How To Escape The Winter Blues For Under A Fiver

Hello January, you’re back with your cliche “new year, new me” mentality, but yet again I find myself with little funds for all my good intentions - or so I thought. Even though Brighton is one of the most expensive cities to live in, you don’t necessarily need to pull on your purse strings to look after yourself.

Here are some feel-good things to do that won’t break the bank this winter:

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Mind

Let’s look after our minds during this dark and cold time with some meditation. Scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, depression and stress, meditation is a simple way to make us more self-aware and overall happier. If you’re not sure where to start, then The Brighton Buddhist Centre on Tichborne Street have guided drop-in meditation sessions on Tuesdays from 1pm-1.45pm for £3. Grab a butt cushion, a blanket and get ready for some low key guided mindfulness.

Not yet ready to brave the cold? Then the Headspace App has guided meditation for beginners and the first ten days are free!

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Body

Let's get those endorphins pumping with a little free exercise! For a limited time, Fitness First is offering a free three day trial to any of their gyms across the country. Find Fitness First located right by the station.

If the gym isn’t your thing and you’re more of a social, outdoorsy type then Parkrun is for you! Brighton & Hove Parkrun is a free weekly 5km event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9:00 am in Hove Park, Brighton. All you have to do is register on the website and turn up!

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Food

Nothing brings my mood up like some bloody good food! so why not try something new for a couple of quid tonight by downloading the Too Good To Go app. It is fighting food waste by connecting hungry people with cafes and restaurants who have good food left at the end of the day that would have otherwise been binned.

You pay a couple of quid for a bag of whatever they have left from your chosen food place, then pick it up at their specified time. YO! Sushi!, Small Batch and Bagelman are just a few of the restaurants involved. I picked up a bag from Real Patisserie on my way home from work for £2.50 and this is what I got... I saved an avocado and squash sandwich and a super tasty spiced cake from the bin!

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Creativity

Release your inner child and get yourself down to the Hope and Ruin for some good ol’ cutting and sticking! Held twice a month on Tuesday evenings, Collage Club hosted by CULT MILK ( an awesome all-female creative collective) is a totally free event that provides all the materials you could ever need to create your own fridge worthy masterpiece. They also give out free beer for the most mind-blowing artwork!

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Dogs

There’s nothing in this world that makes me immediately one hundred times happier than when I see a dog. One minute I’m walking down the street, deep in conversation with a friend, but the moment that adorable sausage dog is in my peripheral, everything melts away and I am instantly infatuated. If you’re lucky enough to live in a pet-friendly home in Brighton then, well, congrats! You’re set on all the happiness you could ever want, but for the rest of us, there’s an alternative fix.

The RSPCA in Patcham is only a short bus ride away where at 10:30 am every day (except Mondays) they let the public walk the shelter dogs. It’s not only a free and feel-good way to spend a morning for you, but it helps the dogs by building their confidence around different people. Make sure you’re on time as this is so popular there is always a line out the door to walk these adorable pups!

So, with these great opportunities in mind: keep warm, stay positive and most importantly remember that payday is just around the corner!

Articles and fotos by Grace Ison