Beat the Blue Monday blues with a cacao treat

5 Jan 2024

Chocolate Knowledge Events Food + Drink

Start the New Year with a touch of self-care and kindness. Embrace the emotional wellness benefits of cacao with help from Hotel Chocolat.

A new year is here, bringing new opportunities for the next twelve months ahead. However, the end of January can also be a challenging time for many of us, and after a relaxing festive period lurks Blue Monday.

If you’ve never heard of Blue Monday before, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know and to offer some advice. Most importantly, we’ll show you how chocolate can help bring a touch of joy to the day.

A bath with a shelf of cacao treats and a cup of hot chocolate.

What is Blue Monday?

Traditionally falling on the third Monday of January, Blue Monday is often cited as the gloomiest day of the year.

By the third week of January, the schools are back in. The reality of a New Year slowly settles in after a few weeks of Christmas festivities. With the added post-holiday blues and bleak wintry weather, it’s no surprise that we may feel a little bit out of sorts on Blue Monday. It’s the perfect excuse for a self-care treat for yourself, or a loved one.

Blue Monday meets chocolate

At Hotel Chocolat, we appreciate the art of turning a seemingly mundane day into an opportunity for upliftment and joy. We understand that Blue Monday might feel like a cloud over your week, but we believe in finding silver linings in the little things.

Imagine curling up on your sofa, wrapped in the comfort of your favourite blanket, with a box of our high-cacao truffles or a cup of steaming hot chocolate in hand. Let each bite and sip transport you to a world where rich, intricate flavours dance on your palate.

Chocolate has the power to transport you — emotionally and mentally. There are also many physical benefits associated with chocolate consumption which we’re delighted to share with you.

Can chocolate make you happier?

While we can’t claim any magical properties for our chocolates (other than their magical taste), we do believe in the joyous experience they provide. 

A mindful, holistic experience

What’s different is that our approach goes beyond the chemistry of chocolate. We believe in the entire holistic experience of enjoying chocolate. From the anticipation of selecting one of our carefully crafted Sleeksters to the ritualistic act of savouring each bite, the entire process can be seen as a form of mindfulness. Tasting chocolate allows you to focus on the present, urging you to find joy in your experiences.

What’s more, knowing that you’re indulging in chocolate that supports fair practices and uses high-quality, natural ingredients can also contribute to a sense of well-being. After all, you can rest assured that you’re doing some good — and that’s got to feel good, too.

The restorative power of pure cacao

Chocolate starts its journey at the root of the cacao tree, and as growers ourselves, we have an in-depth understanding of the sheer power of the humble cacao bean.

We’ve spoken a little bit about the emotional benefits of chocolate, but can chocolate give us the physical boost that we need to get us through Blue Monday? You’ll be happy to know that it can — and here’s how.

Improved cognitive function

Studies suggest that the flavonoids in cacao can enhance cognitive function and, subsequently, this can help improve attention, processing speed, and memory.

This is because flavonoids increase the amount of blood flow that goes to the brain. Who thought that something so tasty could be so beneficial? Regularly consuming cacao, especially in purer forms, could potentially have long-term positive effects on brain health, making it a smart addition to a balanced diet. And that’s something we can definitely get behind.

Skin health

The antioxidants in cacao can also benefit your skin health, helping you achieve the glowing shine you’re after. These antioxidants can protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by UV rays and environmental pollutants, potentially slowing down the ageing process.

Additionally, the improved blood flow from cacao’s flavonoids can enhance skin hydration and complexion, contributing to a healthier, more radiant skin appearance. The New Year is the best time for you to get your glow on, too.

Cacao beside a pestle and mortar

How to fit chocolate into your self-care routine this Blue Monday

It’s important to remember that physical and mental health are deeply interconnected. Each aspect influences the other. With the holistic benefits of indulging in a chocolate treat alongside its inherent health benefits. It’s never a bad idea to treat yourself to something delicious.

Mindful tasting sessions

Take a moment to slow down and engage in a mindful tasting session. Choose a quiet spot, perhaps with a view or in a comfortable chair, and savour a piece from a Chocolate Selector pack.

No matter if it’s the zingy Cherry Deluxe or the gooey Billionaire Shortbread, try to really focus on the textures, aromas, and flavours. Why not make it into your own mindfulness challenge? This practice can help you be present, reduce stress, and appreciate where you are physically and emotionally.

Energising morning rituals

When you wake up, start your day with an energising and comforting ritual. Prepare one of our fabulous Hot Chocolate Sachets, and take your time making it. Shake the cacao shavings into The Velvetiser lovingly, and inhale its unique aroma. Will you be choosing creamy caramel, invigorating mint, or a cup of classic milk hot chocolate?

Watch the chocolate melt into the warm milk, and set your intentions for the day. Next, sit down with your cup in a peaceful place, and have yourself a moment of calm before your day commences.

Make Blue Monday less blue with Hotel Chocolat

Why wait for Blue Monday to embrace the restorative power of chocolate? Start now, and let us be your companion in turning ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences.

Visit us online or in-store, and choose from our exquisite range of chocolates and chocolate gifts. Each crafted with love, care, and a deep understanding of the blissful world of cacao.

Make every day a reason to celebrate the small joys — one chocolate at a time.