Monday, 15 January 2024, 10:50
It's a Monday, in the middle of January and during winter. These reasons may already be enough to make us not exactly cheerful today on 15 January, but according to a mathematical equation, today is the saddest day of the year. It is called 'Blue Monday' and it is marked annually on the third Monday of January: but why is it so?
The establishment of this date goes back to 2005, when Sky Travel commissioned psychologist Cliff Arnall, a researcher at Cardiff University, to define the most depressing day of the year. The proposal had a business purpose: to try to sell more holidays to the public.
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 over the festive period), 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.
In recent years, on Blue Monday it is common on social media to see messages of encouragement and resolutions to counteract what is supposed to be the 'officially' saddest day of the year. You can even find promotions of products to cheer you up and make this, according to mathematics, depressing day more bearable.
Samaritans in Spain offer the advice, “If you are feeling desperate, anxious or alone, we are here for you. Don't suffer in silence... there are a couple of ways you can get in touch: Call freephone 900 525 100 between 10am and 10pm to talk to a trained listener in total confidence or email us firstname.lastname@example.org."
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