Being down, feeling down, or feeling down are some of the expressions used in the Spanish language to describe a state of mind. restlessness or sadness. In English, for its part, all of them could be included in one: to feel bluewhose literal meaning would be “feeling blue.”
Thus, this formulation is what gives rise to the Blue Monday, which in 2024 is celebrated – or, rather, lamented – on Monday, January 15. This anniversary arose a little more than two decades ago, from the hand of psychologist Cliff Arnall, who apparently determined when it would be the saddest day of the year through a formula that took into account different factors such as: the weather, debts acquired during the holidays, the time elapsed since Christmas or motivation regarding the goals set for the year.
The theory, although convincing because it could present similarities with reality, lacks scientific support and has been widely refuted, including by Arnall himself. However, this does not mean that it continues to have a certain influence on daily life: with special emphasis on the areas of marketing and sales, which they take advantage of to promote their products as a solution to the induced episode of sadness.
Brief history of Blue Monday: Where are you from?
There are various surveys that have tried to determine what is the most hated day of the week by the population: and yes, according to popular belief, probably the first candidate to hold such a title is on Monday, although the truth is that the answer could vary as work dynamics do. For example, a report published by the London School of Economics in 2010 states that “Tuesdays are the new Mondays,” referring to the poor rating the second day of the week received in terms of happiness.
Under this idea, it was easy to build an attractive concept for the advertising campaign in which Arnall’s theory was framed: it was specifically in 2005 when the agency Sky Travelnow missing, published a press release in various media in which she highlighted the discovery of the psychologist’s supposed studies and stated that the solution to sadness was to plan a trip with his services.
The marketing strategy was a great success, since it not only increased sales of travel packages that season, but also managed to send a message to society that remains to this dayalthough it is known that there is no research to support the theory.
you may be sad, but not because of him blue monday
One of the reasons why Cliff Arnall’s theory, within Sky Travel advertising, had such an impact is that seemed to largely coincide with reality of the audience.
The truth is that there are circumstances given in January that can cause sadness or discouragement, and that, unlike the Blue Mondaythey do have scientific support:
- During Christmas, many of the products we consume, such as chocolate or nougat, contain sugar, a food that makes our brain secrete dopamine. This neurotransmitter is involved in many brain functions related to reward systems and addiction. Thus, just as some studies showwhen we stopped eating sugar drastically, and with more emphasis after a period in which we have consumed it excessively, they may appear some symptoms such as headache, tiredness or mood changes, among others.
- Another factor that can cause some discomfort after the first week of January is the Back to work, in the case of those who have had vacations during the Christmas period. The immersion in the routine after a few weeks of rest, as demonstrated a 2022 reportcan do increase stress levels, an emotion that is associated with getting irritated more easily or feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, readjusting to work schedules can cause sleeping problems that, according to This studiocan in turn trigger a weakening of the immune system.
- Finally, do not forget that, as Cliff Arnall pointed out in his realistic but unsound theory, the climatic factor Yes, it is essential to determine our state of mind. It is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to the set of symptoms – among them, the chronic feeling of sadness and tiredness – that some people feel during autumn and winter, when the days get shorter, temperatures drop and light becomes increasingly scarce. Thus, although SAD is considered a type of depression linked to the seasons, the sadness supposedly experienced by the entire population during this January 15 It could just be a symptom of something that, in line with the connotations of this color in the English language, is popularly known as “winter blues”.
The post first appeared on www.nationalgeographic.com.es