January 16, 2017, is Blue Monday, supposedly the saddest day of the year. But is it just a myth? Find out the story behind Blue Monday—and how to keep it from affecting you.
Photo: Stuart Ashley/Getty Images
Blue Monday: Supposedly the “most depressing day of the year,” caused by a combination of post-holiday blues, guilt over abandoned New Year’s resolutions, cold, overcast weather, and other equally dismal factors, this particularly gloomy day strikes on January 16 in 2017.
But is it something you really need to be worried about?
The easy answer is no. Since 2005, the myth of Blue Monday has haunted the world, all thanks to an ad campaign from Sky Travel. For the campaign, U.K. self-described “psychologist, life coach and happiness consultant” Cliff Arnall helped develop an equation for calculating this most depressing day of the year—and Sky Travel used it to convince people that Blue Monday was the right time to plan a vacation to fight these winter doldrums. In the years since, Arnall has become an activist to #StopBlueMonday, and Blue Monday has become more of a gentle joke than anything else.
But a more accurate answer is that January is one of the coldest months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, with brutal weather and gray skies. All Christmas decorations have been taken down and stored away, and there are months to go until spring. While Blue Monday is merely a myth, the winter blues—a.k.a. seasonal affective disorder—are very real, and January’s typically poor weather does nothing to help them.
So, whether you’re falling prey to the Blue Monday myth or just feeling a bit of the winter blues, here are five ways to feel better on Monday (and for the rest of the winter):
1. Book a Cruise
There’s nothing like looking forward to a great vacation to lift the spirits, and there’s no vacation quite like a cruise. Check out the best cruises to take this year to find your perfect trip. Not sure which to pick? This handy quiz might be able to help.
2. Head South
The sun (almost) always shines on these islands of sea, salt, and sand, and we have the best places to go and things to do there.
3. Get Your Hygge On
This Danish expression—pronounced “hue-gah”—is all about creating a space and a lifestyle full of warmth and coziness, perfect for resisting the winter blues. Learn more—and see how you can furnish your hygge haven—here.
4. Update Your Indoors
The weather outside may be frightful, but you can make your space inside delightful with these cheery top design trends for 2017.
5. Indulge in a Pineapple Rickey
These fresh, tropical cocktails—served in a cheerful pineapple “cup”—will bring a smile to any face.