Have you heard of Blue Monday? You might have the heard the old song, but this an actual occasion that falls on the third Monday of every January. It is supposingly the most depressing day of the year, according to some research done years ago. But where did they come up with this? Is there really any science behind this claim?

There are a number of factors that come together around the middle of every January that could easily lead one to proclaim this to be the most depressing time of year. The weather is cold and the days are still short across the Hudson Valley, and most of the country. In fact, we've still got until January 21 for sunset to actually reach 5 P.M. again. Then, there's the usual post holiday slump. You're probably still paying off bills and debt from all the shopping from months back. Add in a general lack of motivation some may be feeling around work or school, and you've got the recipe for quite a gloomy time.

Oh yeah, there's also this whole thing with a pandemic and massive political upheaval going on right now too.

But is any of this actually rooted in science? No. It really started as a joke around 2005. A press release was published that year by a now defunct British channel known as Sky Travel. It claimed to have come up with the third Monday of January as the most depressing day of the year by equation. Wikipedia says the piece was published by a former tutor of a center associated with Cardiff University. Then, a public relations firm paid money to a number of academics to put their names on the piece, thus "legitimizing" it.

Seems more a joke if anything? But that didn't stop other companies from posting the same release through the years, claiming there was actual equation behind their findings. Of course, social media also took off and ran with it over the next 15 years. which leads us to where we are. Is it really that different of a day for anyone? Besides, the third Monday of January here in the U.S. is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which celebrates the life of the civil rights leader who campaigned to bring peace and equality to the world. So, it can't be that bad.

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