Beat Blue Monday with a cuddle

Today is Blue Monday (allegedly the most depressing day of the year) and new research by reveals that all people need is a hug to brighten up their day.

In fact, 87% of Brits say a simple cuddle would make them feel happy, but 25% of Britons don’t receive a cuddle day-to-day, says the survey of 2,000 UK adults.

People in the South West are most in need of a hug; 34% of those polled said they usually don’t receive a hug day-to-day followed by 30% of people in Northern Ireland and 27% of people in Scotland.

Physical contact, such as a hug, has a number of benefits. Dr Eva Cyhlarova, Head of Research at the Mental Health Foundation, said: “We are born with the need for physical contact and it is a very important part of our heritage. We need to form strong affectional bonds with others. There is evidence that hugging or holding hands can reduce blood pressure and stress by lowering the level of and the stress hormone cortisol. It can also increase levels of serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter that improves mood and reduces depression and anxiety.”

Five biggest Cuddling Faux Pas

1) A cuddle from someone with body odour is the biggest hugging faux pas, according to 61% of Brits.

2) 29% say a hug from a work colleague is generally unwelcome.

3) 23% of Brits say it is not ok to cuddle in public.

4) 17% say they don’t enjoy a hug from an ex-partner.

5) 12% say a hug at the end of a first date instead of a kiss is a let-down.