Uh Oh, It’s Blue Monday Again!

Christmas is long gone and over.  The New Year is rapidly disappearing in the rearview mirror and we’re not even halfway through winter. On top of that, the cost of the festive season is being felt on waistlines and wallets while new years resolutions are already falling like dominos.  Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when, like a crushing hangover, we pay for all the good times that we’ve had. And that time of year has a name – Blue Monday.

Wait, Blue Monday?

We already live in a world replete with such notable days as World Tea Day and International Talk Like a Pirate Day. So it’s perhaps inevitable that somebody would determine when the most miserable day of the year is and make a day of it.

In this case, somebody was Sky Travel, a UK travel company that presented a press release that claimed to have scientifically calculated when the most depressing day of the year was using a mathematical equation.

Through a press release written in the name of one Cliff Arnall, the date was first declared and published as being the 24th of January in 2005.  Due to the calculation, it falls on different days each year, with Blue Monday in 2023 declared to be on the 16th of January.

Regrets and Retractions

“A lie has made it halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on”. This quote, attributed to many but with its origin unknown, is worth recalling in this case.  People love to make a fuss of otherwise unremarkable dates so it’s no surprise that Blue Monday rapidly entered the national consciousness.  And while the idea of a most depressing day of the year has a certain appeal, amongst academics, the idea and science behind Blue Monday quickly came into dispute.

For one thing, the equation took into consideration weather as a major factor.  This is a problem since the weather isn’t the same the world over, meaning Blue Monday could only work in the Northern Hemisphere.

The equation itself also comes in for criticism due to the lack of units of measurement used in its formulation.  A great deal of the individual aspects involve amounts of time involved in say travelling or being affected by delays but at no point is it defined if one is talking in terms of seconds, minutes, hours or something more obscure entirely.

Thirdly it was reported at the time that the press release in question was largely pre-written, with the PR agency in question approaching academics and offering them money if they would put their name to the report.  Thus Cardiff University, the institution that was associated with the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Cliff Arnall chose to distance itself from the claim.

Cliff himself has since sought to distance himself from the original claims about Blue Monday saying it was not his intention to make the day seem negative and that he wished to inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions. He has since actively campaigned against the idea of Blue Monday, especially on Twitter.

With that in mind do you believe there truly is the worst day of the year, be it mathematically calculated or otherwise?  Or do you think this is nothing more than the PR stunt of a travel company who’d like to sell us holidays in nice warm places during the winter months?

Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to need a diploma in psychology to figure out this one.

Study Psychology and Counselling

Learn Counselling Skills I

Enhance your knowledge of Multicultural Awareness




Women in Horticulture

With it being International Women’s Day, the topic of women in horticulture naturally comes to the forefront. Horticulture is a field associated with long hours outdoors, heavy lifting and dirt. So, so much dirt. Dirt that gets *everywhere*.  As such it was historically considered men’s work though times have changed in this field as many

Read More »

Counsellor and the Chemistry of Love

As counsellors and everyone else knows, science likes to ruin everything and the chemistry of love is no different a topic. Just like how science has ruined our space fantasies with claims that faster-than-light travel is impossible or that porcine animals can never fly. Or how scientists claim that the heart is not the seat

Read More »

What Does a A Marriage Counsellor Do?

As too many marriage counsellors know only too well, many marriages end in divorce.  Reportedly as many as 90% of marriages in Portugal are reported to end this way and the rate is high in many European countries and the United States.  Many couples, for a variety of reasons now don’t get married at all

Read More »

A Time for Counsellors

The Covid pandemic was unique for counsellors in our shared lived history.  There has been no other event that has been so bluntly experienced by almost every human alive. The shared trauma of our experiences is something that will leave its mark for years if not decades to come. But for the children and young

Read More »


Scroll to Top


To speak to one of our course advisors, please enter your name and phone number below and click the "Please Call Me" button. We will call you back as soon as possible!

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.


required fields are marked with *

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.