1 Look to the stars
Miranda Kerr recently announced she’s a certified life coach, Mini Driver played one in this year’s hot flick Return to Zero and renowned fashion designers Donna Karan and Cynthia Rowley are big on astrology as a tool to finding happiness. Our point? If the stars are into it, navigating your career and personal life with a little help from a trusted expert is set to be the next big health and lifestyle trend. Trust us. This is why we’re smitten with Carolyne Faulkner, Urban Retreat’s resident astrologer and one of the UK’s go-to life coaches for those-in-the-know. “I use astrology to assess strengths and challenges,” says Faulkner. “If I can touch on some of the challenges you might face in your life it will help you to reach your full potential rather than having to wait ten years while you figure it out on your own. Navigating your astrological chart saves you time and I wholly believe that’s valuable.” How it works? To start, she uses your date, time and place of birth to create a map of the sky at that precise moment. It’s a completely bespoke process as she then talks you through the 12 astrological houses and explains how the location of the planets could influence the various aspects in your life such as your career, love, and wellbeing. For her part, Faulkner is extremely intuitive and shares observations that are scarily spot on as our InStyle beauty editor found during her reading. “If something I say resonates with you that’s what you need to focus on - it’s incredible how simple awareness of some unhelpful patterns can trigger a change and help you tap into your own innate potential.
2 Try a happy scent
It’s a fact: we’re hard-wired to feel emotions in response to smells. According to research from Swiss fragrance giant Givaudan (whose perfumers are behind some of the world’s most successful scents – think Opium, Poison, Obession, Angel and J’adore), once our noses detect a fragrance it sends signals to the part of our brain that regulates moods and emotions. So a whiff of your mother’s perfume, for instance, can feel comforting, even when worn by a new acquaintance. The scent of your ex-boyfriends aftershave, on the other hand, can make you instantly recoil. So what scents ensure you feel good? Try citrus notes – “lemon and mandarin make us more energetic,” says L’Occitane’s in-house perfumer Karine Dubreuil, - and florals “they act like great antidepressants because they make us feel young and innocent again.” Our picks? Philosophy’s Field of Flowers Gardenia Blossom, £32 for 60ml and Sisley’s Eau Tropical, £102 for 100ml.
3 Break a sweat
It’s no secret that a workout can make you feel better. But according to new research it’s the way you workout that makes the biggest difference to your mood. Exercise that’s repetitive and forces you to breathe from your diaphragm (that’s your belly) gives the biggest mood-boosting payout. Think ballet or pilates. “Deep abdominal breathing – where you breathe in through your nose and out through pursed lips, is an integral part of pilates,” says Bootcamp Pilates instructor Sam Gurner. “It uses the diaphragm to expand the lungs and take in more air. This combination of breathing paired with the pilates exercises – which are often repetitive- help to release beta-endorphins and serotonin, the hormones that can increase your circulation, producing a feeling of calm and well-being.”