Beat Blue Monday

You can Beat Blue Monday in January...

It’s ‘Blue Monday’ on Monday January 18th –  the third Monday of January – symbolically the most depressing day of the year.

And this potentially is not just another ‘PR contrived themed day but does provides a great opportunity to promote greater understanding about mental well-being, positive psychology, or just an excuse to have a good time.

There is no formal data to quantify the mood and state of people’s thinking on the particular day of ‘Blue Monday’ – originally defined by the psychologist Cliff Arnall as the third Monday of January.

We do however have some ‘data’, evidence, albeit of an informal, indirect kind: since 2005 the story and meme of Blue Monday has grown and grown in terms of scale of media coverage and people’s conversations , even a top Twitter trend.

This, offers evidence of an undefined modern phenomena, a zeitgeist – a mood of a time – perhaps indicating an under-the-surface feeling people share.

Why is Christmas Day on December 25th? One theory is that the early Christians merely piggy-backed on the existing Pagan ritual of celebrating mid winter. Seemingly, our ancestors perhaps wanted some cheering up in the middle of a bleak season.

By linking the new Christian celebration with an existing Pagan celebration it created a bigger occasion.

In the 21st century, even though surveys show a decline in religious belief and attendances at Christian churches in the UK, Christmas as a celebration keeps going and growing.

Why?

Because people want it to be: it fulfils other emotional, psychological and sociological needs.

Similarly, Blue Monday – perhaps helped by modern trends, such as the monthly pay check, the credit card bill, and a social habit of creating New Year’s resolutions, all helps create a further wave of discontentment.

The additional dimension of many people receiving their December pay cheque on Christmas Eve, is good news for having money for the festivities but bad news in making January a ‘five week month’ in terms of pay: your monthly salary has to extend to a further week.

The origins of Blue Monday may have been contrived. Yet, as a symbolic day even if it could generate less than 1% of that raised by say Comic Relief,  it would realize £500,000 a year for good causes, such as those for mental health.Blue Monday can create a precious talking point and potential media hook for subjects which face difficulty getting a hearing, such as mental health, depression and suicide.

It also creates a welcome opportunity for positive well-being and asserting happiness and joy in the world.

On a previous Blue Monday I listened to a local BBC Radio station which played a series of uplifting, good mood enhancing songs, but also had a live outside broadcast from a school where youngsters had their jokes aired, (“Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide!” was a typical effort.)

The show later got a text from a woman, who was foster mother to one of the children who had their jokes broadcast. She was delighted how it had boosted the youngster’s confidence and self-esteem.

Doesn’t that make you feel good?

Good people, like the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere, in the Lake District is planning to mark “Blue Monday” with an exhibition of sunshine and colour.

The exhibition is free but visitors will have the chance to donate to MIND, the mental health charity and to pick up leaflets about dealing with SAD – seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that recurs in the winter months.

You can ignore Blue Monday, dismiss it as ‘bad science’ (even though it is only desribed as the ‘symbolically’ the most depressing day).

Or you can regard it as a power for good. Please do enjoy yourself on Blue Monday. I know I will! – please do check out the campaign web site www.beatbluemonday.org.uk

 

Blue Monday – Get it off your chest

This article is written by Alexander Kjerulf is the Chief Happiness Officer. He is one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work and the author of Happy Hour is 9 to 5 http://pinetribe.com/library/happy-hour-9-five/
Most of his recent work is available at PineTribe.com (http://pinetribe.com) and Positivesharing.com (http://positivesharing.com)

Some researchers have sat down and crunched the numbers and figured out that there’s a day called Blue Monday in late January, which is supposedly the unhappiest day of the year. They even have a formula for calculating when it is, so you KNOW it’s scientific.[Editor’s note: the organizers of Beat Blue Monday say that it’s symbolically the most depressing day, not the scientifically proven day]

And when is Blue Monday 2015? Why it’s on January 19th. So if you woke up this morning tired and wishing you didn’t have to go to work, maybe that’s why.
What’s bringing you down at work? We’d love to know, so write a comment below and tell us. Is your boss a jerk? Are your co-workers mental? Are your clients demanding and unreasonable? Is work hectic and stressful or maybe incredibly boring?

