Brew Monday or Blue Monday? Debunking The Myths

Brew Monday or Blue Monday? We debunk the myths, discuss where it came from and what it’s all about.

Cup of tea on blue background - Blue or Brew Monday

Originally referred to as Blue Monday, the third Monday in January is traditionally recognised as the most depressing day of the year. However… Our own platform data and other reputable sources disprove this theory and show it’s a myth!

Debunking Blue Monday!

By analysing millions of customer data points we discovered…There’s no significant difference in average happiness scores between Blue Monday and any other Monday, or weekday! 

In fact, Blue Monday actually has the highest happiness scores!

So, Where Did Blue Monday Come From?

In 2004 psychologist, Cliff Arnall, came up with a formula to make sense of January blues. The formula takes into account various factors such as temperature, days since payday, days until next bank holiday, daylight hours and so on.

It’s thought that the original concept was produced for the travel company, Sky Travel, who used it as a PR stunt to promote their winter holiday deal, and has no psychology or data backing.

That being said, there is some rationale behind January Blues with winter months playing a role in elevating feelings of depression and anxiety. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes seasonally, affecting around 1% to 10% of people. It is usually associated with the winter months, giving it the nickname 'winter depression'.

There may also be links between illness and reduced activity that contributes towards mental health issues during the winter - Cold weather can lower immunity, making people more likely to become unwell.

Of course, January Blues don't affect everyone - Especially when we consider those who live in the Southern hemisphere where the weather is much warmer at this time of year!

But, Why Brew Monday?

Stop this myth about Monday being 'blue' and instead start a conversation over a brew!

- The Samaritans

Started by The Samaritans, Brew Monday takes a more positive spin on Blue Monday, encouraging people to reach out to others and get together over ‘a brew’. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health, highlighting how important a good support system and listening ear can be in prevention as well as someone’s journey to recovery.

In fact, the message (and something we promote vigorously here at The Happiness Index), is that we shouldn’t be isolating this behaviour to one day of the year. We should always make time for a cuppa and a catch-up, whether that be with friends, family, colleagues or a complete stranger - It could really make a difference to someone!

Supporting Mental Health in The Workplace

We spend nearly a third of our time at work, so it’s pretty important we have a mental health support network within the workplace.

We must remember that everyone is different and signs are not always obvious. Therefore taking the time to get to know employees and colleagues is really important. Also, creating safe spaces to talk openly about mental health will help prevent problems building up and people suffering in silence. For inspiration, why not check out what we’re doing here at The Happiness Index to support mental health in our workplace.

When it comes to supporting mental health, we look to our neuroscience themes of safety and relationships. Psychological safety is key for employees to feel comfortable opening up and sharing their struggles. Relationships are a vital source of emotional nourishment, meaning positive workplace relationships can have a significant impact on our wellbeing.

This Brew Monday why not get involved - Reach out to someone over a cuppa, promote self-care and check in with yourself and others!

For other key days that support wellbeing and mental health we’ve got a whole Awareness Calendar for you!

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Linked to Happiness in our neuroscience methodology... learn more

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About The Happiness Index

The Happiness Index helps organisations measure the key employee engagement AND happiness drivers to power their people strategy.

Our unique platform offers the products, insights and tools to shine a light on your cultural health and empower management to drive thriving cultures.

Our neuroscience-based pre-built surveys measure the full employee experience - from onboarding to exit to empower and enable organisations to understand their people and create data-led action plans.


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