Pensions strikes, excessive bank fees, tax bills, healthcare costs... there is a lot of doom and gloom news out there at the moment.
So we asked Connexion newsletter readers for their reasons to be cheerful - what it is about life in France that brings a smile to their face.
Here are some of the replies:
I can walk to the end of the road, stand by the landmark Cathedral Saint Nazaire and see the Pyrenees and Cevennes in the distance. Magic. Plus.. I can take my dog to restaurants with me. I would also say that school children are very polite here compared to London. AND children are not pressed into growing up too quickly here either.
I also like that my kids are welcome at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol and we can have a full evening instead of being asked to leave at 9pm. Far more family orientated out here.
Ok there are places like mine in the UK but here in MONFR(Middle Of Nowhere FRance) I like that there is no noise from scroaty kids causing trouble at weekends, no nosey neighbours, no cold callers, no rush of traffic.
I like the unsilence of the countryside, the easy going calm of the people who live here. Even on a wet murky day like today I can look outside and say that I even like the rain cos it's isnt gloomy grey rain, it's good to feel this contented.
Yupawadee Bird Sarson
For me it has to be my orchard - my freezer is full of cherries and plums from earlier in the year, my fridge is full of freshly squeezed grape juice, my fruit bowl is full of ripe peaches and pears and my kitchen is full of the delicate fragrance of ripe quince.
We have just been reading your newsletter which has compelled us to write and say why we have moved to France.
Although cost of living seems to be on a par with England now other expenses work out cheaper. Such as no annual road tax - all included in the petrol price - MOT is only every two years and of course the council tax is less.
The other very good thing is 'no threat feeling'. As a pensioner I feel quite safe stepping out at night.
There are also so many things to see and do which do not cost an arm and a leg - we are always going out on daily jollies - and of course the total lack of traffic jams is just terrific.
And where we live the weather does help as well.
Mac and Lin (Deux-Sevres)
We have just returned from a wonderful lunch in a restaurant, where the food not only was absolutely excellent, the service top, the setting very pleasant and the price very affordable!
Where else can you have this? Our friend from England, a well-travelled gentleman, like us, feels that you would pay the earth for this in the UK, yet our meal, including drinks cost us 25 Euro p.p.
OK, we do live in the Dordogne, not in Paris or another big town.
There are several "up-market" restaurants in our area, where you eat extremely well and not expensively and where the service is always performed with a smile!
Simple. The rain is warmer and the wine is cheaper.
Apart from the slower pace of life, the clean air, the fantastic food and wine, I am most impressed with the medical service which has transformed my life.
As a sufferer with Rhuematoid Arthritis, I was taken under the wing of doctors and consultants, had a total head to toe medical, spent three days in Vannes Hospital for tests where the staff where just delightful.
They have encouraged me to lose weight, try a new drug, which I self-inject weekly and get on with life. The pain has gone from 95% imobility to 95% mobility, each day is getting better and better and long may it continue.
In the UK I would have never been so cared for and certainly did not get the treatment there that I have had here.
So all you people who think you would not be looked after in France take the plunge... Life in France is wonderful, a reason to be cheerful.