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Paper Monitor

12:13 UK time, Monday, 8 January 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's the first full working week of January, and that presents an opportunity to take advantage of our collective New Year neuroses.

The Independent does the whole thing with a retro 2006 feel, deploying… wait for it… wall-charts. Just when you thought these glossy giveaways had been consigned to the recycling bin for good, the Indy kicks off a week of "Change Your Life in 2007" wall-charts with "How to lose weight".

Others to come include stopping smoking, getting fit and controlling your drinking.

And just when you thought that would be make-over enough, the paper is flagging up a "Double Your Brain Power" Saturday give-away of free book, CD and information sheets.

The Daily Express (complete with de rigeur Diana splash… it IS Monday after all) is chasing similar insecurities: "Your essential 10-step guide to being happy and feeling fabulous."

The Daily Mail is giving away a free "life enhancing" DVD every day for the next three weeks – well past when most new year's resolutions have evaporated into an full ashtray and empty pint glass.

The Times has signed up hypnotherapist Paul McKenna for a five-step "change your life" plan.

Of course, all this bubbly wellness advice sits rather uncomfortably alongside the usual array of depressing headlines, but Paper Monitor supposes that's the point. Read the paper, get thoroughly disheartened by war in the Middle East, rising crime, conspiracy theories, global warming, the relentless tide of political correctness etc, and then perk yourself up with advice such as this from the Express…

"Become an optimist. Once you realise you're going down a gloomy path, stop. Refuse to go there."

Ahhh, the load seems to be lightening already.

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