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19 reasons to be cheerful in 2019

Don't let the 'B' word bring you down

Hannah Price and Natalie Ktena

We’re officially one month into 2019 and we’ve got to admit it’s been a little dampened by - brain, don’t say it - er, yeah, politics (don’t mention the 'B' word).

But Dry Veganuary is finally over. Blue Monday is behind us. And we don’t need to feel too bad about abandoning our New Year’s Resolutions - we and the rest of the UK probably gave them up on Quitters' Day already.

Let’s face it, the mornings are actually getting lighter (yes, really) and there are plenty of reasons to smile. A whole 19 reasons - in fact. Here they are...

1. Fashion is more inclusive than EVER 

Fashion is a notoriously excluding industry - only for the skinny, young, able-bodied and chiselled. *eye roll*

Correction: it was a notoriously excluding industry. Thanks to some badass trailblazers, the face of the fashion industry is changing for the better in 2019.

Take Aaron Philip - she is a disabled, gender-fluid teenage model who was signed to an agency late last year. 

And that's not where it ends. In a ground-breaking move, cosmetics brand Benefit announced model Kate Grant, who has Down's Syndrome, as their new brand ambassador this month. 

Aaron and Kate - we salute you. And with models like them paving the way, the fashion industry in 2019 is destined to get even more inclusive. 

2. We can finally afford a night at the opera

Sure, the cinema and your mate's house party are kind of cultural? But in 2019 we can afford our culture to be a little more high-brow. Grab your tux. 

Thanks to new research showing that under 30s are turning to museums and galleries to destress, the Art Fund has planned to extend its young persons’ discount scheme to include those aged up to 30. *Feels immediately more Zen*

There's also a new digital classical radio station called Scala catering to Gen Y and Z in the works and you can skip the cinema and impress your date with a trip to the English National Opera who are giving away Saturday night tickets to under-18s. Bravo! 

3. We'll be 'attending' the UK's leaving drinks 

We are all a bit over Brexit right now.

So whether you’re celebrating or drowning your sorrows, on Friday 29 March, you can join 150K+ other people who've hit 'attending' to EU leaving parties on social. Come on, you deserve it.

They're being held everywhere from Guilford to Cardiff and further afield. Get ready for “one last mad one with the boys from the other 27 member states,” and see off the EU in the same way you would your favourite work pal… with booze.

4. Winter is FINALE here

Game Of Thrones is back on 14 April - not that we’re counting down the days or anything. And this is the last ever season - well, until the prequel begins.

On the one hand, we're so ready for it to be done - if only to save our raw and overtired nerves from any more shock deaths and cliffhangers. We just want to know what's going to happen! But we also sort of don't want it to end. Y'know?

One thing to look forward to, though, is the fact that politicians will be less inclined to make GoT references...

5. Michelle Obama (Be)coming back to the UK

There aren’t many things that we’d happily position ourselves 40,899th in the queue for, but that’s where we found ourselves back in November when the former First Lady made a flying visit to the UK to promote her bestselling memoir.

If you’ve just about recovered from that frenzy, you’ll be as excited as us to know that Michelle is coming back to London in April.

Barrack who?

6. The royal baby (but mostly Simon McCoy’s reaction to the royal baby)

Whether we want to admit it or not, thanks to Meghan, Harry, and sassy Charlotte's wave gamewe’re all a little bit obsessed with the royal family.

And at the end of last year came the news that there will be another royal baby to coo over in April. Which means another gloriously deadpan announcement from our favourite newsreader, Simon McCoy, famed for his less-than-impressed reactions to royal news.

7. You can put a (cost-effective) ring on it

For some, tying the knot may not be trendy these days, but if you did want to put a ring on it and you’re doing the maths on diamonds in your head – no need to fret. Buying bling for bae is a lot more affordable in 2019. 

Say hello to the £1 engagement ring, which hit the shelves earlier this January. 

The stainless steel number is topped with a mock gemstone and comes in one of those flip boxes - so you can keep your dramatic down-on-one-knee reveal traditional. 

