Watch: Fearne Cotton: Depression made me feel ashamed
Addressing the concept of 'Blue Monday', Fearne Cotton has shared a heartfelt post pointing out that "it doesn't matter what day of the week it is...you can be blue ANY given day".
The 40-year-old television and radio presenter, podcast-host and author has also shared her own journey with 'blueness', revealing that she lost many Mondays to blueness when she was "commercially more 'successful'", whereas now she's older, and arguably less famous, she's at a point where she feels "pure joy" on a lunch break walk.
Posting a fresh faced, smiling, blue-skied winter walk photo of herself to Instagram, she wrote, "Blue Monday, blue Tuesday, blue Wednesday, blue Thursday, blue Friday, blue Saturday, blue Sunday, it doesn't matter what day of the week it is, or time of year, you can be blue ANY f*cking given day."
She added, "You can also feel absolute happiness on any day for no reason at all," hinting that despite blue Monday being known as 'the most depressing day of the year," the complexities of our emotions aren't controlled by how sad or happy a day is supposed to feel.
Cotton has gone from being in the centre of the spotlight, hosting shows like Top of the Pops, BBC Radio 1and Xtra Factor, to carving out her own space in the wellness world among among other things, notably her Happy Place podcast where she has honest conversations with celebrities and 'incredible people' about mental health. She's shared how her journey over the years has affected her happiness.
She wrote, "When I look back on my thirties I wonder how many Mondays I lost to blueness. Probably tons. I might have been commercially more 'successful' back then, interviewed many famous people, been invited to glamorous events or other stuff that you might believe cultivates happiness but I didn't have the experience or knowledge to take command of my reactions to the world around me."
Now, she recognises she feels happiness from the little things, explaining, "I've just been on a lunch break walk in between writing a new kids book and planing my Bigger Than Us event tomorrow [now today], and I felt pure joy.
"An elderly man on a bench with his face in the sun, The Beatles in my headphones, great colours all around, each step in my muddy trainers a privilege. I'm the same person now but I see the world very differently."
Cotton is gearing up to launch her new book Bigger Than Us tonight, touching on subjects like ritual and ceremony, non religious prayer, the law of attraction, looking for signs, mediums and intuition, shamanism and more.
With a history of depression, she acknowledges she isn't immune to low days or painful outcomes, but says she's not lugging her past around with her anymore, and while she might have faced criticism, judgement, panic and a lack of safety from strangers and being in the public eye, she says she now doesn't need to carry that around with her every day.
"Today I choose to stay in the moment which is a feeling of gratitude for a lunch break walk in the sun! What a joy," says Cotton.
She also addresses a heartfelt message to those who might be suffering, encouraging them that they too will "feel that sun on your face again one day".
"For those of you tackling hard stuff at the moment I send you love. From my own personal experience and from the plethora of individuals I've interviewed who have often been to hell and back, I know you'll get through it. It might be sticky, painful and soul destroying but you will feel that sun on your face again one day," she says.
"I don't want that to sound flippant or whimsical or to be triggering, I just believe it to be true."
Celebrity friends have shown support for her post, with Denise Vanouten leaving a heart, Ashley James commenting "Beautiful Caption", and Anna Friel with, "Good for you and well said. Thank you for always sharing."
Fans have also called her an "inspiration", "honest", and "uplifting", sharing their own stories of blueness and thanking her for picking or lifting them up.
Watch: Fearne Cotton talks you through the A to Z of Happiness