Blue Monday 2024: What it is and top tips for surviving it in the Netherlands

Blue Monday 2024: What it is and top tips for surviving it in the Netherlands

It’s a fairly widely acknowledged fact that January is pretty much the worst month of the year (in the northern hemisphere); days are short, the weather is bad, and with the holidays over and summer so far away, there’s little to look forward to. 

But even more specifically, it has been calculated that one day, in particular, is the most depressing day in the whole calendar year, and this day has, rather aptly, been dubbed Blue Monday. But what and when is Blue Monday, and what are some of the things you can do to help get yourself through the dark and dreary days in January? Read on to find out!

What is Blue Monday?

Simply put, Blue Monday is generally believed to be the most depressing day of the year. 

What is the meaning behind Blue Monday?

British psychologist Cliff Arnall came up with the concept of “Blue Monday” back in 2004, when he created a formula for the January blues - a more commonly known term used to describe the general feeling of bleakness that many experience at the start of the new year.

Arnall’s formula takes a number of factors into account, including weather, salaries, debts, and the amount of time that has passed since Christmas, in order to precisely determine which day is the bluest day in January:

Blue Monday formula Cliff Arnall

In this formula, “W” stands for weather, “D” for debt and “d” for monthly salary, while “T” means the time since Christmas, and “Q” means the time since failing in a new year’s resolution. Finally, the “M” is low motivation, and "Na" is the feeling of a need to take action.

Arnall used the formula on behalf of the travel company Sky Travel in a promotional campaign which encouraged members of the public to book a holiday in the sun in order to escape the dreary winter at home.

When is Blue Monday 2024?

Every year, Blue Monday falls on the third Monday in January. This year, that means that Blue Monday is on January 15, 2024.

Why is Blue Monday the third Monday in January?

Talking to The Daily Telegraph back in 2013, Arnall explained that “there were these factors that pointed to the third Monday in January as being particularly depressing” - something his complicated mathematical formula seems to have confirmed. 

Arnall has, however, publicly said that the formula he used is essentially pseudoscience, adding that by labelling a specific day as Blue Monday, it eventually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Indeed, social media analysis by drink company Upbeat previously found that people are more likely to express negative opinions and feelings of guilt on Blue Monday, while lawyers and legal experts have dubbed the day Divorce Monday on the basis that it is the most popular day of the year to start divorce proceedings

Tips for surviving Blue Monday

Do you need some inspiration to help get you through this Blue Monday? Here are some ideas.

1. Book a holiday 

If you’ve got a bit of extra cash to spend, why not celebrate Blue Monday the way Sky Travel intended and book a trip abroad? While you’ll still be stuck in the Netherlands on Blue Monday, booking a holiday will mean you have something to look forward to in the not-too-distant future.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a big enough budget for a holiday, consider planning a weekend away, or even just a fun day out exploring a Dutch city or town you’ve never been to.

2. Practice some positivity

This might be easier said than done, but one way to survive Blue Monday is to actively work against the feelings of melancholy you’re supposed to be feeling. Get those endorphins pumping and do some exercise, or take some time out of your day to think about things that you’re grateful for, or things that you want to achieve in the future. Basically, take the day to do things that make you happy, and enjoy some much-needed me time.

3. Spend time with loved ones 

If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, put your phone and laptop away and make a plan to do something with friends or family. Maybe go out for a walk, play some board games, or cook a meal together.

4. Talk to someone

If you find that you’re really struggling with your mental health reach out to a loved one or a professional to talk; a problem shared is a problem halved, after all. 

Fun and relatable Blue Monday quotes to help get you through the day

Looking for something small to brighten your day this Blue Monday? Take a look through these fun, occasionally inspirational, and certainly relatable, Blue Monday quotes that’ll hopefully put a small smile on your face:

  • “Hey, I know it’s Monday. But it’s also a new day and a new week. And in that lies a new opportunity for something special to happen” - Michael Ely
  • “Mondays are the start of the work week, which offers new beginnings 52 times a year!” - David Dweck
  • “When life gives you Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day” - Ella Woodward
  • “The only good Monday is a Monday in bed” - Lee Horton
  • “Monday is an awful way to spend 1 / 7 of your life.” - Steven Wright
  • “If each day is a gift, I’d like to know where to return Mondays!” - John Wagner

Do you know any other quotes worth sharing? Pop them in the comments below and help someone out this Blue Monday!

Have a happy Blue Monday!

Regardless of whether or not you believe that Blue Monday is a thing, here’s hoping your third Monday in January is a happy one!

Thumb: antibydni via

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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