Psychologist’s Whitechapel workshop to help us get through Blue Monday

A psychologist from Birkbeck will be offering tips on getting through one of the grimmest days of the year at a free workshop on Friday.

‘Blue Monday’, the third Monday in January which this year falls on January 20, has been reported to be one of the grimmest days of the year. Although there may be no hard science behind this assertion, it’s easy to understand why it’s developed this reputation. The merriment of Christmas has long since faded but the mountains of credit card debt remain as we struggle through to payday; New Year Resolutions have fallen by the wayside; and the next Bank Holiday feels an aeon away.

Psychologist Dr Amy Harrison, Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, will be running a free workshop on how to improve your happiness and wellbeing at the Idea Store Whitechapel in Whitechapel Road in Whitechapel on Friday January 17 at 6.45pm.

Dr Harrison said: “It’s important to remember that it’s not what happens to you, but what you make of it that is important. Research from the field of positive psychology, which aims to understand the science of happiness and wellbeing, suggests that there are things we can all do to manage the daily grind with greater ease.”

The workshop will share research on factors that affect happiness and give participants simple exercises which they can do in order to improve their own happiness and wellbeing.

Her tips include:

*Make an effort to look out for positive things during the day – we can train ourselves to notice more of the good stuff, no matter how small.

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*Do something for others – give up your seat on the train, feed a parking meter or smile at a stranger. You’ll be surprised at how warm this makes you feel.

*Count your blessings – write about something you’re grateful for, or thank someone for helping you.

*Look at a picture of your favourite person, experience or animal – research has shown that this can significantly improve your mood.

Although entry to the workshop is free, you do need to book so go to