Beauty: Long, hot baths are the only way to get you through winter. Here's what you need for the perfect soak...

Melt away the January blues with the help of these scented salts and aromatherapy oils

A steaming soak in the bath is the healthiest way to melt away New Year blues

IN THE dreary, bleak expanse of time known as January, when the fairy lights have come down but the sun barely seems to register on the horizon, having a range of spirit-lifting activities in your arsenal is a must.

Drowning your sorrows is one option – and we don't mean hitting the bottle. This month, indulging in a steaming soak in the bath is the healthiest way to melt away New Year blues.

It doesn't have to be complicated. All you need is warm water and a dash of something scented, chosen according to your bathing desires, be that pure relaxation, stress relief or to soothe aching muscles.

And if you're saving pennies this month, a night in the tub is cheaper than a night in the pub – as long as you choose your bath oil or salt carefully.

From the calming to the energising, these are the aromatic additions that will take you to bath heaven...

1. Sleep inducing: Struggling to get your requisite seven hours of slumber? Look for bath products that contain lavender (proven to help you drift off) and sweet scents like tonka bean and almond oil. Lie back and breathe in the fragrant fumes before bed to ensure a restful night's sleep.

Lush The Big Sleep Jelly Bath Bomb, £4.95 each

Elemis Life Elixirs Sleep Bath & Shower Oil, £55

2. Muscle relaxing: Persistent aches and pains can feel so much worse when it's cold out, but a warm bath can make all the difference. Boost the healing powers of hot water with bath salts that contain arnica, a natural muscle and joint reliever, or massage your sore spots for a few minutes with oil, then hop into the bath to let the scent disperse.

Kneipp Joint & Muscle Arnica Bath Crystals, £8.95, Holland & Barrett

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath and Shower Oil, £47

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath and Shower Oil, £47, available from Aromatherapy Associates

3. Stress relieving: Feeling frazzled after just a week back at work? Reach for a luxurious oil packed with essential oils that will calm even the most stressed-out mind. A blend of floral and citrus notes will evoke sunnier days and brighten your mood.

Tisserand De-Stress Bath Oil, £10.95

Espa Soothing Bath Oil, £30

4. Invigorating: Not everyone wants a bath that will send them to sleep. If you love to jump in the tub first thing in the morning, you'll want an energising aroma to wake you up. Oils infused with zingy citrus and fresh floral scents will set you up for the day.

Tropic Skincare Awaken the Senses Bath Soak, £28.50 until January 31 (from £38)

Floris Lime Bath Essence, £55

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