Following hard on the heels of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Panic Saturday comes so called Blue Monday. The most depressing day of the year. This year is was allegedly Monday 19 January (or 26 January according to some sources). It is of course complete and utter nonsense and yet another example of the pseudoscience that has permeated popular culture. That's not to say budgets aren't stretched after Christmas, I know mine is, but there is no scientific basis whatsoever for Blue Monday.
Like all the others listed before it, it's a cynical marketing ploy designed to push our buttons and trick us into buying stuff. Quite a neat trick considering one of the reasons were supposed to feel so blue is the amount of debt Christmas has left us saddled with.
The term was first used by a company called Sky Travel in 2005 to market, yes you've guessed it, holidays. Their public relations company delivered a largely pre-written press release to academics and offered them cash to put their name to it. A former part-time tutor from Cardiff University duly obliged and has since been frequently and incorrectly credited with devising the so-called 'formula' for calculating the date.
The formula uses a wide range of variables, none of which are defined, so it can be pretty much manipulated to come up with whatever answer you want to promote whatever your selling. In fact there are at least two different formula's in circulation that claim to calculate the date. Theoretically since travel time is part of the original equation, zero travel equals infinite happiness. So the key to happiness is not to book a holiday and stay at home?
About the only thing Sky Travel did get right is that experiences and not possessions bring us happiness. Over the last decade A wealth of psychological research has shown us that experiences trump material stuff every time. So booking a holiday, going to a concert. movies, a family day out, etc. will make you happier than buying a TV, console, handbag or shoes. Just don't break the bank doing it. Now where did I leave my walking boots?