DESTROY BLUE MONDAY BLOG Monday 18th January 2021


Cheer up everyone, today is “Blue Monday”.

Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The concept was first published as part of a 2005 press release from holiday company Sky Travel, which claimed to have calculated the date using an equation. It takes into account weather conditions and thus only applies to the Northern Hemisphere. By coincidence, the date in the United States almost always coincides with the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday, and so the concept of Blue Monday is not widely known there.

Let’s face it as we are in Lockdown 3.0 this year’s Blue Monday is probably as Blue as it’s ever gonna get.

But let’s not let it!!! Laugh in the face of Blue Monday.

I have changed since Lockdown 1.0 and Lockdown 2.0. In those Lockdowns I set targets to achieve major things I was proud of. I made sure I was occupied all the time. In Lockdown 3.0 I am different. I seem to be target fatigued.

But I seem to be fully occupied all the same and putting the emphasis on trying to be bright and positive.

They say you cannot start to beat an addiction or problem until you accept it is there. The same is with Blue Monday. And part of the acceptance is understanding fully what it is. So, here goes.

The idea is considered pseudoscience, with its formula derided by scientists as nonsensical.


This date was published in a press release under the name of Cliff Arnall, at the time a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, a Further Education centre attached to Cardiff University.

The Guardian later printed a statement from Cardiff University distancing themselves from Arnall: “Cardiff University has asked us to point out that Cliff Arnall… was a former part-time tutor at the university but left in February.” Arnall himself now campaigns against the concept of Blue Monday via Twitter.

Variations of the story have been repeatedly reused by other companies in press releases, with 2014 seeing Blue Monday invoked by legal firms and retailers of bottled water and alcoholic drinks. Some versions of the story purport to analyse trends in social media posts to calculate the date.

In 2018, Arnall told The Independent newspaper that it was “never his intention to make the day sound negative”, but rather “to inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions”. It was also reported that he was working with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays, having “made it his mission to challenge some of the negative news associated with January and to debunk the melancholic mind-set of “Blue Monday””.



The date is generally reported as falling on the third Monday in January, but also on the second or fourth Monday. The first such date declared was 24 January in 2005 as part of a Sky Travel press release.


The formula uses many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

The 2005 press release and a 2009 press release used a different formula:

where W=weather, d=debt, D=monthly salary, T=time since Christmas, Q=time since failing our new year’s resolutions, M=low motivational levels, and Na=the feeling of a need to take action. Again, no units were defined; the lack of any explanation for what is meant by “weather” and “low motivational levels” means the dimensional homogeneity of the resulting “formula” cannot be assessed or verified, rendering it even more meaningless than its predecessor.

Happiest day

Arnall also says, in a press release commissioned by Wall’s, that he has calculated the happiest day of the year – in 2005, 24 June, in 2006, 23 June, in 2007, 20 June and in 2010, 18 June. So far, this date has fallen close to Midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere (June 21 to 24).

To blow Blue Monday out of the water the need to be filled with positive thinking and things to do to keep your spirits high and not fall deeper and deeper into Blue Monday.



  1. Read the Beano
  2. Listen to an old The Goon Show on the internet.
  3. Watch Staged on BBC iplayer.
  4. Make your favourite meal for tea.
  5. Do something you love doing that you can still do due to Lockdown.
  6. Read a really good book.
  7. Watch a film that you know will give you a feelgood feeling.
  8. Write a list of 10 things that make you feel good and cosy and positive (See mine below)
  9. Buy a magazine (Something like Viz) and read it cover to cover to make you feel good.
  10. Have a day of just doing things you love to do.
  11. Think of your 8 discs you would take on a Dessert Island.
  12. Just write and write freely. Empty your mind and see where your thoughts take you.
  13. You could always binge watch all the Harry Potter films or Read all the Harry Potter Books.
  14. Put your books into alphabetical order of author or CDs in alphabetical order of artist or the same with your vinyl collection.
  15. Have a day of playing all your vinyl records.
  16. Spend the day thinking of things to do that makes you feel the opposite of feeling blue.
  17. Binge watch a chosen box set.
  18. Binge watch Friends.
  19. Buy something click and collect from Ikea. It’s worth it for the cloak and dagger collection.



  1. The Van by Roddy Doyle
  2. Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson
  3. The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley
  4. The Lady In The Van by Alan Bennett
  5. Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly by Billy Connolly
  6. Code Name Bananas by David Walliams and Tony Ross
  7. Giles The Collection 2021by Carl Giles
  8. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend (Author)
  9. Milligan’s Meaning of Life: An Autobiography of Sorts by Spike Milligan
  10. Viz Annual 2021: The Wizard’s Sleeve.


My list of 10 things that make me feel good and cosy and positive

  1. 4 Grandchildren
  2. Trevone, Nr Padstow, Cornwall
  3. Fowey, Cornwall
  4. The original Austin Seven Car
  5. 1950s to 2020s Music Mix
  6. Coast to Coast walk
  7. South West Coast Path
  8. Flying in a Tiger Moth
  9. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  10. The weather


If I was to read a book today I had read before that I so enjoyed I knew it would cheer me up and give me hope it would be The Salt Path by Raynor Winn



“Every time you pick up your guitar to play, play as if it’s the last time.”

— Eric Clapton


Happiness is…Blue Monday


Writing a horror screenplay. It starts off with a ringing phone. The person answers, and it’s their mum saying “I have a computer question.”


Love is…supporting one another on Blue Monday


A time for Blue Monday…A time for Happiness Day


18 January 1973 final episode of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” on BBC TV


©2021 Phil M Robinson