Why is today, Blue Monday, called the saddest day of the year?

The weird math equation used to calculate it is revealed

ISABEL MÉNDEZ

January 17 was dubbed ‘blue Monday’ in 2005. Psychologist Cliff Arnall, a researcher at Cardiff University, was commissioned by Sky Travel agency to discover what day of the year was the most depressing so the agency could sell more trips to people eager to get away from their troubles.

Arnall used a formula that took into consideration the weather, debt and regret at the end of the holiday season: W+(Dd)] x TQ/M x NA. In it, W is “weather”, D is “debt” (debts acquired at Christmas), d is “monthly salary” multiplied by the time elapsed since Christmas (T, “time since Christmas'') and Q is the frustration for having broken New Year's resolutions while M is “low motivational level” and NA, the need to take action.

While not everyone agrees that Arnall’s equation accounts for economic aspects correctly, the ‘blue Monday’ date has become lodged in the public imagination.

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