Another Good Reason For A Holiday Today: It's Blue Monday

avatar blue monday holiday

No, it's not Blue Monday because everyone is using the holiday in the States to go see Avatar. It is all based on a formula developed by Psychologist Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University, that determines that today is the most depressing day of the year. The formula:


"By taking into account various factors such as avg temperature (C), days since last pay (P), days until next bank holiday (B), avg hours of daylight (D) and number of nights in during mth (N), we create a formula such as C(P+B) N+D. This formula allows us to work out the day with the highest 'depression factor' which you can then use as a focus for making things better."


They even have a website!

But the Guardian calls it, and Cliff Arnell, a crock.

Ben Goldacre wrote in 2006:

Now the fact is that Cliff Arnall's equations are stupid, and some fail even to make mathematical sense on their own terms.....and what's really interesting about Cliff is that he seems to me to be a man driving that peculiar anti-science agenda. He thinks his ludicrous "unhappiest day of the year" scientific equation "gets people talking about depression when the people who run psychology [sic] aren't getting the message across. Peer-reviewed papers do not do what psychology ought to do - help people talk about their feelings and get the most out of life."

Arnall claims on his website that he is a "media slut." Goldacre says it's worse and calls him a "corporate whore."

Why? Because as the Guardian notes this year, "This dubious bit of maths was used to give academic weight to a press release put out by Sky Travel to encourage people to cheer themselves up with a holiday."

So while the Globe and Mail suggests we should all have a youtube marathon or go to Cute Overload to cheer ourselves up, go to the gym and avoid fatty foods, everyone else can just ignore it.

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