“Blue Monday”: most depressing day of year is just marketing concept

A pseudoequation mixing the weather, salary and motivation, was invented in 2005 to do the advertising campaign of a travel agency.

by Mathilde Damgé

For the past fifteen years, the expression “Blue Monday” has reappeared in January on social networks and in the media … The “most depressing Monday of the year” falls this year on January 16, in a particularly gloomy context.

Problem: this concept, allegedly based on the learned calculations of a psychologist, has existence only in the spirit of marketing experts. Decryption of this “infal” for commercial purposes, far removed from real psychological problems.

where does this invention come from?

The Blue Monday (which is inspired by the English expression to feel blue, “being depressed”) would irrefutably designate the third Monday in January as the most depressing day of the year … according to an alleged scientific study Released in 2005, which is based on the following equation:

  • This equation is more than one farce than arithmetic: certain factors are unquantifiable (weather, lack of motivation, etc.).

“This kind of calculations threatens the understanding that the public has of science and psychology. It is also disrespectful towards those who suffer from real depression, because it implies that it is a Temporary experience and minor, from which everyone suffers “, recalls the researcher in neuroscience Dean Burnett in the Guardian .

Beyond the moral problem posed by the propagation of pseudoscience, the Blue Monday, which was only a commercial operation, can also encourage a worrying phenomenon of compulsive expenses. According to a study conducted by a British Institute, the money and mental Health Institute, on 5,500 people with mental disorders, Nine people spend more money when they do not feel good . Purchases trigger a feeling of guilt, which can give rise to other purchases to “feel better” … engagement a vicious circle well described by many psychologists .

[A first version of this article was published in January 2019.]

/Media reports cited above.