x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Oh, cheer up!

Yesterday was Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. Many would not have noticed.

Yesterday was, no doubt, a great day for many. Some had a productive day at work. Others enjoyed a day out at the beach, at a spa, shopping or just spending time with family or friends. A few experienced the joy of becoming parents. Some people got a raise. Little do all those contented people know that they weren't supposed to have a good day.

For yesterday happened to be 2012's dreaded "Blue Monday", the most depressing day of the year. Says who? None other than the people who exist purely to tell you exactly what should make you happy: the marketing men.

They claim that Blue Monday usually falls in the third week of January. The exact date is arrived at by using a convoluted formula, originally worked out by the well-intentioned Mental Health Foundation but commissioned by Sky Travel, a holiday agency.

Included in the calculation are factors like debt level (so soon after the holidays), the weather (in the middle of winter for so many countries), and motivational levels (just as New Year's resolutions are put away for another year).

One question remains: just what would a travel company gain from manipulating people about to receive their first paycheques of the year into thinking they need to escape their depression?