Improving Her Depression, Woman Tries Something New Every Day for a Year–And Vows to Keep it Up

A woman who struggled with depression found a way—actually, more than 300 ways—to improve her mental health by doing something new every day for a year.

Jess Mell says she’s now the happiest she’s been in a decade after trying new things for 365 days, including a try at hot yoga and beekeeping.

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During the pandemic, the 34-year-old suffered from anxiety and depression—but the lockdown made her realize that she was depending upon her routine as insurance to keep her going.

So, last year on December 27th—as the pandemic was fading—she decided to try something new every day for 100 days. When that period ended in April, she found herself eager to do more.

One full year later, the Englishwoman has completed her challenge—yet still has no plans to stop.

Jess completed a wide range of ‘firsts’, including bleeding a radiator, using a sewing machine, and joining a gardening group.

From her home in Surrey, she was able to visit European cities like Vienna, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, and Krakow—and, back on home soil, she tried speed dating and line dancing.

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“I feel pretty emotional about it to be honest,” said the resident of Redhill. “I can’t believe it.

Jess Mell tried beekeeping for a day – Instagram / SWNS

“I wanted to finish it off with something exciting, so in the end I finished up by convincing my dad to let me sit on the roof of his car as he drove down the road,” she told SWNS news service. “My final one was making my first ever Instagram reel of some of the things I’d done in the year.”

PRO TIP: She adjusted her goal midway through the year, after finding it difficult to do ‘one thing every day’. She settled on simply doing 365 new things throughout the year.

“That way, I could do ten things in one day if I was free.” Joined sometimes by friends, Jess says the best part about the whole experience has been putting herself out of her comfort zone. “I feel like I should constantly be doing something.”

From entertaining ‘firsts’—like watching an ice hockey match to playing with miniature pigs—to educational quests—like learning the DIY tasks of hanging a picture and sewing a button—her list is a unique hodgepodge of items.

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“It’s now just part of what I do,” said Jess, who’s been keeping track of it all on her Instagram page.

“There’s still a lot more I want to try… What has been so nice about the whole experience has been that whenever I’ve thought ‘I could try that’, rather than putting it off I just ask myself ‘why don’t I’.”

Her Partial List: (Maybe it will inspire you to try something similar)

Got Instagram
Watched ET
Made a lampshade
Grew a plant from seed
Bled a radiator
Tried origami
Went to hot yoga
Dyed my hair pink
Did 1000 piece jigsaw by myself
Made muffins
Visited an aircraft hangar
Used the “scary” gym equipment
Got a henna tattoo
Watched the Great Escape
Learned how to tie various types of knots
Learned to shuffle cards
Went to a life drawing class
Completed a paint by numbers
Learned to pick a lock
Made/ate a vegan meal
Hung a picture on the wall
Learned to sew a button
Learned some British Sign Language
Went to a board game club
Learned to change indicator light bulbs in my car
Tried a Guinness
Joined a community volunteer group
Ate using chopsticks
Attended a first aid course
Went to the British Library
Had an Espresso Martini
Used a sewing machine
Poached an egg
Played chess for the first time
Successfully completed some monkey bars
Went to the Tate Modern museum
Changed a car wheel (or helped to!)
Played golf
Made a pizza from scratch
Did a French braid
Whittled some wood
Learned a simple tap routine
Tried to whistle with my fingers – couldn’t do it loudly!
Made a rainbow cake
Tried embroidery
Bowled without bumpers
Visited a Mormon Temple
Tried to start a fire without matches – failed!
Tried soldering
Went on my first solo trip
Went to Belfast/Northern Ireland for the first time
Made butternut squash soup
Tried knitting
Drove a van
Upcycled an old stool
Went paddle boarding
Tried papier mache
Visited St Paul’s Cathedral
Fixed my bathroom plug
Attempted to learn to play the ukulele (gave up!)
Watched a foreign film without subtitles
Went on my first solo trip outside of the UK
Made jam from scratch
Fed a tortoise
Made tapas from scratch including a Spanish tortilla
Tried sherry
Joined an outdoor fitness class
Went on an organized walk
Made banana bread
Tried Geocaching
Went to a butterfly house
Visited Krakow, Poland
Tried local dish, pierogi
Went on an e-scooter
Went to a poetry reading session
Tried bubble tea
Tried Zumba
Did a proper tequila shot
Tried reflexology
Did a solo escape room
Went to a local town’s museum
Learned a magic trick
Ate fish eggs
Used a bidet
Tried teeth whitening strips
Saw the changing of the guard
Sat on someone’s shoulders
Watched Tower Bridge going up
Tried a gooseberry
Made my own protein bars
Went to an outdoor cinema screening
.. And watched Casablanca for the first time
Went to a hot air balloon show
Had a beekeeping experience afternoon
Watched a jousting tournament
Tried plantain
Gave blood
Made a scarecrow
Swam in the sea during a storm
Had a birds of prey experience afternoon
Went on a tractor ride
Tried pumpkin spiced latte
Went to a casino
Went to an Oktoberfest
Finally worked out how to screen cast from my phone to the TV
Watched and painted along to a Joy of Painting with Bob Ross
Made ice cream
Saw the Little Mermaid statue
Went pumpkin picking
Went to puppy yoga
Watched Hocus Pocus for the first time
Went on a Murder Mystery Train experience
Ran up a downwards escalator
Drove a Tesla
Went to a sketch comedy show
Went to an ice hockey match
Made a key lime pie
Tried mulled cider
Toasted a marshmallow on a fire
Pulled a pint in a pub
Snapped a wish bone
Attended an online cookery class
Tried curling
Caught a grape in my mouth
Went line dancing
Went speed dating

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