There's reason why you've had a shocker of a day today. It's Blue Monday. 

Did you have a sh*t day today?

You know, one of those real stinkers where nothing really went wrong, but nothing seemed to go right either.

You just felt irked; things were harder than they should be, and everyone was getting on your nerves for reasons you cannot explain nor can be bothered exploring. They JUST. DID.

Yes, I’m talking to you, man on the bus chewing his gum too loudly.

We really hope you didn’t have a terrible day by the way, but if you did – there’s actually an explanation for it.

So please, feel free to wallow away in your bad mood to your heart’s content.

You’re allowed to.



Because today is Blue Monday – the 24-hours dubbed by a Welsh academic as officially the most depressing day of the year.

Yes. It’s a thing.

Dr Cliff Arnall even devised an actual equation 10 years ago which proves the third Monday in January is the worst day of the year.

Why someone would actually want to spend their time figuring that out is beyond us, but it actually makes sense.

There are brown, sad-looking former Christmas trees in garbage bins on your street. You’re flat out of cash as the end of the month looms, living off baked beans and water. Your summer tan is fading as natural sunlight and sandy beaches have been swapped-out for artificial office light and hard-backed chairs.

Maybe some of the work you neglected at the end of the year in the run-up to holidays has suddenly come back to bite you, and your enthusiasm to fulfil your resolutions is very quickly dwindling as you realise that dieting is boring and exercise is… sweaty.

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On top of all that, with the fun festive buzz in the air gone, the collective bad moods of all the people around you have kind of melded together to become one big, brow-furrowed soup.


Suddenly, your life looks very different from the countless prawns and glasses of champagne you greedily consumed over Christmas with your friends and family – who might even be miles away from you now if you travelled home for the holidays.


Being back to reality has hit you like a ton of Tupperware containers that you’re using to bring lunch to work everyday in an effort to save money.

We all feel it, and according to Dr Arnall, it’s because maths:


Yes, it looks like gibberish to us too.

Essentially, Dr Arnall's equation combines the weather (W), the amount of debt you’re in (D), your monthly salary (d), the time since Christmas (T), and the time since you failed your New Year’s resolutions (Q) with low motivational levels (M) and a need to take action (Nᴀ).

Yeah, look, we don't really get it either, and as an actual concept it's been viewed by fellow academics as fairly... novel.

It also only gained notoriety when publicised by a holiday company trying to persuade people to buy a plane ticket and quite literally run away from their problems, so there's that, too.

But, across the pond in the UK (where it's freezing cold and gets dark at 4pm, keep in mind) - the Blue Monday theory sort of holds up.

Police in Newcastle in northern England have said the average number of mental health-related reported incidents were slightly higher on Blue Monday. As reported by The Chronicle, there was an average of 24 incidents on other Mondays and 30 on a Blue Monday.

Speaking to the publication, Inspector Steve Baker said: “While there may be more factors contributing to these figures, we do appreciate that January can often be a difficult month for people and we need to be mindful of just how seriously this can affect people.

“Given that one in four of us will suffer some form of mental health issue in our lives, why not just go out of your way this Monday and start a conversation with someone who you think maybe needs someone to talk to?”


When questioned about the term he coined and its grim connotations, Dr Arnall has said he never intended it to be seen so negatively.

“Whether embarking on a new career, meeting new friends, taking up a new hobby or booking a new adventure, January is actually a great time to make those big decisions for the year ahead,” he told The Independent in 2018.

And he's right.

Hey, in the spirit of the Marie Kondo-craze, maybe Blue Monday can instead be a time to reflect on the things that don't spark joy and be promptly put in the bin.

Because, really, this is the best time of year to "take stock". It's still early enough in the year to start fresh, and with the holiday sheen well and truly gone, you're probably seeing things a lot clearer.

We've probably even almost adjusted to writing 2019 instead of 2018 in our meeting notes.

Blue Monday is also ALMOST OVER, by the way, so the only way is up.

Plus - unlike our English mates, we at least have the sun to cheer us up.

(When it's not burning us to a crisp, that is).

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner or in Australia, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

Got January-Dread at the thought of a new year in your current job? Keen to take control of your life and be your own boss? Come and join Mia Freedman for the Lady Startup Activation Plan, an online course where she personally takes you through every step and gives you every resource to go from idea to launch. Enrolments are open for just a few days. Details here.

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