8. Forget Big Dick Energy, enter: Big Bush Energy 

Last year was the year of BDE (Big Dick Energy), namely the confidence exuded by the well-endowed (that anyone, whatever gender could possess). Well, in 2019, it's time for the female equivalent to shine - it's the year of BBE (Big Bush Energy), which is the energy a women gives off when they are rocking their natural body hair. 

Think Julia Roberts in Notting Hill. The 90s really did have it all.

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Beautiful in every way

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Celebs like Lourdes Leon (whose mum is - of course - MADONNA) are leading the way for BBE with their celebration of the hairy armpits... Soon everyone, whatever their gender, will be channelling their inner BBE. Watch this space.

9. We get to see celestial phenomena

The Earth is throwing some shade. Some actual, literal shade thanks to a partial lunar eclipse - when the shadow of Earth darkens the moon - hitting our skies on 16th July. At peak partial eclipse, the shadow will cover up approximately 60% of the moon, leaving us with a pretty decent slice visible from the UK. Pretty cool, right? 

Still, it’s not as cool as a very rare celestial phenomenon taking place on November 11th - the transit of Mercury. The innermost planet in our solar system will be crossing the sun, visible from the UK and here’s a little taster. (By "little," we mean microscopic...) 

See that teeny, tiny little dot? Yeah, that’s Mercury. The last time this happened was 2016 and the next will be 2032 - so it's worth showing up for.

10. Glasto grime - it's happening (and we don’t mean the mud) 

After two long years, because of the ‘fallow year’ (the year they give the field a break from all of us), Glastonbury is back on the weekend of of 26-30 June 2019.

And our favourite wildly talented grime god is heading up the Friday.

Last year, Stormzy hit the headlines for his good deeds, like launching scholarships for black students to attend Cambridge University and setting up a publishing brand to help young writers get published.

Here’s hoping that the grime Stormzy is bringing is the only kind at this year’s Glasto - aka, fingers crossed we don’t have to wade through any of the festival’s infamous mud (disclaimer: always bring your wellies, whatever the forecast).  

11. Football's coming home (again)

All the memes in the world couldn’t help the England football team to victory in last year’s World Cup. But in 2019 we get another shot - literally - and we're bracing ourselves. 

Enter - England and Scotland’s Women’s football teams, who will be repping the home nations at the Women’s World Cup in France this summer, fighting favourites USA for the trophy.

And if that doesn’t work out, there’s always the Cricket and Rugby World Cups, which are also taking place in 2019 (beginning May and September respectively). Cricket’s coming home - it’s kind of got a ring to it, right?

12. Insta-pets will be flooding your feed 

It's official - pets are good for you. So you’ll be happy to hear our prediction that 2019 is the year of the pet influencer. And if that doesn't make you cheerful, then there is nothing that can thaw your cold, cold hearts. 

These little creatures may look professionally too cute to care, but like your regular human Insta-influencer, some are ambassadors for brands. Yeah, that’s right - look closely and you’ll notice they’re sporting the finest in #ad style - including watches, backpacks and even hipster coffee.

Here are some of our personal favourites to brighten up your year…

@mr.pokee - 1.2m followers

@mensweardog - 362k followers

You’re welcome.

13. So many film prequels, sequels and remakes

2018 ended on a spoonful of sugar high thanks to the Mary Poppins movie sequel (yeah we watched it, and what?) - and if that put a smile on your face, 2019 promises to dish up even more nostalgia in a remake and sequel marathon. Pass us the popcorn. 

There’s the release of the is-it-or-isn’t-it-a-live-action-remake of the Lion King set to be in cinemas on 19 July.

And then sisters Elsa and Anna plus friends are back this November for the sequel to 2013’s Frozen. Sure, the Spice Girls may be making a comeback this year but Frozen’s sisters are the only kind of girl power we need in 2019 to be honest.

14. Naps: more socially acceptable than ever

Calling all fans of the ‘snooze’ button - 2019 could be a great year for sleep. And if we get our eight hours, we'll admit we feel kind of cheerful. Just two short years ago, some experts claimed we were in the middle of a sleep epidemic as many of us were struggling to catch some good quality Zzzs.

