10 things to lift your spirits in Sheffield

We all have bad days sometimes, where we don't know what to do, who to turn to or where to go. To help you through days like this, here's a hand-picked list of free and cheap local activities, written by our community.  


1. Socialise with other species

Ruth with Betty the goat at Whirlow Hall Farm

“Animals distract you, they can make you laugh, they can help you focus on something else. You can tell them your problems and they won’t judge you!” – Ruth

There are plenty of free and cheap places to meet other mammals (as well as reptiles, fish and birds!) in Sheffield, including Heeley City Farm, Mayfield Alpaca Visitor Centre (£3.50 per adult), Whirlow Hall Farm (where you can meet Betty the goat, shown here with Ruth!) and Sheffield Cat Shelter (you’ll need to bring some cat food).

2. Get into nature

Winter Gardens

“Whenever life seems slightly too much to handle I find it liberating to step out my front door and experience the world removed from human concerns.” – Susi

You don’t have to walk far to find a green space in Sheffield. Lap up the soothing sounds of water at Sheffield’s Peace Gardens, stroll in the pristine Botanical Gardens or go further afield to the dramatically beautiful Peak District (there’s also Weston Park, The Winter Gardens, Bolehill Park, Ecclesall Woods, Meersbrook Park and many more). Manor & Castle Community Forum also run regular Health Walks.

3. Go to a social cafe

hands holding coffee

“Sometimes when you aren’t feeling great you can end up isolating yourself – social cafes are the ideal antidote.” – Jo

There are tonnes across Sheffield, including Matty’s Coffee Mornings in Sharrow and Springboard Cafes at SOAR.

4. Get some good cheap grub


“I love being in an environment where money isn’t an issue, and food and friendliness are the priority!” – Jo

Give up on those gherkins and head out for some healthy hand-cooked food. Pay as you feel cafes are springing up across Sheffield, including The Real Junk Food Project and Foodhall.

5. Be green fingered

Man with flowers

“I felt great after digging up four beds for carrots – much better than I’d have been at home on the computer. There’s a simple, but therapeutic power to nature and gardening.” – Kate Cruise

Among other projects across the city Oasis and Sage Greenfingers both focus on gardening for recovery with friendly and inclusive sessions for people of all abilities.

6. Look at something beautiful

Weston Park Museum

“Experiencing people’s different perspectives on beauty emphasises it’s in the eye of the beholder.” – Susi

The Millennium Galleries, Bank Street Arts, Graves Gallery (above Central Library), Weston Park Museum, Site Gallery, and S1 Artspace are among the many places where you can see beautiful things in Sheffield, from paintings to sculptures, and from videos to textiles.

7. Make something beautiful

Hudson & General crates

“I like making things because you can channel your feelings into something you create, which then gives you a sense of achievement” – Anne Sophie

Heeley City Farm, Free Hand, CAST, The Art House, and Foxhill Forum all run creative arts groups which are mental health friendly.

8. Go to the cinema or the theatre


“It can make you laugh, and you get engrossed in the story, which takes you out of yourself.” – Ruth

Dress rehearsals at The Crucible are £1 if you get the ticket on the day (contact the box office for more info). The tiny Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge offers cheap tickets, as does Theatre Delicatessen. A top tip from our community – you can spend as little as £3 on to subscribe to cinema discounts through Meercat Movies.

9. Get active


“I find exercise shifts your focus into what you’re doing and seeing what your body can accomplish” – Anne Sophie

There’s plenty of evidence to show that exercise is good for mental wellbeing. There’s free projects all over the city: Brunsmeer Awarness Football Club, Pedal Ready, Manor & CastleGoodGym (who combine running with volunteering), and Unity Yoga (who run pay as you feel sessions on Mondays).

10. Pamper yourself


“Who doesn’t like being pampered?” – Susi

You don’t have to spend anything to treat yourself; it could be as simple as tidying your flat and having a bath. You can also get free makeovers at Lush, as well as other city centre chain shops.

Have we missed anything? Please let us know in the comments below

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