There's a reason "Blue Monday" is trending on social media: For the uninitiated, it refers to the third Monday in January—that would be today—which has been christened the gloomiest day of the year. Back in 2005, a UK psychologist named Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University came up with a formula that factored in the weather, holiday debts, New Year's resolutions gone bust, etc., to pinpoint the date. In fact, Arnall says 2017's Blue Monday might be the bluest of all because of factors such as the spate of celebrity deaths in 2016 and trepidation among many about Donald Trump and Brexit, reports the Telegraph. Does this all sound a little half-baked? Well, you're not alone in thinking so, notes USA Today.
The date was cooked up to "sell summer holidays," writes Isabella Goldie of Mental Health Foundation in London in a blog post. “Since then it has become a yearly PR event and primarily a device to promote and sell things, often tenuously linked, to improving our well-being.” Now, there's something to it, she notes, given factors such as seasonal affective disorder, but she thinks the title trivializes genuine mental anguish. In fact, as NBC News observes, most of the links to the trending #BlueMonday hashtag on Twitter were advertisements for things like Florida getaways or rejuvenating skin cream. (It doesn't help that Arnall has not provided the data to back up his formula.)