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Myth-Busting “Blue Monday” – 15th January

Published / Fri 12 Jan 2024

Myth-Busting “Blue Monday” - 15th January

Photo: Myth-Busting “Blue Monday” – 15th January  /  Credit: Marco Verch

This year we wanted to dispel the myth that the third Monday in January (15th January) is the most depressing day of the year and remind people that depression is a serious condition that can affect people on any day.

“Blue Monday” originated as an idea in 2004 when psychologist Cliff Arnall was asked by travel firm Sky Travel to come up with a formula for the January Blues. This was for a press release encouraging people to book their summer holidays.

The formula was based on the factors likely to cause low mood, including the time since Christmas, motivation levels, debt and the weather. However Arnall later admitted that the formula was essentially pseudoscience and urged Brits to “refute the whole notion” of Blue Monday (multiple sources including Independent , BBC)

  • The concept of Blue Monday trivialises depression, which is obviously not a one-day occurrence.
  • It can happen at any time and can affect anyone.
  • It can be severe, debilitating and life-threatening.
  • If you are struggling at the moment it is important to visit your GP.

Listen to our Mental Health special below with Phill Thorne and our Mental Health Champion, Sam, as she explains the story of Blue Monday, what the winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are, and her winter wellbeing tips. Oh… and an accompanying feelgood playlist.

For further support for your mental health please see

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