If you do feel that work is getting you down, maybe it’s time to change your work day from crappy to happy. Instead of letting January make you blue, you could use the new year to get a new start. I’ve made a list of 10 Simple Questions you can use to get 2015 off to a great start. Read the rest of this entry

Beat ‘Blue Monday’ – the year’s ‘most depressing day’ on January 19th – with binge happiness

Support is being offered to help people overcome Blue Monday on Monday January 19th, 2015 the symbolically ‘most depressing day of the year’ – with activities to turn it into a day of ‘binge happiness’ – and also raise awareness and funds for mental health charities.

The combination of general economic gloom coupled with the domestic grief of unpaid bills, broken New Year resolutions, bad weather, and for many who get paid earlier in December having to make last month’s pay check stretch longer, contribute to the Blue Monday feeling.

A special campaign web site, www.beatbluemonday.org.uk is offering practical advice to tackle the effects of Blue Monday, the symbolic date for the low point in the year, along with a special  ‘5 stage Binge Happiness Work-Out’ programme to help people to make themselves happier.

Campaigners are aiming to reduce stigma associated with depression by talking about it and using the day as a springboard to improve quality of life by promoting and encouraging more happiness.

Blue Monday has evolved from an idea originally conceived by Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, who created a formula to identify a number of the elements contributing to a general feeling of mid winter blues.

Advice for making you feel better during Blue Monday includes keep active, eat well, keep in touch with friends and family, care for others, do something you are good at, ask for help, accept who you are, talk about your feelings, take a break and drink sensibly.

Further help is also available from organizations such as the Mental Health Foundation who have produced a guide ‘How we can help ourselves’ available from www.mentalhealth.org.uk
The Blue Monday ‘5 Step ‘Binge Happiness Work Out’ consists of:
Step 1 – write down four things over the last week which make you feel grateful. Then write and recapture how you felt about one of the best experiences or thing to happen to you in your life.
Step  2 – write about something good you have done for someone else.
Step 3 – write a short email or letter to someone who you like or care for. Why not tell them how good they are and why they are important to you?
Step 4 – make a list of your favourite places you have visited, or places you would like to go. Really imagine you are there.
Step 5 – write about your future where everything has gone as well as you have hoped. Also, think about the present, and make a note of four things that went really well for you during the last week.
The ‘Beat Blue Monday’ campaign is a completely non-commercial campaign developed by the Flexible Thinking Forum, a not-for-profit organisation promoting flexible and creative thinking skills in business and the community.

Commenting on the Blue Monday campaign Andy Green of the Flexible Thinking Forum said: “Blue Monday may symbolically be the year’s most depressing day, but it doesn’t have to be. By making the most of potential opportunities around us we can transform it into a springboard for a positive happy day – even a time for binge happiness. Blue Monday is also a time to think about mental well-being issues and doing positive things to help.”

ENDS

For further details please contact Andy Green email: andy@andygreencreativity.com

Notes to Editors
The Blue Monday ‘Binge Happiness Work Out’ is inspired by a psychological study by Laura King of Southern Methodist University. It demonstrated the positive benefits of writing about their positive future. (L.A.King (2001) ‘The health benefits of writing about life goals’ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (p798-807))

Cliff Arnall is a former researcher, lecturer and post graduate tutor at the Medical and Dental School of Cardiff University. He has worked in the NHS helping people with depression and addictive behaviour. He also runs courses and gives talks for organisations on stress and anger management, happiness, understanding depression and the psychology of success.

Cliff Arnall devised the following formula:

[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x Na
The model was broken down using six immediately identifiable factors; weather (W), debt (d), time since Christmas (T), time since failing our new year’s resolutions (Q), low motivational levels (M) and the feeling of a need to take action (Na).

