For quite some time now, every third Monday of January (and, consequently, the third Monday of every year that has just begun) the term ‘Blue Monday’ has become a Twitter Trending Topic . This fact indicates in our calendar this Monday as ‘ the saddest day of the year ‘ , something that almost forces us to ask ourselves if we are really sad and if, indeed, this will be the day we feel the worst of the rest of the year .

This already considered world event for no apparent reason has transcended from the presumably psychological level to the commercial one . How could it be otherwise, its media coverage has made this day an appropriate day for brands. These take the opportunity to launch offers on different products trying to capture attention and generate unnecessary needs in potential customers who are suggested by ‘Blue Monday’ and who decide to indulge themselves to see if the mood they didn’t even feel they had rises a bit. low enough to be the saddest day of the year.

But, beyond what this date already supposes on a commercial level, are we really clear about the origin of it? And, most importantly, does it have some kind of psychological foundation or is it just a theory like any other?

Origin of Blue Monday

The first time that Blue Monday or Blue Monday was talked about as the saddest day of the year was in 2005 , as a result of an advertising campaign carried out by Sky Travel . This travel agency had experienced a drop in sales during the previous year and with this they tried to appeal to the more human side of their potential clients and thus encourage them to plan a trip taking advantage of the situation. The advertising agency that had organized this campaign – Porter Novelli – explained that it had reached this conclusion through an equation made by the associate professor of the University of Cardiff , Cliff Arnal , in which the following factors entered:

    • Travel time
    • Travel delays
    • Time spent in cultural activities
    • Time spent relaxing
    • Time spent sleeping
    • Time wasted in a period of stress
    • Time spent preparing luggage
  • Time spent preparing the trip in general

Parameters that obviously had to do with the fact of traveling and therefore excluded anyone who did not have a routine throughout the year in terms of travel and, much less, during the holiday period. For this reason, years later another equation was published that included much more general parameters :

    • The Weather
    • The debts of a person
    • The monthly salary
    • Time when it is to give up New Year’s resolutions
    • The level of motivation
  • The need to do things

Factors that seemed to allude to aspects that , in one way or another, do affect the life of anyone in any part of the world (at least one who might have some kind of concern regarding Blue Monday).

It has no scientific or psychological basis

Despite this, since then many other experts have been in charge of repeating that this equation and, therefore, the theory of the saddest day of the year had no scientific basis, much less psychological . And it is that sadness, despite being a common evil in society and giving ourselves more than we would like, includes different elements in the ‘equation’ of each individual. Are we going to be sad for the same reason as anyone else around us? Well possibly not.

However, many psychologists have recognized that this date of ‘Blue Monday’ would have some logic for the time in which it is located since, indeed, there are many other factors that could negatively alter people’s mood . Although you didn’t need an equation to figure it out. On the one hand, aspects of nature that can negatively affect anyone, such as the few hours of light that there are a day , forcing many people to have their leisure time without sunlight; as well as the most adverse weather (in the northern hemisphere) with cold, rain and even snow, elements that do not encourage doing many things outside the home.

Of course, the month of January also has the negative factor of being the month that suffers the so-called ‘ post-holiday syndrome ‘ of the Christmas dates . In the West the religious custom of celebrating and, therefore, of having vacations at the end of December and the beginning of January is practically widespread. In many cases, a long vacation period that causes loss of the busy rhythm of life of the rest of the year and that is difficult to recover when it comes to returning to the routine during these first weeks.

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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