Letter from the Deputy Editor: Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year?


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The Independent Online


Christmas is a distant memory,  it’s cold and wet outside, credit card bills are thudding on doormats across the country, and pay day is still more than a week off. No wonder today has been labelled “blue Monday”.

While days credited with unofficial names have a whiff of marketing campaign about them, a serious point does exist – the third Monday in January is widely considered the most depressing day of the year. Research has shown that 32 per cent of people relied on credit cards to pay for Christmas in 2013, and thousands of others are feeling the squeeze and paying the price for an early pay packet before the festive season.

But one charity has come up with a solution to banish the January blues and turn today into “blooming Monday”: wear bright clothes. Mental Health Research UK is encouraging everyone to dress up (or should that be down?) to highlight the plight of those suffering from depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It may seem a rather simplistic solution – feeling unhappy for a few days after an over-extravagant festive season is a completely different issue to clinical depression – but it does no harm to bring attention to the illness.

A recent poll from the same charity has revealed that one in five will not wear bright clothes to work because they believe colleagues will consider them to be less professional. But perhaps the opposite should ring true today.

So, even if only as a one-off, leave that grey suit on its hanger and the black skirt in the wardrobe. At the very least, give the comedy tie, fluorescent socks or stripy tights you were given for Christmas a rare outing - they might just make someone smile.