The formula inspired the idea for Blue Monday which this year falls on Monday January 19th as symbolically the worst day of the year, when the Christmas glow has faded away, New Year’s resolutions have been broken, cold Winter weather has set in and credit card bills will be landing on doormats across

Winter darkness a pane say Anglian

Brace yourself for the gloomiest day of 2013 next week.
Monday 21st January, also known as Blue Monday, is alleged to
be the most depressing day of the year thanks to a number of factors including
poor weather conditions, low motivation and time elapsed since Christmas.

In fact, the lack of natural daylight at this time of year
may provide the source of much of this low motivation and is perhaps the real
key to beating the winter blues.

A recent survey by Anglian
Home Improvements
into the impact of reduced daylight over the winter
months found that the vast majority of us feel it has a negative impact on our
wellbeing.

Residents in the North East are worst affected, according
to the study, with a huge 87% saying the reduction in daylight over the winter
months has a negative effect on their mood, while almost one in five North East
respondents claim the impact is significant. At a national level, 79% feel the
shorter days have an influence on their mood, with the least affected region
being Yorkshire and the Humber – proving
it’s not a simple North-South divide issue.

While a lack of motivation during the winter is common,
the study found that the overall impression varies quite dramatically from one
side of the county to the other, from 84% of those in the North East to only
72% in the South West noticing any impact at all.

These are startling statistics – especially as there are
still more than two months to go before we reach British Summer Time.

Melanie McDonald, Head of Marketing and Communications at
Anglian Home Improvements, says, “The survey shows a clear link between natural
daylight, mood and motivation. Many of Anglian’s customers have told us they
feel happier in the winter after installing a conservatory as they can spend
time watching what’s going on in the garden and make the most of the available
daylight, so it’s encouraging to learn that little changes – like making sure
you sit near a window or somewhere with as much natural light as possible – can
make a big difference to how we feel and cope with winter.”

So keep your spirits up on Blue Monday and beyond by
ensuring you get as much natural light exposure as possible, even if you’re
indoors. For those with a well-insulated conservatory that is easily done but
if not, sitting by a window can also make a big difference to your wellbeing
and productivity.

Confused say give a cwtch for Blue Monday

Confused.com encourages
Twitter users to

beat the January blues
with a “cwtch”

 

-
A cwtch is for
life, not just for Blue Monday  -

 

  • Nine in ten Brits
    say a cuddle makes them feel happy
  • The ideal length
    of a cuddle is 5.89 seconds
  • A quarter of
    people don’t get a hug day-to-day
  • “January Blues”
    mentioned 148 times in a week by London’s Twitter users
  • Four in ten men
    give their mates a man hug

 

Ahead of the supposed most
depressing day of the year, Blue Monday (21 January, 2013), new research by Confused.com
reveals that all people need is a hug to brighten up one’s day. In fact, 87% of
Brits say a simple cuddle would make them feel happy.

 

Sadly, 25% of Britons don’t
receive a cuddle day-to-day, according to the survey of 2,000 UK adults*.

 

Five
biggest Cuddling Faux Pas

 

1) A
cuddle from someone with body odour is the biggest hugging faux pas,
according to 61% of Brits.

2) 29% say a hug from a work colleague is generally unwelcome.

3)23%
of Brits say it is not ok to cuddle in public.

 

4)
17% say they don’t enjoy a hug from an ex-partner.

5) 12% say a hug at the end of a first date instead of a kiss is a let-down.

 

People in the South West are
most in need of a hug; 34% of those polled said they usually don’t receive a
hug day-to-day followed by 30% of people in Northern Ireland and 27% of people
in Scotland .

 

Confused.com encourages Twitter users to share a cwtch

 

To reach out to those in
need of affection, Cardiff-based Confused.com is launching an online campaign
which encourages social media users to spread a special kind of Welsh hug known
as a “cwtch” (pronounced cuch).

