A British Woman Started a “365 New Activities in 365 Days” Challenge to Fight Depression
According to statistics, around 3.8% of the entire human population suffers from depression. Some people handle it with the help of doctors, while others fight it themselves. This is exactly what Jess Mell did when she started her “365 New Activities in 365 Days” Challenge. She took first aid training, tried beekeeping, and learned how to work with radiators. Her uplifting story even got Drew Barrymore’s attention.
It all started on December 27, 2021, when a 34-year-old insurance agent became tired of fighting depression and anxiety. She decided to reinvigorate her taste for life and try something new for the next 100 days.
Jess shared her first success on December 31st: she started an Instagram account, cooked stew for the first time, watched the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and made a lampshade.
Jess decided to do something special on the 100th day — she went outside of Great Britain alone. She walked around Budapest on her own, enjoying the city and chamomile tea and reviewing the results of the past 100 days. “This challenge has, without hyperbole, changed my life. It’s made me wake up every morning feeling excited for the day ahead, and has given me hope for the future where even a few months ago I was in a place where I had none.”
Jess realized she didn’t want to stop, so she continued the challenge for 265 more days. But she changed the rules a little bit. “I can’t keep doing something new every day as it’s too difficult, so I’m bending the rules a bit and aiming to do 365 new things within the year of starting —but I’ll allow myself multiple new things on some days so it’s feasible.”
She learned to pick locks with a pin like a real spy, baked her first banana bread, and tried drawing.
Of course, not every experience was positive for Jess. But she wasn’t shy of sharing stories about experiments that did not go as planned. For example, she couldn’t beat h Rubik’s Cube, and said she had never despised something inanimate more.
Once, a flying bird’s droppings fell on Mell. The woman thought this event was worthy to be on her list of the things she tried.
As she tried new things, Mell decided to do something kind and good — she became a blood donor. It wasn’t easy for her, because she found the idea scary, but she overcame the fear and was very proud of herself.
The 259th new thing she tried was flying a plane. Mell said it was an incredible experience.
She planned to finish the year with a blast. “I wanted to finish it off with something exciting — I convinced my dad to let me sit on the roof of his car as he drove down the road.” But it ended up being just the 364th thing.
Mell got creative and edited a video of all of her 365 deeds.
With her example, Jess showed that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to break your routine. Even small things can change our lives for the better and have a positive influence on our mental health. We hope that this woman’s experience can inspire you to do something new.