Fact or Fiction? The last Monday in January is the saddest day of the year.
The answer? A little of both.
Some six years ago a travel company, Sky Travel, paid a supposed British research psychologist, Cliff Arnall, to devise a formula for calculating the saddest day of the year. According to an MSNBC report, the equation (based on personal interviews and variables like the rate of absenteeism from work and personal debt) is "broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action."
So what was the answer to the equation? Blue Monday--the last Monday in January. A combination of bad weather, lack of sunlight, being shut in, accumulated debt from Christmas and New Years all work together to leave us feeling less than hopeful and energetic.
Is it good science? That's debatable according to many in the field. The author of the equation was not a staff research scientist, nor even a Psychology professor, but merely a part-time tutor at an esteemed UK university. But it is nevertheless generally agreed that for many this is not a "happy" time of year.
As Blue Monday rolls around this year, we would do well to engage in a little self-examination. Upon what list of criteria do we base our happiness? Our contentedness? Without Christ in the equation, a beautiful, sunny day enjoyed in perfect health and wealth is far sadder than any dreary day spent in the light of hope in Christ.
Jesus is the real answer to our search for happiness. Every day without Him is a sad day.
“For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28a).