Seasonal affective disorder: Appropriately, shortened to SAD.  It's the phenomenon when the weather outside messes with your mood. Depression changes with the seasons and it's especially worse during the winter months in Ottawa when there's less sunlight.

Let's talk about this time of winter especially: Christmas is over, the lights are gone and, for singles, it's almost Valentine's Day. February sucks. Admit it.

Thankfully, Ottawans have years of experience combatting the grey winter months with plenty of places to cheer you up. Just because spring isn't for another few months doesn't mean we have to mope about it.

Here are 12 spots that will for sure brighten your Ottawa wintery days:

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1. Pet some cats and drink a cup of warm coffee at the Siberian Cat Cafe in Chelsea.

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2. Take cheat day to the next level at Holland's Cake and Shake.

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3. Get a manicure (and a cocktail) at J'adore Beauty Bar & Lounge.

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4. Take a skate down this 3km skating rink near Gatineau Park.

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5. Devour all-you-can-eat wings at Pub101 on Mondays.

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6. Get outside and hit Camp Fortune's slopes on Tuesday nights for their 2-for-1 lift pass deal.

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7. Curl up inside with a hot cup of cocoa at Origin Trade.

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8. Check out a $5.00 comedy show at Absolute Comedy on Mondays.

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9. Add some colour to your life with a skate around the Rink of Dreams.

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10. Take a spa day at Nordik.

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11. Camp out at one of these adorable rustic cabins in Gatineau Park.

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12. Treat yourself and build your own donut at Maverick's Donut Company.

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