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Blue Monday: facts v. fiction

calendar04 January 2017

Joseph Allison's avatar Joseph Allison

Blue Monday: facts v. fiction

You’ve probably seen articles about 'Blue Monday' in the newspapers or online. Blue Monday is the third Monday of January, which is 'statistically' the most depressing day of the year. Who says this? Well… science does, right?

Actually, the concept was first publicised as part of a 2005 press release from a holiday company. Ringing alarm bells, yet?

They claimed they had made a formula, that, by putting in numbers for various different factors like 'weather' (no units of measurement given) and 'the feeling of a need to take action' (which, I assume you can only accurately measure, with a 'feeling-of-a-need-to-take-action-o-meter') you’d end up with the most depressing day of the year.

The reality is, of course, people are complicated. Depression and sadness happen all year round because there are all sorts of factors that can cause them. So we all ought to be ready to be a listening ear all through the year, not just on a random day in January.

The formula lists 'debt after Christmas' as a factor, as if it’s your own fault for getting into debt and suffering with depression. Yet, here at CAP we get people seeking help with their debts all year round, for a wide range of reasons. The majority aren’t splashing the cash at Christmas, they’re victims of circumstance, trying hard to keep things together.

Here’s another thing: Mondays don’t make us blue. On average, CAP gets the most calls for help on a Monday in any given week. Mondays are the days when people decide to make a big change to their life and that’s reason to celebrate.

Here’s another fact: our busiest months are November and February, peaking around the second Monday in February. We think this is simply because people don’t want to organise a visit to their homes in the run up to Christmas, or when their children are off school. So, all the calls we’d normally have over December come along instead during January and February. Credit card bills don’t arrive until six weeks after Christmas and at that stage people know just how bad things are looking, so it may be as simple a reason as that.

At CAP, a busy day is a good day because the more people who call us, the more people we can help. If you feel you’re in trouble with unpaid bills and calls from creditors and it’s getting you down, give us a call - no matter what day it is, we’ll do all we can to help. Call us for free on 0800 328 0006.

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