Christmas is over, it’s cold and dark, and Summer feels like so far away. Is it any surprise that today, and every third Monday in January, is known as Blue Monday?
Where did the term come from?
Blue Monday, also known as the most depressing day of the year, is a term that was coined by psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2004. He was approached by a holiday company to create a “scientific formula” for the January blues, to work out the best day to book your Summer holiday. He believed there were certain factors that pointed to the third Monday in January as being particularly depressing:
- Monthly salary
- Time since Christmas
- Time since failing our new year's resolutions
- Low motivational levels
But is it just a load of rubbish?
The short answer- yes.
Ironically, the formula isn’t based on anything scientific at all, and Arnall himself has confessed it is essentially pseudoscience.
The theory has been criticised for being loose with mental health terminology and for encouraging advertisers to exploit the day to sell their goods as a “cure” for feeling down, rather than spread a positive, helpful message.
Help and support
While it's recognised that winter months can provide additional challenges for people with mental health struggles, Blue Monday itself started out as nothing more than a marketing tool to sell more holidays and has little basis in fact. It's a myth. Arnall has since confessed the term is “not particularly helpful” and that happiness should be a year-round aim, not just something we think about for this one day.
Depression doesn't care what day it is, especially in difficult times like these. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, it’s important to look after your mental health every day, no just today.
For help and support if you're suffering with your mental health, check out Mind Charity.