Winter, rain, cold, post Christmas and New Years’Eve blues: we often feel in a low mood in January. About 10 years ago, psychologist Cliff Arnall created a magic formula intended to find out the exact date of the most depressing day of the year. It turned out it was on the third Monday of January (which is, well, today), hence its name, Blue Monday.
Blue Monday : a scientific concept ?
W is weather, D is debt, d monthly salary, T time since Christmas, Q time since failure of attempt to give something up, M low motivational level, NA the need to take action.
This “formula”, enabled Dr Cliff Arnall to conclude that “the most depressing day of the year” would be every third Monday of January. The problem is that there is no science involved… The rumor is that Arnall was commissioned by the travel agency Sky Travel, which wanted to use the Blue Monday concept in their ads campaigns to make people believe holidays would solve their blues.
Arnall was severely criticized by the scientific community, which notably pointed out the lack of logic and mathematical sense. Scientist Ben Goldacre notably wrote in the Guardian that “these equations are so stupid, because they come from the PR companies almost fully-formed and ready to have [scientists’] name attached to them.’
He called Blue Monday ‘corrosive, meaningless, empty, bogus nonsense that serves only to caricature and undermine science’.
So, does Blue Monday not exist at all?
Wrong. I mean, who does not feel down at the beginning of the year, or of the week?
Exactly. So here’s a list of 5 things you should do to beat January blues.
5 things you should do to beat January blues
1. Watch an Oscar nominated movie
After all, what is better than curling into a ball with a nice cup of hot chocolate and watch a cartoon like Inside Out, Pixar and Disney’s animated movie?
Nominated for 2 Oscars, the cartoon is the perfect occasion to cheer up both kids and grown ups. You’ll have to chance to meet Sadness, one of the cutest little characters on earth, who will teach you that sometimes feeling blue helps.
2. Start off the day with a champions’ breakfast
Easy to prepare, healthy, tasty, the Blue Monday smoothie will make you forget about winter blues for good.
Blueberries are great anti-oxydants (for destress and detox), and bananas will bring you all the energy you need. The plus? You’ll have more time to sleep!
Oats, fruits, greek yogurt, honey, this smoothie is a real breakfast to drink, and can be enjoyed while heading to the office.
Go champions, go!
3. Re-discover one of the coolest blue songs ever
The music Magazine Rolling Stone once declared this song made ‘the Teletubbies sound like Shakespeare’. It reached number one in a dozen countries and received a Grammy Award nomination. Our theory? It’s one of the coolest and bluest song ever, perfect to dance and sing. We just love Anything Blue. Da ba dee da ba dye.
4. Turn your home blue
A 2013 study assessing the impact of colors on individuals proved how powerful blue is for the brain. The two main conclusions were:
1) Blue is the ONE color to positively affect your mood.
2) The color blue stimulates a specific cell receptor in our eye retina, that speaks positively to the brain part controlling sleep.
Thus, Blue will bring you 8 hours of good night sleep, a lower blood pressure and a relaxed mood. More info about the study here.
5. Get involved in a good cause
According to Mahatma Gandhi, “the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Here are two charitable projects that you can easily get involved in: giving water pumps to Malawi for aunt goats, or sponsor a pet at the Blue Cross.
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