwindling memory of Christmas, dreary weather, already-broken New Year’s Resolutions, enormous credit card bills and a complete failure to stick to that new fitness regime.
Blue Monday was identified by psychologist Cliff Arnall at the University of Cardiff who created a formula comprising seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.
Whilst many people will spend Blue Monday under the duvet after calling in “sick”, Which Budget, a leading flight search engine and destination finder, expects many people to spend the day looking for an escape resulting in a significant increase in the number of searches for flights on 24 January.
According to the website, last year on Blue Monday (18 January 2010) the top destinations based on searches were (1) Lanzarote, (2) Tenerife, (3) Faro, (4) Malaga, (5) Paris, (6) Dublin, (7) Barcelona, (8) Mallorca, (9) Gran Canaria and (10) Amsterdam.
For inspiration on where you can cheer yourself up it has produced a top 10 list of the happiest places in the world to visit…
1. If food is the key to your happiness then a trip to Tokyo should be on the menu. Araki, Hamadaya, 7chome Kyoboshi and Usukifugu Yamadaya have all been recently awarded the coveted three-Michelin-star accolade bringing the city’s total three-star eateries to 14, extending its lead over Paris’ 10.
2. There is nothing quite like a shopping spree to boost the spirits and where better to shop until you drop than New York. Famous for its department stores such as Bloomingdales, Macy’s and Barneys this city also offers unique boutiques for quirky one-offs and fabulous flee markets for vintage finds.
3. Sunshine is proven to boost levels of serotonin, the body’s ‘happy’ hormone, helping to combat the winter blues. With more than 300 days of sunlight, the Canary Islands are the perfect place for year-round sun.
4. They say that laughter is the best medicine so laugh away your cares with some of the UK’s top comedians. The Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival (17th March – 10th April 2011) is the largest festival of its kind in Europe.
5. Binge on chocolate as it contains phenylephylamine which is the same hormone the brain triggers when you fall in love. The Swiss consume more chocolate per capita than anywhere else in the world and therefore must be very happy! Visit Zurich, the heart of chocolate production in Switzerland.
6. With one of the world’s highest average life expectancy rates of 81.2 years, an enviable climate and an incredible outdoors lifestyle, Australians have a thing or two to be happy about. Enjoy life the Aussie way.
7. Regular exercise can stave off moderate depression by releasing endorphins which naturally boost your mood. Get your body moving with a walking holiday along the famous, 500km Lycian Way in Turkey taking in the ancient sights such as the ruins of Patara and Phaselis.
8. Giving can bring happiness so volunteer! Teach English in Thailand, also known as the land of smiles and make someone else happy.
9. Does money buy happiness? Officially the richest country in the world, the people of Luxumbourg should be pretty happy. The tiny European country also holds the world record for the most alcohol consumption in the world.
10. For many, simply doing nothing is the key to happiness and where better to perfect the art of doing nothing than on a tropical island hideaway in the Maldives.