‘Beat Blue Monday’ – the year’s most depressing day


creativity@work is one of the inspirations behind a major effort to help people beat the year’s most depressing day - ‘Blue Monday’ on 22 January 2007 by following a 10 point plan to ‘cheer yourself up’ which includes wearing a Hawaiian shirt to work or turning your office into a beach.

The Beat Blue Monday campaign aims to raise a smile and valuable funds for the Samaritans on the official worst day of the year. The syndrome was first defined by Dr. Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University and marks the final full week of January when people experience a series of combined depressive effects (see below for the mathematical formua).


To help people brighten up their lives on Blue Monday, the public are being urged to try the 10 point plan for beating Blue Monday

·         Try something new
Be creative, or learn something new to get your brain active and start thinking of new things instead of dwelling on the old.

·         Get physical
By changing your physical state, from a simple shoulder-shake at your desk to a full work-out at the gym, you can change the way you feel.

·         Contact a friend or relative
Get in touch with someone you have not heard from in a while; thinking of someone else takes your mind off you.

·         Take a break
Go somewhere different, whether it’s a coffee bar you have never been into, or a faraway luxury holiday; by changing your physical location, you change your perspective on the world.

·         Be nice to a stranger
Do a random act of kindness; doing good for others is the best form of self-satisfaction.

·         Help the planet
Be a good ancestor in some way; the planet will be here long after you are gone.

·         Pamper yourself
From a small indulgence to a luxury you have been promising yourself.

·         Plan something new
Whether it’s planning a holiday for later in the year or deciding what to do at the weekend, looking forward to something new or different can be uplifting and refreshing.

·         Go to the beach
By turning a bit of your home or office into a beach you can pretend your somewhere relaxing and help us create world’s biggest beach party!

·         Share you thoughts
A problem shared is a problem halved. Visit the Blue Monday blog to see what ideas people have come up with for dealing with life’s little problems.


The public can also get involved in a range of activities that are taking place across the UK:


  • World’s biggest ‘beach’ party - Companies across the UK are being encouraged to bring some sunshine to Blue Monday by turning their office into a beach in an attempt to break the record for the world’s biggest beach party. Firm’s taking part are also urged to help raise funds for Samaritans.


  • De-stress with a cuppa - Samaritans volunteers will be on-hand at London’s Victoria station during rush-hour handing out packets of Yorkshire Tea and advice on de-stressing to commuters.


  • Cheese and ‘Whine’ beach party – why not organise a Cheese and ‘Whine’ party offering guests Blue Wensleydale cheese and blue cocktails? Invite Samaritans volunteers to help give advice and support if anyone needs to have a whine. Wakefield Media Centre is becoming - ‘Costa del Wakefield’, offering help the public to beat Blue Monday, by hosting a Blue Cheese and ‘Whine’ party. The public will be able to enjoy Real Yorkshire Blue Wensleydale and have a whine to volunteers from the Samaritans.


  • Positive Social Behaviour Orders – Yorkshire Housing Group will be handing out Positive Social Behaviour Orders (PoSBOs) rather than ASBOs to young people from across the region to reward them for their efforts to make local communities happier and friendlier.


  • Campaign to get New Order hit back in the charts BLUE Communications will be launching a campaign to get the New Order hit, Blue Monday, back into the charts through download sales to raise awareness about the issues behind Blue Monday.



Blue Monday was devised using the following mathematical equation:

[W + (D-d)] x TQ

M x NA

The model was broken down using 6 immediately identifiable factors; weather (W), debt (d), time since Christmas (T), time since failing our new year’s resolutions (Q), low motivational levels (M) and the feeling of a need to take action (Na).


The equation calculates that Monday 22nd January 2007 is officially the worst day of the year, when the Christmas glow has faded away, New Year’s resolutions have been broken, cold Winter weather has set in and credit card bills will be landing on doormats across the land – whilst  the January pay-cheque is still one week away.


David Taylor of creativity@work says: “Monday 22 January may be the year’s most depressing day but with a bit of optimism and creativity it needn’t be. Rather than dwelling on unpaid credit card bills and miserable winter weather we want to help people beat the blues. Anyone in desperate need of cheering up can join us at our beach party, get involved in the activities taking place across the UK or come up with their own ideas!”


Further details about how to overcome ‘Blue Monday’ and how you can do your bit to help charity can be found at the website: www.beatbluemonday.org.uk. The public is also being urged to submit their own creative ideas for beating the January blues to the site.


Notes to editors

  • ‘The worst day of the year’ – is a concept developed by Dr Cliff Arnall, an academic at Cardiff University who specialises in seasonal disorders. Working with public relations company Porter Novelli, he devised the mathematical equation:

[W + (D-d)] x TQ

M x NA

The model is broken down using 6 immediately identifiable factors; weather (W), debt owed over the Christmas and New Year period (D), amount of next pay check (d), time since Christmas (T), time since failing our new year’s resolutions (Q), low motivational levels (M) and the feeling of a need to take action (Na).  The equation calculates that Monday 22 January 2007 is ‘officially’ the worst day of the year.


  • Samaritans is a registered charity, founded in 1953, which offers 24-hour confidential emotional support to anyone in emotional distress. The service is offered by 17,000 trained volunteers and is entirely dependent on voluntary support.