 

Meaning ‘an intentional embrace
to bring warmth and a sense of safety to those who need it’, 77% of Brits have
not heard of the word cwtch.

 

The campaign, which encourages
Twitter users to retweet an infographic which explains how to give a cwtch, aims to
bring this word into wider public consciousness while spreading some happiness and
warmth to beat the winter blues at the same time.

 

Physical contact, such as a hug, has a number of benefits.

 

Dr Eva Cyhlarova, Head of
Research at the Mental Health Foundation, said: “Science tells us that the need
for physical contact is present at birth and there is an innate need for human
beings to form strong affectional bonds to others. There is evidence that hugging or holding hands reduces stress, blood pressure,
and cortisol, a stress hormone. It can also produce increased attentiveness and
boost serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that fights depression and
improves mood. It of course goes without saying that both parties need to agree
and be comfortable with any contact.”

 

Tweeting the blues

 

An analysis of UK Twitter
users shows people have been taking to the social networking site throughout
the month to vent their frustration at having the “January Blues”.

 

@inspireajen
“Not even One Direction could cheer up my commute this morning. I think this is
a January Blues code red.”

 

The campaign aims to extend
a virtual hand to those that need cheering up online.

 

In London, the words
“January Blues” were mentioned on Twitter 148 times in the space of one week this
month, analysis by Confused.com shows.

 

This snapshot into the mood
of the nation shows other major cities have also been suffering from a touch of
the January Blues.

 

In Manchester, for example, “January Blues” was mentioned 62 times in the week 3 to 10 January and in Leeds it
was mentioned 40 times.

 

Example of the Tweets recorded by Confused.com, based on
user locations:

 

  • London:
    @inspireajen “Not even One Direction could cheer up my commute this morning. I
    think this is a January Blues code red.”
  • Manchester
    : @thesmashedguy “Proper got the January blues”
  • Leeds:
    @LauraTuckwell1 “serious case of january blues”
  • Glasgow:
    @jen_gravitDefo “got a case of the january blues! #takemeaway! #needsunshine
  • Liverpool:
    @lisa_mcgrath “Think I have the January blues #fedup

 

Share a cwtch – Take a look at our ‘cwtch’ video and see what your day
is missing (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSXuqTG3foc)

 

While the word cwtch is not
widely known outside of Wales, a quick search on Twitter shows how it’s a firm
favourite within the nation:

@NaomiNelmes94 “A cwtch wouldn’t go a miss to make this revision
more bearable”

@kelliewaltersxx “cwtchhy weather and yet no one to cwtch”

@liamowen123 “I need a cwtch”

 

Confused.com hopes people
will share its cwtch infographic online and, once they have mastered the cwtch technique,
will take their newly acquired skills “offline” to share a special hug with a
loved one.

 

People also have a chance to
win five warm and snuggly prizes for doing so, including a onesie, a hot
chocolate set, a hot water bottle, £50 worth of shopping
vouchers, a pair of Ugg boots, a DVD-box set and a popcorn-making machine.

 

Matt Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at Confused.com,
said:

“In our digital age of social-media based relationships our campaign aims to
tap into people’s networks of friends and family online and

Mental Health Charity seeks Blue Monday boost

Mental Health Research UK (www.mhruk.org) has a bright and cheerful new January campaign to raise awareness of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The campaign is so easy to support – all you need to do is wear your brightest clothes to work on so called ‘Blue Monday’ (21 January 2013) and donate £2 by texting BLOO22 to 70070. And that £2 will make all the difference to all those affected by depression and SAD. Easy – now just find your brightest clothes!

And why not get your workplace to participate?
Follow on Faceboook at Blooming Monday

We hope you’ll join us to raise funds for Mental Health Research UK – why not send us your photos for our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EmergenceCIC

Mental Health Research UK is the first UK charity dedicated to funding research into the causes of and cures for mental illness.

