Blue Monday may be dubbed the most depressing day of the year, but Google are on a mission to spread a little joy via the assistant that lives inside their smart speakers. And given the popularity of the Google Nest devices, as well as Google Assistant, it's an idea we're more than happy to get on board with.
If you're feeling a little down today, we'd like to start by reassuring you that you're not alone. According to research and a formula generated by psychologist Cliff Arnall, today is statistically the most down-beat day of the year on account of the dreary weather; distance from pay-day; time since Christmas and a few other factors. So, rest assured that it will get better.
And while we'd strongly encourage you to visit your doctor if feelings of low mood are becoming too much for you to handle, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to help alleviate the January blues. Discover them below...
- Read our Google Assistant review
1. Set exercise reminders for a hit of endorphins
When you're feeling low, exercise is often the last thing you feel like doing. But, if you can find the motivation, it's more than worth it for the rush of endorphins. And Google Assistant is here to help you. Simply say:
- “Hey Google, set a reminder for my 7am spin class”
- “Hey Google, find a hot yoga class near me”
- “Hey Google, how many steps have I taken today?”
Short of cash? Google Assistant can also help you find free, online workouts that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. This is especially easy if you have the Google Nest Hub Max, or another Google enabled device with a screen built-in. Simply say 'Hey Google, play…' followed by your favourite exercise YouTuber – some of our favourites include Yoga with Adrienne (opens in new tab), Blogilates (opens in new tab) and The Body Coach (opens in new tab).
2. Stay on track with your wellness goals
We're just over halfway through January and it can be tempting to give up on resolutions, particularly if low mood is causing a lack of motivation.
But, we'd encourage you to take a moment or two to remember why you set those intentions to begin with. And if you've had a temporary slip, don't beat yourself up, you still have time to get back on the ball.
Whether you committed to Dry January, Veganuary or getting better nights sleep, Google Assistant is here to help. Just say:
- “Hey Google, find me a recipe for vegan mac and cheese”
- “Hey Google, how can I make a virgin espresso martini”
- Or to keep you calm and collected, why not say “Hey Google, play me a meditation soundtrack” or “Hey Google, play me the sound of the ocean”
You'll also find more recipe inspiration over on our food hub page.
3. Plan your next adventure
Tired of how dreary the UK is? Plan your next escape and give yourself something to look forward to in the coming months. Or sooner, if you're feeling spontaneous...
- “Hey Google, what’s the weather like today in Paris?” and “What’s it like tomorrow?”
- “What’s the weather in the Bahamas?”
- “Hey Google, watch Lonely Planet Guide to Porto on YouTube”
- “Hey Google, show me plane tickets to Porto”
And when you've booked your flights, you'll need somewhere to stay. Enter Airbnb (opens in new tab)...
4. Try a new hobby
If jetting off isn't an option, why not try and find a little joy closer to home? Trying a new hobby could be the solution you've been looking for. Just ask Google Assistant...
- “Hey Google, teach me how to bake a Victoria Sponge” to follow a step-by-step baking lesson
- “OK Google, play me a sketching tutorial on YouTube.”
- Or discover new classes in your area by saying “Hey Google, show me embroidery courses near me.”
5. Unwind properly before bed
Another way to alleviate feelings of low mood is by ensuring that you're getting good quality sleep. And in order to achieve that, you'll need to ensure you're unwinding properly before bed.
A great way of doing so is by removing your phone from the bedroom, entirely. Yep, that may seem like a challenge – especially for those of us addicted to a late night scroll on Instagram, but you'll be amazed just how beneficial it is for your sleep quality. Particularly as screens emit blue light, which stimulates the brain and makes it difficult to sleep.
And if you have a Google Nest device, you won't have to worry about relying on your phone to function as an alarm clock. Just say:
- “Hey Google, set an alarm for...' followed by the time you'd like to wake up.
If you're willing to take this one step further, you could also consider programming your smart bulbs to turn on gradually in the morning. This will allow them to function much like a wake up light, tapping into your circadian rhythm and gently rousing you from your sleep. It's a small change, but your body will really thank you for it.