Is Today Really the Saddest Day of the Year?
'Blue Monday' probably doesn't exist
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2013 1:14 PM CST

(Newser) – Back in 2005, a psychologist named Dr. Cliff Arnall dubbed the third Monday in January "Blue Monday" and declared that he had determined it to be the most miserable day of the year. Since then, companies have found ways to hawk their products to this supposedly dismal day, while the media cover "Blue Monday" with articles accompanied by images of very sad people (see left; we're not immune to the trend). Just one problem: Arnall has never actually released any data backing up his claim.

He says his "equation" takes into account a whole slew of factors, including weather, post-holiday debt, time since Christmas, failed New Year's resolutions, and a number of other things. To actually analyze such a huge amount of information would take an awful lot of work, the BBC points out, so it's not all that surprising that there's no proof "Blue Monday" exists. What we do have proof of: Suicides are actually more common in the spring than in January, and Mondays in general aren't any worse than most other weekdays. The whole "Blue Monday" idea could have a negative effect on our conversation about mental health, writes Claudia Hammond, since we already tend to use the word "depressing" a bit too capriciously. "So, not only does Blue Monday appear to be a myth," she concludes, "but so does the idea that we don’t like Mondays in general."

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Jan 22, 2013 11:14 AM CST
Monday's are not depressing. The point is no one wishes to return to work. We would rather be at home doing what we want to do, be it walking with grandchild, talking to best friend, or with brother or sister. So to say the third Monday of January is the most depressing is inaccurate. We are not miserable. We just have to return to work. That is all there is to it.
Jan 22, 2013 6:41 AM CST
Uh, no. That's what's called "northern hemisphere bias". It's a great, long, happy & sunny day up here on top of the world (the southern hemisphere).
Jan 21, 2013 10:45 PM CST
Of course today is the most depressing day of the next four years. Already on a four year path of socailism the majority of the liberals here in USSA [ United Socialist States of America] renewed their saviors plan for creating the worlds largest welfare state where a select few have the honor of going to work and paying the taxes that provide for the welfare class we have created for ourselves. Love to keep going but off to work so the welfare scum can sit at home play xbox and smoke some weed.