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Busting The Blue Monday Myth

The third Monday of January is widely known to many as ‘Blue Monday’. Although January can be a difficult month for many of us, there is no scientific evidence to back the ‘Blue Monday’ phenomenon. Mental health professionals and services across the UK have a different take on the ‘Blue Monday myth’. Find out more below.

How did ‘Blue Monday’ begin?

Back in 2005, a Welsh psychologist named Cliff Arnall, came up with a formula for the most depressing day of the year to help a travel company sell summer holidays. Factors used included weather, debt, time passed since Christmas, low motivation levels, and failing New Year’s resolutions.

Seventeen years later, and this seemingly harmless marketing tactic has grown into a huge commercial day that many worry trivialises depression, and creates damaging misconceptions about mental health and illness.

Why do many people struggle with their mental health in January?

Whilst there are no scientific studies that back up the concept of ‘Blue Monday,’ January can be a particularly challenging month for many of us.

After a month of fun, food, and gifts, normality resumes in January which can negatively affect many of our mental health. Some of us may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder which can result in low mood, fatigue and changes to sleeping or eating habits. Additionally, activities that are usually beneficial for our mental health, such as exercising and spending time outdoors in sunlight, can be harder to do when the days are short and cold. 

It is clear that depression and other mental health conditions last longer than a ‘one day event’, and our mental health can fluctuate in different ways on any day of the year. We believe that mental health and wellbeing should not be minimised by the Blue Monday myth.  

How can Bath Mind support my mental health all year round?

This Monday and every Monday after, we’d like to encourage protecting our mental health against commercial influences. Instead, spend time prioritising your own mental health and take time to check in with those around you. We have information and support for you all year round:

  • Take a look at groups and services we offer at Bath Mind
  • Explore activities to support your wellbeing from home 
  • If you’re in need of immediate support with your mental health, you are not alone. Take a look at our ‘Help now’ page. 

Posted on: 12th January 2022

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