So today is Blue Monday. This is the day they claim is the most depressing day of the year, which typically falls on the third Monday of January and is calculated taken into account the days since Christmas, the whether and maybe even the number of new years resolutions we’ve already sacked-off.
It was originally invented for an advertising campaign for Sky Travel by a PR agency who looked to back up their claim with a bit of academic rigour, attaching the name of a college lecturer. Its sole purpose was to sell holidays with the promise that spending money would raise people out of the dumps. Through thousands of articles, internet memes and water cooler discussions at work, Blue Monday was legitimised and used to sell everything from flowers to Ferraris.
However, some have accused comercial entities of jumping on a poorly calculated scientific sum to make money out of people’s depressive state. Writing for the Guardian, Charity worker Polly Mackenzie points out that being told that buying stuff will make us happy can be extremely destructive for people struggling with mental health problems.
In desperation, 9 in 10 people with a mental health problems find themselves spending more when they’re feeling unwell.
She argues that the psychological impact of new stuff comes from our culture, not our chemistry and we can, if we change the way we talk about belongings, change the way we all think about shopping, benefitting those who struggle every day.
Money Saving Expert founder, Martin Lewis, echoed her sentiments. “There will be people suffering depression, anxiety or a mental health issue today, who suffer every day of the year. It’s irresponsible. Many people with depression or a clinical mental illness…spending is a big issue for them. It’s really inappropriate that they are being targeted with Blue Monday sales.”
Are you affected by Blue Monday? Let us know how you feel about it in the comments below. And don’t forget to expand your mind by subscribing to the Retail Innovation Hub.