But trend-spotters at Pinterest say that searches for ‘sleep optimisation’ on the platform went up by 116% in 2018, which suggests that we are trying to get sleep smart (think long baths and no Insta-scrolling in bed).

And with nap stations for rent popping up last year around the UK and some companies introducing snooze time during the working day, nodding off is becoming more socially acceptable than ever.

FYI annual Napping Day is on 11 March this year. Pass us a blanket.

15. Feast yourselves - women writers are having a moment

Marie Kondo might be the new queen of folding, but one thing we won’t be doing to ‘spark joy’ is throwing our books away. To be honest, we even plan to get more - especially given the amount of new work by women hitting the shelves in 2019.

We’ll be starting with the previously unpublished short story by Sylvia Plath that was published earlier this month. Soon after, newcomer Mariam Khan’s collection of essays by Muslim women in the West comes out and promises to be #nofilter. Then, Margaret Atwood’s next book is hitting the shelves in September and - thank you, book gods - it’s a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.

We love a good story, especially by fierce and unflinching female writers, so we’re here for it.

16. Ditching plastic is about to get easier 

Sir David Attenborough, national treasure, has stressed that it’s more important than ever to look after the planet. And when Sir David speaks, we listen.

Thanks to some 2019 developments, it’s about to get easier for us all to be eco kings and queens.

Food giant Nestle are in the process of phasing out Smarties’ plastic caps, meaning your sweet tooth is about to get guilt-free - sort of. Marks and Spencer’s are also going green by selling fruit and veg loose, aka plastic-free. 

You can even make your Christmas plastic-free this year - so no excuses.

17. Bye bye toxic dating: healthy alternatives are on the horizon 

It’s hard to keep up with the latest dating trends - preating, orbiting, and scrooging all had their moment in 2018. But, we thought it was only fair to give you a heads up on what to look out for in 2019.

Thank U, Next

Thanks to self-love queen Arianna Grande's hit Thank U, Next, we are all taking a healthier approach to our break-ups. Grande-ing - as the dating trend is actually known - is when you park your vengeful thoughts and, instead, thank your ex for the good times and move on. Thank U, Ari - it's healthy and we're here for it. 

IRL dating

Could 2019 be the end of the toxic swipe culture? Major dating apps have labelled it as the year of IRL dates, and an end to 'hook up culture'. CEO of Hinge, Justin McLeod, told MSN that, "singles are sick of mindless connections and racking up matches. They want actual dates."

Banksying

Obvs, one toxic trend has slipped through. If you notice someone purposely sabotaging your relationship, much like the planned shredding of the Banksy piece that had just been sold, then you might have caught your partner ‘Banksying’. Aka the pre-planned gradual sabotage of a relationship. Savage.

18. Tech self-care is taking over 

2018 may have brought us 70 new emojis and Group FaceTime but let’s be real - last year will go down in history as the year we started tracking our screen usage via features like digital wellbeing and Screen Time. To be honest, it was all a bit worrying - a study last year found that 45% of teens with access to a smartphone say they are almost constantly online. But don't let that get you down - you can indulge in the ultimate 2019 tech trend and prioritise your digital well-being - think fewer selfies, more self-care.

Example - in screen-usage updates last year, both Apple and Android introduced functions allowing you to set limits to the time you spend on social media - meaning you can set a timer on your Insta-scroll (and FOMO), as well as pull the plug on Twitter rants. 

19. You can grow your own avo tree

Remember when someone said we couldn’t afford to buy our own homes, because we were spending too much cash on avocado on toast? Seriously?

Well, according to Pinterest, we are now searching “how to grow an avocado tree” more than ever. So, 2019 might be the year to grow and smash our own avos, and finally, possibly, shut up our brunch haters. We don’t need that negativity in our lives. 

Sure, it may take approximately 10 to 15 years to actually grow the tree enough to bear fruit. Still, that's probably quicker than we are likely to afford a house, so might as well give it a try.