Most Depressing Day Of The Year 2013: Why Jan. 21 Is 'Blue Monday,' And How To Fight The Blues

Feeling down in the dumps? Well, those feelings have been validated since a British psychologist said that Jan. 21 is the most depressing day of the year, aka Blue Monday.

How did today come to be known as Blue Monday?

Cliff Arnall, a British psychologist, designed a formula in 2005 to calculate the most depressing day of the year. Arnall took into account the gloomy weather, the pile of holiday bills and failed New Year’s resolutions when he devised his formula, the New York Daily News reported. The formula spit out the third Monday in January as the most depressing day of the year.

Since 2005, the third Monday of the year has been known as Blue Monday.  

While today is considered to be the most depressing day of the year, there are a number of ways to shake off Blue Monday, the Daily Mail reported.

Being active on this Blue Monday may alleviate depressing feelings, Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, told the British tabloid.

“There’s convincing evidence that 30 minutes’ vigorous exercise three times a week is effective against depression, and anecdotal evidence that lighter exercise will have a beneficial effect, too,” he said. “If you have a tendency towards [Seasonal Affective Disorder,] outdoor exercise will have a double benefit, because you’ll gain some daylight.”

Eating healthy can also stave off the effects of Blue Monday, as can sitting by a window to take in sunlight, according to the paper.

“Winter blues can make you crave sugary foods and carbohydrates such as chocolate, pasta and bread, but don’t forget to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet,” the Daily Mail reported, citing information from the U.K.’s National Health Service.

For moral support, those who are social media savvy can turn to Facebook on the most depressing day of the year.

“Mondays can be miserable. Especially January Mondays,” wrote the Blue Monday 2013 Facebook page. “So we’re using one Monday in January for cheering each other up.”

“Whether it’s a cheerful hello to a neighbor you’ve never met, or baking a cake for your work mates; organizing a sing-song in a shopping center, or registering as a blood donor; buying flowers for a loved one, joining a charity campaign, or visiting someone lonely,” the page continued. “Blue Monday is about your ideas. It’s about kindness, and making a difference.”

Join the Discussion