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Fearne Cotton is taking this simple approach to quarantine dressing to lift her mood

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Hollie Richardson
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Fearne Cotton

Happy Place founder Fearne Cotton has made a very good case for wearing bright colours in dark times, and it might just inspire what you pick out to wear during quarantine. 

Let’s be honest: most of us are probably spending most of our days in loungewear, workout gear and pyjamas at the moment. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Right now, we just need to feel comfortable and safe while social distancing by staying indoors. 

But, as Fearne Cotton pointed out this week, putting some thought into the colours we wear might actually prove helpful to our mental health.

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The Happy Place podcaster and mental health advocate shared a photograph of herself wearing a brightly coloured, stripy Olivia Rubin cardigan on Instagram. 

In the caption, Cotton said her Celebrity Juice co-host Keith Lemon – whose style is always flamboyant – inspired her to wear colourful clothes to help lift her mood.

The captain read: “Taking advice from @keithlemon and wearing bright colours to lift the mood at home. #StayAtHomeSeries #stayhome @oliviarubin.”

(Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate her bathroom wallpaper.)

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The following day, she took the same approach while admitting that she was feeling “slightly overwhelmed” and “unable to process everything”.

Her caption read: “Keeping the colours bright and the vibes high. Don’t feel quite as good as I did yesterday. Like most of you I’m oscillating between feeling grateful and happy with the simple things, to then slightly overwhelmed and unable to process everything. Going with @keithlemon tip of wearing bright clothes to keep moods lifted! Love to you all today.”

So, is there any science behind the idea of wearing bright colours to feel happier? According to experts, the answer is yes – but it all depends on how you connect with certain colours.  

“There’s a lot of evidence surrounding the psychology of colour,” Shirley O’Donoghue, a professor of holistic therapies and founder of holistic centre Lucis College, recently told Stylist. “If you are lethargic and demotivated, uplifting colours such as orange, red and yellow would be good. If you are anxious, [turn to] calming and soothing colours [such as] green, blue and purples.”

For O’Donoghue, who lectures on colour for the Federation of Holistic Therapists, harnessing the power of colour can have a strong positive effect on your mood. You can even combine colours to supercharge your mindset, she adds. “For a greater impact and balance you can use complementary colours – for example [combining] orange and blue, red and green, or purple and yellow.”

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Yellow could make you feel happier in dark times, so why not wear a yellow outfit today?

And research by Leatrice Eiseman, a colour specialist and executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, has found that most people commonly associate yellow with the words sunshine, warmth, cheer, happiness and even playfulness.

She said: “We can help to induce that hopeful feeling by wearing something yellow.”

So why not give it a go and see if wearing a splash of colour helps lift your spirits today?

Images: Rankin/The Prince’s Trust

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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