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Is Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year... or was it all a marketing scam to make us book vacations?
The third Monday of January is allegedly the most depressing day of the year - when we forget our good intentions for a healthy diet and exercise and wallow on the couch in a cloud of self-pity while bemoaning the miserable weather.
However it has been suggested that the whole concept is based on junk science drummed up by a travel company as a clever ploy to have us booking holidays to sunnier climes.
According to psychologist Cliff Arnall, today is when most people are at their lowest ebb, a scientific formula he came up with based on the length of time until next Christmas, holiday debt and the likelihood of giving up New Year's resolutions.
Down in the dumps: The third Monday of January has been dubbed 'Blue Monday' thanks to miserable weather and the likelihood to give up New Year's resolutions
Mr Arnall, who is a tutor at Cardiff University in Wales, wrote about 'Blue Monday' six years ago - in a press release for Sky Travel, a now defunct British TV travel channel.
He based the theory on the 'hibernation' effect - a time of year when people feel tired, don't exercise, stay indoors and eat comfort food.
However psychiatrist Dean Burnet told the Guardian: 'True clinical depression (as opposed to a post-Christmas slump), is a far more complex condition that is affected by many factors, chronic and temporary, internal and external.'
However Mr Arnall was standing behind his theory, even telling a radio station this morning that today should be called 'Red Monday' as it is potentially the most depressing day ever.
Resolutions: Blue Monday is based on a 'scientific formula' that people feel low having given up good intentions to exercise more and eat less
In an interview with BBC Good Morning Scotland: 'It is the combination of factors that make life right now particularly uncertain. There is threat of job redundancy and the cost of food and fuel are going up.'
In another past press release by Mr Arnall, this time for ice-cream company Wall's, he claimed that the 'happiest' day of the year was June 23 - based on a formula of outdoor activity, high energy levels and amount of sunlight.