Written by Various Artists


QOTM: What never fails to cheer you up?

Maybe it’s your baby’s toothless grin. Maybe it’s the feel of crunchy snow under your feet. Or maybe it’s an unopened bag of Minstrels. What’s your ultimate pick-me-up?

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Rowan Whiteside
BOOKS. Nothing will make me happier quicker than a book. Especially a free one. But an hour or so browsing a bookshop is a right tonic to the spirits.

Sarah Millican
A big fast walk with loud excellent music. And the cinema, because it’s pretty much the only time my phone is off. Which is bliss.

Camilla King
My kids make me smile every single day, even when I’m feeling really crap, but when they’re not around I’m also pretty obsessed with watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs on YouTube. Singing them quietly in public also cheers me up no end. I do love a rude song.

Suze Kundu
Nothing like heading to my parents’ fabulous house in Surrey. I say house, but I mean home. Mum and Dad’s hugs, their factual problem-solving, home-cooked food and home-poured drinks in PJs on the snuggly Chesterfields. Nothing beats it for fixing me when I am frazzled.

Hazel Davis
A passage from Cannery Row, the opening bars of Badlands or Mathar by the Dave Pike Set turned up to 11.

Hannah Dunleavy
Learning something. If I end a day without having gained a new fact, I generally regard it as a wasted day. I had an appalling end to 2016 and one of the things that got me through it was some huge great chunks of history. It’s not always happy, but it has the good manners to be fucking fascinating.

Jane Hill
A warm bubble bath and a well-written detective book that starts with a body, a team of detectives and a post-mortem.

Kiri Pritchard-McLean
The clip of Alfonso Ribeiro doing a jive from Dancing with the Stars.

Jessica Fostekew

Lili la Scala
It’s totally twee but my horse is a guaranteed mood lifter. He doesn’t care if I’m feeling low, he doesn’t care if I’m miserable about the first world problems plaguing my life! Get out, shovel some shit, feel better.

“This is going to sound weird but… bleaching the sink or bleaching teacups. It’s very, very satisfying.”

Julie Balloo
Visiting an art gallery or museum where I enter a bubble and forget all else. Oh and watching Dance Moms.

Lucy Reynolds
If I meet a dog and get to talk to it, stroke it, lie on the floor and let it jump all over me, that will ALWAYS make things better. Dogs are the best of us!

Liz Buckley
Cillian Murphy. In any format.

Sophie Scott
A London Zoo trip with my son – it’s possibly my favourite place on Earth, plus there are ferrets, mongooses and OTTERS. Also Morecambe and Wise’s tap dance routine because it’s just delightful. And the song I’m in the Mood for Love sung by Lord Tanamo as it’s charming and reminds me of when I met my partner.

Sarah Hendrickx
Blue sky, a field or any sort of nature. Can’t help feeling what I imagine to be akin to a religious sense of upliftedness and wonder every time. I cannot remain down in nature.

Maureen Younger
Listening to 80s soul music – in particular the Fatback Band’s I Found Lovin’. Probably because the songs remind me of my youth.

Annabel Giles
Going to the cinema during the working day, just me and a box of Maltesers. Sticking it to whoever.

Jess Macdonald
“Aggers, do stop it.” I could listen to this every day and I’d still wheeze laughing. I am now. It’s not what was said that’s funny, it’s the helplessness of their laughter and how infectious it is. “The wicket keeper’s hhhhhhhhh.”

Dotty Winters
Seeing a squirrel fall out of a tree. Doesn’t happen often, but it is always worth the wait.

Jen Offord
When someone absolutely creases up. For example, when a mate is telling you a story, but they’re laughing so much they’re crying and can’t get the words out. This is the most joyous thing.

Ruth Bratt
OK, this is going to sound weird but… bleaching the sink or bleaching teacups. It’s very, very satisfying.

Daisy Leverington
At the start of The Walking Dead there’s a warning saying that the show contains violence and gore etc. My husband and I both shout, “GOOD!” and high five. Every week. Makes me happy.

Hannah Dolan
I love ‘singing’ along to the spacey/underwater synths in the opening part of the BoJack Horseman theme.

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Written by Various Artists

Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.