Today Is ‘Blue Monday’, 2019’s Most Depressing Day. But Is There Any Science Behind It?

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Monday blues are a staple each week which makes #MondayMotivation posts a necessity. However, before you trundle on with your workday, take a second to grasp that today i.e. January 21 is Blue Monday!

It essentially means that it is ‘officially’ the most depressing day of the year. Yes, folks, a theory states that we are wired to feel the worst today. You can now legit bawl and chug on caffeine as if your life depended on it! Or can you? Like the best of theories, this too is not without dispute.

Coined in Britain, the Blue Monday concept was originally publicized by holiday company Sky Travel. They claimed to have calculated the date with an equation making it an annual event thereon.

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Every third Monday of the year is considered to be a bad day. The formula to this conclusion includes a combination of factors. This is including, weather conditions, debt, realizing Christmas really is over, the realization of all the money we’ve spent celebrating it and the fact most of us are back at work reports The Sun.

If you are wondering about the mathematical calculation then it reportedly looks something like this-

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W = weather
D = debt
d = monthly salary
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failing our new year’s resolutions
M = low motivational levels
Na = the feeling of a need to take action

Your one ticket out of misery would be to work out, eat heartily and perhaps hang out with your mates (or so they say).

But is it Science or Pseudoscience?

While it seems quite a curious theory, we must delve into history to unearth its murky origin story. The concept was originally coined in 2004 by psychologist Cliff Arnall.
He came up with a “formula” for the January blues after he was asked to do so by travel firm Sky Travel, who then used the phrase in a press release to promote their winter deals.


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Indeed, folks, Blue Monday was incepted as a publicity gimmick to promote products and even travel! Arnall has since confessed that the formula is essentially pseudoscience and has urged Brits to “refute the whole notion” of Blue Monday! “I was originally asked to come up with what I thought was the best day to book a summer holiday.

“When I started thinking about the motives for booking a holiday, reflecting on what thousands had told me during stress management or happiness workshops; there were these factors that pointed to the third Monday in January as being particularly depressing,” Arnall told The Daily Telegraph.

Yet, debunking this myth wasn’t enough for it hasn’t stopped PRs and marketing firms from manipulating the concept. Many use it as a golden sales opportunity and capitalize on the assumption that everyone is miserable on this particular day, making them vulnerable to advertising reports Independent.

But if it’s fake, how come you feel blue?

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Arnall says that it functions as a self-fulfilling prophecy. “It is not particularly helpful to put that out there and say ‘there you are’,” he added, describing Blue Monday as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the upside, if this is 2019’s worst day, then there’s a reason to rejoice yet! For one, you’ve made it through most of the day (hurray!). Secondly, no way any day can trump this one all year! Bet your 2019 is looking pretty darn bright now eh?

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