January blues got you down? Check out these ways to perk up in Birmingham!

Content producer's dog
To start, look at this adorable picture of my dog. Photo via Irene Richardson for Bham Now.

January blues include no football, no holidays and possibly the beginning of a diet that means no wine. Between the rain and struggle to get back on track at work and school, January can be a dud month. Not to worry, because Birmingham is the perfect city to pick you right back up.

Find something that makes you laugh.

Improv theatre
Improv, or as I like to call it, trying to get through any conversation about golf. Photo via Birmingham Improv Theatre’s Facebook.

Wow, who would’ve thought? Hear me out—there’s a couple of activities in Birmingham guaranteed to put you in a good mood.

  • The first Bad Movie Night at Sidewalk Film of the year is on January 24. “All we can tell you is that it’s a movie and it’s bad.” Nothing lifts my spirits like making fun of something as a group.
  • Settle in for Late Night Long Form Improv at the Birmingham Improv Theatre.  For those unfamiliar, long from starts from one audience suggestion and devolves into hilarity from there.
  •  Take your friends to Karaoke. It’s never okay to laugh at your friends unless you’re all laughing together. Whether you have the next Beyoncé in your group or someone like me who was always placed at the very back of our school’s choir, singing Karaoke with your best buds is just a fun time.

Volunteer with an organization that puts a smile on your face.

Volunteer at humane society to fight January blues
This is the look my cat gives me when his bowl is only 3/4 full. Photo via the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s Facebook.

Just because “giving season” is over doesn’t mean the amazing nonprofits in Birmingham couldn’t still use help. Volunteering with the ones listed below are guaranteed to help out our city and lift those January blues.

Participate in an activity you’re proud of to cure the January blues.

Civil Axe Throwing in Birmingham
Release all that pent-up anger you had to hold in while in-laws were visiting. Photo via Civil Axe Throwing – Birmingham’s Facebook.

Getting active is probably at the top of a lot of people’s lists for the new year, but that doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym. Try something that’ll challenge your brain instead.

  • One block from Hop City Beer and Wine you can make a bullseye at Civil Axe Throwing. Just be sure you do any drinking AFTER you’ve thrown the axes.
  • Did you know the Homewood Public Library as a group called the “Better Than Therapy Book Club?” Discuss a book tailored to taking away those January blues while kicking back and enjoying cake (yep-they provide cake).
  • Make something with your hands at one of these art classes. Even if you have trouble drawing a stick figure, some of these—like screen printing—are so easy you’re guaranteed to come out with a piece you’re proud of.

Take full advantage of any non-rainy day we get.

Fight January blues at the Jemison Walking trail
Bonus tip, bring a chocolate chip sea salt cookie from Bandit bakery and your day is made. Photo via E Mind Move Health and Wellness’ Facebook.

Getting outside doesn’t seem like a revolutionary idea, but it’s important to take a break from those screens we look at every day. Bonus, these activities are free or low cost (we’re all strapped for cash after the holidays).

  • Jemison Trail in Mountain Brook. All I’m saying is the last time I was here I saw a guy riding a bike with a cat on his back. How could that not cure your January blues?
  • For those looking for a harder hike, have you checked out Birmingham’s Red Rock Trail System? One of these hikes will give you all the endorphins.
  • If you want to try an outdoor activity inside, head to Birmingham Boulders. I promise, you don’t need any past experience with rock climbing to have fun here, plus it’s a lot safer than trying it on your own.

How do you battle the January blues? Let us know on social @bhamnow!

Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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