The third Monday of January is known as “Blue Monday”, the saddest day of the year. The concept was created by Cliff Arnal based on a formula that took into account factors such as weather, time since Christmas or debts. This formula was related to an advertising campaign for a travel company that wondered what was the best day to book summer vacations. The term was born from the hand of tourism and since then, the date has been used to promote messages and initiatives for the happiness of the people.
According to Cliff Arnal, the formula that shows that the third Monday in January, called Blue Monday, is the saddest day of the year is the following:
([W + (D-d)] xTQ / MxNA)
In which W is the weather, D are the debts acquired since Christmas, d is the monthly salary, T the time that has passed since Christmas, Q the time that has passed since we failed to achieve an unsuccessful purpose, M the low level of motivation and NA the need to act.
Campaigns to promote tourism
Blue Monday and the Cliff Arnal formula were born in relation to an advertising campaign for a travel company that wondered what was the best day to book summer vacations and thus buy air tickets. Preparing for the holidays – with all that entailed – and evoking everything that would be experienced during that period was the best way to counteract the effects of Blue Monday.
Since then, many companies have taken advantage of the concept to launch tourism promotion campaigns. Among them, Promotur Turismo de Canarias which in 2016 launched a campaign starring precisely Cliff Arnal, the author of the Blue Monday formula, under the slogan #StopBlueMonday to boost holiday tourism in the Canary Islands.
In fact, the Blue Monday formula, considered by some as pseudoscience, has also served to outline what is the happiest day of the year, known as the “yellow day”: the third Friday in June.