Do you know what day it is? The most depressing day of the year! Oh... sorry. Even though the folks here at Greatist are keeping spirits high, today, January 21, is scientifically the most depressing day in 2013.
That may not sound like super solid science, but "Blue Monday" has become a sort of mini, morbid holiday. And yes, you're right, it's actually not really science at all. The day was dreamed up by a travel agency and given some minor credence by Dr. Cliff Arnall, a psychologist at the Cardiff School of Psychology. The Guardian did a little bit of digging and found that the definition of "psychologist" is a little loose. Still, Arnall created an actual, honest-to-goodness formula for figuring out what day was most depressing.
Essentially, we get bummed out by bad weather, the end of Christmas, and the odds that we've probably messed up our New Year's Resolutions by now. And some other stuff which isn't very well defined. Arnall himself has since admitted that the formula doesn't really mean much of anything. And yet Blue Monday has taken on an afterlife of its own despite mounds, and loads, and tons of writers saying it's all a little ridiculous.
Part of Blue Monday's staying power is the anecdotal logic behind it. It's definitely not science, but the system kind of makes sense. I get bummed out after the holidays, and the weather sucks, so it might not be totally wrong? Arnall seems to support that, as he told the Telegraph:
"I'm pleased about the impact it if it means people are talking about depression and how they feel but I'm also encouraging people to refute the whole notion of there being a most depressing day and to use the day as a springboard for the things that really matter in your life."
Whether you think Blue Monday is total BS or you're just looking to smile a little in January, Greatist is here to cheer you up. We've put together some of our best happy-making resources to help you bust a bad mood, relax, beat the weather, or brighten up your desk. Take a look below and, most importantly, feel better.
Greatist's Mini Guide to Feeling Better Right Now
- 13 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues
- 34 Ways to Bust a Bad Mood In 10 Minute or Less
- 6 Ways to Fight Seasons Affective Disorder (SAD)
- The Holiday Burnout Recovery Plan
- 6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less
- How Creativity Can Make Us Happier
- 11 Gadgets That Make Our Desks Happy Places
- The Surprising Health Benefits of Anger
- How to Be Optimistic About Everything