Today is Blue Monday.
Not Blue Monday as in top-selling single by Manchester band New Order.
Not blue as in rudey/porny (sadly).
No. Blue Monday, which falls each year on the third Monday of January, has been designated as the saddest, most miserablist day of the year for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere.
Of course, you don’t need me to tell you it’s Blue Monday because you will already have spent the day being so overcome with misery that you found yourself overcome with misery, yes?
There you were, feeling okish but then, when invited to think about (after learning that it is, in fact, Blue Monday), you immediately realised that your life is devoid of meaning and purpose and that you are profoundly depressed. You said to yourself: blimey, this must be what depression feels like – I shall go home immediately and get in to bed like depressed people do and spend the remainder of this rabid 24 hours of hell writhing around in a squalid pit of misery until I wake up tomorrow feeling completely rejuvenated, with yesterday’s troubles seeming so far away as to almost never have existed at which point I will joyfully declare: ‘Thank God Blue Monday is Over!’
Blue Monday was thunked up in the corporate boardroom of Sky Travel in 2005. They needed to motivate their customers to book holidays so they found an international expert in psychology (a fella called Cliff from Cardiff who worked as a part-time tutor in an F.E college) who would agree to be paid to invent a proper-looking mathematical equation for determining the saddest day of the year which would include factors such as poor weather, poor finances and poor motivation.
Cliff came up with this:
W = weather, D = debt, d = monthly salary, T = time since Christmas, Q = time since failing at New Year’s resolutions, M = low motivational levels, Na = the feeling of a need to take action.
Now then, I am no mathematician (nor is Cliff, remember) so I don’t geddit but I am sure that when you perform this complex sum you will definitely arrive at an answer which will allow Sky Travel to determine a date on which to market to you most heavily.
Twelve years later, many more caring corporations want you to feel better today and so they are offering all sorts of marvellous shizzle to turn your blue to…erm, yellow?
Feeling fat and broke? Head to Pizza Express for their BOGOF offer on all pizzas (NB to really reap the benefits of this offer, you should consider dining alone).
Look like shit? Visit lookfantastic and claim 20% off selected beauty items by entering the code BLUE20 at the checkout. (NB you know you’ll still look like shit, right?)
Single and desperately lonely? Order from JustEat today and enjoy £5 off your sad-ass take-away for one.
Don’t you feel better already?
In 2013 Cliff admitted his own mathematical equation wasn’t very mathematicalish after all, declaring it: incorrect, unscientific, pseudoscientific, uber-pseudoscientific.
He hoped this would stop the whole Blue Monday frenzy which every year sees his name dragged through the mud again. But the Blue Monday marketing train to destination make-a-mint-out-of-arseholes-with-crap-lives cannot be parked back in the shed. This means that now, the only person who truly experiences the sadness of Blue Monday is it’s creator Cliff, who has to spend the whole day desperately tweeting the hashtag #stopbluemonday to all the haters.
So, cheer up folks. It could be worse. You could be Cliff!
NB: those of us experiencing actual clinical misery are free to ignore Blue Monday because no major corporation has yet found a way of selling us a product which wipes our memories and rewires our brains and which can be purchased over the internet with the handy 20% discount code: BLUELOBOTOMY20.
I feel sure Sky are working on it though…