Gray, cold winter days can be tough to get through in a normal year. This year isn’t like other years, though. We’re dealing with a ton of pandemic and political issues right now, too.
If you’re feeling blue, you’re not alone. Tons of Americans are dealing with the winter blues — and the isolation from social distancing likely isn’t helping much. Feeling anxious or depressed? These five apps can help.
While we can’t cure your seasonal depression, the products below might be able to help elevate your mood. This list of items can help you warm up inside and out. With their help, you may even gain some appreciation for the snow that’s falling outside.
1. Make a delicious homemade latte to start the day
Not a coffee drinker? It works great for adding protein powders and other supplements to your smoothies and shakes, too!
Promising review: "I’m a barista at Starbucks so obviously I know how I like my coffee. For a while I was using an immersion blender to froth my milk for my morning cup of coffee but it just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. I finally bought this frothed and I’m so so happy with it!! It doesn’t need to be plugged in so it takes up way less space. It is a lot quieter than the blender, and I can use any size cup I want because the frother is so small. Not only can I heat up my milk for a hot coffee, but I can also use it just the same with cold milk for my iced coffee!! Highly recommend this product!"
2. Get some sun even on gray days with this compact lamp
Promising review: "I’m recovering from surgery and can’t get out a lot yet, and the rooms where I spend morning times are quite dark. This light will definitely help to re-establish a daylight-like cycle. The light is strong but softer than expected. Extremely easy to use — just touch it. I had thought it might be annoying, but so far it’s not all all. Just kind of like having a window open nearby. And it’s lightweight and takes up a small footprint."
3. Warm up at night with this nice whiskey set
Promising review: "The set is really nice! My boyfriend is really excited to use it! He isn't much of a whiskey kind of person but he can enjoy the set with other drinks. The glasses are heavy and really nice to hold. He really liked that it came with a recipe book as well. I will buy from them again."
4. Take some winter wonderland pictures with an affordable drone
Promising review: "RWe received this Holyton Mini Drone a few days ago and have had a lot of fun with it. My 10 year old daughter, who was the pilot in the posted video, has played with it non-stop. She loves the sensor mode that controls the drone hands free, and gets a kick out of the flips and spins she can get it to do. My wife and I have found this drone useful as a practice tool, as we also bought a larger video drone from Holy Stone that we use outside and the controls are very similar. I'm very impressed that they can sell this little toy at such an affordable price considering the amount of technology that must go into it."
5. Have a good laugh watching your pet chase a laser
Not a cat person? This toy is a great way to entertain bored dogs on rainy or gloomy days, too.
Promising review: "My Service dog is usually bored with his job of just watching me and I got him this to give him a little fun time on a rainy day. It work's great and he just loves it and allows me to not have to shine a hand held one for him. Will be getting another one for an even larger play area."
6. Put your phone down and take on these fun brain teasers
Promising review: "Good, high quality puzzle set. A great variety of puzzles utilizing different strategies and methods to solve. I like that they included instructions for the metal puzzles just in case they’re needed. The wooden puzzles were also decent quality. Other than a few small wooden shavings that got wedged in the middle before first use they’re great. The pieces are a little smaller, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the set for the elderly, but Teens through older adults would be just fine."
7. Clear your windshield the easy way with the No. 1 best-selling ice scraper
Promising review: "The scraper arrived on time and as advertised. I love the bag and the fact that it comes a part. This makes it convenient if all I need is a scraper or brush. The only potential issue I see is for those southpaws, left handed users based on the way it snaps together. The if you are left handed the scraper is poisioned inwards and could rub against my arm or coat when its assembled and using the brush. Now you can always use the brush alone but that might not be practical for you. This is not a factor for me and I like how sturdy its constructed and the brush brisles are generous (4 rows) and strong so they look like they will last. Lastly the prices was great. over all I would strongly recommend simply take care if you are left handed user."
8. See more of your loved ones with an Echo Show
Promising review: "Have to admit I was skeptical and wasn't sure if I would find it useful....but I'm liking this device more every day. Now an Echo Dot has found its place in our household as well. Along with some Echo Buttons. Like the Echo Show 8 so much that I ordered another one to give to my daughter and son-in-law!"
9. Keep your morning tea warm with this cup with a lid
Promising review: "One I love this mug, it works amazing and is SO much cheaper then the Teavana alternative! Two, this company has AMAZING costumer service! I have had my mug since February and sadly this week the lid fell and broke. I contacted the company to see if I could purchase simply a replacement lid and they are sending me a new whole mug free of charge! I'm shocked, and very impressed! I wish I could give this mug and company SO much more then just 5 stars!"
10. Put on some cozy socks to keep your toes warm
Promising review: "RCute colours and great ankle length (somewhere in between a crew cut and a literal ankle sock). The material is soft and warm although upon arrival they had a terrible chemical smell from the factory. A quick wash before use solved that problem but some people might be really put off by it. Apart from the smell the socks arrived very quickly with no hassles and am happy with the end product."
