Happy Blue Monday

From Wikipedia on the most depressing day of the year:

Arnall says the date was calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. Writing about the calculation, Goldacre stated: … the fact is that Cliff Arnall’s equations … fail even to make mathematical sense on their own terms.[1]

This date allegedly falls on the Monday of the last full week of January. The date was declared by Arnall to be 24 January in 2005,[4] 23 January in 2006,[5] 22 January in 2007,[6] 21 January in 2008,[7] 19 January in 2009[8] and 25 January in 2010.


  1. Here in Wellington, New Zealand it is Wellington Anniversary Day (a public holiday) on 25 January 2010. Pretty hard to be depressed when you have the day off work!

  2. Ach jo. This was originally a bit of funded advertising-equivalent PR dreamed up by Sky Travel (‘so why not counter those winter blues by booking a holiday?’ kinda thing) and shilled – for a fee, natch – by the shameless corporate whore Dr Cliff Arnall.

    Who is also known for his Happiest Day of the Year (TM) (thank you, Wall’s, the nation’s favourite ice-cream manufacturer since 1922).

    And his Perfect Toy equation (thank you, too, toy manufacturer Worlds Apart).

    And his Perfect Day to Change Your Life equation (good grief, that was for a government campaign! – ostensibly, anyway; though every article managed to add a mention of his ‘happiness, motivation and confidence’ courses).

    And his Perfect Best Friend equation (what would we have done without you, Diamond women’s car-insurance specialist?).

    And his formula for achieving maximum value from IT investment if you’re an SME (doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, that one; but thank you anyway, BT Business! We know you meant well!).

    And his Good Memories formula (The Children’s Society finally spending money on something meaningful instead of just wasting it on feeding unwanted squalling brats or whatever they do).

    And the equation for Best Day to Spring-Clean Your Home (a well-deserved tip o’ the hat to you, Vileda, may your high-tech mops remain the market leaders in the super-premium mop segment for many years to come).

    And his Perfect Long Weekend (not sure who paid for that, but it was a bit of a cockup on the mathematical front apparently – with an oversight leading to the implication that an infinitely good weekend can be had by staying at home. So it goes).

    (One Gary Andrews comments, ‘Journalists around the country must be praising Dr. Cliff Arnall, the man who devised the formula for helping them to fill another meaningless column inch.’ Booyaka!)

    Incidentally, I’ve come up with a Perfect Day to be Cynical equation, if any kind sponsor wants to step forward. (I just replaced the terms for the Equation for the Day the Sun Rises, actually, but mum’s the word…)

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