Beat ‘Blue Monday’ – the year’s ‘most depressing day’ on January 21st – with binge happiness

Support is being offered to help people overcome what is labelled ‘the most depressing day of the year’ – Blue Monday on Monday January 21st  – with activities to turn it into a day of ‘binge happiness’ – and also raise funds for mental health charities.
The combination of general economic doom and gloom coupled with the domestic grief of unpaid bills, broken resolutions, and bad weather make this potentially one of the worst Blue Mondays ever.
A special campaign web site, www.beatbluemonday.org.uk is offering practical advice to tackle the effects of Blue Monday, the symbolic date for the low point in the year, along with a special  ‘5 stage Binge Happiness Work-Out’ programme to help people to make themselves happier.
Campaigners are aiming to reduce stigma associated with depression by talking about it and using the day as a springboard to improve quality of life by promoting and encouraging more happiness.
Blue Monday has evolved from an idea originally conceived by Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, who created a mathematical formula to identify a number of the elements contributing to a general feeling of mid winter blues.
Advice for making you feel better during Blue Monday includes keep active, eat well, keep in touch with friends and family, care for others, do something you are good at, ask for help, accept who you are, talk about your feelings, take a break and drink sensibly.
Further help is also available from organizations such as the Mental Health Foundation who have produced a guide ‘How we can help ourselves’ available from www.mentalhealth.org.uk
The ‘Beat Blue Monday’ campaign is a completely non-commercial campaign developed by the Flexible Thinking Forum, a not-for-profit organisation promoting flexible and creative thinking skills in business and the community with the support of GREEN communications.
Commenting on the Blue Monday campaign Andy Green of the Flexible Thinking Forum said: “Blue Monday may symbolically be the year’s most depressing day, but it doesn’t have to be. By making the most of potential opportunities around us we can transform it into a springboard for a positive happy day – even a time for binge happiness. Blue Monday is also a time to think about mental well-being issues and doing positive things to help.”

Blue icing on the cake for blue Monday

Students at Huddersfield University baked cakes to beat Blue Monday – and raised more than £70 for the Katie Piper Foundation. The bake day was organised by journalism student Siobhan Southern who has several friends who have been treated for burns and scars. The Katie Piper Foundation was set up to make a difference to burns survivors. Siobhan enlisted the help of Debbie Lloyd, Laura Dandy, Nathalie Ku, Christiaan von Hohenzollern and Matt Davies to bake and sell cakes in the Journalism building on the Huddersfield campus. The Journalism and Media team have regularly risen to the challenge of Blue Monday – the third working Monday in January, said to be the most depressing day of the year. The annual “beat blue Monday” activities were started by Wakefield based PR guru Andy Green, who is a regular guest lecturer at the university. Last year, staff and students invited a Brazilian drummer to give them a demonstration and percussion lesson in the department’s TV studio. Ends Pic caption: Debbie, Nathalie, Siobhan and Christiaan with the last of the cakes For further information please contact Siobhan on 07864648076 www.katiepiperfoundation.org.uk http://www.beatbluemonday.org.uk/

Create your own workplace carnival and samba – using everyday office items –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngviv_37vzY

A Brazilian drummer from Yorkshire is leading a nationwide campaign to encourage everyone to use everyday office items to create their own office samba bands to help beat the Blue Monday blues on ‘the most depressing day of the year’ on Monday January 16th.

Claudio has produced a special video showing how to transform everyday office items from staplers, paper clips and waste bins into samba-sound creating rhythms at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngviv_37vzY .

According to Batley-based percussionist Claudio Kron doBrazileveryone has a natural rhythm and by using ordinary items, such as staplers to create a cha-cha-cha rhythm, paperclips to produce a shaking sound, and waste bins for bongos, the downbeat workplace can be transformed into a fun carnival atmosphere.

