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  /  Life Hacks   /  Blue Monday: What You Can Do To Make Alleged Most Depressing Day Better

Blue Monday: What You Can Do To Make Alleged Most Depressing Day Better

The formula above sets the mood for what we now call BlueMonday. A formula was coined in 2004 by psychologist Cliff Arnall for travel firm Sky Travel. The firm, in turn, used the phrase in a press release to promote their winter deals.

What is Blue Monday?

Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January (example: 18/1/21) typically the third Monday of the month said to be the most depressing day of the year.

So how did Cliff Arnall arrive at the above formula?

Here’s how he did it.

W = weather

D = debt

d = monthly salary

T = time since Christmas

Q = time since failing our new year’s resolutions

M = low motivational levels

Na = the feeling of a need to take action

“I was originally asked to come up with what I thought was the best day to book a summer holiday but when I started thinking about the motives for booking a holiday, reflecting on what thousands had told me during stress management or happiness workshops, there were these factors that pointed to the third Monday in January as being particularly depressing,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2013.

“But it is not particularly helpful to put that out there and say ‘there you are’,” he continued, describing Blue Monday as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now you know more about Blue Monday. Considered to be the most depressing day of the year, 2021’s falls in a year of lockdown, pandemic, and unrest in many countries.


How then do we turn Blue Monday into a positive one?

According to Laura Adlington, a British Bake Off finalist and Samaritans volunteer, she urges people to check in on friends and relatives, providing support.

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‘If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be kind,’ says Laura Adlington

She further admonishes people to have meaningful conversations and network with people, rather than feeling sad and alone.

In her words – “What I’ve made myself do recently is reached out to people and talk, and it does help, it genuinely does help.”

Adlington has been a Samaritan volunteer for two years in the UK. Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.


The charity researched and discovered that more than 55% of UK adults cope better by speaking to friends and family on phones, video calls or in-person regularly. Knowing someone really cares and is concerned about you makes a huge difference.


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