Johanna and Andreas trust in tea, candles and cudddles.
Johanne and Andreas trust in tea, candles and cudddles. Credit: Richard Orange / Sveriges Radio

Swedes' top tricks to ward off the winter gloom

4:01 min

When the clocks go back on Sunday, it'll be dark in Stockholm by 4pm. So what are Swedes' top tricks to ward off the winter gloom? And do they have any scientific backing?

Candles, chocolate, a warm fire, midday walks, and a lot of Swedish "fika" cakes and coffee.

Then if all this fails to lift the mood, a flight to somewhere sunny: Thailand perhaps. 

These are just some of the tips Swedes came up with when asked how they survive the long winter. 

But according to Torbjörn Åkerstedt, Professor at the Karolinska Institute and Director of the Stockholm Stress Centre, they don't necessarily work. 

"Lighting candles for instance, that's a very pleasant thing to do. The effect is not scientifically proven. There's certainly an effect of formal scientifically based light treatment, but it probably doesn't extend to candles." 

He recommends instead specialist lamps designed to treat depression, midday walks during your lunch breaks, and short breaks in sunnier southern climes.

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