Blue Monday, in late January, is often described as the most depressing day of the year. It’s not based on actual science, but is there any truth behind the January blip?
Matt Taylor, press officer for the mental health charity Mind, explained how the story comes about: “Blue Monday is fairly well known as something invented by a PR hook by a travel company to get people to book companies so there’s no evidence to support that day as the most depressing day of the year or indeed any other time of the year to be particularly more depressing than any other – apart from things like seasonal affective disorder.”
Blue Monday was first reported on in 2005 and has been reported on each year since. Matt thinks this is because “it kind of feels intuitively that it might make sense”, as “Christmas can be a happy, celebratory time – so maybe people can feel a bit flat afterwards, and then everyone’s back to work.”
Despite this, he says that there are no difference in the amount of calls to the Mind helpline, saying: “We don’t particularly see January as any busier than any other time of the year.”
Although there’s no science behind Blue Monday, Matt thinks that this isn’t necessarily bad: “If it gets people to look at their mental health and make sure they are taking care of themselves then that’s the most important thing.”