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Atlas Quest

Blue Monday Theme

Marjorie carrying a blueberry on her back

Blue Monday is popularly known as the most depressing day of the year. It’s so depressing because of post-Christmas bills, the abandonment of New Year resolutions, cold and wet weather and the lack of sunlight. It typically falls around the third Monday of January—at least for folks in the northern hemisphere.

Blue Monday started in 2005 when Cliff Arnall released a press release announcing the most depressing day of the year (it was a January 18th that year) along with an equation for calculating the date:

[W + (D - d)] × TQ
M x Na

W = weather
D = debt
d = monthly salary
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failing our new year’s resolutions
M = motivational levels
Na = feeling of a need to take action

The equation is nonsense, of course, but the world embraced Blue Monday—traditionally falling on the 3rd Monday of January—ever since. Or, more precisely, people in the northern hemisphere (weather is quite a bit warmer south of the equator!) with the exception of Americans who are typically too busy enjoying a day off of work because of Martin Luther King Day and therefore aren’t so depressed. (Maybe a Blue Tuesday in America should take root, but that is not for me to decide!)

Customs and Celebrations

There are two very different ways one can celebrate such a dubious day. For some, instead of trying to stave off the blues, they decide to embrace it by listening to sad music (or maybe the blues?), refusing to use happy greetings or by refusing to leave their house.

Other people, take the exact opposite method and celebrate the holiday! They do so by consuming ‘blue foods’ such as blueberry waffles, blueberry pie or blueberry yogurt. They’ll wear blue clothing or drink blueberry wine. They’ll also watch more upbeat movies such as a comedies to defeat the blues.

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