What's Blue Monday and why is it the saddest day of the year?

The origins of Blue Monday
The analysis of a psychologist
When is Blue Monday?
Why is it Blue Monday
Other reasons for sadness
A publicity stunt?
Cliff Arnall: go to the Canary Islands
Make happy plans for the day
And then there's Happy Tuesday
A day to smile
How do you get rid of melancholy?
It's not bad to be sad (sometimes)
Don't worry, be happy
The origins of Blue Monday

January 18, 2021 is the saddest day of the year, also called Blue Monday. It's a day on which statistically most people will feel depressed. Blue Monday has its origin in 2005, when psychologist Cliff Arnall designed a mathematical formula to calculate which day of the calendar could be considered the saddest of the year.

The analysis of a psychologist

According to the BBC, it all came about when the now defunct company Sky Travel planned an advertising campaign. It was trying to figure out the most suitable day to launch the campaign and make it coincide with the date when most customers usually started to plan their vacations. What Cliff Arnall found for them was not a happy day but the saddest day of the year. This is how Blue Monday was born.

When is Blue Monday?

As the psychologist told The Telegraph in 2010, the third Monday in January is the saddest day of the year. To get to this conclusion, the doctor had collected the thoughts of his patients. After days and days of interviews, they all agreed that the third Monday in January was the least joyous for them.

Why is it Blue Monday

But why the third Monday in January? According to Cliff Arnall, it's a sum of different things: the consequences of the Christmas excesses, the discovery that New Year's resolutions are not going to be kept, the fact that work has started again and the next holiday is far away, and the cold and dark weather that is typical in this time of the year in some parts of the world.

Other reasons for sadness

Being short on money because of the holidays, and not having received your January salary yet, is another reason that makes the third Monday of January the saddest day.

A publicity stunt?

Still, despite the fact that half the planet marks Blue Monday in their calendars with alarms, there are some people who say the day is not that sad and just part of an advertising strategy. Big retailers, for example, try to make it into a new Black Friday, a special day to launch discounts to their customers and 'brighten up' their day.

Cliff Arnall: go to the Canary Islands

On Blue Monday 2016, Cliff Arnall himself launched the following message on Twitter: "Keep Calm & #StopBlueMonday in #CanaryIslands". Was the creator of Blue Monday working as a promotor for the Spanish archipelago?

Make happy plans for the day

Polemics aside, there are people who prepare for the possibility of falling into depression this Blue Monday and make happy plans for this fateful day. Lists of songs to motivate oneself, movies full of laughter for sad days, and a thousand and one more plans (in line with the pandemic and lockdown, of course) are available to counter the 24 hours of (supposed) sadness.

And then there's Happy Tuesday

Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel: after Blue Monday comes Happy Tuesday. It doesn't have the same logical explanation as Blue Monday, but it is still a step up from the day before.

A day to smile

A group of Twitter users have taken the opportunity to compensate the sadness of Blue Monday by tweeting positive messages and happy photos with he hashtag #HappyTuesday.

How do you get rid of melancholy?

It's a way to acknowledge that days can be sad, but that there's always hope for a better one. As the experts say, the best medicine to fight sadness is to be aware of what's happening and to stop the sadness from guiding our lives.

It's not bad to be sad (sometimes)

It's quite normal to have bad days once in a while. Occasional sadness is part of everyone's life. To feel blue once in a while is not unhealthy.

However, if you feel blue all the time, regardless of the day or season, it would be good to visit a doctor and talk about it.

Don't worry, be happy

Good luck on this Blue Monday. If you're looking for good vibes, we've got the cutest animal photos for you or a list of films that will make you feel better. Have a great day!

 

Read more: which foods can help against sadness?

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