Over the last decade or so the third Monday in January (the 16th this year) has become known as ‘Blue Monday’, the most ‘depressing day of the year’.
As has been pointed out many times the science underpinning this claim is non-existent; the result of a formula made up to try and sell holidays.
And the myth did sell, because it’s easy to see the shallow logic behind Sky Travel’s claim. There are many reasons why a Monday in UK January may feel particularly bleak – think poor weather, little daylight, post-holiday slump, and the general unpopularity of Monday mornings. However, the idea that a single day can somehow be more depressing for the entire UK population is a gross oversimplification. It negates the severity, longevity and complexity of many people’s experiences of depression, and ignores the diverse social, biological and psychological factors that can contribute to somebody becoming depressed. Depression is real, even if Blue Monday is not.
We do not understand enough about what people can do to help prevent it, nor how to effectively treat and support those who are affected. Research is urgently needed. So on the 16th January McPin will be supporting Blooming Monday to raise money for real research into depression.
Blooming Monday is organised by our friends at Mental Health Research UK, the UK’s oldest mental health research charity, to raise money to support high quality scientific research into mental health problems. It also provides an excuse to dress up in bright clothes and have some fun at a rather dull (if not actually depressing) time of the year.