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Blue Monday

Blue Monday is on the third Monday in January. The meaning of this is filled with controversy because it is supposedly the saddest day of the year.

Many of us find ourselves in subzero weather this time of year, looking at our post-Christmas credit card bills and realizing we might already be breaking our new year’s resolutions. Are we destined to be blue on this specific Monday? Read on and decide, if so!


The Blue Monday concept surfaced in 2005 during a press release from a British travel company, Sky Travel, during a PR stunt. Citing psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, a formula pointing to the third Monday in January described the day as being the gloomiest of the year. Apparently, this equation manages to calculate the most depressing day of the year precisely.

Arnall’s formula considers many factors, including the weather at this time of year, people’s probable level of debt, time after Christmas and new year’s resolutions, generally lower motivation levels and feeling a need to take action.

Since the release of this concept, debates are ongoing. This theory may make sense in opinion, but in reality, some experts consider this pseudoscience. The science behind the formula is frequently questioned and highly scrutinized for possibly trivializing depression. One of Arnall’s university colleagues, Dr Dean Burnett commented, “There is no such thing as a 24-hour depression”.

There is a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression that may manifest in certain seasons. However, according to Dr Burnett’s point, the condition doesn’t last just one day. Symptoms of SAD can include irritability, persistent low mood and feelings of worthlessness. It may affect up to 3% of people in the UK.

Arnall since apologized for misleading anyone about the third Monday of January and its depressive capacity, renewing a campaign emphasizing the essential message of maintaining good mental health and taking the necessary actions to ensure this.


  1. ​Get healthy

    Happiness and health are frequently anecdotally linked and “laughter is the best medicine” is a cliche for a reason.

  2. Be money-wise

    Money is never far from our thoughts and saving more or spending less of it comes in as the second most common type of resolution.

  3. Learn something new

    ​There’s evidence that fun diversions contribute to good mental health, with studies showing people who engage in hobbies enjoy better moods and less stress.

  4. ​Quit a bad habit

    Since Blue Monday falls just after the new year, there’s no better time to kick a bad habit.

  5. Focus on quality time

    ​Activities such as reading, planning out goals, journaling and spending more time with friends and family often create a sense of peace and happiness.


  1. Checking in on mental health

    The day is a good reminder to check in on your mental health if experiencing symptoms of depression. Reach out to medical professionals who can assess the situation and find the right treatments. Blue Monday should not play down the seriousness of depression, because 1 in 6 people will experience the condition during their lifetimes.

  2. This is a reminder to exercise

    We all know exercise improves our mood. Don’t let the winter blues and cold weather prevent an ongoing exercise routine. For many people, sticking to an exercise plan is easier when an encouraging partner is around to boost motivation and commit to staying on track.

  3. Enhancing vitamin D levels

    Vitamin D levels can drastically decline during winter months due to spending less time in the sun, which can seriously affect our moods. Consider getting a medical check-up or blood test. Luckily, vitamin D supplements tend to be as beneficial for us as the sun, as well as nutrient-rich foods such as egg yolks and fatty fish.

    Whatever the reason if you are feeling low or unable, Advance can help our members find the right support to help you move forward positively whatever your situation.  Please see more details in our guide here.