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Media uproar may have already notified you that today is the day that you ought to be feeling terribly miserable. It’s the third Monday of January after all. “Blue Monday” is alleged to be the most depressing day of the year. Many of us are in debt from Christmas, tired of the gloomy weather and feeling a bit haggard from overindulgence in December. According to the Telegraph in 2012, The university of Exeter estimated that Blue Monday could cost businesses £93 billion in lost productivity.

We advise that you read on before bursting into tears and hiding in a cupboard until tomorrow.

The most depressing day of the month was “scientifically calculated” to be so by Dr Cliff  Arnall, who at the time was a professor at the University of Cardiff (who have since distanced themselves from him). Dr Arnall devised a formula that weighs up the effect of weather conditions, motivation levels, amount of debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions and a general  flagging of motivation. The equation has been slammed from a wide variety of antagonists for its nonsensical measurements and unquantifiable variables.

Dubiously, the equation was cooked up by Dr. Arnall at the request of a holiday company called Sky Travel, with whom he was collaborating. An ingenious marketing campaign to get potential customers thinking about their summer holidays to alleviate the depression, albeit imaginary, during the period of mid-January. Evidently not too ingenious, as Sky Travel closed for business 5 years later in 2010.

Unfortunately, despite the collapse of Sky Travel,  the bleak tradition that  it bore has survived and many of us will feel needlessly sad today. So spread the word to your friends and family that it’s safe to smile in the face of Blue Monday.

If you think you may be suffering from depression your first port of call should always be your GP. If you’re unsure of the symptoms or how to talk to your GP, this article may help.

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