Feeling a bit down about heading back for the first full work week after the holidays? Struggling to pull yourself out of holiday debt? Feeling the sting of the cold that swept through Colorado on Monday a little more than usual?
You’re not alone — at least not according to “Blue Monday” researchers, who claim that the first Monday after New Year’s Day is the most depressing day of the year.
Research on “Blue Monday” appears to date back to 2005, when UK psychologist Cliff Arnall was commissioned by a travel company to point out the most miserable day of the year. He declared the third Monday of January was the year’s most depressing.
Arnall’s original formula looked at weather conditions, debt, the amount of time since Christmas, depression over failed New Year’s resolutions and the fact that most people just generally tend to loathe Mondays.
This year, another UK company is attempting to expound on Arnall’s initial research. That company is Upbeat Drinks, which produces protein drinks and has apparently devised an Upbeat Barometer.
The company said they used the barometer to scan over 2 million tweets from the past three years, looking for negative language and phrases that indicated a drop in mood. The barometer reportedly found that the day with the highest volume of negative-based tweets is the first Monday after New Year’s Day.
Guilt-related tweets, apparently coming from individuals who had already failed to live up to New Year’s resolutions, were five times higher on the first Monday after New Year’s Day, the barometer found. The barometer also found complaints about the weather were six times more likely to be tweeted.
DivorceDepot.co.uk, a UK-based divorce service, indicated the first Monday of the New Year is also the most popular day to file for divorce.
Divorce statistics in the U.S. may just support that theory. January is the busiest divorce month of the year, with more than twice as many divorces being filed as September, the second-most popular month for divorces.