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The Brain Bath?! Gets Grumpy


January is already quite a grumpy month as we struggle to adjust to work after the Christmas break.

It's understandable we all feel a bit down in the dumps as we realise just how much money we spent over the festive period. We are also facing up to the failed diets and the realisation that all of our New Year's resolutions have already been broken.

Now the experts tell us there is worse to come. Monday, January 24, has been declared the most miserable day of the year by Cardiff University psychologist Cliff Arnalls.

The Brain Bath?! team decided instead of running away in terror we should embrace the grumpy world and salute our favourite grumpy heroes. After all, the first step to curing a problem is to confront the source. So here's our list of people who have accepted their inner grump:

Top 10 grumpy heroes
1. Morrissey - English rock singer and lyricist. He was a founder member of The Smiths between 1982 and 1987. Heaven knows he was miserable then, but those who know his subsequently solo work say he's worse now.

2. Victor Meldrew - Grumpy old star of 'One Foot in the Grave'. Played by Scottish actor Richard Wilson, he's famous for the catchphrase, "I dont bel-eeeeeve it!"

3. Grumpy - The only character ever to convey that there could be anything other than a happy-ever-after ending in the Disney universe. You can even step into the depressed dwarf's shoes by buying a pair of Grumpy slippers.

4. Kurt Vonnegut - Social satirist and author of more than 15 novels, including ‘Player Piano’, ‘Deadeye Dick’ and ‘Breakfast of Champions’. His first book, ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ somehow managed to put a comic twist on the 1945 Dresden firestorm.

5. Albert Steptoe - The "dirty old man" who wound up his son in the vintage BBC comedy featuring 'Steptoe & Son'. According to some recent TV documentaries, actor Wilfred Brambles was almost as grumpy as the character he played.

6. Kurt Cobain - Lead-singer of grunge rock band Nirvana, Kurt couldn't cure his pain with heroin, so he used a shotgun instead.

7. Johnny Cash - An icon of American country music, the "Man in Black" launched his career with the line, "I shot a man in Reno, just to see him die", delivered to an audience of convicts at Fulsom County jail in his trademark gruff, baritone voice.

8. Leonard Cohen - Canadian singer-songwriter and all-round pessimist. Only just makes the list, as he has shown signs of mellowing in his later years. The reason? "Women have been/Exceptionally kind yo my old age," he sings in a recent song, 'Because Of'.

9. Alf Garnett - star of 'Till Death Us Do Part'and 'In Sickness and in Health'. Racist, sexist, biggoted, right wing - as grumpy as they come!

10. - This collective of sad music DJs offer "A troubled cure for a troubled mind." Based in Born Dull?!'s home town of Bristol (and an interest has to be declared, as there is some overlap between the personnel), the Grumps explain: "Bristol is perfect for the Grumpy Man, with its shallow and perfidious myths of community and culture, which serve only to distract from its true purpose of constant alienation and the individuation of consumptive tendencies into self-loathing crises. The city has perfected isolation in the crowd, has made drudgery the norm, and put the world in the dead-end call centre of despair."

The Brain Bath?! team would like to hear about your heroes of misery and also your ideas on how to get in touch with your inner grump.

Alternative sources of anti-grumpiness therapy

  • Psychologists explain what makes people happy
  • The science of laughter
  • Using humour in stress management
  • - happiness quotations
  • - more quotes from site with a silly name
  • How to be happy - tips from
  • Grumpy old men cartoons

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