Today is the most depressing day of 2010. That's what that nagging, soul-destroyed ache has been ever since you got up this morning and the reason why your 11am cup of coffee just hasn't cut it today - even with the extra sachet of sweetener.
Psychologists and other assorted boffins have ear-marked Monday 18 January as the time which will feel furthest from the next holiday, but far enough away from the festive period for that bubble to have burst and the realisation that the next 12 months is going to suck about as much as the last 12 did - only slightly more as it'll be 12 months closer to your inevitable demise.
Well, allow us cheerier folk at Pocket-lint to brighten your morning, first of all by pointing out that if today is the most depressing day of 2010, then you're going to feel better than this at every other time in the year. But, if that dose of sugary chirp medicine doesn't do it for you and you really can't face the pressure, then how about investing in one of these five fantastic gadgets for combating depression. All budgets catered for.
Philips goLITE BLU
- Anti-SAD lamp
Top of the pile has to be the Philips goLITE BLU for the main reason that it's clinically proven to actually work. It also takes very little effort to get the effects of it. It's not going to help much if all of your depression is circumstance focused, but it's particularly helpful for suffers of Seasonal Adjusted Depression syndrome which could well be affecting many of us out there at this dark time of the year.
All you do is turn the thing on at your desk or the table while you're eating breakfast and enjoy your light bath for around 2 hours each day. The brightness of the lamp mimics that of a nice sunny day and helps to stop the production of excess amounts of melatonin which is the hormone that encourages drowsiness and sleep. It takes around a week or two of regular use to begin to work and the good news is that it's not wildly expensive either.
- From £350
Seems a little odd and we're not vouching for the science behind this one but, funnily enough, Sky claims that watching high-definition programming can help improve the psychological well being of the viewer. The research carried out by Sky+HD and "renowned" psychologist and agony aunt Donna Dawson, of UK Living TV and Company magazine fame, has apparently identified the "key visual factors that stimulate the brain, increase endorphin levels and release serotonin". So, there you go.
If you buy that or just fancy picking up a new big screen then head over to our reviews section and take a look at Richer Sounds reputation for infuriating manufacturers by offering cut price TVs.
- desktop vacuum cleaner
The state of one's living space directly affects the state of one's mind, so the USB Henry Hoover does wonders for depression on two very important fronts. Firstly, work is often the place where the average Joe will feel most blue. So, this little guy will keep your keyboard and desk clean as a whistle and therefore the mind pure and uncluttered too. Secondly, how cute is he? Look at that little face. Now that is a chirpy pal guaranteed to melt the hardest of hearts. For a bonus two convincers, he's also damned cheap and supplies a little activity to your day for a better sense of routine and satisfaction.
- From free
A Depressingly obvious one for those allergic to physical strain, but very little beats exercise for making you feel better. Cycling provides that heady mix of endorphins and fresh air, just be careful not to add the hint of body odour if you don't take a shower after you've done it. Of course, the massive bonus is that it makes life a little cheaper too as well as giving you a new sense of smugness over those non-bikies.
If you're going to get in on the act, then head over to Tredz, or similar sites, and pick yourself up a discount bicycle as well as bags of glorious gadgety accessories to go with it. If you'd rather dip your toe in, then get on Freecycle, pick yourself up an old one for nothing and take it from there. Good luck and mind the roads.
- Kitchen utensil
Aside oily fish for its omega 3 and Marmite for vitamin B12, cabbage is also said to be one of the top foods for fighting depression. It's high in vitamin C, full of folic acid and is particularly good at combating stress which is, of course, one of the major forces behind depression for many people. According to the American Association for Cancer Research, it's also supposed to be great for protection against infection, heart disease and many types of cancers. It happens to taste good too.
So, encourage your cabbage habit by investing in a cabbage shredder or vegetable mandolin and slice and dice this perky bloom faster than you can say bubble and squeak, lobscouse and all sorts of other recipes.