New York City is chockfull of awesome things to do this season, but you know what? Even in a city as amazing as this, the cold-weather doldrums can really get you down, man. To help our fellow denizens beat the freezing-temp blues, we’ve concocted a list of products and practices that’ll help anyone snap into a good mood. So turn that frown upside down, New York.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the winter in NYC
1. Arise like a Zen god
A Philips wake-up light mimics a sunrise by using a gradually brightening light to naturally rouse you, which in turn promotes a healthy circadian rhythm. Some of the wake-up light models even have corresponding soothing sounds (think birds chirping and stark piano compositions) to ensure you awake as blissfully as possible. (It’s a lot better than getting up to that ambulance siren, trust us.)
2. Break out the crayons
Whether you color in the lines or not, adult coloring books (packed with illos of nudes, weed love and many, many other subjects not suitable for young ones) have erupted in popularity over the past few years and have been dubbed a great stress reliever and promoter of mindfulness.
3. Catch some z’s, Himalayan-style
Breathe’s Himalayan salt-room holistic treatment is most commonly used to detoxify the respiratory system and help with better breathing, but dry salt therapy is also known to alleviate stress. After just 25 minutes in the calming atmosphere of a room (or a more private salt bed), you’ll be on your way to a better night’s sleep. 1 Park Ave, lower level (212-725-1138) • 825 Seventh Ave, lower level (212-956-5920) • ; single-room session $35, single-bed sessions $40.
4. Dance it out
We dare you not to smile while learning the step-by-step choreography of your favorite Beyoncé and Rihanna tracks. Banana Skirt Productions is just one of the workout studios that’ll get you dance-floor ready and naturally boost your mood with all those endorphins. Pearl Studios, 500/519 Eighth Ave (917-576-5635). $25, drop-in class $30.
5. Finally seek (aroma)therapy
Aromatherapy has been used to treat stress and promote healing for, literally, thousands of years. And while there are more than 100 types of essential oils, don’t let that intimidate you. Pick up some lavender oil (credited with reducing anxiety) at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, or sign up for an oils workshop to learn the basics of the practice and the best application methods, and even make your own batch to bring home. 530 E 13th St (347-690-0957)
6. Float in a salt bath
Fully unplug and meditate in an egg-shaped tank full of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt (without noise, light or gravity’s pull) at Lift/Next Level Floats. It’s the latest health trend for a reason: Academic and alternative-medicine studies point to postfloat reductions in pain, depression and stress. Win, win, win. 320 Court St, Brooklyn (718-701-0808). Introductory Float $79, first-time three-float package $199.
7. Give, dammit
NYC Service’s website lets you find an opportunity based on your interests, skill set and time frame. So whether you help the homeless by working at a soup kitchen, tutoring grade-school students, joining the Trevor Project to talk with young people who struggle with depression and LGBTQ identity issues or walking dogs at local shelters, volunteering to help others is a surefire way to make yourself feel better.