THE JANUARY blues can be tough to banish.

But perhaps not now Brighton has three 'happy cafés' where you can go to cheer up.

The country's very first happy café opened in October 2014 at Emporium in London Road and since then the idea has become a global success.

Two more happy cafes have popped up in the city - at Milk No Sugar in Trafalgar Street and Diva Espresso and Sandwich Bar in St James's Street - hosting events with partner charity Brighton Action for Happiness.

Cafés are identified as happy by a window sticker and their aim is to cheer people up and improve their wellbeing.

Founder Stan Rosenthal, who now runs a national Happy Café Network, is delighted the idea has taken off and particularly that the Brighton café which started the movement has now been mentioned in books and in front of the Dalai Lama.

He said the cafés are designed to be a "beacon of happiness in Brighton, which will reinforce and inspire people in their search for wellbeing."

Membership of Brighton Action for Happiness has doubled in the city, with more than 1,500 people joining since the café launched.

Meanwhile least 20 cafés have opened in the UK including Canvas Café in Shoreditch, London and more are in the pipeline - including some in Australia, Taiwan, Spain, the Philippines, the Netherlands and Canada.

Last year [2015] three philosophy students at the University of Sussex studied the effect of the cafés.

The cafes were found to be particularly popular with people new to the area, people looking for a non-judgemental place to meet, people who are stuck in a rut and looking for change and those looking for a sense of belonging or somewhere else other than the bar or dating scene.

The students said the appeal of the group was because it was secular, free and informal with a mix of people and the chance to meet someone new every week.