Today, believe it or not, is Blue Monday.  Who thinks of these things?!

Perhaps I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t known about the somewhat off-putting concept of Blue Monday for the past 18 years, but a casual viewing of the captioned news at the gym yesterday morning, while hard at work cycling (well, I was on the cycle at any rate), brought me up to speed.  It turns out that the third Monday of January has been proclaimed the most depressing day of the year!!

Apparently – get this – a UK travel company came up with the notion of honouring this dismal and questionable factoid in 2005 by proclaiming it Blue Monday, and for some reason this was deemed of sufficient interest and credibility to be discussed as a news item on CTV News yesterday.  We haven’t had anything remotely approaching a slow news day in years now, so all I can imagine is that the news announcers needed a break from reporting on all the depressing news.  So instead they decided to tell everyone about the most depressing day of the year!

According to Wikipedia:

Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) said by a UK travel company, Sky Travel, to be the most depressing day of the year. The concept was first published in a 2005 press release from the company, which claimed to have calculated the date using an “equation”. It takes into account weather conditions and thus only applies to the Northern Hemisphere. Psychologist Cliff Arnall, who coined the day ‘Blue Monday’ came up with a formula that factors in general emotions arising after Christmas, lots of money being spent, the change of cold weather amongst other factors.

Notice that there is no discussion of why this travel company might have thought this worthy of a major announcement, such as perhaps improving your one-day-in-January depression by reserving your spot on one of their trips.  But that can’t be it, can it? They know we’re depressed due to all that money we’ve just spent, so surely they wouldn’t want to encourage us to spend more!  If they were trying to start a national or international campaign in aid of mental health, that would have been laudable, but mention of mental health doesn’t seem to be front and center – although, to be fair, mental health was mentioned in the CTV News piece.

If we’re going to choose the most depressing day of the year, it definitely matters where you live; weather does play a role.  However, I’m pretty sure that there are some kids who would choose the first day of school as the most depressing day of the year rather than the middle of January.  People who spend Christmas alone may find that the most depressing day of the year … or on the other hand may find it one of the most relaxing.  Regardless, there is no doubt that Monday would get a strong vote for the day of the week, whichever time of year it falls in!



Then, of course, some people would undoubtedly be ready to celebrate being miserable regardless of the day of the week or the time of the year.


The fact that a travel company is given credit for starting the concept of Blue Monday fits in with the messaging we are bombarded with by marketers, telling us that buying their products will make us a lot happier. And more money to buy even more of these products helps, too.



All that marketing messaging, telling us we should strive to be happy all the time, really isn’t helpful.  It isn’t realistic and, if anything, helps lead to more depression over what ‘things’ we can’t have. Finding a little happiness – a few moments of joy when we stop and take the time to look for it – should be its own reward.  Of course, finding joy from an unexpected call from a long-time friend or seeing a new bird at your birdfeeder isn’t going to “grow the economy” or increase corporate profits, but it can help turn Blue Monday into a sunny Yellow Monday or a sparkling Pink Monday, or maybe a Raptors Red-and-Black Monday! Our happiness and well-being may well help the economy in a variety of ways, but that happiness and well-being should not be defined by marketing messages.


I’ll admit there’s a reason why I’ve reacting more strongly than one might expect to having learned about Blue Monday; today is not only apparently the most depressing day of the year, but also my birthday! [And also Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. this year, whose legacy is definitely worth honouring.]  I refuse to be depressed, I absolutely refuse.  Even with the unpleasant amounts of freezing rain outside at the moment.  After all, when the freezing rain (finally) stops and the sun comes out, think of how sparkly everything will be!! 😉


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63 Responses to Today, believe it or not, is Blue Monday.  Who thinks of these things?!

  1. Bernie says:

    I feel so strongly about it that I’ve written posts about this twice. Bloody hell that someone declared my birthday blue Monday as well. As I said before not on my watch it’s not. It’s marvelous Monday. Enjoy yours Jane and sorry for the rant!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Bernie. You’re at the front of the pack for knowing about these important events (thanks to CBC; why do Canadian news outlets pay attention to this??!). I like your idea of Marvelous Monday much better!


