di Talitha Linehan
Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Stanbdard British accent)
If you feel blue, it means you feel melancholy, sad or depressed. Some people believe that everyone feels blue on Blue Monday. This is the third Monday in January, so it’s on January 16th this year.
The man who invented the concept of Blue Monday is psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall. He calculated the date using a special formula. This formula is composed of many factors, including weather conditions, levels of debt, levels of motivation and time since Christmas.
Dr Arnall said he developed the formula to help a travel company to analyse when people book holidays and other holiday trends. The British travel company Sky Travel published the formula for the first time in a 2005 press release. The press release said that Dr Arnall was a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, which is part of Cardiff University.
Many people said the formula was ridiculous and described it as pseudoscience. A journalist with the British newspaper The Guardian said that a PR company had sent the press release to academics offering them money to concur with Dr Arnall’s theory. And Cardiff University told the newspaper that Dr Arnall was no longer a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, though they didn’t say why.
There may not be any authentic scientific basis for Blue Monday, but if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, there are many valid reasons to feel melancholy at this time of the year. Christmas is over and many people feel bad because they ate too much and/or spent too much money on the festivities. It’s cold and wet in many countries, and it’s a long time until summer.
In recent years, many companies have profited from the concept of Blue Monday by using it to sell summer holidays and other things to make people feel good. Also, health organizations have used it to encourage people to talk about mental health, which is a positive consequence. There is more good news, too. In 2008, Dr Arnall invented a new formula, this time to calculate the happiest day of the year, which he says is around June 20th. This is when the days are longer, the weather is better and many people are on holiday. So if you feel blue this Blue Monday, just think about the great days ahead!