By creating a common rhythm Claudio believes the resulting upbeat sounds works as a drum therapy to help bring people together and take their minds off depressing thoughts

A special campaign web site, www.beatbluemonday.org.uk is offering practical advice to tackle the effects of Blue Monday, the symbolic date for the low point in the year, along with a special  ‘5 stage Binge Happiness Work-Out’ programme to help people to make themselves happier.

Campaigners are aiming to reduce stigma associated with depression by talking about it and using the day as a springboard to improve quality of life by promoting and encouraging more happiness.

Blue Monday has evolved from an idea originally conceived by Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, who created a mathematical formula to identify a number of the elements contributing to a general feeling of mid winter blues. 

The syndrome was first defined by Cliff Arnall, formerly ofCardiffUniversity, and marks the third week of January when people suffer from a series of combined depressive effects (see below for the mathematical formula).

Commenting on his efforts to encourage everyone to create their own workplace carnival Claudio said: I believe that if your heart beats you can play the drums. The Carnival has proved time and time again to be the greatest event for making people happy – by using both drumming and carnival we can help everyone triumph on Blue Monday.”

Claudio kron doBrazilis a percussionist, songwriter, dancer and poet fromBahiainBrazilwho came to theUKin 1996. He now performs and runs percussion workshops all over the world and works with community groups and businesses to spread his philosophy of the power of percussion to create harmony, happiness and health.

His flowing dreadlocks and ability to engage audiences into the world of drumming have become his trademarks.

Further details about how to overcome ‘Blue Monday’ and how you can do your bit to help charity can be found at the website: www.beatbluemonday.org.uk. The public is also being urged to submit their own creative ideas for beating the January blues to the site.

 

 

Ceci ne’st pas Blue Monday: What proof is there that Blue Monday is the most depressing day of the year?

Blue Monday has been described by campaigners as symbolically ‘the most depressing day of the year’. It is supported by Andy Green, who runs the campaign on a completely non-commercial basis. He happens to think it is a good idea and has potential to raise create interest in mental health and well-being issues.

Yet the original idea was not even Andy’s 

How did it come about?

Back in 2005 a London-based public relations agency created a campaign for its tour holiday client, highlighting what it claimed to have found ‘the most depressing day of the year’. The story used a formula devised by Cliff Arnall a former researcher, lecturer and post graduate tutor at the Medical and Dental School of Cardiff University.

Cliff Arnall devised the following mathematical formula:

[W + (D-d)] x TQ

M x Na

The model was broken down using six immediately identifiable factors; weather (W), debt (d), time since Christmas (T), time since failing our new year’s resolutions (Q), low motivational levels (M) and the feeling of a need to take action (Na).

The formula inspired the idea as the day being ‘the most depressing day of the year’, when the Christmas glow has faded away, New Year’s resolutions have been broken, cold Winter weather has set in and credit cardbills will be landing on doormats across the land – and the January pay-cheque seems some way away.

Independently, Andy Green, a creativity and brand PR expert got involved with the story by issuing his own response to the media providing motivational tips and advice on how to overcome ‘the most depressing day of the year’.

For 2006 Andy approached the agency which commissioned the original survey. When he discovered they had no plans to repeat the idea he asked and obtained their approval to use and develop their initial idea.

With the further blessing of Cliff Arnall he developed the concept and brand of ‘Blue Monday’, highlighting the third Monday in January as symbolically ‘the most depressing day of the year’. (‘Symbolical’ being a crucial fact here.)

With his professional expertise in memes – ideas and information which is able to replicate itself and a personal interest in mental health issues (Andy’s younger brother is profoundly autistic) coupled with a desire for creating positive good in society, Andy recognised the potential of the situation: to cook a meme which act as a vehicle to promote social good, and as a peg to create attention, discussion and debate around mental health issues.

The idea of Blue Monday has grown and grown into a worldwide phenomena; each year there is global media and social media interest in the story.

Why is this?

