Revealed: the cities in the UK experiencing the most ‘winter blues’

A new survey by Blinds 2go sheds light on Brits’ feelings during the winter season 

As daylight decreases during this season, many of us grapple with shifts in our circadian rhythm, and for some, the onset of winter blues is a palpable experience.

In fact, 10 million UK adults struggle with seasonal affective disorder when it gets darker, with most affected Brits living in Norwich, closely followed by Sheffield, Bristol and Plymouth.

That’s according to a recent survey conducted by Blinds 2go, offering valuable insights into how Brits feel during the winter months.

However, you’d be glad to find out there is a light at the end of the tunnel. From embracing shorter daylight hours to adjusting your home environment, interior design experts at Blinds 2go share their top tips for battling the ‘winter blues’.

Key Survey Highlights:

  • Notably, as the days grow darker earlier after the clock change, one in five Brits across the nation grapple with seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as SAD.

  • Data shows that in Norwich, 76% of residents experience low energy, sluggishness, and feelings of agitation during the winter season, underscoring the significant impact of SAD on their lives.

  • Data from the survey shows that a quarter of residents in Norwich (23.2%) admit feeling the winter blues, more than any other city in the UK

  • The survey shows that 22% of residents living in Sheffield reported experiencing similar symptoms, while 20% in Bristol and 19% in Plymouth also struggle with winter blues.

Dr Alexis Missick, General Practitioner at UK Meds, said: 

“Because melatonin and your internal body clock (circadian rhythm) rely on sunlight, this is why you can feel tired and lacking in energy if you suffer from SAD. Meanwhile, the effect of a lack of sunlight on your serotonin production is responsible for a change in mood, appetite and sleep.

“The first port of call in avoiding symptoms of SAD is to get as much natural sunlight as you can. This can be hard if you work a day job and find that it’s dark when you get there and dark when you leave, but even a quick walk outdoors in your lunch break can make a big difference.”

Biggest symptoms Brits face during winter 







Experiencing low energy






Feeling sluggish or agitated






Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed






Changes in appetite or weight






Feelings of hopelessness






Have difficulty concentrating






How simple changes in our homes can help us combat the winter blues 

As the days grow shorter and winter’s chill settles in, many of us find ourselves grappling with the winter blues, commonly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

However, experts have revealed some valuable strategies to combat these seasonal challenges. According to Blinds 2go’s latest survey, over 40% of Brits are taking proactive steps to enhance their well-being during the winter season, with a particular focus on maximising natural light exposure and adjusting their home environment.

Here, we’ll share expert insights and tips to help you effectively battle the winter blues and uplift your mood, supported by the survey findings and expert commentary.

  1. Maximise natural light exposure: 

Maximising natural light exposure is key to combating winter lethargy. Over 40% of Brits choose to enhance their home lighting, either through abundant natural light or the use of appropriate window treatments, according to Blinds 2go’s latest survey.

Leah Aspinall, interior designer at the UK’s leading blinds and curtains online retailers, Blinds 2go and Curtains 2go, said: “Embrace shorter daylight hours by actively seeking out natural light and doing everything you can to welcome it into your home. Consider blinds in light colours that attract and diffuse sunlight, such as Venetian or vertical blinds, perfect for larger windows. These can be easily adjusted to welcome sunlight into your space. 

“Another effective choice is pleated blinds, available in various opacities, with a unique cell design that diffuses light and provides insulation.

“Open your blinds and curtains during the day, spend time outdoors, and position yourself near windows when working or relaxing. Harnessing the power of natural light can help regulate your circadian rhythm and uplift your mood.”

  1. Adjust your home environment

According to the Blinds 2go survey, 77% of Brits admit that adjusting their home environment helped them manage the effects of changing seasons on their mood and well-being.

The NHS guidance on seasonal affective disorder recommends that you make your work and home environments as light and airy as possible.

Georgina Strumer, counsellor at said: “We can’t halt the changing of the seasons any more than we can hold back the tides of the sea.  But if we take the opportunity to make changes to our home environment, making it feel more light and bright, it can help us to feel as if we have more control over our everyday lives. This in turn can make SAD feel more manageable and less overwhelming.” 

“Adjusting your home environment is a powerful way to combat the impact of seasonal changes on your well-being,” says Leah Aspinall, Head of Design at Blinds 2go. “I often recommend incorporating elements that create a sense of openness. Consider lighter paint colours, strategically placed mirrors to reflect light, and the use of sheer curtains or blinds to allow sunlight to filter through.

“These design choices not only enhance the aesthetics of your space but also contribute to a brighter and more uplifting atmosphere, making the winter months more manageable and less daunting.”

  1. Be as active and social as possible

Kamalyn Kaur, Psychotherapist at said: “Get your body moving – the less you do, the less you will want to do, the worse you will feel. Get your body moving, and create that energy inside your body. Exercise also creates endorphins and serotonin – happy hormones in your body.

“Get outdoors to maximise daylight hours as much as you can. As tempting as it is to stay indoors where it is warm and cosy, you are reinforcing your mood. Start off with a 10-minute walk, you will find that once you are out there you will stay out longer.

“Another tip I can give is to be around people that bring you joy. Everyone wants to be indoors and stay home during winter, which can be isolating and lonely. It goes without saying, but spend time with people who make you happy and bring you joy to uplift your mood.”


The survey commissioned by Blinds 2go via Censuswide surveyed 2,000 UK participants at the end of September.

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