11. Use the same toothpaste Kim does for white teeth
Promising review: "I’m a coffee drinker who has resin coating applied to my two front teeth. Over the last 20+ years my resin had become stained. In my last anniversary photo my teeth looked yellow. After using a week with accelerator gel (photo 2 is before and photo 1 is after) and photo 3 is up close before and 4 is after. Looking forward to seeing what it does after a month or so of using it. My teeth aren’t feeling sensitive at all either."
12. See what you’re grilling for dinner, even when the sun sets at 5 p.m.
Promising review: "I have now been using my BBQ Grill Light for 15 months. I use it when in particular we have early sunsets. Other buyers have rated this light much lower than I have. But let's use some common sense. I think it works great. Light is bright. Angle is easy to adjust. The case is made of plastic, so be careful not to get it too close to the heat. The light is not made of titanium with a heat shield, so it might melt. Don't leave the light out in the weather, because the weather will ruin it. Let's use some common sense. The switch has no moving parts and is very sensitive. I turn my light off when I am done, and put it in the drawer inside the house with my other BBQ tools, and all is well. That means I have to put it on the grill handle, and take it off the grill handle when I am finished. At this rate I think my BBQ light will last for years."
13. Relax with a hot shower and one of these soothing shower melts
14. Breathe easier in dry winter air with a humidifier (your skin will thank you, too)
Promising review: "This humidifier has the LARGEST capacity tank Ive seen yet! It goes a long time without running out of water and there is a clear area on the tank so you can see when it is running out of water. It runs a long time on 1 tank of water . It's also VERY quiet and the anount of mist it lets out is adjustable. I like that it has a night light on it too. It's really nice!"
15. Upgrade your car with comfy seat warmers
Promising review: "Easy to install, I like that you can control the temperature on both of them and you can put the control switch on either side. With this all being said these seat warmers warm up fast and are definitely worth the price. I have these installed in my 2000 Toyota Camry Solara and makes the car feel more luxury now with these heated seats, I’m very happy now."
16. Use a fabric shaver to get the pills off your favorite sweater
Promising review: "I have spent hours and hours trying to groom our sofas from millions of tiny lint balls they have acquired over four years. I hoped maybe this dufuzzer might work... and WOW! This thing works like a lint mower! It's really easy to use (our 5-year-old "mowed" most of one sofa) and clean out. Really happy with the quality."
17. Make some comfort food the easy way with a Crock-Pot
Promising review: "WHY WOULD NO ONE TELL ME THE MAGIC OF SLOW COOKERS RIGHT WHEN THEY BECAME A THING!? Seriously this thing is a busy person's savior or in my case, a lazy person's dream! This one is plenty large enough and incredibly easy to use. I mean really look at the buttons on this thing, if you can't figure that out, you have other things to sort out rather than look at slow cookers. Reviews say this one runs a bit hotter than most, but I've followed a handful of recipes and their cook times seem to be accurate. I really love that this model will automatically switch to keep warm after the timer you set expires. That last part is crucial for me because I work 10+ hour shifts and most recipes even on low are about 8 hours. That keep warm feature makes sure my food isn't burnt, but still warm when I get home."
18. Forget the lighter fluid and use a rechargeable candle lighter
Promising review: "It's brilliant. Comes out of the box fully charged, has every feature I needed and some I didn't even think about beforehand. Being able to light things without having to produce an actual flame of my own is delightful (I'm extremely uncoordinated and burn myself lighting candles way more than any human should), the on/off switch and auto shutoff assuage my worries about running out of power, and anything i can charge and reuse instead of throwing away is a big perk in my book."
19. Kim uses these natural pills to get a good night’s sleep
Promising review: "I own like every Vick’s product, because I love them all, and this product is no exception. Before I bought this, I had been having trouble falling asleep and I was waking up every morning at 4am in an existential crisis induced panic. Just immediately eyes slam open and thoughts began to REEL. I started to take it 30 minutes before I’d like to fall asleep, and I’m finally able to slip right into sleep, sleep through the night, and wake up refreshed. I don’t understand why anyone would care about how a pill smells. It serves the purpose it is intended to serve with no negative/harmful effects. 5 stars people. Simple. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I have a bit of a hard time swallowing pills as of late, but I have no issue with this one. Don’t want to ever sleep without it again!"
20. Snuggle up on the couch with a heated electric blanket
Promising review: "This year’s winter came really quickly and is super cold! I’m the type of person to be afraid of the cold, I heard from a friend that Amazon sells electric heated blankets so I bought one home to try. One of the major factors is that you can adjust the temperature. I recommend it to people that are afraid of the cold or is very sensitive towards the cold. Not only this, there are different colors and different lengths for you to chose from! You can lay it out on your bed or on top of yourself, either ways it helps you keep warm."