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The boost you need to beat the January blues

16 January 2023

3 mins

In our last blog post we spoke about how to start the new year on a high note. However, we know that January can be a tricky month for many and so we’ve compiled a list of tv shows, podcasts and books from submissions by our staff that will help to make the longer nights a little easier.

If you’re looking for something to put a smile on your face we recommend:

The Off Menu podcast

Hosted by comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble, the duo interview celebrities about what their ultimate meal would be.


Comedians compete against each other to complete ridiculous brain-teaser challenges.

The Office (US)

The famous mockumentary sitcom, adapted from the BBC series, starring Steve Carell.

Parks and Recreation

Another mockumentary style sitcom that provides a political satire on a mid-level town government department in America.

If you’re looking for something to motivate you with your new year’s goals, you could try:

Sports biographies

From footballers and rugby stars to Olympians and Paralympians, reading about the highs and lows of their journeys, the dedication needed and the mishaps along the way might be inspiring for you. Recent releases include top scorer Beth Mead’s ‘Lioness: My Journey to Glory’ and Poorna Bell’s ‘Stronger: Changing Everything I Knew About Women’s Strength’.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

This podcast centres around celebrities exploring what their failures have taught them. It is for reminding yourself that no one is perfect and that you can always learn something from your failures.

Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett

In this podcast, Steven sits down with celebrities, entrepreneurs and big business moguls to discuss how they became successful.

If you’re looking for escapism the following might be the perfect thing to get lost in (we will try not to be alarmed by the number of staff members who suggested true crime podcasts):

White Lotus

This dark comedy-drama TV show features a star-studded cast including Jennifer Coolidge, Aubrey Plaza and Theo James.

Casefile True Crime podcast

Each episode explores both cold and solved criminal cases in Australia, America and the UK.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A Hollywood icon reveals the truth behind her glamourous life and infamous husbands.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

The book follows the stories of people who go to a café in Tokyo that allows its patrons to travel back in time, as long as they return before the coffee gets cold.

If you’re looking for something uplifting, you could try:

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Nora is given the chance to live out the many different versions of her life to try and find what is the most fulfilling path.

Ten Percent Happier podcast

Hosted by journalist Dan Harris who began to explore meditation after having a panic attack live on television. He interviews scientists, celebrities and meditation teachers to discover more about how to combat anxiety.  

If you would like to recommend any uplifting, inspiring or funny shows/books/podcasts for our University community, please leave a comment below.

Information on where to find wellbeing support at the University.

Health and Wellbeing

Wellbeing means being in a positive physical, social and mental state. Wellbeing is important to us as happy, healthy people who achieve harmony in their work / life mix are more creative, productive and help to create a great place to work.

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