Blue Monday: What Is The Most Depressing Day of the Year?

4 years ago

Have you ever heard of Blue Monday, the third Monday in January and the alleged most depressing day of the year? This date was made up by Cliff Arnall, who apparently convinced a bunch of professors to attach their names to the press release for cold, hard cash. SCIENCE!

Credit Image: Hub:) on Flickr

According to Wikipedia, this is the calculation used to derive the appropriate level of lugubriousness:

According to a press release by a mental health charity,[8] the formula is:

Credit Image: Wikipedia

where weather = W, debt = d, time since Christmas = T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions = Q, low motivational levels = M and the feeling of a need to take action = Na. 'D' is not defined in the release, nor are units.

Even though I'm pretty sure that formula is horseshit, I decided January 21, 2013 could be a depressing day because of the Rita Arens formula, which is:

B x S/Y + N

where back pain = b, minutes after 5 pm the sun sets = S, yoga paints = Y and episodes of pointless television watched on Netflix on Friday nights = N

Do you think this is the most depressing day of the year? What's your formula for it?

Rita Arens authors Surrender, Dorothy and is the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep is for the Weak. She is the senior editor for

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