Every week in Fact/Fiction, The Big Issue examines spurious claims, questionable studies or debatable stories from the press to determine whether they are fact or fiction. This week we delve into whether there is any truth in the so-called most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday.
How it was told
Mark your calendars, another January can mean only one thing: Blue Monday is upon us.
In these hard times, it is difficult to determine just which day could be classed as the most depressing day of the year. It’s January 18 apparently – the third Monday of the month.
Why that day? It’s supposedly when all the gloomiest parts of January come together to hit hardest. Christmas is a distant memory apart from in your bank account, the temperatures have plummeted, it seems to get dark at 2pm every day and the new year’s resolutions have been broken.
Blue Monday always gets plenty of coverage in the press, and the Hello! website wins the award for the first mention in 2021. The last verse of Auld Lang Syne had barely been sung when the outlet published: “How to beat Blue Monday: 15 easy ways to boost your mood this January” on January 1.
Hello! is far from alone, of course. There is no shortage of articles professing to offer advice on how to negotiate Blue Monday. Take, for example, Mail Online’s effort last year: “Dreading Blue Monday? Psychologist reveals the mood-boosting tricks to try this weekend – including doing NOTHING for 15 minutes a day”.