‘Beat Blue Monday’


What better example of creative thinking than turning the day described ‘as the most miserable of the year’ into a positive opportunity.

Instead of being down the message is one of encouraging the public to overcome the winter blues to raise people’s spirits and vital funds for the Mental Health Foundation on ‘Blue Monday’ ,19 January 2009.


Blue Monday was first defined by Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, marking the symbolic time in January when people suffer from a series of combined depressive effects.


The ‘Beat Blue Monday’ campaign was developed by Andy Green, founder of creativity@work and the Flexible Thinking Forum, a not-for-profit organisation promoting flexible and creative thinking skills in business and the community, to encourage people to challenge set ways of thinking with the support of GREEN communications.


Blue Monday was devised using the following mathematical equation:


[W + (D-d)] x TQ

M x Na


The model was broken down using six 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 19 January 2009 is 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 some way away.




--Advice to get through Blue Monday--


The Mental Health Foundation’s new booklet, How to look after your mental health’ suggests 10 ways to take care of yourself, when all you want to do is hide under the duvet.


  • Keep active
  • Eat well
  • Keep in touch
  • Care for others
  • Do something you are good at
  • Ask for help
  • Accept who you are
  • Talk about your feelings
  • Take a break
  • Drink sensibly


--Help prevent mental illness turning into a tragedy--


For some, the January blues will be serious, as increasing numbers face unemployment, mounting debt and housing insecurity as a result of the economic crisis.


The Mental Health Foundation has launched an appeal to raise money to identify and reach individuals and families who need the charity’s help. For those struggling to cope with an episode of mental distress, the Foundation’s information packs are a lifeline – they help people to understand what their loved ones and friends are going through and suggest where people can go to get help.


Every year around 6,000 people commit suicide in the UK. By giving as little as Ł10 you can help. To find out more visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk/bluemonday




Encouraging people to overcome the negative effects of Blue Monday, Andy Green of the Flexible Thinking Forum said: “There is a lot of pessimism around which can be catching and does little to help those experiencing real difficulties. Today may be symbolically the year’s most depressing day, but there are lots of things to be happy about and staying optimistic in trying times can make all the difference.”


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




For further details please contact Kathy Burke or Andy Green at BLUE Communications (formerly GREEN Communications) on 0845 450 3210 or 07815 884 525 (out-of-hours). Alternatively, email kathy@greencomms.com or andy@greencomms.com


Notes to editors


The Mental Health Foundation (www.mentalhealth.org.uk) uses research and practical projects to help people survive, recover from and prevent mental health problems. We work to influence policy, including government at the highest levels. And we use our knowledge to raise awareness and to help tackle the stigma attached to mental illness.  We reach millions of people every year through our media work, information booklets and online services. Registered Charity No: (England & Wales) 801130: (Scotland) SC 039714.


Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, has worked in the NHS helping people with depression and addictive behaviour. He also runs courses and gives talks for organisations on stress and anger management, happiness, understanding depression and the psychology of succe