British mental health charity SANE has teamed up with Feeling Gloomy & Spotify to harness the power of music to lift everyone’s spirits and encourage people to connect more with friends and family.

Blue Mood Month launches January 16th and will run throughout 2012 as part of SANE’s 25th Anniversary Black Dog Campaign.

January can be a difficult time for many people. Cold, post Christmas bills, no holidays in sight and, with the economy as it is, worries for the year stretching ahead. It is no coincidence that the month contains ‘Blue Monday’, the third Monday of January, reckoned to be the gloomiest day of the year! The combined effect of all these pressures and stresses can have a damaging effect on mental health and wellbeing.

SANE and Feeling Gloomy have asked their celebrity friends – such as Graham Norton, Ruby Wax, Adam Ant and Beverley Knight – and supporters to create playlists of their favourite ‘sad songs that make you happy’ – ones that really lifted their mood when they were down. As promoter Carl Hill of Feeling Gloomy says, “Oddly, sad songs can pick you up when you are at your lowest. Perhaps it’s knowing that someone else at some point has felt like you have, or maybe it is just cathartic in itself.”

There has already been a fantastic response from celebrities: Stephen Fry said, “SANE and their campaign has my fullest possible support. What they are doing is wonderful and important.” Alastair Campbell added, “The more we are open about mental health issues, the better it is for those with mental illness and for society as a whole. So I am delighted to support this campaign.”

Blue Mood Month will showcase this collection of celebrity playlists to inspire people of all ages to create and share their own playlists. This form of communication through music will, at the same time, help to raise awareness of mental health issues, encourage everyone to talk about their darker times more openly and engage people in the Black Dog Campaign.

Marjorie Wallace CBE, Chief Executive of SANE said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Feeling Gloomy and Spotify as part of SANE’s Black Dog Campaign. We know that connecting through music can be particularly powerful. I hope that the playlists will bring people together with shared songs, tracks and emotions so that they may feel less isolated, not just in Blue Mood Month but throughout the year.”

The opening playlists have been placed on Spotify, so if you want to know what makes Stephen Fry weep with joy, Dan Stevens chuckle in misery, Griff Rhys Jones sob with happiness, Alastair Campbell sing in ecstasy, or brightens up Wayne Hemingway when he is blue… then click here.

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