  2. Happy Birthday Jane! Oh, yes, it’s a day to be happy and to celebrate. I hope you enjoy your day beginning to end and celebrate with laughter and wonderment. Thank you so for the great reminder to question what we hear and to always seek out the source. As you mentioned, I actually think it’s a great day. Here in the US, it’s a federal holiday, meaning many public and private places of business have off. I’m volunteering (for MLK), taking my wife out to lunch, and relaxing. I call that a pretty happy day. So, happy Birthday again Jane. Have a great 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. barryh says:

    Happy birthday, Jane! Your freezing rain really makes me appreciate the wonderful sunshine coming through my window.
    Martin Luther King Day – now there’s a day to celebrate!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Victoria says:

    Most importantly, Happy Birthday, Jane! I had no awareness of “Blue Monday” until your post…but loved your analysis of the why…from a travel boosting perspective $$$. And yes, how odd that a day so named has nary a mention of mental health awareness, support, resources. In honor of your special day, I declare Jan 16 a “sparkling pink Monday”…or better, “Jane Day”. ❤️😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Birthday, you eternally optimistic Capricorn with a wicked sense of humour! Kick up your positive, capricious heels and enjoy the day – you certainly will! Blue Monday? Bah – Humbug!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LA says:

    Marketing aside, I do have a lot of friends, including myself, who get a touch of winter blues. Holidays are over and there’s two months of cold weather ahead. I was telling a blog friend yesterday that I make sure to plan something for every day of winter even if it’s rereading a fave book or rewatching a fave movie, or baking a cake or even making time to schedule outings with friends. So outside of marketing I kind of get it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A very happy birthday to you! I hope that you celebrate, celebrate and that your day is filled with simple pleasures. I had never heard about this Monday being the most depressing day of the year. Clearly a marketing plot and one we should ignore.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Margaret says:

    Happy Birthday Jane 🎂🥂
    Forget about the world’s problems and enjoy your day!

    For me, January and February are the worst months during which I could happily hibernate and often try to do so! However, evenings are slowly getting lighter and March is not too far away. There’s light at the end of the tunnel👌and here in Cheshire it is a beautiful, clear, sunny day. Unfortunately I’m enjoying through a window since I’ve caught the horrid debilitating cough/cold which is doing the rounds! I’ve posted you some sun ☀️ on my blog (I don’t know how to post it to yours!).
    Today is also Mother in Law’s birthday who I never got the opportunity to meet unfortunately. Husband tells me we would have got along well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Margaret, and thanks for the virtual sun, especially when you’re down with a rotten cold; so sorry. It’s a nice thought that your husband thinks you and his mother would have gotten along well. Maybe it’s because she had such an awesome birthday! 😏😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Rose says:

    Happy Birthday, Jane!! Hope your day is filled with everything you want! Happy Marvelous, Magnificent Monday! Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your cartoons are spot on and so funny!!! Happy birthday my friend!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy birthday to you! 🎶 How dare someone sully your special day with doom and gloom? I admire your spunk in taking a stand of positivity. Hear hear. Yay you!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Kevin says:

    Happiest of birthdays, Jane.
    Be happy. A few more weeks and it’ll be more get togetherness with Family Day in February. That in itself could be a “blue day”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Kevin. LOL re Family Day. Several years ago we joined one of our sons and his young family in Montreal over the Family Day weekend to be together and savour what enjoyment that great city had on offer for 3 generations. I don’t think it got above -25C all weekend!! I guess you could say that we were all blue from the cold! 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Regarding happiness, it seems to me that people are predisposed to either happiness or misery as our default way of viewing our world. We all see the cup but some of us will immediately see the cup as half empty while others see it as half full. I’d like to offer advice to the naturally miserable but can I? I was lucky enough to be born a cup half full person.

    Still, during my darker moments (I’ve had plenty and for long durations too, due to external factors) I like to count my blessings and notice the small things/moments that bring me joy. I do this during good times too but I learned to do it during the bad ones.

    And it’s so good to focus on the silver lining like you have with the freezing rain!

    Happy birthday, Jane! Excellent post with great cartoons.