The simple answer is that it is because people want it to be.

The beat Blue Monday campaign uses the minimum of resource (just spending about £30 on hosting its WordPress web site and usually just issuing one press release to announce Blue Monday is taking place.

We are witnessing a powerful meme – ideas and information which are able to replicate themselves virally.

Using scientific method you cannot prove an hypothesis from observation, you can only disprove it.

So, where is the evidence that Blue Monday is ‘the most depressing day of the year’?

There is no data to quantify the mood and state of people’s thinking on the particular day of ‘Blue Monday’. (Defined by the psychologist Cliff Arnall as usually being the third Monday of January.)

Although there are some indirect data – one network of life coaches, for example, reported a significant increase in trade in this period – there is no hard ‘fact’ it seems that Blue Monday is the most depressing day of the year.

More significantly, Andy Green believes he has collected ‘data’, albeit of an informal kind: since 2006 the story of Blue Monday has grown and grown in terms of scale of media coverage and its ability to replicate with ease, with just the tiniest of promptings.

The take-up of the story and the ability of the story to replicate itself is indicative of some underlying fact, yet to be defined and validated by data

This, suggests some evidence, of an as yet, undefined mass phenomena, a zeitgeist – a mood of a time.

Cliff Arnall with his initial pinpointing of a date, and the later branding and wider message associated with ‘Blue Monday’ by Andy could unwittingly have been triggers for uncovering an undiscovered phenomenon.

Why is Christmas Day on December 25th? A common held theory is that the early Christians merely piggy-backed on an existing Pagan ritual of celebrating mid winter. Seemingly, our forefathers and foremothers perhaps wanted some cheering up in the middle of a bleak season in the northern hemisphere.

Linking the event of a pagan celebration with another underlying issue created a bigger occasion.  The underpinning rationale was presumably to cheer people up in response to an undefined, no data-collected zeitgeist of people feeling fed up, a feeling of discontentment in mid winter.

‘Blue Monday’ Andy suggest, could merely be a further, perhaps a further tremor on the Richter scale of unhappiness, a minor wave of discontentment, a month after the mid-winter celebrations (now labelled ‘Christmas’).

Perhaps abetted by modern phenomena, such as the monthly pay check, the monthly on-coming of the credit card bill, and a social more of creating New Year’s resolutions, it all helps create a further wave of discontentment.

The additional dimension of many people receiving their December pay cheque on Christmas Eve, is good news for having money for the festivities but bad news in making January a ‘five week month’ in terms of pay: your monthly salary has to extend to a further week.

Sure, there is no data to support this theory. Yet, where is the statistical data to substantiate the theory about mid winter blues timing with the Christmas period?

The idea of a ‘Blue Monday’ may not be understandable to a scientific mind based on evidence, verifiable hypothesis, to arrive at a ‘fact’ which is accepted by the relevant dominant group in society.

We would suggest the potency of the Blue Monday meme – the ability of the story to replicate itself since launched in 2006 is an intellectual touchstone for justifying Blue Monday, offering a clue to a possible Zeitgeist. At present its validation may just be a form of informed common sense

The debate around the scientifically defining Blue Monday has stimulated Andy Green’s interest in a bigger, wider issue. What Andy calls ‘Compound Scientific Illiteracy’ and the need for non-scientists to play a part in promoting greater understanding of science.

He has written an ebook ‘Science Phobia’ – beta copies available on request.

Here, the issues of the facts of emotion, story-telling and how ideas spread all need to be considered. But that is another story.

One further image to conclude with. You are probably familiar with the great surrealist artist Rene Magritte and his work ‘La Trahison des Images’ (The Treachery of Images) or ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe). 

In the spirit of Magritte we would declare that Monday January 16th can be described as ‘Ceci est Blue Monday’. But also ‘Ceci n’est pas Blue Monday’ – that’s our hypothesis – and we are standing by it. I am not sure many scientists will be comfortable with this.