Five Ways to Banish the January Blues with Chocolate
We’re happy souls at Chocolate Collective and that’s not just down to our sparkly personalities, it’s also down to how much chocolate we consume!
Did you know that the antioxidants present in chocolate help to reduce high levels of stress hormones? Dark chocolate contains a compound called ‘anandamide’ that can make you feel good and is reported to temporarily block feelings of pain and sadness. Chocolate also contains ‘phenylethylamine,’ which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love.
This probably explains why we have all these feel-good endorphins here at Chocolate Collective! However, we know that January can result in some of us feeling a little blue, so we’ve come up with 5 chocolatey ways you can get those endorphins pumping and banish those blues through the power of chocolate.
1. Bake a Chocolate Cake
The January weather may be forcing you to stay indoors but we know an activity that will keep you busy, involve all the family and result in some endorphin inducing chocolate-y feel-good vibes when complete … baking the ultimate Chocolate Cake! Now, everyone has their favourite recipe, I’m particularly fond of BBC Good Food’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Easy to make, deliciously indulgent and feeds an army! All you need to do is gather your sous chefs, put some party tunes on and get baking.
2. Take a Chocolate-y Trip
Combining chocolate and travel is a sure-fire way to cheer yourself up this January. If your budget stretches, why not jet away for some winter sun and visit a cacao plantation to see how chocolate grows. If you want to get your chocolate fix a little closer to home, how about visiting the world-famous chocolate museum in Brussels! Or even taking a family trip to Cadbury’s World in Birmingham, which is packed full of fun and interesting chocolate facts as well as rides, practical demonstrations and one of the largest chocolate shops I’ve ever seen!
3. Become a Chocolatier
Embarking on a new hobby is also a fabulous tool for boosting your mood! The accomplishment that comes from mastering a new skill is amazing for your self-esteem, and when combined with the cheering qualities of chocolate, it becomes so easy to turn that frown upside down. It’s one of the reasons I started my Chocolate Workshops. It’s fantastic to see how much fun my budding chocolatiers in the making have; learning how to mix, pipe and mould to create mouth-watering Belgian chocolate truffles.
The dates for my 2020 Chocolate Workshops are now live and available to book throughout the year, in Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds. The workshops are ideal to attend on your own, to learn a new skill and make new friends, or as a group, perfect for a family activity or to celebrate a special occasion. Cheer yourself up this January and book today.
4. Chocolate Treasure Hunt
Are you looking for something fun to do that will cheer up you and the kids, and that doesn’t cost the earth? I’ve got a fabulous suggestion, one that combines fresh air and exercise with yummy, scrummy chocolate. All you need to do is hide some chocolate treats in your garden, local park or even your cul-de-sac, create a map and some clues, and watch as big kids and little kids alike tear through that space looking to collect the most chocolates. And the best bit? All that running around means you can enjoy those chocolate calories guilt free, and the fresh air and exercise releases the same joyful endorphins as chocolate! Doubly feel-good.
5. Cover Yourself in Chocolate
Now I don’t mean take a chocolate bath … although that does sound very, very tempting. I mean combine the pleasure of a little ‘me’ time with the yumminess of chocolate with a very chocolatey pampering session. That’s right, some clever people have combined the mood enhancing virtues of both these things so that you can run a chocolate scented bath, apply a chocolate face mask and light a calorie free chocolate scented candle – the perfect recipe to cure any case of the January blues.