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What is Blue Monday, and why is it a myth?

The third Monday in January is sometimes known as “Blue Monday”, supposedly the most depressing day of the year.

The term was first used by psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2004, when a holiday company asked him for a “scientific formula” for the January blues.

However, it is a total myth. There is no such thing as the most depressing day of the year – mental health doesn’t care what day it is, and the calendar cannot dictate when we are having a bad day.

Some practical things we can do for our mental health include:

  • Eating well
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Confiding in family and friends
  • Getting outside
  • Exercising
  • Planning things to look forward to
  • Doing things you enjoy and keeping up any hobbies

The charity Samaritans refers to Blue Monday as Brew Monday, and are encouraging people to reach out and connect with family and friends.

Here’s some useful tips for talking to people about mental health:

  • Choose a time and a place where there are no distractions
  • Let them lead the conversation
  • Use open ended questions like “how’s things for you?”
  • Try to avoid interrupting or offering solutions to how they are feeling, let them go at their own pace and hear them out
  • Let them know that you’re there for them

If you’re struggling to cope today or any day, reach out and get support – you’re never alone in how you’re feeling.

For more information on this topic, see this webpage from Samaritans.


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Published date:

15th January 2024

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