TODAY IS "BLUE MONDAY" - Blog - 89.9 The Wave
January 20, 2020 | by: Jamie Paterson


Today is Blue Monday!

“What’s that?” you say…

Here is everything you need to know:

  1. Origins

Cliff Arnall, a former lecturer at Cardiff University, was commissioned by a U.K.-based travel agency in 2005 to find the most depressing day of the year as a way to market winter vacations.

Arnall used a pseudo-mathematical formula to pinpoint the most depressing day of the year: he combined weather, debt, time since Christmas, motivation levels, the need to take action, and time since New Year’s resolutions were made.

In other words, today is the worst day of 2020 because Christmas cheer has worn off, you’ve likely broken your New Year’s resolutions already, it’s cold outside, and your post-holiday credit card statement has arrived.

  1. Is there any REAL science behind this?


No studies or evidence have proved any one calendar date is more gloomy than any others, and the formula linked with the calculation of such a date has no real scientific basis.

Dean Burnett, a lecturer at Cardiff University, calls Blue Monday a “silly claim (that) comes from a ludicrous equation.”

He writes “True clinical depression (as opposed to a post-Christmas slump) is a far more complex condition that is affected by many factors, chronic and temporary, internal and external. What is extremely unlikely (i.e. impossible) is that there is a reliable set of external factors that cause depression in an entire population at the same time every year.”

  1. But can the weather affect my mood?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real condition in which weather affects people’s moods.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) says some people “are vulnerable to a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern,” while about 10 per cent of people will experience mood disorders. Shorter days in fall, for example, can trigger a form of depression that lasts until spring.

  1. How can you help those seasonal blues?

Symptoms of SAD can be treated with light therapy: sitting near “full-spectrum fluorescent lights with a brightness of 10,000 Lux” for 20-30 minutes every morning.

Fourteen full-sized lamps are available to use for free inside library branches throughout Halifax Regional Municipality. All you have to do is drop by a service desk at any branch and ask to book time.  Also, there are now 44 lamps available to take home, which is more than double the number they started with when the program launched in late 2017.

More information on the program can be found HERE