7 Heart-Gladdening Comfort Foods for the ‘Saddest Day of the Year’ Gallery
Are you feel blue? If you are reading this in mid-January, then chances are you’re feeling that post-holiday feeling. The warmth of summer might feel further away than ever, and your carefree holiday spending might finally be taking its toll as bank statements start to roll in. If any of these symptoms ring true, don’t worry — you are not alone. The name “Blue Monday” is given to a particular day in January — usually the third Monday of the month — that people have labeled the most depressing day of the year. But who on Earth reached such a conclusion, and how did they do it?
The idea was first published in 2005 in a press release from a travel company called Sky Travel. They stated that they had come up with a formula to calculate the date based on factors such as weather, New Year’s resolutions, debt, and that glum post-holiday feeling, among others.
Not surprisingly, this pseudoscientific hypothesis, while fun, is not actually supported by real scientists. There is however, something to be said for that slightly sad feeling that sometimes can be felt after times of heightened happiness such as the holidays, when you go from being surrounded by family and friends back to the drudgery of everyday life.
Whether you are experiencing the January blues or not, it can’t hurt to prepare some heart comforting foods just in case.
Buttery, flaky crust envelops a super rich and creamy thick soup base… honestly, what could be better than chicken pot pie? And there are vegetables in there so you can feel good about eating it, right?
But whether it’s cheesy, cream-filled scalloped potatoes; a crispy, veggie-filled, oven-baked gratin; or even this Mexican poblano cheese casserole, casseroles are guaranteed to improve your mood with their delightfully crumbly tops, cheesy insides, and their ultra-comforting warmth.
Hot, crispy, and the perfect amount of greasy, fried chicken is almost guaranteed to chase away the blues.
Try this recipe from chef Matt Moore — it’s so simple and doesn’t require a long brine; just season, bread, and fry to perfection in a cast-iron skillet. To deviate from classic Southern fried chicken, check out all of our best fried chicken recipes here.
Ice cream, the unofficial official food of break-ups, is on double duty this January. But first, find somewhere warm to indulge and cry.
Mac and Cheese
Because there isn’t anything better than cheese and gluten, right? Mac and cheese could (read: should) be considered the pinnacle of comfort food. If you are feeling extra indulgent, try this version that folds fresh, in-season crab into its cheesy embrace.
It’s National Soup Month and soup is here for you. A ground-breaking study by Campbell’s Soup Company reported that 95 percent of people surveyed said they “like or love” soup (feel free to click on if you fall into that 5 percent of soup-haters). So whether you like to eat your soup straight from a can, like to make it low and slow in a slow-cooker, or you find comfort in the process of cooking and building flavors on the stove, check out our best soup recipes and ideas here.
If you aren’t lucky enough to live near to one of our 101 best pizzas in America , create your own at home. Make an effort to acquire high-quality ingredients like good mozzarella and well-made pepperoni — it will make your pizza-eating experience so much happier! If you are reheating pizza, don't forget— this is the only way to reheat pizza in the microwave!