    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bernie says:

    Oh man! How incredibly poorly I read this post at 0345 when insomnia was in control and how incredibly cool is it that we share birthdays! So a most wonderful wish headed your way for a Magnificent Monday Trip Around the Sun Day!! Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well Happy Birthday, Jane!! To you and Martin Luther King.

    As you likely suspect, I am not a blue person and can see absolutely nothing to be gained by naming any Monday blue. So glad you agree and hope that you have a lovely birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Jill. You’re right, I would have trouble thinking of you as a blue person! It’s a lovely day here, especially if you’re a fan of 24 hours of ice pellets, which is far better than 24 hours of freezing rain, even though it would have been nice and sparkly!


    I think most of our lives now revolve around marketing and the biggest of all is Christmas or Thanksgiving if you are in the US!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Shelley Petley says:

    Into every life a little rain must fall. 🌧
    We need the lows to appreciate the highs.
    Happy Birthday!! 🎂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Audience of One says:

    I didn’t know about Blue Monday either, but happy birthday! And I hope it’s not blue at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Lookoom says:

    I have always thought that the Christmas lights should be extended to Valentine’s Day, it would make the winters so much more cheerful in the North. And then there is not long to wait for the chocolate bunnies of Easter which already greet the spring. And that’s the trick. Happy birthday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Happy birthday, Jane! I didn’t know that the Blue Monday thing was an arbitrary marketing ploy. Judging from the way the media laps it up, they think it’s worth noting. It isn’t. Your birthday is, though 🙂 Hope you find plenty of reasons to smile and enjoy your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wynne Leon says:

    Whoa – you buried the lede! Happy birthday, Jane!! You definitely brighten up any day with perspective and humor. Hope you have a great year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. aradaghast says:

    Un peu de rationalité et de positivité:
    Alors que ce troisième lundi de janvier ne repose sur aucun fait scientifique, cette notion de jour le plus déprimant de l’année a été traduite en formule mathématique : 
    [W = (D-d)] x TQ : M x Na.
    “W” = météo (weather),
    “D-d” = dépenses d’argent lors des fêtes,
    “T” = temps écoulé depuis Noël,
    “Q”= période écoulée depuis les résolutions de début d’année.
    “M” =motivation
    “Na” = besoin d’agir.
    J’aimerai découvrir la formule mathématique qui décrit le bouleversement climatique actuel, juste pour confirmer les variables sur lesquelles agir, dans le but d’inverser sinon de ralentir la tendance. La couche d’ozone arrive bien à épaissir , après 40 ans de diminution de gaz à effet de serre.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. debscarey says:

    Belated birthday wishes Jane, and I hope you enjoyed your day after you got off that exercise cycle! Seriously though, I don’t doubt that the exercise endorphins all helped you to laugh at the ridiculous concept of Blue Monday. January seems to be full of these ridiculous days – so far we’ve had Dating Sunday, Divorce Monday and now Blue Monday. I don’t care what the statistics say, using them for some marketing exercise is just yucky. I have particular issues with Blue Monday as those of us who suffer from depression would benefit from positive news stories rather than have constant reminders of what a tough time of year January can be. Sorry… I’ll get off my high horse now.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Belladonna says:

    Happy Birthday! I hope you are able to keep depression away. I know it’s hard to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Roy McCarthy says:

    Happy Birthday Jane, a bit belated now I know. What depresses me (not really) are the endless stream of madey-uppy days which ‘they’ try to foist upon us. The only ones I accept are birthdays – there is some logic there. Maybe also the old Celtic feast days which were hijacked by Christianity. I’m presently doing a short course on British Folklore. I wonder what, in 100 years time, folklorists will make of Blue Monday and Black Friday?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I know, the list of made up days is endless, although some of them are somewhat amusing, like Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! Black Friday’s among the worst; the day after American Thanksgiving, when all stores used to be closed and people stayed home and enjoyed each other’s company, turned into a major shopping extravaganza, subsequently exported to other countries, like Canada. Profits, profits, profits. Maybe you could write a post on Celtic feast days and I could start celebrating them, as long as it didn’t mean being responsible for cooking the feast!


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