Blue Monday, How I Hate Blue Monday

From: Tabloid Watch
Blue Monday is complete nonsense.

As Dean Burnett says in the Guardian today:

every year, much of the media become fixated on a specific day – the third Monday in January – as the most depressing of the year. It has become known as Blue Monday.

This silly claim comes from a ludicrous equation that calculates “debt”, “motivation”, “weather”, “need to take action” and other arbitrary variables that are impossible to quantify and largely incompatible.

He adds:

Its creator, Dr Cliff Arnall, devised it for a travel firm. He has since admitted that it is meaningless (without actually saying it’s wrong).

In today’s Mail, Luke Sakeld also writes about Blue Monday:

It has been suggested that the concept of ‘Blue Monday’ was based on junk science drummed up by a travel company as a clever ploy to have us booking holidays to sunnier climes.

But this comes halfway through the article – after many sentences which clearly suggest Blue Monday is a genuine thing. The spur this year appears to be a press release from Anglian Home Improvements, which may just have an ulterior motive for suggesting natural light and windows can improve a person’s mood. 

The headline on today’s article is:

However, the sheer emptiness of Blue Monday – and the laziness of the ‘journalism’ – is revealed by this:

Yes, that’s the ‘today is Blue Monday’ article, based on the same press release, but written by Sean O’Hare, that the Mail published last week.

It said :

it comes as little surprise that today is said by experts to be the most depressing day of the year.

Depressing, indeed.

Ben Goldacre’s excellent article – from 2006 – on the background to Blue Monday is worth reading.

(hat-tip to Edward)