Social media users react to ‘Blue Monday’ dubbed the ‘most depressing day of the year’

Is it really Blue Monday…or a load of marketing nonsense? Social media users are divided over January 16 which has been dubbed the ‘most depressing day of the year’

  • January 16 has been dubbed by experts as the ‘most depressing day of the year’
  • The term Blue Monday was coined by psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall using a formula
  • Social media users are today reacting to #BlueMonday – but some say it’s a myth 

So-called Blue Monday has divided social media – with some dreading the ‘most depressing day of the year‘ but others showing defiance, unfazed by the ‘gimmick’ concept.  

The term Blue Monday was coined by psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall, who worked out a formula to show how the third Monday in January is especially bad. 

It takes into account factors including the average time for New Year’s resolutions to fail, the bad weather, debt, the time since Christmas and motivational levels. 

But while some buy into the idea and feel apprehensive of the day, others are saying it’s a marketing gimmick which perpetuates unhelpful mental health stereotypes.  

One social media user tweeted: ‘My birthday is on Blue Monday. 

‘I’m going to make it my mission to be as toe-curlingly loud and positive as possible, just to say a big fat f*** off to whoever invented it. 

‘Peace and happy vibes for 2023.’ 

Another said: ‘It’s officially Blue Monday, so spare a thought for those who have a birthday on the most depressing day of the year.’

The official Spice Girls twitter account even offered some support to people today, with a message saying: ‘Keep smiling… all you need is positivity.’

Many tweeted animal pictures to try and cheer others up.

But charities are among those saying they do not believe in Blue Monday.  

Samaritans today posted a tweet which said: ‘Bin off Blue Monday and celebrate #BrewMonday with us today instead! 

‘Blue Monday is just a made up marketing gimmick. Retweet to help us reject the unhelpful mental health stereotypes it perpetuates.’

The London Fire Brigade also said Blue Monday is a myth, adding that people can feel low at any time of the year. 

What is the science behind the January blues?

One in 15 Britons become depressed in winter and suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

It is believed that the problem is related to the way that the body responds to light. 

The main theory suggests that a lack of sunlight may stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus from working properly. 

This could impact the production of the hormone melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy. People with SAD produce it in higher levels than normal.

The production of serotonin could also be affected, further impacting mood, appetite and sleep. 

Low serotonin levels are also linked to feelings of depression.  

What help is available?

The charity Samaritans is there for those who are having a tough time. 

Samaritans chief executive Julie Bentley previously said: ‘At Samaritans, we know how powerful talking and listening can be, even if it is virtually.

‘It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, it’s about taking the time to listen and support one another. It could save a life.’

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can call the Samaritans for free, completely anonymously on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org for help and support. 

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