February 5, 2018, by Shweta

Why ‘Blue Monday’ is a myth? (and other optimistic things)

Over a decade ago, psychologist Cliff Arnall coined the term ‘Blue Monday’ to mark the third Monday of January, also known as the most depressing day of the year. According to a formula he published, factors such as grim weather conditions, failed new year’s resolutions, and post-holiday period debt contributed to making this day the most miserable of the year. This year, ‘Blue Monday’ occurred on the 16th of January which means my post is rather late, but keeping in line with the optimism I hope to spew in due time, I believe that this is better late than never.


While exam season made it easy to believe in the concept of a calendar dependent mass depression, the lack of scientific backing behind the phrase is one of many reasons to discredit the idea. Additionally, anyone who has suffered from depression will agree that it’s far from a temporary problem. Personally, the idea that Arnall described a transient bout of winter blues as ‘depression’ is extremely damaging given the stigma surrounding the illness.


While the scientific community around the world debates the relevance of ‘Blue Monday’, I’d like to shift the focus on to all the reasons why January is the perfect time to be optimistic and motivated.

  • Resolutions, while made in a day, cannot be achieved in a day. January is the time to reflect on the previous 12 months and set goals for the next 12. However, lapses in your resolutions are normal and to be forgiven. Remember that taking 2 steps backwards is okay if you’ve already taken 10 steps forwards. Get back up, get going and stay motivated; you’ll see results soon enough.
  • Winter is almost over! Coming from the sunny Middle East, this point never made sense to me until I came to university and was forced to trudge through the snow in my PJs to grab food from Tesco. Keep the thought of warm temperatures, travelling and family alive to get you through the little bit of winter that is left.
  • Bargains are everywhere. January provides an odd transition period where most shops offer multiple bargain deals/sales. Use these and grab your favorite trends; shopping therapy is always successful.


With exams having come and gone, this year is only just beginning for all of us. I hope the forthcoming semester brings you all nothing but laughter, love and Crisis tickets.


Until next time,


Posted in Shweta