8 things you must do to make January less bleak

January doesn't have to be as bad as all that...
January doesn't have to be as bad as all that...

January can be bleak, particularly given it is now dark most of the time.

If you’re anything like us you have a Halloween-style complexion, your children are in some kind of post-festive despair and you haven’t quite recovered from not winning the lottery this weekend.

Here is our handy guide to making life slightly more bearable.


You’re obviously watching War & Peace on Sunday nights (here’s the link to episode 1 in case you missed it) but you must also go to see Joy at the cinema.

It’s definitely worth the babysitter.

We’re not just saying this because it’s (partly) about mops and stars Bradley Cooper but also because it’s a feel-good film about an ordinary mother-of-two (Jennifer Lawrence) who manages to turn her life around without winning the Euromillions. I sobbed inconsolably – and my husband shed a few tears too. JOY

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Stripes. Not only are they all over the catwalks but they hide all manner of evils (baby fat, fingerprints, milk stains) and bring some fun to this endless gloom. We like this one from Mango (£34.99) and this pinkish cashmere number from J Crew (£98), reduced by nearly £100.

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My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. It’s completely gripping and absorbing without being trashy. And the best thing is there are more books in the series, so your reading for the next few months is sorted.

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Of owning (or perhaps inhabiting) the new super-comfortable Bugaboo Cameleon³ Blend (£999) with a soft, brushed polyester tweed outer fabric, leather-look handle and classy blue lining. John Lewis

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An online Tummy Attack bootcamp. This one promises to “strip” fat … just watch a 35-minute motivational fitness video on your phone or computer 6 times a week. Easy.

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At the Sleepycosy 50% off sale. Perfect for pjs, nighties and sleeping bags. Prices from £10 at sleepycozy.com only while stocks last!…

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To David Bowie, obviously.


Your summer holiday! We rather like the look of the Alpina Rosa in the Italian Dolomites. Think how knackered the kids will be after all that fresh air and hiking each day.

You might even get some “me” time in the spa.

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